Massive Allied landings of air- and sea-borne forces on five Normandy beaches (codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword) began on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). The purpose of the invasion was to establish a bridgehead from which Allied forces could break out and liberate France. By the end of the operation's first day, some 150,000 troops were ashore in Normandy. This footage shows Allied forces landing on the Normandy beaches.
Allied air superiority over Germany was a decisive factor in the success of the D-Day (June 6, 1944) landings in France. This footage shows the Allied bombing of suspected German positions during the battle. Allied air attacks both supported Allied ground operations in Normandy and prevented German reinforcements from reaching the area. The Allies would liberate most of France by the end of August 1944.
The Dachau concentration camp, northwest of Munich, Germany, was the first regular concentration camp the Nazis established in 1933. About twelve years later, on April 29, 1945, US armed forces liberated the camp. There were about 30,000 starving prisoners in the camp at that time. The film seen here was edited from original footage shot by Allied cameramen as liberating troops entered Dachau. It was discovered in the archives of the Imperial War Museum in 1984 and was never completed.
A bridge connected areas of the Warsaw ghetto to prevent Jews from entering the streets that were not part of the ghetto. Before the ghetto was sealed, the few entrances and exits had checkpoints. In the early months of the ghetto, life had the appearance of normalcy, but very soon the lack of food and adequate housing began to take its toll.
German forces invaded western Europe in May 1940. As part of their strategy to defeat Britain and France, German forces invaded neutral Belgium. Little more than two weeks after the German invasion of Belgium, King Leopold III ordered the surrender of the Belgian army. In this footage a Belgian officer signs the surrender and thousands of refugees flood the streets as German forces move through Belgium.
Defendant Hans Frank gives testimony to his defense lawyer during the Nuremberg trial about his leadership roles during the Third Reich.
Defendant Hermann Göring, seated at left in the dock, listens as US Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson interrogates witness Albert Kesselring about the Luftwaffe (German Air Force).
Defendant Julius Streicher is sworn in as a witness during the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
After the defeat of Germany, the Allies tried leading state and party officials and military commanders of the Third Reich before a tribunal of military judges from the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and the United States. This International Military Tribunal tried 22 major war criminals during what is commonly known as the Nuremberg Trial, which lasted from November 1945 to October 1946. This footage shows the accused entering pleas following their indictment on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Hjalmar Schacht, Franz von Papen, and Hans Fritzsche were acquitted by the tribunal. Twelve of the defendants, including Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner, were sentenced to death. Others served prison terms ranging from ten years to life in prison.
The International Military Tribunal defendants in the dock at Nuremberg.
The Romanian government was allied with Nazi Germany, but it generally did not deport Romanian Jews to German-occupied territory. Instead, Romania systematically concentrated and deported the Jews of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina to Romanian-occupied areas of the Ukraine. Here, Jews from the Bessarabian town of Balti are assembled in collection camps during the deportations. By the end of May 1942, Romanian security forces had killed or deported most of the Jews in the area. Only about 200 Jews remained in all of Bessarabia.
Jews were deported from Kavala, Seres, and Drama in Bulgarian-occupied Thrace. Some 3,000 Jews were taken to Drama and herded onto trains without food or water for transport to a camp in Gorna Dzumaya. The Jews were probably then taken to the Bulgarian port of Lom on the Danube River, where they boarded ships for Vienna. From there, the Nazis deported them to the Treblinka killing center.
Czech resistance fighters attacked Reinhard Heydrich, acting governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, in an ambush near Prague in May 1942. Heydrich died of his wounds on June 4, 1942. In retaliation for the attack, the Germans destroyed the village of Lidice on June 10, 1942. The Germans shot all the men in the village and deported most of the women and children to camps in Germany. This footage shows destroyed homes and German officials inspecting the remains of the village.
After World War II, the Allies repatriated millions of displaced persons (DPs) back to their countries of origin. But hundreds of thousands of people, including more than 250,000 Jewish refugees, could not or would not return. Most Jewish DPs preferred to leave Europe for either Palestine or the United States. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) housed them in camps in occupied Germany and Austria until they could be resettled. Here, Jewish DPs raise their children in the camps, preparing them for eventual emigration to Palestine.
At the end of World War II, the Allied powers in Europe repatriated from Germany millions of displaced persons (DPs). The remaining 1.5 to 2 million DPs—both Jews and non-Jews—refused or were unable to return to their prewar homes. Immigration restrictions precluded the large-scale admission of these refugees to other European countries and the United States. They remained in occupied Germany until they could arrange to settle in another country. In this footage, filmed more than four years after the war, displaced persons in Munich pack their belongings and board a US airplane for the trip to the United States.
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