Documentary tells of abandoned Hitchcock Nazi film

A new documentary is being released telling the story of an aborted film project from 1945 which was being made to provide evidence of Nazi crimes for German audiences.

The original film was made with footage shot by film makers from allied forces countries when Nazi concentration camps were liberated.

Sally Angel, producer of the new documentary called Night Will Fall, told Evan Davis on the Today programme that Alfred Hitchcock was brought in as the "supervising director" to "help tie the footage together and to work out a way in which the footage could be put across in a way that would make it undeniable."

She explained that the film was, however, never completed:

"The team was beset by problems in terms of lack of resources and delays in footage... And then the political climate changed and the British decided they no longer needed an atrocity film to show to the German people. Instead they wanted to rebuild relationships with Germany."

Former lieutenant colonel Leonard Berney, one of the first British soldiers to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and who appears in the documentary, described his experience:

"It was Dante's Inferno... The initial shock was absolutely overwhelming".

Night Will Fall is released in cinemas across the UK on Friday 19 September. The 1945 film made with Hitchcock's involvement, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, has now been restored and completed by the Imperial War Museums and will screen at the BFI London Film Festival on 13 October.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 18 September.