Between 1941 and 1944, at least one quarter of a million people were murdered in the Lublin/Majdanek concentration camp. Between 1975 and 1981, the longest trial in German legal history took place in Düsseldorf. Fifteen men and women, former camp guards, were accused of having participated in the murder of thousands.
Director Fechner worked eight years to complete this three-part film which is composed of interviews with defendants, witnesses, judges, prosecutors, defense councils, historians, criminals, and victims. Filming was not permitted during the 474 days of the six-year trial, so Fechner had to reconstruct the trial.
The film is a kind of "counter" trial and an interpretation of the original proceedings. The accused, who hardly said a word during the original trial, eagerly volunteered in front of the camera. Employing a mosaic-like technique and hard confrontational editing, Fechner allowedboth criminals and victims to reveal themselves.
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2 DVD Set: $350
Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information
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An Account of the Majdanek Trial in Düsseldorf
West Germany, 1984, 270 minutes, color/b&w
German with English subtitles
Directed by Eberhard Fechner
Public Exhibition Formats: 16mm, Beta, DVD