[Movie] The Auschwitz Report: How Two Men Escaped and Told the World (Director Peter Bebjak)

I wrote this article in Japanese and translated it into English using ChatGPT. I also used ChatGPT to create the English article title. I did my best to correct any translation mistakes, but please let me know if you find any errors. By the way, I did not use ChatGPT when writing the Japanese article. The entire article was written from scratch by me, Saikawa Goto.



Movies and books covered in this article

(Click This Image to Go Directly to the Amazon Prime Video Movie “The Auschwitz Report”: Image from Amazon.com)

I will write an article about this movie/book

Three takeaways from this article

  1. I never thought about how the world learned about the reality of the Holocaust.
  2. It’s unbelievable that the truth was hesitated to be made public for seven months.
  3. Neither the two escapees nor those who helped them had the goal of just surviving.

Somewhere in the world, there must still be “cruelty” that is unknown. We must try to learn about it.

Self-introduction article

Please refer to the self-introduction article above to learn about the person writing this article. Be sure to check out the Kindle book linked below as well.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

The quotes used in this article are based on notes taken at the movie theater from movies in Japanese and are not direct quotes from the foreign language original movies, even if they exist.

There is a Surprising Truth that I Didn’t Know, which is How did the Truth about Auschwitz Concentration Camp Come to Light?

Everyone knows about the Holocaust, where Jews were mass-murdered in forced German concentration camps, including Auschwitz. This incredibly tragic historical event must be passed down for future generations so that it will not be repeated.

However, I realized while watching this film that I didn’t really understand “how did the world come to know about the Holocaust?” In fact, there were those who risked their lives to escape from concentration camps and publicize detailed records to the world.

Until then, I had somehow thought like this: The world knew that the German army was committing genocide against Jews, but because it was during the war, they couldn’t respond immediately. It wasn’t until Germany surrendered that practical measures could be taken.

This interpretation is partially correct. In the movie, it is depicted that rumors had reached the Allied forces that Jews were being captured and sent to concentration camps.

However, the reality of what was happening was hardly understood.

Certainly, it would seem natural if you try to imagine it. We know the “Holocaust” happened as a historical fact, and that’s why we can feel the fear that “such a cruel act was done by humans.” However, I think it would be unimaginable that humans would do such a thing if they did not know the fact that “a great massacre of Jews was taking place.” There was hardly any description of how the Allied forces interpreted it, but they probably thought of it as just “sending them to internment camps and forcing them to work.” It’s still a terrible story, but that would be an act within the range of human imagination.

That’s why “concrete evidence” was needed.

Actually, only two people, Walter and Alfred, escaped from the concentration camp. They worked as “record keepers” in the camp and had detailed data, including when someone died. They risked their lives to deliver the evidence to the Allied powers and try to make it public to the world.

Without their information, it’s likely that the Allies would have acted even later. In the movie, it was explained that thanks to the information provided by the two escapees, Walter and Alfred, 120,000 Hungarian Jews were saved from being sent to Auschwitz. Of course, this was just one notable achievement they accomplished. Without them, it’s certain that the German army would have continued their atrocities afterwards.

I was surprised by the existence of such a shocking fact that is probably not widely known, despite being a well-known historical fact.

This Movie Raises Questions that are Also Relevant to Us Today

In one scene of the movie, a character says the following:

What’s important is what we do now that we know.

These words will surely hit home for us as we watch the movie.

In the world we live in, Russia invaded Ukraine, which is an incredible outrage, and the international community is reacting in various ways. It is said to be the “first battlefield where smartphones exist,” and various information through SNS from the Ukrainian side is spreading, and many people are taking action.

However, not all events receive widespread attention from society.

For some reason, issues like the situation in China’s Uighur Autonomous Region aren’t often featured on TV news programs in Japan. I don’t know much about it myself, but there are suspicions that China has been imprisoning and mistreating Uighur people under the guise of “reeducation”. When it was featured on TV in the past, someone who had actually been tortured spoke candidly about the dire situation. It may not be as brutal as the Holocaust, but it’s safe to say that the situation for the Uighur people is similar in some ways.

Another example is Japan’s refugee problem. I first learned of this reality when I saw the film “Tokyo Kurds” before, and was astonished at the harsh response of “Japan,” which has no intention of accepting refugees at all.

This is a problem within Japan, and I think there are a lot of people who, like me, are not aware of this reality.

Of course, there are various problems in the world, and we cannot take action on all of them. It is important to react to what we see and hear, but I also think we should not forget the perspective that “there may be people somewhere who are in a terrible situation but are not widely known about.”

The important thing is what we do now that we know this.

What should we do to answer the question that is thrown from the world where the Holocaust occurred to the present?

This Movie was Very Unusual in that the End Credits were Impressive

I have always made it a rule to watch movies in theaters and to stay until the end of the credits. However, especially with foreign movies, I find the time during the credits to be boring. I would be somewhat interested in an end roll that included visuals rather than just text, but just because that doesn’t make it that much more interesting.

Therefore, it was unexpected to find myself impressed by the credits of this movie.

