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German History in Documents and Images
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The Population of Burgsteinfurt is Escorted to a Film about the Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald Concentration Camps (May 30, 1945)
To confront members of the seemingly unaware German population with the deeds of the Nazis, Allied occupation forces showed them documentary films made when the Allies entered the concentration camps. Shown in several places, these so-called atrocity pictures aimed to document the criminal character of the Nazi regime and to awaken feelings of individual and collective responsibility among the people. The British army sensed a particularly strong resistance to these measures from the residents of Burgsteinfurt (northwest of M√ľnster) and named it the "village of hate" in response. In May 1945, when British Movietone News showed a newsreel of images from the Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, the people of Burgsteinfurt exhibited very little interest in seeing it. Thereafter, the military authorities made viewing the newsreel mandatory; on May 30, 1945, British soldiers forcibly escorted residents to the show. Photographer unknown.