January 27, International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust
In the 9½-hour film
, both surviving victims and perpetrators of the systematic extermination of Jews by the German Reich have a chance to speak. Lanzmann worked on the film for eleven years, from 1974–1985. The Berlinale awarded the director the Honorary Golden Bear for his life’s work in 2013. His film is regarded as an “epochal masterpiece of memory studies”. For whatever bizarre reasons, his film was only shown in the “Forum” in its year of release (1985) in Germany – the younger generations barely know him anymore. In view of these circumstances and the new wave of anti-Semitism, which is virulent worldwide – especially in the USA, United Kingdom, France, and Germany – the international presentation is clear. January 27, International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, was introduced by the United Nations in 2005 to commemorate the Holocaust and the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on January 27, 1945. The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was the largest German extermination camp during National Socialism. About 1.1 million people were murdered there. A total of over 5.6 million people fell victim to the Holocaust.
Claude Lanzmann (1925–2018) was one of the great French filmmakers and intellectuals: Resistance fighter in World War II, lecturer at the FU Berlin at the end of the 1940s, employee (and later editor) of the Les Temps modernes magazine founded by Jean-Paul Sartre at the beginning of the 1950s, participant in the resistance against the Algerian war – these are only some of the important stages of his life before he turned to documentary film in the early 1970s. His autobiography "The Patagonian Hare" (2010) uniquely condenses the events of his life.