The Third Reich, in Color (1998) - full transcript
Most of what we know about World War II comes from monochromatic images and pictures. But this documentary brings something different: it's a fascinating collage of colored images from that period, filmed in 8mm and 16mm. All the footage was gathered from private collectors, soldiers, tourists, state institutions, even footage shot by Hitler's private pilot and there's also images captured by Eva Braun, Hitler's companion. Most of the images were recently discovered, some of them hidden for more than 40 years and they were all remastered and put together by director Michael Kloft.
the war against France during 1940.
This reenactment shot for the
first ever Nazi color documents,
"Artillery strikes". /Artillerie greift ein/
Only a single copy has survived.
For decades it languished unseen in
the German Federal Film Archives,
known to generations
only in black and white,
the footage shown in color
has an unprecedented impact.
These scenes from the French
campaign are not the only ones
captured in color from World War Two.
THIRD REICH IN COLOUR,
WORLD WAR TWO.
Hitler's personal pilot, than American
businessmen, Wehrmacht soldiers,
and allied cameramen, all shared one
passion - to film history in living color.
Thanks to them, unique footage
has been preserved for posterity.
Scenes of Nazi terror and
the Allied resistance,
of death at the front,
and death at home,
of crime and retribution,
catastrophic ends and new beginnings.
The Second World War - the tragedy
of unimaginable scale.
When it was finally over, 55 million
people had lost their lives.
An entire continent lay in ruins,
and any hope of peaceful coexistence
in Europe seemed gone forever.
A full color legacy from a brown shirted
past. One of the monthly reports
produced by the Regional Film
Office of Halle-Merseburg in 1938.
In a training camp for the BDM,
the Nazi organization for German girls,
young recruits practice folk dances.
For some years, amateur Nazi filmmakers
have been shooting party functions
and training courses.
But now for the first time,
they're using AKVIS new color film
to document the role of
women in Nazi Germany.
Footage of a meeting of the Nazi veterans
movement in Freiburg, Sachsen-Anhalt,
again commissioned by the
Halle-Merseburg Regional Film Office.
It isn't always the key
occasions in the Nazi state
that have survived on these
strips of colored celluloid,
many of which were buried for decades
in the obscurity of state archives
and private collections.
These rare documents do provide
unusual insights into the period,
not least, due to the dramatic
realism added by the color.
The parade of Wehrmacht units
in Mülheim an der Ruhr in 1938.
The Third Reich is brazenly rehab.
The no one is willing
to do anything about it.
The conditions of
the Treaty of Versailles,
limiting Germany's armed forces to
100,000 men have been long forgotten.
Only two years earlier,
this city on the river Ruhr
was still a demilitarized,
Now the steps of marching German
soldiers once again echoes
through the streets of the German Reich.
After five years, the Hitler regime even
seems stable to many foreign observers,
high ranking politicians too are blindsided
by the dictators touted successes.
One such gullible statesman is former
British Prime Minister David Lloyd George
who visits Hitler's
Berghof in September 1936.
For three solid hours,
the leader of Great Britain's Liberal Party
meets with Hitler.
They discuss the current political situation
and exchange memories of World War One.
David Lloyd George is genuinely impressed.
He considers the Fuhrer a truly great man.
"I only wish we had a man
of his supreme quality
that the head of affairs in our
country today," he writes to a friend.
Winston Churchill was to
comment tersely in his memoirs,
"No one was more completely misled
than Mr. Lloyd George."
The British politician will not be
the only contemporary statesman
to believe he can persuade
Hitler to keep the peace.
Until now, the dictators true
ambitions have only been evident
in satellite theatres of war.
Since July 1936,
a civil war has been raging in Spain
between nationalist forces and supporters
of the socialist Popular Front.
On Hitler's personal instructions,
German air force units are providing
active tactical support to the uprising.
With the aid of the so called Condor Legion,
city after city falls to
the Spanish nationalists.
Hitler had hoped to find a reliable ally
in generalissimo Francisco Franco,
the Spanish leader,
but once Franco had led his
fascist regime to victory in 1939,
with Germany's aid, Spain opted instead
for a course of cautious neutrality.
young Germans are also gearing up for action.
Under the auspices of Nazi Regional Director,
or Gauleiter, Joachim Eggeling,
the Hitler Youth stages a sports
tournament in Halle in 1938.
The program includes a show by
the motorized Hitler Youth,
which proves extremely popular.
For Reich youth leader Baldur von Schirack,
military training for boys
is of paramount importance.
Our goal, the Hitler Youth handbook states,
is to achieve a situation
in several years’ time,
in which every German boy
can handle a rifle as easily
and expertly as he does a fountain pen.
August 24, 1938,
the entire city of Hamburg is decked out
in honor of the regent of Hungary.
Admiral Miklos von Horthy, who is paying
a five day state visit to Germany.
Hitler is aiming to persuade his guest
to take part in the imminent
campaign against Czechoslovakia.
The immense popularity Hitler
enjoys among the German people,
has now given him the confidence to embark
upon the pursuit of his true goals.
"Every generation," he confides to one
of his aides "should experience a war."
The small community of Mühlberg near Halle
is holding its school
and fatherland festival.
Employees from the Institute
for Ethnicity Studies,
film the parade for posterity.
The seemingly innocuous scenes reveal
the reality of National Socialist Germany.
The party controls every aspect of social
life and rearmament is almost complete.
Thanks to Nazi rule,
Germany's ignominious defeat in World War One
has been consigned to the past.
Germany is proud of its achievements.
One people, one Reich, one Fuhrer.
It is summer 1939.
The recently completed Reich
Chancellery is deserted.
Architect Albert Speer has
built a gargantuan structure
to mirror his furious aspirations to power.
But Hitler prefers to hatch his
plans for the conquest of Poland
at a safe distance from his capital.
Berliners are all but oblivious to the fact
that Europe may be on the brink of war.
They are enjoying life in
the Third Reich to the full,
but the Halcyon Days are not far.
As an airfield in Breslau in Silesia,
the 77th Luftwaffe Fighter Wing
is ready for combat.
27 year old Hannes Trautloft
is one of its captains.
The Messerschmitt 109 fighters are
the pride of the German air force.
Designed by engineer Willy Messerschmitt,
the trim one seaters have already proven
their mettle in the Spanish Civil War.
For two years,
Captain Trautloft was on active duty
with the Condor Legion in Spain
and his five kills to his record.
Now he can share his combat
experience with the other pilots.
"The ace of hearts" squadron from Breslau
is one of the first to see action
in the invasion of Poland.
The German unit superiority the
Poland's Air Force is overwhelmed.
Youth Fuhrer Baldur von
Schirack is visiting Hitler
at the Fuhrer's Obersalzberg chalet.
Plans for the so called "Case white",
the war against Poland,
are almost complete.
The surprise attack is to commence
no later than September the first.
The dictator wants to avoid
an official mobilization,
so reserve units are being
called up for fall exercises.
In early June 1939, the German
police track and field championships
are staged in Frankfurt.
