Sadly, the acclaimed filmmaker and documentarian Claude Lanzmann passed away in Paris at the age of 92. His life and legacy touched people around the world who became familiar with his work, such as the legendary documentary “Shoah,” an award-winning documentary that detailed the Holocaust.
The film, released in 1985, was the result of 12 years of work, between 1974 and 1981. It is based on more than 300 hours of testimony from both survivors and captors. It focuses the Chelmno extermination camp, where mobile gas vans were used to exterminate the Jews, the death camps of Treblinka and Auschwitz, as well as the Warsaw ghetto.
The film won critical acclaim, including a Bafta award for best documentary. According to the BBC, it is considered the foremost film on the Holocaust. Many have hailed it as a masterpiece.
“It was like a bereavement,” Lanzmann told a friend the day “Shoah” was finished, according to Deadline. “I knew nothing about the Holocaust. It’s not about survival. Shoah is a film about death at the very limit of humanity. You cannot finish a film like Shoah exploding with joy.”
“If I am unstoppable it’s because of the truth, which I believe in profoundly,” Lanzmann said in 2017. “When I look at what I did in my life, I believe that I came to represent the truth, I never played with it.”
He was born in Paris in 1925, the son of Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe. When World War II started, his family went into hiding and he joined the French resistance to fight Nazi occupation.
Please pray for his family during this difficult time of loss. Be sure to read about Melanie’s visit to wounded service members.