The Second Moment of Freedom: First versions of the Buchenwald films of the U. S. Signal Corps, April 1945
In April 1945, the camera crew of the U. S. Signal Corps were making a film after the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. They followed closely behind the fighting troops and entered the camp immediately after them. While exploring the large area, the camera crew filmed everything they saw. The random nature of the recording reflected the situation in the camp.
Notable scenes from this material have been shown in numerous documentaries about Buchenwald, defining the iconography of concentration camps over decades. However, there are many sequences that have not been used.
I will present the unedited film they shot, ‘camera rushes’, and discuss the immediacy of this ‘objective’ filming.