Samuel Fuller’s amateur film “V-E +1” added to National Film Registry.
Today’s announcement by the Librarian of Congress of 2014’s additions to the National Film Registry includes “V-E +1,” the latest amateur title to be named to the list, Sam Fuller’s harrowing 16mm footage of the concentration camp in Falkenau, Czechoslovakia. Fuller had several screenwriting credits to his name before joining the U.S. Army in World War II, but his career as a director was several years ahead of him when he was one of the infantrymen liberating the camp.
The Library of Congress’s press release is below.
V-E +1 (1945)
The silent 16 mm footage that makes up “V-E +1” documents the burial of beaten and emaciated Holocaust victims found by Allied forces in the Nazi concentration camp at Falkenau, Czechoslovakia, as World War II ended in Europe. According to Samuel Fuller, who shot the footage while in the infantry unit that liberated the camp, the American commander in charge ordered leading civilians of the town who denied knowledge of the death camp to “prepare the bodies for a decent funeral,” parade them on wagons through the town, and bury them with dignity in the town’s cemetery. Fuller later became an acclaimed maverick writer-director known for crafting films that entertained, but nevertheless forced audiences to confront challenging societal issues. After making “The Big Red One,” a fictionalized version of his war experiences that included scenes set in Falkenau, Fuller unearthed his “V-E + 1” footage and returned to Falkenau to comment on the experience for the French documentary “Falkenau: The Impossible Years.”