'Make Them Watch'
Published August 25, 2014Although it may not be well known to many people today, when the war in Europe was won by the Allies in 1945, one of the many actions taken to right the wrongs was to force ordinary German citizens to walk through the concentration camps and see for themselves what they had allowed to take place.
This was part of the larger process known as Entnazifizierung (Denazification) which the Allies undertook after the war to rid Germany and Austria of all things related to Nazi ideology. As part of this, numerous films showing the horrors of the concentration camps were made and shown to the German public.
But forcing German citizens to actually see what was taking place all around them was a major part of this. Not only did they have to tour the camps, but often they had to bury rotting corpses and/or exhume mass graves. The sights and the stench were certainly powerful wake-up calls to many who claimed ignorance or denied any responsibility.