08 October 2008


I’m reading Laurence Rees’ book Auschwitz: The Nazis & The ‘Final Solution’ and watching his BBC TV series at the same time. Of course, the book provides details the TV series cannot, keeping in mind the time-frame in which the video format had to be packaged. Still, the colour ‘enactments’ in the TV series are well-directed. Some of the old and hazy B&W video footages of Auschwitz (and elsewhere) in the TV series are heart-wrenching.

A December 2004 BBC press release has this to say about the TV series:

“The name Auschwitz is quite rightly a byword for horror,” says series producer Laurence Rees. “But the problem with thinking about horror is that we naturally turn away from it. Our series is not only about the shocking, almost unimaginable pain of those who died, or survived, Auschwitz. It’s about how the Nazis came to do what they did. I feel passionately that being horrified is not enough. We need to make an attempt to understand how and why such horrors happened if we are ever to be able to stop them occurring again.”

[Citation: BBC TWO press release – BBC Two unravels the secrets of Auschwitz, 3 December 2004. Auschwitz plaque photo courtesy Sunil Bahl.]

No comments: