In 1975, Claude Lanzmann filmed a series of interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, the last President of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia, the only Elder of the Jews not to have been killed during the war. From Nisko in Poland to Theresienstadt, and from Vienna to Rome, the film provides an unprecedented insight into the genesis of the Final Solution. It reveals the true face of Eichmann, and exposes without artifice the savage contradictions of the Jewish Councils.


“The Last of the Unjust” is a film about the power of emigration and how you can manipulate a populace. Lanzmann cuts back and forth between the past and modern era, as he tries to find the best way to discuss what happened in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Unfortunately, he realizes that it doesn’t matter. The past has happened and his interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein allows him to frame the tragedy in a way that the present day scholars can learn from it.

Theresienstadt was once described as the model ghetto for The Final Solution. Working as part of Eichmann’s master plan, it allowed for easy transport of Jews and the ability to hide The Final Solution from general Nazi supporters. Even the higher-ups in Hitler’s regime realized that people would eventually turn on what they were doing if they knew the scope of terror. The documentary goes a step further to show the propaganda news reels that the Nazis made to convince the people of Czechslovakia that nothing was happening in their model city. The constant back and forth and recycling of footage allows the elderly Lanzmann to create a documentary that plays upon the narrative it seeks to create.

The Blu-Ray comes with gallery stills, interview and a trailer as the special features. The A/V Quality is strong for a foreign documentary. The 1080p transfer is superb for material such as this. Plus, the DTS-HD master audio track really kicks it up a notch. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.


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