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  • 100-meter race at the Olympic Games in Berlin, 1936

    Film

    [This video is silent]

    Olympic athlete Jesse Owens won four medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany:

    100-meter dash, gold
    200-meter dash, gold
    Broad (long) jump, gold
    4x100-meter relay, gold

    This footage shows Owens winning the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.3 seconds. Owens was one of the 18 African Americans (16 men and 2 women) who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. These athletes brought home 14 medals: 8 gold; 4 silver; and 2 bronze.

    100-meter race at the Olympic Games in Berlin, 1936
  • Adam Czerniakow, chairman of the Jewish council in Warsaw

    Film

    [This video is silent]

    German forces entered Warsaw in September 1939. The next month, they ordered the establishment of a Jewish council (Judenrat) in the city. They chose Adam Czerniakow, a member of Warsaw's old Jewish Community Council, to lead it. Here, for German newsreels, a German propaganda company stages a meeting between Czerniakow and petitioners from the ghetto. The Germans expected Czerniakow to implement German orders, including demands for forced labor and confiscations of Jewish-owned property. Czerniakow himself sought to ease the brutality of German measures, establishing food kitchens, workshops, and vocational schools. He constantly pleaded for better conditions. He committed suicide in July 1942 rather than comply with German demands that he help in the roundup of Jews destined for deportation.

    Adam Czerniakow, chairman of the Jewish council in Warsaw
  • Aerial view of Dachau concentration camp

    Film

    [This video is silent]

    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 some 30,000 starving prisoners in the camp at the time. This footage shows an aerial view of the camp and the entrance gate to the prisoner compound.

     

    Aerial view of Dachau concentration camp
  • Aftermath of battle in Danzig

    Film

    The Treaty of Versailles, imposed on Germany following its defeat in World War I, declared Danzig to be a free city jointly administered by Poland and the League of Nations. Germany bitterly resented the loss of this largely German city, which was also an important port on the Baltic Sea. The return of Danzig to Germany became a central focus of Adolf Hitler's foreign policy. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. After the invasion of Poland, Germany unilaterally annexed Danzig. This German newsreel footage shows cheering crowds welcoming German forces into the city.

    Aftermath of battle in Danzig
  • Aftermath of pogrom in Kielce

    Film

    A pogrom took place in Kielce, Poland, in July 1946. Forty-two Jews were massacred and about 50 more were wounded. The event touched off a mass migration of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Poland and other countries of eastern and central Europe. This clip shows Jewish refugees, survivors of the pogrom, waiting to leave Poland and crossing into Czechoslovakia.

    Aftermath of pogrom in Kielce
  • Aftermath of the liberation of a forced-labor camp in Germany

    Film

    [This video is silent]

    There were three large forced-labor camps in Hannover, a large industrial city in northern Germany. All three of the camps were part of the Neuengamme concentration camp system. In early April 1945, American forces entered Hannover and freed the surviving prisoners. The American Signal Corps filmed one of the Hannover camps soon after liberation. American forces fed survivors of the camp and required German civilians to help bury the dead.

    Aftermath of the liberation of a forced-labor camp in Germany
  • Agreement Reached at Munich Conference

    Film

    [This video is silent]

    An agreement signed at the Munich conference of September 1938 ceded the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. The agreement was reached between Germany, Italy, Britain, and France. Czechoslovakia was not permitted to attend the conference. In March 1939, six months after signing the Munich agreement, Hitler violated the agreement and destroyed the Czech state.

    Agreement Reached at Munich Conference
  • Air raid shelter in London during the Blitz

    Film

    After the defeat of France in June 1940, Germany moved to gain air superiority over Great Britain as a prelude to an invasion of Britain. During almost nightly German air raids (known as "the Blitz") on London, the civilian population of the city sought refuge--as shown in this footage--in air raid shelters and in London's subway system (called the "Underground" or the "Tube"). Despite months of air attacks, Germany was not able to destroy Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). In the fall of 1940, the invasion was indefinitely postponed. The German bombing campaign against Britain continued until May 1941. The Germans ultimately halted the air attacks primarily because of preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

    Air raid shelter in London during the Blitz
  • Air war in Flanders: Western Campaign

    Film

    The Junkers (Ju) 87, known as the "Stuka," spearheaded the Blitzkrieg ("lightning war") attacks that were decisive in the western campaign in 1940. Stuka dive-bombers closely supported German forces on the ground. They destroyed enemy strong points, aircraft, and airfields, and spread panic in rear areas. Although slow and easily shot down by Allied fighters, the Stukas proved devastatingly effective in the German invasions of Poland and western Europe, where Germany enjoyed air superiority. Stuka dive-bombers caused terror among Allied ground forces, who came to recognize the telltale shriek of a bomber's dive. This German newsreel footage shows (from both the air and the ground) destruction caused by Stuka attacks during the western campaign in Flanders.

    Air war in Flanders: Western Campaign
  • Albert Speer makes final statement at trial

    Film

    Defendant Albert Speer making his closing statement in the Nuremberg courtroom.