Since 1936, SS director Heinrich Himmler
has also been head of the police force.
His deputy, commander Kurt Daluege,
is attending the games at Ostmarkt stadium
on his superiors behalf,
to witness the officers athletic prowess.
During the course of the war, police
battalions under Daluege's direct command
will distinguish themselves by their
utter ruthlessness in executing partisans
and murdering Jewish civilians.
Hand grenade throwing contests
are among the game's highlights.
The winner is a herr Ragner from Cologne
with a distance of 260 feet.
On the other side of the Atlantic,
the last major international event
before the outbreak of war is being held -
the 1939 World's Fair in New York.
The Fair attracts flocks of visitors,
and a particularly regal
couple in early June.
King George VI of England and Queen Elizabeth
are paying an official
visit to the United States
and stopped in New York for a courtesy call.
The scandal of the king's
older brother Edward VIII,
relinquishing his claim to the
British throne three years earlier
for an # American divorcee,
seems all but forgotten.
The monarchy pays a gracious
tribute to the New World
and the New York society is captivated
by their splendour.
The Royal couples visit
is politically explosive as well.
The ceremonial laying of a wreath
at George Washington's tomb
is not a mere symbol of
recognition for the former colony.
It also demonstrates solidarity
with the American allies.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
had angered the German
dictator with the telegraph.
Hitler, Roosevelt demanded,
should refrain from attacks
on European countries for the next 25 years.
The royal visit to the United States
underscores England's full agreement
with these demands,
the lines are drawn.
It is early morning in the small
community of Elbe as they do every year,
contingents of workers from the German
Labor Front a gathering for the harvest.
But this summer, everything is different.
Europeans have begun to realize that peace
is dangling on the thinnest of threads.
Some Germans still believe that Hitler
can achieve his political objectives
without bloodshed but
many others are worried.
Fear of an imminent conflict is rife.
Memories of the horrors of World War One
are only too vivid in people's minds.
The battleship Gneisenau
is moored in the port of Que.
In service only since 1938,
the flagship of the rearmed German Navy
is slated for an overhaul.
A new so called "Atlantic prow"
is due to greatly improve
the vessels seaworthiness.
Before long, the Gneisenau and
her sister-ship the Scharnhorst
will be attacking British convoys
in the northern Atlantic.
Despite the preparations for war,
life at Hitler's Berghof continues as before.
In mid-August 1939,
the dictator is summons his courtiers.
Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
is among his closest advisors.
The two men are playing a risky game.
Ribbentrop is to sign a non-aggression
pact with Stalin in Moscow,
in order to rule out the risk of a
potentially disastrous war on two fronts.
And Nazi summer vacation
program on the island of Sylt.
Boys and girls of the Hitler Youth attend
the morning's flag raising ceremony.
A deceptive silence reigns
throughout the Third Reich,
things almost appear normal but
the impending clash of arms
rivets public attention and
internal memorandum notes that:
"Confidence in the Fuhrer may well
now be put to the acid test".
Everyone is against the wall.
The American reporter William
Shirer writes in his diary,
"How can a country go into a major war
with a population so dead set against it?"
The campaign against Poland
begins on September the 1st.
Within a month, Wehrmacht units have overrun
the western part of the country.
Hitler divides the spoils
with his Soviet allies.
Stalin's Red Army occupies Eastern Poland.
By the start of October,
the fighting is already over.
A German tank reserve unit conducting
exercises in occupied Poland.
The troops mustn't succumb to boredom
after this easy victory.
After all, Poland will not be the only
target of Hitler's blitzkrieg strategy.
Two days after the German invasion of Poland,
Great Britain and France
declare war against the Third Reich
and begin mobilizing their troops.
An American businessman,
staying on the Channel Island of Guernsey,
films British soldiers leaving for
the front with his small camera.
An air raid warning in the streets of Paris.
Fearful of German air attacks,
the residents practice using gas masks
and making their way to air raid shelters.
The whole of Europe is in a state
of emergency but few can foresee
how long this war will last and
how many millions of human beings
will lose their lives out on the
battlefields and in the bomb ravaged cities.
The American journalist Janet Flanner writes
on that fateful day, September the 3rd:
"It is these geographic elements, as well
as the time now being taken by diplomats,
which make this seem an unnatural war."
"In point of fact,
it is really a commonplace war,
since it is simply a fight for liberty."
"It is only because of its
potential size that it may, alas,
prove to be civilizations ruin."
In mid-October, the American businessman
manages to find a US freighter
willing to risk the perilous
passage across the Atlantic.
After just three days at sea,
he gets a firsthand taste of war.
The amateur cameraman films
the German submarine U-46,
attacking an enemy convoy and
sinking two British freighters.
The American cargo ship rescue
survivors from the SS Yorkshire
and The City of Mandalay.
The wounded officer
has succumbed to his injuries.
With no Union Jack on board,
the body is wrapped in the Stars and Stripes
and buried at sea.
Hitler had originally ordered the
invasion of France in mid-November,
but his generals dissuade him with arguments
that the enemies in the West would
prove far tougher than Poland.
As a result, the Fuhrer turns his
attention temporarily to Scandinavia.
With growing unease,
the Germans watch British warships
and mining vessels intensify their
operations of the Norwegian coast.
These maneuvers pose a threat to the
Swedish iron ore shipments to Germany,
most of which leave from the port of Narvik.
In early 1940 Lieutenant commander Briggs
is filming onboard the HMS Ivanhoe,
the British cruisers mission is to seek
out German submarines in the North Sea
and destroy them with depth
charges and naval mines.
In addition, the British Navy
has given the task of protecting
British merchant navy
vessels sailing to England.
On February the 16th commander Briggs
witnesses the British destroyer Cossack,
seizing the German baggage vessel
Altmark in the Jøssingfjord,
inside Norwegian territorial waters.
The German freighter was holding
captured British merchant seaman.
The Norwegian government's
mild protests at the incident,
fan German suspicions that Great Britain
and Oslo are planning Norway's occupation.
Similar incidents occur repeatedly
during the following weeks,
another German freighter,
Alster is seized by the British warship
near the Narvik fjord,
the crew is taken prisoner.
Under no circumstances is the German navy
willing to surrender Norway to the British.
Control of Norway not only
secures vital supply lines,
the country also offers ideal conditions
for establishing submarine bases.
From these strategic positions, Allied
convoys, crossing the northern Atlantic,
can be attacked at any time.
Hitler had long before
drawn up detailed plans
for military action in the North Sea.
On April the 9th 1940 operation Weserübung,
the German Armed Forces invasion of Norway,
The footage taken after the
invasion by a German army physician
with his 8 mm camera,
suggests that the occupation,
like that of Denmark, was peaceful.
In reality, Norwegian troops have
a vigorous resistance for two months.
When King Haakon VII flees into exile,
the National Assembly under
fascist leader Vidkun Quisling
places itself at the occupying power service.
German cargo ships have docked
at the port of Trondheim.
German army units are
loading them with equipment
for use in their next theater of war.
By May the 10th 1940, Germany's long awaited
campaign in the West has begun.
