Claude Lanzmann, Director of Holocaust Doc ‘Shoah,’ Dies at 92

Lanzmann’s epic 1985 film ran for nine and a half hours

"Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah"

Claude Lanzmann, the French journalist and director of the landmark 1985 Holocaust documentary “Shoah,” died in Paris on Thursday at age 92.

“Claude Lanzmann died at his home. He had been very, very weak for several days,” a spokeswoman for publishing house Gallimard told AFP.

“The Four Sisters,” a four-part docu-series about four Jewish Holocaust survivors, was just released in France this week.

The son of Russian Jewish immigrants to France, Lanzmann was born in Paris in 1925 and fought in the resistance as a teenager.

In the 1950s, he plunged into a long career in journalism, mostly with Simone de Beauvoir’s journal Les Temps Modernes. He took over as chief editor following her death in 1986.

Lanzmann’s move into filmmaking grew out of his journalism, first with 1973’s “Why Israel?” that was based on a series of interviews on French TV.

But he is best remembered for the nine-and-a-half-hour “Shoah,” named for the French term for the Holocaust, which gathered extensive interviews with survivors and witnesses of Nazi death camps in Poland, as well as horrifying images of the atrocities.

He began work on “Shoah” in 1974, and gathered more than 350 hours of footage — some of which was later used in subsequent film projects.