Dark secrets of World War Two are revealed in this short and powerful documentary.
This review of Netflix’s animated documentary Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis does not contain spoilers.
Netflix has a short animated documentary, with a running time of roughly 35 minutes, which exposes a hidden, dark secret in America’s history. Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis is the story of two veterans, Arno and Peter, who were Jewish refugee soldiers in the US. Once enrolled, they expected to go to war to fight against the Nazis. Instead, these soldiers were deployed on a classified mission to extract intelligence from German scientists. Tasked with guarding a top-secret interrogation center called Post Office Box 1142 near Washington DC, where the American government housed the scientists. Gaining intelligence for the US government by working for the enemy.
With no choice but to follow orders, these Jewish refugee-soldiers now had to answer to the men who had been involved in an attempt to eradicate Jews systematically. It is a bizarre assignment, but it is so interesting. As they question their morals, I questioned mine. Would I be able to do what they did? Working so close to the people I hate, people I thought I would be fighting, killing? I don’t think I could have. This is a powerful 35-minute insight into what they experienced during the war. Their tales are tense, terrifying, and very truly hit you in the heart and the stomach at the same time.
Animation mixed with real interviews creates a new dynamic and has a more sinister undertone. Animation is usually associated with children/younger audiences, so to have an animation of the devastation caused in WW2 is a reminder of how powerless and innocent the victims were. The animation isn’t distracting from the voice-over. I watched it with subtitles, so as not to miss anything. There is real footage from WW2, in the camps, which is gut-wrenching.
I very much enjoy stories about WW2, so being able to watch this and learn something more about that life-changing event in history is both amazing and deeply upsetting. To know that these stories are real, and people actually went through this makes me so humble and grateful for my life. With Remembrance Day coming soon, (Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to honor armed forces members who have died in the line of duty) it feels very fitting to watch this and remind yourself of what people sacrificed and went through not so long ago.
As a short documentary, this is a fantastic one to watch. Full of history and intrigue, this is a story that needed telling. Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis has been nominated for a Critics Choice Documentary Award in the Best Short Documentary category and I hope it wins.
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