Hitler's troops have already
overrun Belgium and Holland,
surprising the French and British,
who consider an invasion through
the Ardennes impossible.
Herman Göring’s Luftwaffe is simultaneously
bombarding various targets in France
and the Netherlands.
Victory over the traditional enemy
proves easier than expected.
Allied troops are slow to respond
to the German advance.
On July the 20th 1940,
the 58th Infantry Division
captures the city of Tulle in the Rhine.
After intense, house to house fighting,
the center of the town is reduced to rubble.
Two days later, the Franco-German armistice
is signed in Compiegne near Paris,
the defeated Ground Army
marches into captivity.
The graves of Allied soldiers
at the beaches of Dunkirk.
The British Expeditionary Forces narrowly
escaped disaster here in May 1940.
200,000 British and 120,000 French soldiers
were evacuated at the last minute
across the English Channel.
Face with the opportunity to
wipe out the British Army,
Hitler had hesitated and ordered the
advance on Dunkirk to be halted.
Thus the armed might have the British
Empire lived to fight another day.
But for now, Britain stands alone in
the struggle against the Third Reich.
To mark the victory the Fuhrer's personal
standard is hoisted on French soil.
This scene sets the tone for the UFA's
first ever propaganda color film.
"Artillery strikes" is the title of a film
ostensibly portraying a successful
attack on a section of the Maginot Line.
The Wehrmacht will clearly go to any lengths
to secure its reputation
on Germany's film screens.
Extras have been hired -
to masquerade in captured French uniforms,
an entire village has been
professionally raised for the cameras.
This is clearly not genuine frontline
footage from the French campaign,
the camera work would be far
too difficult and dangerous.
The Army Supreme Command is
spared no effort or expense
to present the German
artillery in the right light.
Artillery men blast away to
their hardest content,
while the medal heroes,
in reality authentic Ritterkreuz recipients,
recite wooden lines in simulated scenes.
Gehen sofort vor zur Abwehr
des feindlichen Panzerangriff.
Mein Helm. Wir gleich noch was,
aber dann machen wir weiter.- Jawohl.
Captured French tanks serve
as convenient stage props,
pyrotechnics specialists contribute
Needless to say, the artillery
repulses the tank attack with ease,
and according to script, the enemy is
routed by the superior German forces.
Yet the paitent absurdities
of the UFA documentary,
are in fact wita reality by summer of 1940.
France has been subjugated by German
forces, than Paris is occupied.
At the Champs-Elysees Wehrmacht
units hold a military parade.
Although the soldiers appear to
conduct themselves with restraint,
the humiliation of the French
people knows no bounds.
Janet Flanner writes: "Paris is
now the capital of limbo."
"Anybody who loved Paris,
and grieves at its plight,
is fortunate not to see it now,
because Paris would seem hateful."
Captain Friedrich Gehrke and
his 23rd Infantry Division,
is stationed in Montbeliard,
near the French-Swiss border.
Responsible for his unit supplies,
he is constantly on the move
around occupied France.
Shortly after France surrendered,
Gehrke bought a camera
and Kodak color film in Paris,
and now uses it to document
the Dolce Vita of the occupying forces.
In autumn 1940 Gehrke and his troops
undertake a special mission
in the unoccupied south of the country
to procure wines and spirits.
They traveled extensively through Bordeaux.
A detour to Biarritz is of course de rigueur.
SALLES d'ANGLES COGNAC
These German soldiers are unconcerned
that the majority of the
French people despise them.
They are simply enjoying
the fruits of victory.
who knows how long it will be possible
to live the life of luxury during this war.
Paris, December 1940. German soldiers
parading on the Champs-Élysées.
The German Army officer records the scene
on his small 16-millimeter film camera.
France has succumbed. The conquerors
have settled into the French capital.
Some 20,000 Wehrmacht
soldiers are in the city.
The victors leave no doubt
as to who is in charge now.
General Rudolf von Stülpnagel is
the military commandant of Paris.
He conscientiously enforces the orders
of the Wehrmacht Supreme Command.
Since early November, all Jewish businesses
have been systematically arialized.
All Jews are subjected to a
special compulsory registration.
Those with the means and connections,
flee the country.
The immigrants positions are sold
off in the city's flea markets.
The occupying forces secure
some valuables for themselves.
Relics of a world religion
are reduced to rubbish
by dictatorship contemptuous of humanity.
The losers now live behind barbed wire.
25,000 French prisoners of war have
been herded into a POW camp in Aime.
The sentry Hugo Filbrich
captures scenes from camp life.
He is especially interested
in Arab and African soldiers,
who end up in captivity, hailing originally
from France’s colonial and African units.
Who knows whether these pictures merely
reflect Filbrich’s natural curiosity
or the racism of Nazi ideology.
The purpose of the Dachau concentration
camp near Munich is clearly defined.
More than 20,000 opponents of the regime,
from the occupied territories and Jews
are closely guarded here by SS-units.
In winter 1940,
a baker from the town of Dachau
shot this unique footage
inside the vast camp complex.
He regularly supplies
bread to the camp canteen.
Several of the prisoners work
for him in the bakehouse.
As a result, the SS-guard units evidently
have no objections to his filming,
even the notorious roll-call
yard from a distance.
These are the only known
pictures of the Dachau camp,
prior to its liberation in 1945.
In Miami, on the other side of the Atlantic,
the USS Tuscaloosa is ready
to set sail in December 1940.
President Franklin D Roosevelt
is on board the cruiser
for a two week trip to the Caribbean.
Officially, the United States is
adhering to a policy of neutrality.
Only 8% of Americans
want to enter to the war.
But the recently reelected
president knows only too well
that his country will have to
intervene sooner or later.
He has therefore ordered a massive
expansion of the arms industry.
He is particularly concerned
about Great Britain's plight
and receives the new British governor of
the Bahamas for an exchange of views.
A few months earlier, the Duke of Windsor
had been relegated to this outpost
by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The former King Edward VIII had lived
in France, following his abdication,
and was widely viewed as a Nazi sympathizer.
But with the German Luftwaffe of
bombarding London night after night,
the most Germanophile of Britain's
had now lost all sympathy for Hitler.
In spring 1941,
the amateur film producer Rosie Newman
shoots these sequences for a
report about the home front.
German bombs have fallen near Bond
Street and caused major devastation.
Over 1200 Londoners lose their
lives in 1941 during these raids.
Time and again Rosie Newman's
position behind the camera
elicits astonished reactions.
The police officer,
checking her permit to film, comments curtly:
“I had no idea girls were
used for this kind of work.”
In retaliation, the Royal Air Force
has begun to bomb German cities.
For the first time the war which the
Wehrmacht is spread over half of Europe,
returns to haunt its own people.
Color footage of Neuwied.
The night of March the 1th. British bombers
had attacked this small town on the Rhine.
12 people died during the raid.
In the market square the townspeople
did final farewells to the victims.
As yet, no one has the least
idea of the scale of terror
the coming luftkrieg bombing will bring.
