After WWII there was a significant shift in the visual principles of rendering the operations of the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, its history and its moral significance. Soviet and Polish filmmakers established the cinematographic conventions of Holocaust documentaries which contributed to the conceptualization of concentration camps and industrial genocide as modernist events. The films in question span the period between the liberation of Auschwitz and the 1960s, and include liberation footage recorded by the Red Army and the Polish Film Chronicle, Alain Resnais's Night and Fog (1955), Andrzej Brzozowski's Archeology (1967), and Tadeusz Jaworski's I was a Kapo (1963). This selection sheds light on the aesthetic choices and film genres: newsreel, posttraumatic film, scientific film, and first person testimony.
Dr. Tomasz Łysak, University of Warsaw, received his PhD in Philosophy from the Polish Academy of Sciences. His work focuses on representations of the Holocaust in relation to trauma studies and psychoanalysis. He has held fellowships at the University of Washington, Seattle, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Chicago.