How The Holocaust Began

Historian James Bulgin, who created the Holocaust Galleries at the Imperial War Museum, investigates a story left unexplored for over 80 years. During the Second World War, millions of men, women and children were shot and buried by the Nazis in thousands of trenches and ditches, dug in fields and forests across eastern Europe. This was often unrecorded and uncounted, and the victims lost to history.

It is only now that the scale of these killings, which took place in states belonging to the former Soviet Union, is emerging fully. Using historic air photos and new exploration technology, this documentary takes a look at the first defining act of the greatest crime in history, a holocaust of bullets that preceded the holocaust of gas.

Where can I watch?

Click here to watch How The Holocaust Began.

Awards & Reviews

★★★★★ “Haunting, vital television” – The Times

★★★★ “A chilling reminder that the Nazis did not act alone” – The Telegraph


Executive Producer – Dinah Lord
Writer / Director – Nic Young
Producer – Ben Holgate
Assistant Producer – Samuel Mundell
Production Managers – Sara Jimenez Criado
Development Producer – Samantha Lambart