For months, Hitler and his generals
have been gearing up for
their next major campaign,
the war against the Soviet Union.
In the meantime, however,
Italy's dictator Mussolini has evidently
overstretched his military capabilities.
The Fuhrer dispatches Wehrmacht
units to North Africa,
and then to the Balkans, to support his ally.
In April 1941, German troops occupy both,
Yugoslavia and Greece,
within a matter of weeks.
The 27th Fighter wing is also
attacking targets around the clock,
and the Greek capital capitulates.
The 6th squadron of the 2nd group
is stationed to the Elefsis
airport near Athens.
Before returning to Germany,
the soldiers take time out for sightsee,
a German tank and soldiers graves, the
legacy of yet another battle of Thermopylae.
From their headquarters in Athens,
the Germans will impose
a pitiless military regime upon
occupied Greece for the next three years,
including shootings of hostages,
and mass executions. Needless to say,
none of this features in
the soldiers amateur films,
the conquerors are still basking
in the euphoria of victory.
Nazi Germany presents a
picture of deceptive calm.
Vacationing at Lake Grimsey in summer 1941.
Orders for the war against the
Soviet Union have long been issued.
Propaganda minister Joseph
Goebbels notes in his diary:
“We are all trembling with anticipation."
"I can hardly wait for the storm to break."
"This evening, the new weekly news
release is out. Terrific."
"I'm staying in Schwanenwerder.
The redolent evening,
how beautiful the world can be?”
The resident at number 12 Wasserburger
Straße in Munich
is also going on vacation in early June.
Hitler's mistress Eva Braun
has her sights set on Italy.
As always, she takes a small
camera and color film along.
Chief Pilot Hans Baur personally flies
the holidaymakers across the Alps.
The party also includes Eva's mother,
Fanny, her sister, Gretel,
and the wife of Hitler's personal
physician, Annie Brandt.
While German troops are massing along
the German-Soviet line of demarcation
in Poland and Eastern Prussia,
the ladies are relaxing
at the seaside at Paraggi near Portofino.
At dawn on June 22, 1941,
operation Barbarossa is launched.
From East Prussia, the 20th Panzer Division
and the Central Army Group
set out to invade Russia.
21 year old Kurt # is among
the radio operators on duty.
Some months before the photography enthusiast
had scavenged a few rows of
Kodak film in occupied Warsaw.
Now he is shooting incredible
footage of the advancing Wehrmacht.
Within the space of a month,
Hitler’s soldiers pushed the Red Army back
deep into the Ukraine.
Smolensk is no longer far,
and even Moscow seems within their grasp.
Hundreds of thousands of Soviet
soldiers are taken prisoner.
By the Fuhrer’s instructions, political
commissars are to be executed immediately.
All others are crowded
into makeshift POW camps.
Those who survive are deported
to Germany to do forced labor.
Fascinated by the war and its destruction,
# Kurt uses his last wheel of
color film in August 1941.
When he later submits the film before
developing, it is confiscated.
However, the authorities are so
impressed by his camera work
that they refrain from arresting him,
instead transferring him to Goebbels
propaganda team's to train as a cameraman.
These films of the war in the Soviet Union
end with scenes of a
German military cemetery.
Four years later,
there will be hundreds of such cemeteries,
final resting places for
the fallen German soldiers,
lucky enough to get a burial at all.
At roughly the same time,
an armada of ships
is lying at anchor in the port of Halifax.
Here, in the Canadian province
of Nova Scotia, British convoys
and allied troop transports gathering for
the perilous transatlantic voyage to Europe.
The one sleepy town of Halifax is
now a throbbing garrison center,
complete with troops,
support services, and nightclubs.
For the last good time before
frontline action overseas.
In August 1941, Britain's Prime Minister
Winston Churchill is visiting Canada.
He will shortly be meeting US President
Roosevelt to proclaim the Atlantic Charter,
the new order of peace to
succeed Hitler's defeat,
but first, victory has to be won.
Fire! - Fire!
In war, a nation must be forthright.
For the Art of War is largely the ability
to marshal the entire resources for people -
ships, tanks, planes and guns.
But for the tanks,
planes and ships, men were needed
and on the storied cobbles of Halifax,
the tramp of armed men
beater savage rhythm.
War, war, war, war, war!
On August the 28th,
Hitler and Mussolini visit German
and Italian troops in the Ukraine.
The German dictator is at
the zenith of his power.
No potentate since Napoleon has
controlled a greater part of Europe.
"Russia will henceforth be
ruled by German Fuhrer’s,"
Hitler proclaims in one of
his interminable monologues.
Very soon the vast territories of that
country were to become living space,
Lebensraum, for German settlers.
From the very outset,
Hitler's invasion of the East
is a war of extermination
against the civilian population.
Scenes from the occupied town
of Plyskiv in the Ukraine.
Heinrich Himmler's special
forces behind the front
have begun their mission of
extinguishing the Jewish population.
Mass SS executions are the order of the day.
From time to time such executions are
also carried out by regular army troops.
In the war against Starlin the Wehrmacht
loses the last vestiges of its self-respect.
Kirovograd in the Ukraine has
been under German occupation
since August the 5th 1941.
Pioneer Battalion 219 is quartered nearby.
For many years, Pioneer Voight has
been a keen amateur photographer,
and so he shoots footage of his unit at work,
and at play.
Their job is to repair bridges
behind the frontlines.
These are not propaganda reels,
but rather candid shots of a war
that will turn into a nightmare for
these soldiers within a few weeks’ time.
The German advance will soon be halted,
not by Stalin's armies,
but by the bitter cold.
The Pioneer Battalion erects log cabins,
a shelter against the harshness
of the Russian winter.
Hitler's war on the Eastern Front is
slow to a halt by the mud, ice and snow.
Hawaii, February 1942.
For some weeks now this small
island paradise in the Pacific,
there's been no war is focus of attention.
On December the 7th 1941
Japanese warplanes had attacked
the US military base at Pearl Harbor,
Hickam airfield was transformed
into a gigantic scrapyard.
77 US aircrafts were destroyed
here by the aggressives.
29 Japanese planes shut down
by the air defense units.
America is now at war with both,
and Nazi Germany,
and is promptly preparing to strike back.
Troops are dispatched to
Honolulu and the battleships,
damaged in the attack, speedily repaired.
On behalf of the US Secret Service, the OSS,
Hollywood # Dwyane John Ford has
come to Pearl Harbor to make a film.
He and his camera teams witness
America's preparations for war.
Hawaii, these days, is truly a strange
place. Ford reports in a letter:
“Barbed wire everywhere,
belated safety measures of all kinds."
"The hysteria of this defensive
mood is very confusing to me.”
On board the USS Hornet,
Admiral William Halsey set sail for Japan.
His unit had escaped the
disaster of Pearl Harbor.
Now the aircraft carriers receive orders
to get as close as possible
to the Japanese mainland,
so that US planes can bomb Tokyo.
The plan succeeds,
but the head of the Japanese fleet Yamamoto
is already planning his next coup.
