Alfred Hitchcock may have been the king of horror movies in his time, but one documentary film he was involved with entitled Memory Of the Camps was just too horrific even for him. Hitchcock’s friend Sidney Bernstein had asked for his help on the powerful documentary film after footage came in from the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.
When he first saw the footage, he wound up being so traumatized that he steered clear of Pinewood Studios for a week. It’s one thing to create horror from your mind, but it’s a very much different thing when you are faced with the real thing, a cameraman from the studios commented years later.
You can see a rough cut of the film that below, but the full version with unseen footage will be screened this year. The reason for it never being released was that Memory Of the Camps wound up taking much longer to make than expected and in late 1945, interest in it had waned. At first the Americans and British wanted to release this quickly to get the German people to accept responsibility for the atrocities, but as time passed, they felt that it would just be rubbing more dirt into the German’s wounds and guilt. Postwar reconstruction had begun so as happens with politics, it was on to the next thing.
The footage is shocking, even by today’s standards, but the Imperial War Museum has painstakingly restored the footage using digital technology and has even recovered extra material from a sixth reel that no one else had access to until now. The name Memory Of the Camps will be renamed, but for some reason the new name is being kept quiet, but you can be sure Hitchcock’s name will be all over it.
Memory Of the Camps Early Version (NSFW) – Best Movies Ever News