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Posted Friday, April 2, 2004

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 The Guardian

London, Tuesday, March 30, 2004

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David Irving comments:

SO, the BBC are about to make a film investigating Auschwitz, one of the Great Mysteries of the world.
   Is that not a triumph for Revisionism of the first order? Real History wins in the long run.
   Despite the millions of pages printed about the story of this "factory of death," despite the eight million dollars tipped into the British High Court by Stephen Spielberg, the World Jewish Congress, Edgar Bronfman, and the rest of that noble elite to tilt the cause of justice in the Lipstadt libel action, the BBC shines through as a champion of independent thought.
We cannot help speculating however on how far the BBC will actually get if it starts to make the wrong noises for Hollywood, or for the Polish authorities now managing this lucrative business enterprise.    Remember that the same BBC was refused permission by the Polish Auschwitz authorities in 1998 to film with me within their holy perimeter.
   Like the big Las Vegas Casinos, the muscular Auschwitz authorities only want the losers coming within their doors; certain others are turned over to the bouncers, and disbarred from entering.
   Hats off to the BBC anyway, for venturing into this minefield.
   Like all my academic friends at the time that I set out on the crossing, I shall don a tin hat, and watch with the utmost interest . . . from a distance, through high-powered binoculars, and wait for things to start popping.

BBC to broadcast 'definitive' history of Auschwitz

by Owen Gibson
in Cannes

THE BBC is making what it describes as "the definitive television history of Auschwitz and the Nazi state", overseen by the man behind its acclaimed wartime documentaries War of the Century and Nazis - A Warning from History.

In a co-production with KCET Hollywood, the corporation is planning to use dramatic techniques and computer simulations such as those employed in recent documentary hits such as Pyramid and Colosseum to bring the full horror of the Nazi concentration camps to the screens.

A BBC spokeswoman said:

"We will be using computer graphics to give a feel for the structure and geography of the camp. The dramatisation will deal with the decision making processes and how Auschwitz operated. We are not going to be dramatising the suffering of the Holocaust victims in any way -- that would inappropriate."

Unveiling the project at the MipTV festival in Cannes, the corporation's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, said the story would be retold using dramatic reconstructions of the "key moments of decision" and computer graphics based on original plans of the camp discovered by historians in the 1990s.

Like other recent BBC reconstructions the documentaries will also draw heavily on eyewitness testimonies, using the accounts of Auschwitz survivors to tell the tale.

The series of six 50-minute programmes, which will be aired on BBC2 next year, is being written and produced by Laurence Rees, who also made War of the Century and Nazis - A Warning from History.

Last year War of the Century put the battle between Nazism and Stalinism under the microscope in a four-part series, following on from his Bafta award-winning 1997 series The Nazis - A Warning from History.

The BBC Worldwide chief executive, Rupert Gavin, last night told that following the success of the Walking With Dinosaurs and Colosseum, documentary and factual formats were becoming increasingly popular exports.

Other new documentaries from BBC Worldwide include The Shadow of Ghengis Khan, a co-production with the Discovery Channel and RTL, and a new series from historian Michael Wood with the working title Great Mysteries.

In the former one-off documentary, digital effects will be combined with live action footage shot on location in the Asian Steppes to document the notorious rise to power of Ghenhis Khan.

Great Mysteries, a four-part series, will search for the truth behind some of the world's most famous myths including Shangri-la, the Golden Fleece, the Queen of Shreba and the Holy Grail.

  • To contact the MediaGuardian newsdesk email or phone 020 7239 9857
  • If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".
  • The address of Laurence Rees is BBCtv, Kensington House, Richmond Way, London W14 0AX


Our website dossier on the Auschwitz controversy
July 1998: Auschwitz authorities refused BBC Television permission to film with David Irving within their site.
David Irving writes to Producer Laurence Rees about this project, Apr 2, 2004
The Krakau Trial of the Auschwitz Criminals: summary (German) with photos | video [avi] [exe]
Left: newsreel footage of the Krakau trial of the Auschwitz officers.

The above item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
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