He aims to capture the US military
base on the island of Midway
with a surprise attack, but the
Americans have cracked his codes
and are now lying in wait
for the Japanese fleet.
In the Battle of Midway in June 1942
the US takes revenge for Pearl Harbor
and turns the tide in the Pacific.
Two weeks earlier,
John Ford and his cameraman Jack Mackenzie
were dispatched to Midway
by orders from the top.
Their job is to cover the battle.
They position themselves with their
cameras on the roof of the power plant
and from there on the morning of June
the 4th shoot incredible scenes.
John Ford is wounded,
he is decorated with the Purple Heart
and earns an Oscar for his documentary,
“The Battle of Midway.”
TRAINING WOMEN FOR WAR PRODUCTION
the American arms industry is in full swing,
the men away fighting the war,
women take over the factories
and 1942 propaganda film that
claims of virtues of this solution.
And First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt personally
assumes patronage of the campaign.
At the present time,
it is of paramount importance
that the women and girls of
our country be given training,
so that they may do their
share in the war emergency.
To some of us the National Youth
Administration stands out as the agency,
which is doing the best job
along these lines, at present.
Despite the setback suffered by the Japanese,
the American population remains vigilant.
There are fears of Japanese air assaults,
and the authorities are even worried
that the Germans too might eventually muster
a direct attack on the United States.
The training film explains
the steps to be taken,
should such an emergency occur.
“Our school prepares for air raids.”
There should not be time to
reach the air raid room.
Pupils are taught quick
ways of self-protection.
The school offers many such places of refuge,
which boys and girls should
learn how and when to use.
What's the fate of these young children be
that a thousands in the conquered lands?
The answer is no.
Therefore, let us prepare
ourselves for anything to come,
from the superintendent down
to the pupils in the school.
All must help, let us join the
triumphant march toward victory.
The parade in honor of the Fuhrer in Linz,
previously unseen color footage
from a private collectors archive.
The entire town has turned out to celebrate
Adolf Hitler's birthday on April the 20.
Disabled soldiers are in the front row.
Boys and girls from the Hitler Youth
are assembled for the occasion.
Tributes are paid to Hitler
by local dignitaries.
Linz proudly calls itself the
patron city of the Fuhrer.
Hitler spent most of his youth in
Linz and after the final victory,
he plans to retire here.
The monumental buildings have already been
designed in anticipation of that day.
Nazi dignitaries still stand
firmly by their leader,
the most of them will fanatically
persevere to the bitter end.
It's the summer of 1942 in
the Greater German Reich,
but tourist films a legendary “White
horse” inn that's in Wolfgang lake.
Most Germans are still
confident of a happy end,
notwithstanding the infrequent victory
bulletins from Russia and North Africa.
But there's one thing the
propaganda can't disguise this up.
More and more families are being notified
of the heroic deaths of their husbands,
fathers and sons.
Now that the Americans have
joined the Allied effort,
the air attacks on Berlin have
greatly increased in severity.
These scenes of cleanup work, following
an air raid, was shot surreptitiously.
Filming such subjects is strictly forbidden,
and a punishable offense.
These are rare, uncensored documents
of the war on the German homefront.
At the end of July 1942,
the Southern army group launches
a major offensive in the Ukraine.
Hitler has ordered his
armed forces to advance
to the river Don in a lightning strike,
and then proceed to the Caucasus.
War correspondent # Hans
is covering the action.
On special instruction from
the Ministry of Propaganda,
he shoots the German advance
on 35 millimeter color film.
Among his reports are some moving
portraits of captured Red Army soldiers.
Seals a victory and defeat,
the war and destruction,
yet only a handful of these will
pass Goebbels strict censorship.
In August, the German offensive
is halted by the Red Army.
# Hans shoots combat scenes
featuring the tank reconnaissance
unit number three motorcycle #.
Although these pictures are intended
exclusively for propaganda purposes,
they do reveal the true state
of Hitler's armed forces.
Stalingrad is not far away.
From now on these soldiers
will suffer one defeat after another.
Hitler's heinous war is irretrievably lost.
For months the city of Kharkov in the
Ukraine is a site of intense fighting
until its liberation by the
Red Army in August 1943.
Civilians suffer and food is
scarce under German occupation.
Fresh supplies are few and far between.
For German soldiers on the other hand,
nothing is lacking.
There is plenty of recreation
for the troops in the barracks.
Films are shown to be raised the
day to day horrors of the war,
if only for a few hours.
The film's include a revue,
featuring dancers Margot and Heidi Hoepfner,
filmed in 1942 by Georg Jacobi, the husband
of actress Marika Rökk a soldier's dream.
Meanwhile, in reserve
hospital in Bielefeld,
and unknown army physician documents
the brutal reality of war,
the rehabilitation of
amputee Wehrmacht soldiers.
Amputees sports program and the
precise fitting of the leg prostheses
seemed to fascinate the
The usual precision German engineer.
Although the scenes of disabled
soldiers may seem innocuous,
they are in fact highly eloquent, and
damning testimonials to the madness of war.
All the while the Allied enemy is
already rehearsing its invasion.
Here, American Marines are storming
an unknown stretch of coastline
and a large scale practice offensive.
For months, they have been preparing
to capture enemy strongholds in Europe
and the Pacific.
are among the most difficult
so the Marines rehearse every
detail in their dry rounds.
it will be time for the real thing.
In August 1942, US forces landed on
the Pacific island of Guadalcanal.
On November the 8th, the Allied
invasion of North Africa begins.
The British battleship Rodney is lying
at anchor in the port of Algiers.
The Wehrmacht is in retreat from
the allies superior forces,
and British and American
troops waste no time,
preparing for their next
move against the Nazis.
First, Sicily is to be taken from
the enemy, then all of Italy.
As of June 1942, Dwight D. Eisenhower is
Commander in Chief of the American troops
and directing operations
in North Africa and Italy.
He and the US president, both pursuing
the policy established at Casablanca,
achieving the unconditional
surrender of Nazi Germany.
130,000 men from Rommel's
celebrated Africa Corps
have been taken prisoner in
the North African campaign
and are awaiting transport to the US.
This army's dreams of
world conquest arose.
For months now,
German tank units near Tunis
have been engaging in isolated
skirmishes with Allied forces.
Only rarely do American war correspondents
succeed in taking pictures like these,
the footage that will soon be
shown in American movie theaters.
For hours, a battle against German
panzers has been raging near Tabora.
The cameraman has barricaded
himself on a neighboring hill.
From there he shoot some
German and Italian soldiers are taken
prisoner, the war is over for them.
Others are not so lucky.
May 20th, 1943.
The Allies celebrate their victory with
a two hour military parade in Tunis
for Eisenhower and the French
commander, General Henri Giraud.
Winston Churchill will
later note in his memoirs,
“No one could doubt the magnitude
of the victory into us."
"Africa was clear of our folks.
One continent had been redeemed."
"The parade in Tunis will not be the last
in the Allies victorious advance on Berlin.”
Nazi war propaganda from 1943
on 35 millimeter color film.
Ja, ein und dieselbe Sache.
Los, los, dalli dalli!
