Released on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Nuremberg trials that were conducted by the Allies at the end of WW2, it’s a biting irony that David Wilkinson’s appropriately titled documentary Getting Away with Murder(s) dealt with the fact that the vast majority of Nazi perpetrators – politicians, death squad leaders, concentration camp guards, SS enforcers, bureaucrats, doctors, industrialists, etc. – who participated in the ghastly massacres unprecedented in modern human history, either escaped trials or went scot-free, many were freely absorbed back into their former positions and professions by the Adenauer government in West Germany, and numerous others lived long, comfortable lives in Germany, UK, Austria and elsewhere. Clocking at around three hours, this downbeat, serious, powerful, intensely distressing, rigorously researched and undeniably formidable work – funded to a large extent by the filmmaker himself and his wife – must surely place in the pantheon of essential cinematic dissertations on the Holocaust. Wilkinson criss-crossed across the Auschwitz-Birkenau (in Poland), Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, the US and his native UK covering Nazis who so easily escaped punishment despite the enormity of their crimes, through a vast array of stories, scholarly researches, personal testimonies, evidences, archival documents and other historical artefacts, along with solemn and reflective conversations with renowned historian Mary Fulbrook, centenarian Benjamin B Ferencz who’s the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials, tireless Nazi hunters, disillusioned members of British and German war crime departments who’ve been unable to accomplish much on account of governmental apathy despite possessing enough information to prosecute surviving Nazis, etc. The resultant work, therefore, was sombre, harrowing, bitter, mournful and troubling, with its impact amplified by intensely disturbing images, blunt assessments and journalistic matter-of-factness.
Director: David Wilkinson
Genre: Documentary/Political History/Holocaust Film