After the U.S. entered World War II, the Armed Forces tapped two Hollywood directors to document both the fighting and the atrocities the Allies expected to find when they landed in Europe.
John Ford was the Academy Award-winning director of “The Grapes of Wrath” and Westerns starring John Wayne. George Stevens was known for comedies featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
They would make history, at Nuremberg, with the first documentary film ever created for submission as evidence in a trial.
Mr. Ford, Mr. Stevens and the American soldier Samuel Fuller–who captured footage with a camera his mother sent him and later became an influential film director–are the subjects of an exhibit opening Thursday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City.
The exhibit, “Filming the Camps,” explores how these filmmakers used their craft to show the world what the Nazis had done, and how, in later films, the directors grappled with what they had seen.