Halt und da ganz wann.
Eins, zwei, drei, vier.
Das werden ja immer mehr.
Ein bolschewistischer Stoßtrupp,
gestützt Richtung Gamsbart,
größte Entfernung. Schnelle, schnelle.
“Alert at the pass” /Alarm am Pass/ is
the title of this piece, shot by UFA
war correspondent Hans Ertl
in the war torn corpuses.
The story of a German mountain infantry
unit prevailing over Red Army troops.
Was hat gewirkt? Tun türmen sich. #
Den einweg werden wir nicht wersolten.
During the Third Reich few people
ever saw “Alert at the pass”.
Propaganda minister Goebbels
refused to release the film,
once it was completed,
because the Wehrmacht had been forced
to evacuate the
Caucasus in the interim.
The 6th army had been wiped out at
Stalingrad, and now more Germans
and Bolsheviks were being buried
beneath the Russian snow.
May 1943 somewhere in Nazi Germany,
a Luftwaffe unit
has been detailed to the home front.
These men have the so
called Home Front flak,
appear to be defending an industrial
area against Allied bomb attacks.
A civil defense drew stage for
an # AGFA? actual works employee.
He evidently still had 16 millimeter
color film material at his disposal,
and was able to shoot these red pictures
of the German anti-aircraft defenses.
Unlike the British, the American
bomber squadrons have more reason
to fear the German anti-aircraft guns.
They fly their missions
during the day.
The B-24 bomber squadron is
stationed at Berca airfield in Libya.
This unit attacks strategic targets
in southern Germany and Austria.
While the British forces have specialized in
the carpet bombing of major German cities,
the US Air Force concentrates
on industrial areas.
The mission of these flying
fortresses of the 376 Bomber Squadron
is to disable the aircraft
production plants in Regensburg
and Wiener Neustadt,
crippling Hermann Goering’s Luftwaffe.
Fewer and fewer regular soldiers
are available for air-raid defense.
Starting in 1943, men previously
classified as unfit for service,
are increasingly drafted,
along with children.
The Nazis have no qualms about
sending 16 and 17 year old schoolboys
to the flak batteries
as Luftwaffe helpers.
From a height of 23,000 feet, bombers
drop their deadly cargo, high explosive,
incendiary and fragmentation bombs,
hundreds and thousands of them.
By the end of the war,
the Americans alone
will have dropped almost
2 million tons of bombs over Europe
to bring the German
war-machine to a standstill.
A June wedding in Dresden,
Karin Klippgen and Henry
Rupe marry on June 8th 1943.
The paper wholesale his daughter
and her dashing officer,
belong to the city's social elite,
and since the groom is a camera buff,
the social event is professionally
recorded on 35-millimeter color film.
Here there is not the slightest
trace of Goebbels’s total war,
no hint of the relentless air raids of
the multitudes dying at the home front.
Dresden lies beyond the reach
of the Allied bombers for now.
Less than two years later,
its insular world
will be buried under
a barrage of bombs.
The tank maintenance garage
on the Eastern Front.
Here, tanks are disassembled, checked
and overhauled for renewed combat.
After the annihilation of
the 6th army at Stalingrad,
the Red Army has begun to drive the
Wehrmacht from Soviet Russian territory.
Hitler is relying mainly on
the German panzer divisions.
Time and again he postpones
the planned counter offensive,
so the very latest model
tanks can be deployed.
But in the summer of 1943 Operation
Citadel turns into a disaster at Kursk.
This job is done, the armed wagon and its
crew are ready to return to the front.
In the Balkans, the Germans
are plagued by partisan units.
In August 1943 partisan commander
Josip Broz, known as Tito,
is entertaining an Anglo American military
delegation that is mountain hideout.
An American secret service,
OSS, cameraman captures to see,
the ally support Tito by
supplying food and arms,
helping transform his rebel
troops into an efficient army.
The American president knows,
however, that the decisive strike
against the Third Reich must entail a
large scale landing operation in France.
While Roosevelt is vacationing
at his country home in New York,
the Joint Chiefs of Staff
are gearing up for action.
Previously unpublished private
footage of the president's family.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on a boat
ride with her daughter and grandchildren.
Her son in law, John Boettiger,
is an amateur cameraman
and he records the scene
for the family archives.
Highly professional propaganda
films are made in the US,
to familiarize the American people
with the war in faraway Europe.
In summer of 1943, the US Air
Force produces a technicolor film
about the life and times of a
bomber squadron in England.
Gals or parties, you're still fighting a
war and you're getting mighty good at it.
Nobody knows it better than
the sucker who started it, that Adolf.
Hollywood supplies it's
number one box office star
for the production of this film,
entitled “Combat America”.
You know, you said it,
two times, okay...
Clark Gable is actually too
old to serve in the Air Force
but the hero have gone with the wind,
insists on flying with a bomber squadron.
The adventure is
staged for the cameras.
The actor does not see any
really dangerous combats.
Here he interviews a wounded pilot.
Wallace, what do you think of
the B-17, their instruments,
your guns and all the rest of equipment
they're giving it to fight this war with?
The best of all. - That’s good, say,
I hear you got your Purple Heart do.
Yes, Colonel Kendall was in the
other day give it to me
and I was more nervous when
those we’re diving on.
In 1943 raids on targets in occupied
France and Germany is still fought with.
Time and again, the B-17-s are
attacked by German fighter planes.
Aircraft that have already
sustained anti-aircraft hits
that is easy prey for the
agile German fighters.
Gradually the Allies succeed in achieving
air supremacy over the Third Reich,
but the price they pay is high.
Meanwhile, England has become the
Western Allies chief deployment area.
Operation Overlord is now imminent.
Shiploads of troops are being transported
to Europe, mainly from America,
to pass the time the men go sightsee.
Southern England resembles
a gigantic army camp.
By the end of May, America's top
journalists have joined the ranks
to cover the greatest landing operation
in history from the front line.
Under the strictest secrecy, Allied troops
have received orders for embarkation.
As yet, no one knows the exact plan.
Weymouth on June the 3rd, 1944.
Some 20,000 GIs of the 1st US Army are
to storm a fixed sector of the beach,
north of the city of Carentan.
Its code name is Utah Beach.
The prevailing belief,
especially among American GIs,
is that they will make
easy work of the Germans.
While waiting for the decision day, war
correspondent Ernie Pyle notes in a journal:
“No man could guarantee his own fit,
it was almost too much for me.”
US Air Force fighter planes
have been flying low altitude
strafing attacks in France and Italy.
Their aim is to disrupt and
destroy German supply lines.
The unit of thunderbolts on a
nonstop mission over southern Italy,
attacking German fortifications
and freight trains.
A camera team under Hollywood
director William Wyler,
film the spectacular
action for a documentary.
On June 3th, 1944,
Wyler has his first opportunity
to tour the liberated regions
near Salerno in an army jeep.
His camera crew captures the insanity
of war for posterity on color celluloid.
American bombers raised the
village of Battipaglia,
in an attempt to
drive out the Germans.
