Auschwitz is a British documentary produced to mark the liberation of the world's most infamous concentration camp at the conclusion of World War II. The BBC One documentary series attempts to tell the entire story of the camp from its beginnings as a prisoner of war camp through to its liberation and the rescue of the various opponents of the Nazi regime that ruled Germany and dominated mainland Europe during the War. Narrated in the U.K. by Samuel West and in the U.S. by Linda Hunt the documentary recreates scenes with actors, interviews surviving witnesses of the camp and uses computer generated images to recreate the infamous gas chambers and crematorium. The dramatized scenes involving actors are created from records captured by the liberating allies and accounts given after the camp was liberated; the producers of the documentary series claim the words spoken by the actors are the actual words used by the real life people in the camp. Spanning six 60-minute episodes the documentary was first broadcast in the U.K. by the BBC in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation and rescue of those held captive in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Auschwitz begins with the story of the founding of the camp in Poland, which was first used to house Soviet soldiers captured during the German invasion on the country. The first gassings to murder Soviet citizens took place in 1942. The camp was later redesignated by Rudolf Hess to house opponents of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, including Jews and Gypsies. Auschwitz goes on to explain how as the German movement through Europe continued the camp became too small to house all of those seen as opponents of Hitler; this led to the gas chambers being expanded to increase the number of people being murdered each day. The documentary explains how the SS soldiers in charge of the camp stole the belongings of the dead before the final days of the War saw the killings in gas chambers reach record highs. Upon liberation the documentary explains the treatment and feelings of the survivors, camp guards and the citizens of the countries the survivors were returned to.