In 1987, colour slides were found in a second hand book store in Vienna which turned out to be a collections of photographs taken in the Lodz ghetto by the Nazis' chief accountant. Walter Genewein boosted productivity in the ghetto while keeping costs down, a policy which led to the Lodz ghetto surviving much longer than any other in Poland. He recorded what he considered to be the subhuman aspect of the Jewish workers and he was concerned only with the technical quality of his photos.
Director Dariusz Jablonski's prize-winning film uses the photographs in a different way. He recreates for us the suffering of inmates, giving a compassionate picture of that it was like to be trapped in the ghetto.