Death Mills

Death Mills
Death Mills
Directed by Billy Wilder
Hanuš Burger
Written by Hanuš Burger
Editing by Billy Wilder (supervisor)
Distributed by United States Department of War
Release date(s) Germany 1945
Running time 22 minutes
Country United States US
Language English/German

Death Mills, or Die Todesmühlen, is a 1945 American propaganda documentary film directed by Billy Wilder and produced by the United States Department of War. It was intended for German audiences to educate them about the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. For the German version, Die Todesmühlen, Hanuš Burger is credited as the writer and director, while Wilder supervised the editing. Wilder is credited with the English-language version.


The film opens with a note that the following is "a reminder that behind the curtain of Nazi pageants and parades was millions of men, women and children who were tortured to death - the greatest mass murder in human history," then fades into German civilians at Gardelegen carrying crosses to the local concentration camp.

Most of the film is simply footage of the newly liberated camps over a score of stark classical music. The narrator notes that people of all nationalities were found in the camps, including people of all religious or political creeds. There is no mention of the particular fate of Jewish people. The film states that 20 million people were killed and describes many of the familiar aspects of the Holocaust, including the medical experiments and the gas chambers.

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