Scott Brown
January 24, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Verdict on Auschwitz

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
180 minutes
Limited Release Date
01/12/07
director
Rolf Bickel, Dietrich Wagner
distributor
First Run Features
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A-

For the average, passive consumer of history, the crimes of the Nazi regime were answered at Nuremberg — case closed. Not so in Germany, where, in 1963, 22 members of the SS were belatedly brought to trial for horrors perpetrated at Auschwitz. In three hours of discursive yet rivetingly essential documentary footage (an eyeblink by Holocaust doc standards), Verdict on Auschwitz not only tracks the 20-month trial but meticulously re-creates it. You feel the anguish, but also the catharsis, of a reckoning — the kind of healing a hastily gaveled hanging can’t deliver.

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