At the beginning of the movie, the words of George Santayana,

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

are quoted. And in the end credits, there is a production that reminds us of these words from the beginning of the movie.

During the end credits, there is also audio playing. The audio consists of speeches by presidents and prime ministers from various countries around the world in recent years. Perhaps triggered by the rise of former President Trump, there has been a trend of “immigrant exclusion,” “nationalism,” and “discrimination promotion” around the world. And the speeches of the leaders of the countries that shamelessly voice such claims are played in the background of the end credits.

This is likely to suggest that “the world will become even worse from now on. It wouldn’t be strange even if an event like the Holocaust happened.” And indeed, Russia, which puts “nationalism” at the forefront, has invaded Ukraine. Many people may feel that the Third World War is about to begin.

If we regard the Holocaust as a thing of the past, we will repeat our mistakes. I believe that we should recognize that we are living in the same world that the Holocaust happened in.

The end credits provided a very impressive suggestion in that regard.

Content Introduction

Walter and Alfred, who were in the Auschwitz concentration camp, risked their lives to escape and let the world know what was happening. The detailed records they took with them were used to create the “Vrba-Wetzler Report,” which is known as the “Auschwitz Report.” This report became the catalyst for exposing the brutal actions of the German army to the world.

Two Slovakian Jewish men were forced to work as record keepers for the bodies at Auschwitz concentration camp. Many people died every day at the camp, and they were responsible for recording that information.

Jewish people sent to the concentration camps were told that their first task was to forget their names and they were given numbers instead. They were shaved bald, disinfected, forced to work tirelessly, and ultimately sent to the gas chambers.

On April 7, 1944, the two of them carried out their escape plan. They hid in a place inside the camp that would never be found and waited for the situation to change. That night, during roll call after work, it was discovered that the two, prisoner numbers 29162 and 44070, were missing. While they searched for the two, they forced the prisoners in Block 9, where the two had been held, to stand upright in the freezing outdoors and tried to get them to reveal their whereabouts, but no one spoke up.

Meanwhile, the two who had been hiding for several days escaped from the camp and headed towards the border, trying not to attract attention. Despite suffering from the cold and injuries, they managed to make it to Slovakia, beyond the limits of their physical endurance, while thinking of their comrades who had helped them escape.

They then entrusted the “truth” they recorded to powerful people in Slovakia and appealed for it to be made public to the world…


It was an amazing movie. It depicted historical facts that I had no idea about, and the struggles of those who were forced to make cruel decisions in dire situations really touched my heart. It made me realize once again how crazy the Holocaust was.

There were many impressive scenes, but I want to mention two.

First, the “purpose of the two escaping from the concentration camp.” Of course, it was to “make the reality of Auschwitz known to the world.” However, they were thinking beyond that. I was honestly surprised by the words they told in one scene. Although this article does not specifically mention it, their proposal was so “unusual” that it conveys that “the world is so extraordinary that it is necessary to make such a proposal.”

At the beginning, the person who helped the two escape says,

We’re already dead. Worry about those who are alive.

I didn’t understand the meaning of this phrase at first, but I understood it when I heard their proposal. If this is a world where you can’t help but give up the question of “how to survive,” then you have no choice but to focus on “how to die.” This impossible decision showed the abnormality of the Holocaust.

One more impressive thing was Warren, a Red Cross worker who heard the story from the two for the first time. He had believed the information from Germany, and thought that “the Red Cross is improving the situation in Germany.” However, the two’s report revealed that what the Red Cross was doing was completely meaningless. It’s understandable to feel like “I don’t want to believe it.”

Moreover, what the two told us was the heinous deeds of a monster that is hard to believe were committed by the same humans. It is not easy to just believe and say “Yes, I understand,” when asked to do so. Of course, the two understood this, so they escaped with detailed records. Nevertheless, Warren’s reaction was “I cannot believe such a story.”

Imagine Warren’s position, and he would be overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility. If the two testimonies were true, it would be necessary to appeal to the world and stop Germany’s deeds. But what if their story was a lie or a mistake? The person who spread the false report to the world would carry the stigma for a lifetime.

I think it’s natural to hesitate.

Finally, the testimonies and records of the two were summarized in a report and made public. However, this was seven months after the day they testified. If it had been published earlier, the damage could have been minimized. However, at the same time, there is also a sense of “he did a good job of making it public.” From Warren’s perspective, all that was in front of him were “records claimed to have been taken out by two unknown people.” The Holocaust was indeed a fact. However, until it is clearly recognized as such, one would naturally want to believe that “such a thing cannot be real.”

I want to praise not only Walter and Alfred for their bravery, but also Warren for his greatness.


Even though it’s a past event, the fact that “we live in the same world where the Holocaust happened” makes me shudder. And even now, somewhere in the world, there must be unimaginable cruelty that makes me despair.

Now that we know this, what are we going to do?

To be honest, I haven’t taken concrete action on various social issues. However, I think that I want to continue to send the reality by at least knowing it more than others.

We should be able to make the world a little “kinder” by our own efforts, and I want to live in such a world.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

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