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The Last Days (1998)

In late 1944, even as they faced imminent defeat, the Nazis expended enormous resources to kill or deport over 425,000 Jews during the "cleansing" of Hungary. This Oscar-winning documentary... See full summary »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bill Basch ...
Himself - Holocaust Survivor
Martin Basch ...
Himself - Son
Randolph Braham ...
Himself - Historian and Holocaust Survivor (as Dr. Randolph Braham)
Alice Lok Cahana ...
Herself - Holocaust Survivor
Michael Cahana ...
Himself - Son
Warren Dunn ...
Himself - US Army, Dachau
Bernard Firestone ...
Himself - Husband
Renee Firestone ...
Herself - Holocaust Survivor (as Renée Firestone)
Dario Gabbai ...
Himself - Sonderkommando, Birkenau
Tom Lantos ...
Himself - Holocaust Survivor
Katsugo Miho ...
Himself - US Army, Dachau
Hans Münch ...
Himself - Nazi Doctor, Auschwitz (as Dr. Hans Münch)
Paul Parks ...
Himself - US Army, Dachau (as Dr. Paul Parks)
Irene Zisblatt ...
Herself - Holocaust Survivor
Robin Zisblatt ...
Herself - Daughter
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Storyline

In late 1944, even as they faced imminent defeat, the Nazis expended enormous resources to kill or deport over 425,000 Jews during the "cleansing" of Hungary. This Oscar-winning documentary, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, focuses on the plight of five Hungarian Jews who survived imprisonment in Auschwitz. Though these survivors recount the horrors they witnessed and endured as a result of the Nazis' "Final Solution," their individual triumphs are a testament to hope and humanity. Written by Jwelch5742

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Genres:

Documentary | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for graphic images and descriptions of Holocaust atrocities | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

15 July 1999 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Az utolsó napok  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$20,492 (USA) (5 February 1999)

Gross:

$419,762 (USA) (23 April 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill Basch: There is one thing that has troubled me and has troubled the world, that the Germans dedicated man-power and trains and trucks and energy toward the destruction of the Jews to the last day. Had they stopped 6 months before the end of the war and dedicated that energy towards strengthening themselves, they may have carried on the war in London, but it was more important to them to kill the Jew than in winning the war.
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Connections

Referenced in The Last Days of the Big Lie (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Ado-Noï Ado-Noï
Written by Nambourg, Léon Algazi
Soloist: Adolphe Attia
Musique Liturgique Juive
(c) Le Chant du Monde, Paris - CMT 274993
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User Reviews

 
one of the most personal pieces of Holocaust documentary film-making
25 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What can I say that hasn't been said by others who have come across this essential document of the survivors of the holocaust? It goes beyond any kind of rating; watching the people on screen tell their stories, and re-connect with their haunted roots, is about as captivating as it can get, genuinely so, enough to not want to look away. The stories from the five survivors is just enough to make it a crucial piece of history, of something that will survive past their years as their own talked-of memories of what they saw, the people they saw murdered including their families, of being stripped of humanity and more deeply for their souls. The actual footage of almost ten years ago of inside camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen is equally powerful to see.

But it's another that other interviews are included with the likes of an ex-Auschwitz Nazi doctor who didn't go along with his other sadistic colleagues; the American soldiers who were appalled to discover what they thought contained German prisoners of war to be thousands of Jews; the one US Congressman (at the time) to survive the holocaust. The history of this period of the early to mid 40's has become abstracted in the view of society, something so enormous it's even more staggering that similar practices go on in other countries today. The notes of what Hitler did is given notice in the film, but the facts are more as a back-drop for what the Last Days focus is. By director James Moll going in for these women's stories, of what they lost and tried to regain, is just as important to see in its own light as Schindler's List as a dramatization of the facts. It's not too much a wonder it got the best documentary prize at the Oscars. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg (speaking of 'Schindler') and the Shoa foundation.


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