Back in Tinseltown, Wyler
comments on what he has witnessed,
“The war had been an
escape into reality."
"No one could live through that
experience and come out the same.”
On June the 4th, 1944.
150 nautical miles of the African coast,
the US Navy makes an exceptional catch,
the German U-505 submarine.
Shortly after 11am,
a special American unit
scouring the Atlantic in search of
U-boats had located the enemy submarine
and forced it to surface
with depth charges.
First Lieutenant Harald Lange and
his crew of 58 men are taken captive.
Under heavy fire, the crew had desperately
tried to set off explosive charges
mounted to the keel of the
submarine to keep their boat
and the codebooks from
falling into enemy hands.
What the seamen did not know was
that the Allies had been able
to decipher the German U-boats
radio transmissions for years.
The crews hazardous
maneuvers were in vain.
June the 6th,
the longest day of World War Two.
Dawns of the French
coast of the Caen.
Despite heavy casualties, the Allies
successfully land on the beaches of Normandy.
The very first day of the invasion.
Well over 150,000 men push Hitler's
troops back into the mainland of France,
establishing a solid
bridgehead on French soil.
US war correspondent Jack Lieb with a small
camera and color film in his backpack,
lands on the green beach
sector of Utah Beach.
Here the Allies have met with
less stubborn resistance.
The Germans had manned the
bunkers and trenches largely
with Wehrmacht mercenaries from
Georgia and the Ukraine.
The very day of the invasion,
Hitler had still dismissed the attack
as a diversionary maneuver, and
insisted that the main allied offensive
would be launched at Calais.
The Wehrmacht’s Panzer divisions
have thus been ordered
to maintain their positions there.
Coast guard camera teams are also
busy recording the events of D-day
and the days following the landing.
They've been detailed to work
under Hollywood legend John Ford,
who is planning a feature documentary,
but most ticks do not
even get past the censors
and the ambitious project falls
prey to bureaucratic red tape.
What remains of the film are a
few highly evocative fragments.
Reporter Jack Lieb and his
colleagues crisscross Normandy
following US general Collins, the French
have paid dearly for their liberation.
21,000 Wehrmacht soldiers barricaded
themselves in the town of Cherbourg,
offering fierce resistance
to the American attack.
On June the 26th the outnumber
Germans were forced to surrender.
The mayor of Cherbourg presents general
Collins with the key to the city.
Only now is it becoming evident that
the invasion has been a success.
The troops are poised for the decisive
blow against the Third Reich,
their target Berlin.
German flak engaged in a
repulsing a Soviet Air Assault.
Hitler's Reich is now
shrinking on every front.
Propaganda shots from Norway
designed to demonstrate
the brutality of the
Soviet era attacks.
More than anything else, this film
reveals a Wehrmacht’s impotence
at this stage of the conflict.
The tide of Goebbels’s total war
is now turning against the Germans.
This is seldom palpable on the home
front, even in the summer of 1944.
A dip in the water and Dachau near
Munich, filmed by local baker.
Despite the unavoidable
concessions of wartime,
the baker has little
reason to complain.
After all, business has been
booming for some years now.
He has excellent connections to
the huge concentration camps,
situated just a few
hundred yards away.
As a member of the German association
of amateur film enthusiasts,
he is among the few who still
have access to color film,
he uses some of it to document
a club excursion to Dachau.
It may be that the soccer players,
inadvertently captured by the camera,
are SS camp guards.
Time to relax over a
meal of roasted goose.
This evening, like every other
evening tens of thousands
of starving inmates at Dachau
will report for roll call.
On August 22nd, US commander
in chief Dwight D. Eisenhower
gives orders for general clerks French
second tank division to capture Paris.
Hollywood director George Stevens
has permission to record the event
with his camera team.
“Enfin, nous respire” is a
universal sentiment of the day.
we can breathe a sigh of relief.
General von Choltitz,
the German city commandant, has orders
to defend Paris to the last
man and then destroy it
but ever since meeting
the Fuhrer in person,
he is convinced that he has
placed his trust in a madman.
After a brief hesitation, he hands the
city over to the French without a fight.
This is the era of
general Charles de Gaulle,
who was led his resistance troops ever
since the Germans invaded France.
On August the 26th de Gaulle inspects a
parade of the US Infantry 28s division
on the Champs-Elysees at the
request of General Omar Bradley.
In September, US President Roosevelt
and England's Prime Minister
Churchill meet in New York.
Small talk with the First
Lady's and the Duke of Windsor
but behind the cheerful facade, the
future of Germany is being decided.
The US Treasury secretary is urging
that the country's industrial complexes
be dismantled after the victory
to prevent a third world war.
Both Churchill and
Roosevelt support his plans
to transform Germany
into an agrarian country.
Grape harvest on the Rhine
in the sixth year of the war.
Propaganda sights in autumn 1944.
Wehrmacht soldiers help Aryan
maidens with the grape harvest.
Meanwhile, the Allies have already
crossed the German border near Aachen.
The demise of the Third Reich
is only a matter of time.
The language used in the newsreel
betrays an inadvertent cynicism,
the superb vintage.
In East, Stalin's Red Army has overrun
Romania and advanced into Hungary,
where Wehrmacht soldier Helmut
Ritke shoots this amateur footage
of armored personnel carriers.
Today these scenes of the
war seem almost unreal,
rare documents of the decline
and fall of the Third Reich.
Meanwhile, the big three are negotiating
the fate of post Hitler Germany.
On February the 4th, 1945, US President
Roosevelt joins Prime Minister Churchill
and the Soviet dictator
Joseph Stalin in Yalta.
They lay down a new order for Europe.
The conference at Yalta was intended
as a tribute to liberty but in the end,
the terminally ill Roosevelt accepts
Stalin's control over Eastern Europe
in exchange for the Soviet Union's
agreement to enter the war against Japan,
following German capitulation.
Some months now, the Japanese have
been wielding an extraordinary weapon
in a desperate attempt to halt the
Americans advance - the Kamikazes.
Named after the mythical divine women,
the fearful typhoon
that destroyed the fleet of
the Mongol ruler, Kublai Khan,
Japanese suicide pilots target and sync
enemy aircraft carriers and battleships.
They cause extensive damage.
The Inferno onboard the aircraft
carrier USS Ticonderoga,
filmed on January the 21st,
1945 by US Navy cameraman.
The kamikazes can only
temporarily stay the inevitable.
The Americans have
vastly superior arms.
The Marines capture island
after island in the Pacific,
shouldering staggering losses.
On February the 19th, 1945, 30,000
GIs land southwest of Iwo Jima.
The Japanese have rendered the uninhabited
volcanic island an impregnable fortress.
The Commandant was made to swear an
oath of non-capitulation to the Emperor
and the Japanese put
up a terrible fight.
Iwo Jima has gone down in history as one
of the bloodiest battles of World War Two.
Nearly 7000 GIs were
killed and 17,000 wounded.
For weeks the fierce battle
of Iwo Jima rages on,
the Americans must fight each step
of the way. Because the Japanese
have entrenched themselves in a
network of subterranean tunnels,
the Marines camera team
shoots spectacular scenes.
