Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
In a memorable, 41/2-hour documentary on the trial of five Nazi concentration camp guards who worked at the Lublin-Majdanek extermination site, director Eberhard Fechner has valiantly narrowed down a total of 250 hours of courtroom proceedings to the most compelling and crucial testimony. The trial was held in Düsseldorf and the guards sentenced in 1981 -- to growing controversy about the nature of their sentences (some thought they were too light). About 70 people from two dozen cities in Germany, Austria, Poland, and Israel were interviewed regarding the liberation of the Lublin-Majdanek camp, and archives in several major European cities were searched for relevant, valuable photographic and written material. Between the 26 eye-witnesses and the lawyers who interrogated them, a clear picture of the extermination camp emerges. When this documentary was completed, Fechner turned over his footage to the Federal Film Archive in Koblenz and to the Israeli archives.