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Maurice Rossel's ICRC visit to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz

Film | Accession Number: 1996.166 | RG Number: RG-60.4915 | Film ID: 2891

This film features Claude Lanzmann's interview with Maurice Rossel, conducted in 1979 for Lanzmann's epic film "Shoah". Rossel was the Swiss delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Berlin. The central task of the delegates was to visit camps to control the observance of the Geneva Convention and the delivery of aid packages. In an official capacity, Rossel was asked to inspect Theresienstadt, a ghetto where Nazis housed wealthy and socially prominent Jews who were being temporarily spared from execution, in June 1944. Rossel admits that he gave Theresienstadt a clean bill of health and would probably do so again today, and that he was also given a tour of Auschwitz, which he did not realize was a death camp despite the sullen, haunted looks he received from the inmates. Lanzmann's questioning raises the issues of to what degree Rossel and others like him were manipulated by the Nazis and to what degree they were willing to be manipulated as a consequence of their own politics and prejudices.

Event:  1979?
Production:  1997
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Claude Lanzmann
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:59:38
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