Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 1987, 400 color slides were discovered in a second-hand bookstore in Vienna that turned out to be a major historical find in documentation of the holocaust. The slides were the work of Walter Genewein, a Nazi accountant involved in the relocation of Polish Jews to the Lodz ghetto. He was obsessed with recording what he called "subhumans in the process of being civilized by the German culture of work and organization," so in 1939 he obtained a camera and a supply of new color film, and began taking an exhaustive series of photos, recording the suffering around him with a coldly clinical detachment. Director Darius Jablonski has married Genewein's images (and copious data from his journals) with the recollections of Dr. Arnold Mostowicz, a contagious disease expert who is a survivor of the Lodz ghetto, to create this portrait of a key hub in the Nazi death machine, where up to 300,000 people were interned ... and only 70,000 survived.
Holocaust, ghetto, Nazism, suffering, camera, Nazi