No Japanese is to die without having
killed at least 10 Americans,
Lieutenant General Kuribayashi
has told his soldiers.
We shall fight the enemy with guerrilla
warfare until every last one of us is dead.
Out of 22,000 Japanese soldiers
barely 1000 survived or taken prison.
For the first time, the stars and
stripes are raised on Japanese soil.
By March the 23rd, 1945,
Allied troops have crossed the Rhine,
American tanks are
advancing toward Kassel,
the German Wehrmacht
is virtually defeated.
US Air Force camera teams
accompanied the advancing troops
to shoot a color documentary.
Although the film is never completed,
the footage captures unique scenes
of an end and the beginning.
The fall of Nazi
dictatorship and a new life,
rising from the ruins
of the 1000-year Reich.
The American journalist Martha
Gellhorn notes at the time,
“No one is a Nazi.
No one ever was."
"We had enough of this government,
"We welcome the Americans,
we do not fear them."
"We have no reason to fear, we have
done nothing wrong, we are not Nazis.”
On April the 8th, US troops reached the
Ohrdruf concentration camp in Thuringia,
and are faced with a ghastly site.
The Germans had initially evacuated the
camp, abandoning scores of sick inmates.
Then marauding SS units returned and
left behind a horrifying bloodbath.
The soldiers are appalled
by the grisly discovery,
then they learn of a sudden
death of their president.
On April the 15th, the casket
of Franklin D Roosevelt is drawn
in procession through the
streets of Washington.
For a moment the Americans seem
paralyzed, the death of Roosevelt
revives Hitler's vain hope that the
Allied war coalition might yet collapse.
Two weeks later, it's all over.
The Wehrmacht commander in
chief evade responsibility
by committing suicide in the
Chancellery bunker in Berlin.
His soldiers surrender
to the Allies in droves.
Dachau was the first concentration camp,
built by the Nazis in spring of 1933.
Now, at the end of April 1945, it is the
last camp to be liberated by the allies.
In the course of a dozen
years 200,000 human beings
were confined here, 32,000 died.
For the camp inmates the final
weeks were a race against time,
and the imminent threats of starvation,
death marches and mass executions.
Thousands were too weak to
hold on until help came.
Shocked George Stevens and his camera
team record these scenes on film.
The Americans rush to provide bread
rations and establish hygienic conditions
to avert the spread of disease.
Some of the guards seek
anonymity among the inmates,
to escape a rest, but in vain.
They are quickly identified
by their former victims
and turned over to the
US military authorities.
Others were less fortunate,
after the camps were liberated,
they were lynched by incensed inmates
or unceremoniously shot by outrage GIs.
On May the 8th 1945, the Wehrmacht
The Third Reich has ceased to exist.
It is Germany's zero hour,
marking the end of the Nazis
and the beginning of new hope.
Great Britain rejoices,
the Nazis are defeated.
It is victory very little time of # gate set.
There will always be in England,
the people of this neighborhood
of blazing on their balance.
In his radio address to the nation,
will seek to mute his people's
euphoria with a somber admonition.
"On the continent of Europe, we have
yet to make sure that the simple
and honorable purposes for
which we ended the war,
are not brushed aside or overlooked
in the months following our success."
In front of Buckingham Palace,
Londoners are waiting
to catch a glimpse of the royals.
The end of the bombing raids
spent in the subway shafts,
the end of Hitler's V-weapons, the end
of blood, sweat and tears, and terror.
They cheer their monarch,
who refuse to leave London
even at the height of the attacks.
A group portrait of the royal
family with the Prime Minister.
On May the 15th 1945, Herman Goering
poses for a film camera near Augsburg.
For more than a week Reich’s
Marshall has been under arrest.
He is still convinced that
US commander in chief
Dwight D. Eisenhower
will shortly receive him.
Soon afterwards, Goering his taken to a
transit camp for German war criminals,
and tried by an allied war tribunal.
he is sentenced to death by hanging.
Only hours before his
he evades death on the gallows
by taking a cyanide capsule.
268 death sentences against German
war criminals are carried out
in the American zone alone.
In the town of Bruchsal
a convict in the so called pilot
trials takes his final walk.
who murdered downed US pilots
in violation of the Geneva Convention,
are call to account for their crimes.
On June the 24th 1945, the Soviet
Union officially celebrates victory
over Nazi Germany with a parade
on Red Square in Moscow.
For days Red Army soldiers
have rehearsed the ceremony
of presenting war
trophies to their ruler.
In 1941, Joseph Stalin had
issued his call to arms
for the Great Patriotic
War against the invaders,
and he had won it shoulder
to shoulder with the allies.
More than 20 million Soviet citizens
lost their lives in the process.
Mounted on a white horse, the victor
of Berlin Marshall Georgy Zhukov
receives his soldiers homage.
This victory has firmly placed the
Soviet Union among the major powers.
Stalin is fully resolved to
extend his sphere of influence
to include all of Europe.
On July the 14th 1945, the new
American President Harry S. Truman
arrives at Gatow Airport in Berlin.
He is welcomed by the Soviet’s deputy
foreign minister, Andrey Vyshinsky.
The victors will deliberate Germany's
destiny at the Potsdam Conference.
Already the distrust between the allies
is greater than their common interests.
The German journalist
still has hopes for a
unified Democratic Germany.
“If they understand and forgive us now,
we will give them everything they want."
"Everything. We will forswear Nazism,
we will prefer the new to the old."
"We will work hard and
harbor no ill will.”
American camera teams eagerly
explore Soviet occupied Berlin,
Hitler's bombed out Chancellery.
The faces of those who won the final
battle against the Third Reich.
For several days now,
the British and the Americans
have taken control of
their respective sectors.
That Berlin is not a divided city,
Ruth Andreas-Friedrich notes
in her journal in July 1945:
“Never before were we so ripe for
redemption and so tired of terror,
fear and injustice. If only the
victors keep their promises to us.”
Photo up at the end of one era,
and the dawn of another.
Truman, Stalin and Churchill, that the
Sicilian Half Palace Gardens in Potsdam.
It is the last gathering of
the former wartime coalition
that is no longer a common
ground to erect plans for peace.
A short year later, Winston Churchill
will speak of the “iron curtain”
that has descended to divide Europe.
The Cold War blasts the hopes of many
but World War Two is by no means over.
The Japanese is still maintaining
their fierce resistance.
The Soviet Union is ready to declare
war against the Nippon Empire
and forging plans for an invasion
that are never to be implemented.
Mostly in Potsdam,
the American delegation learns
of the successful testing
of an atomic bomb.
US President Truman does
not hesitate for long.
On August the 6th 1945,
an atomic blast destroys Hiroshima.
Three days later, an Airforce
cameraman films the explosion
of a second bomb over Nagasaki.
Japan capitulates unconditionally.
World War Two is brought
to an end by a weapon
of inconceivable destructive power.
From this moment on, mankind has the
potential to annihilate human civilization,
along with its entire history.