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Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State

Distributed by Films Media Group, PO Box 2053, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-2053; 800-257-5126
Produced by BBC Video and Warner Home Video
Directed by Linda Hunt and Dominic Sutherland
DVD, color, 60 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Holocaust and Genocide Studies, History, World War II

Reviewed by Michael J. Coffta, Business Librarian, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 11/20/2007

The title of this interactive DVD is no exaggeration–it truly brings the learner inside the inner workings of the Nazi regime. One does not simply insert this DVD and push play. Rather, the learner navigates through chapters and episodes to gain access to video segments, photographs, maps, charts, and primary sources, the last being the true strength of this resource. Here one may find primary source documents such as memoirs of Nazis and Jews; racism lessons from German schools; and memos from Nazi elite.

The navigation of Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State consists of a detailed timeline, marking such events and topics as the evolution of the concentration camps, orders of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, the ghastly work of Dr. Josef Mengele, civilian resistance to Nazi aggression, and efforts to aid the flight of Jews from Nazi occupied territories. Interviews of holocaust survivors and Hollywood production level dramatizations are found throughout.

Interactive far beyond the mere sense of “point and click,” this work is truly engaging. It draws the learner in with multimedia presentations and thought provoking questions. It is superbly organized and well designed. Auschwitz takes full advantage of the DVD format, making it a dynamic learning tool rather than a passive movie. I enthusiastically recommend this work to all audiences interested in learning about the Holocaust within the context of other events of World War II.