    Albert Speer makes final statement at trial
  • Albert Speer sworn in at Nuremberg

    Film

    Defendant Albert Speer is sworn in at the International Military Tribunal.

    Albert Speer sworn in at Nuremberg
  • Albert Speer testifies at Nuremberg

    Film

    Albert Speer gives testimony at the International Military Tribunal. In 1942 Speer was named Minister of Armaments and Munitions, assuming significant responsibility for the German war economy. In this position, Speer used millions of forced laborers to raise economic production.

    Albert Speer testifies at Nuremberg
  • Allied prisoner of war describes work details

    Film

    Most Allied prisoners of war (POWs) were treated well compared to inmates of concentration camps. But, as former Dutch POW Captain Boullard explains here at Dachau concentration camp, some were subject to severe beatings and forced to work in harsh labor assignments.

    Allied prisoner of war describes work details
  • Allies evacuate troops from Dunkirk

    Film

    The German western campaign in May 1940 decisively defeated the British and French forces arrayed against it. By the end of May, the Allies began the withdrawal of British and French forces from the Continent to prevent their surrender or destruction. The evacuation effort centered on the French coastal town of Dunkirk. As German forces completed their conquest of France, more than 1,000 vessels--including small civilian yachts and fishing boats--ferried Allied forces across the English Channel to Great Britain. While enduring heavy air attacks, this makeshift armada succeeded in rescuing over 200,000 British and 100,000 French troops from the Continent. Britain hailed the evacuation as a victory, despite the decisive German military victory and the French decision to sign an armistice.

    Allies evacuate troops from Dunkirk
  • Annexation of Austria

    Film

    German troops entered Austria on March 12, 1938. The annexation of Austria to Germany was proclaimed on March 13, 1938. In this German newsreel footage, Austrians express overwhelming enthusiasm for the Nazi takeover of their country.

    Annexation of Austria
  • Annexation of Austria

    Film

    In an attempt to prevent the German annexation of Austria, Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schusnigg proposed a plebiscite on Austrian independence. This German newsreel footage shows pro-German residents of Graz expressing their opposition to the plebiscite. On the following day, March 13, 1938, the residents of Graz and other Austrian cities celebrated the resignation of the Austrian government and the proclamation of union with Germany (the Anschluss).

    Tags: Austria
    Annexation of Austria
  • Anti-Nazi protest

    Film

    Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Soon thereafter, terror actions against opponents of Nazism began: Jews were a major target in these campaigns. Many Jews were subjected to public humiliation or arrest, and others were forced to quit their posts. Anti-Jewish measures climaxed with the April 1, 1933, boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. This footage depicts a Jewish anti-Nazi march in Chicago.

    Anti-Nazi protest
  • Anti-Nazi protest organized by American Jewish Congress

    Film

    The American Jewish Congress was among the first groups in the United States to oppose Nazism. It held a mass rally as early as March 1933, soon after Hitler rose to power in Germany, and continued to hold rallies throughout the war years. The American Jewish Congress organized this anti-Nazi march through Lower Manhattan. The event coincided with book burning in Germany.

    Anti-Nazi protest organized by American Jewish Congress
  • Battle for Danzig

    Film

    The Treaty of Versailles, imposed on defeated Germany following World War I, declared Danzig to be a free city jointly administered by Poland and the League of Nations. Germany bitterly resented the loss of this largely German city, which was also an important port on the Baltic Sea. The return of Danzig became a central feature of Adolf Hitler's foreign policy. This footage shows pro-German forces besieging a Polish garrison in Danzig's main post office. Germany annexed Danzig after the defeat of Poland in September 1939.

    Battle for Danzig
  • Battle of Britain

    Film

    After the defeat of France in June 1940, Germany moved to gain air superiority over Great Britain as a prelude to an invasion of Britain. Despite months of air attacks, Germany was not able to destroy Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). In the fall of 1940, the invasion was indefinitely postponed. The German bombing campaign against Britain continued until May 1941. The Germans ultimately halted the air attacks primarily because of preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

    Battle of Britain
  • Benito Mussolini

    Film

    Benito Mussolini, leader of the Italian Fascist movement, was prime minister of Italy from 1922 until he was dismissed in July 1943. After the Italian armistice with the Allies in September 1943, German forces occupied northern Italy and installed Mussolini as head of a new pro-German government. In April 1945, as Allied forces advanced into northern Italy, Mussolini attempted to escape to neutral Switzerland. However, Italian partisans caught and executed him before he could reach the border. This footage is a brief survey of Mussolini's rise to power and rule.

    Tags: Italy
    Benito Mussolini
  • Bergen-Belsen after liberation

    Film

    As Allied forces approached Germany in late 1944 and early 1945, Bergen-Belsen became a collection camp for tens of thousands of prisoners evacuated from camps near the front. Thousands of these prisoners died due to overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, and lack of adequate food and shelter. On April 15, 1945, British soldiers entered Bergen-Belsen. They found 60,000 prisoners in the camp, most in a critical condition. This footage shows Allied cameramen filming the condition of the prisoners and the filthy conditions found in Bergen-Belsen after liberation.

    Bergen-Belsen after liberation
  • Berlin-Tokyo-Rome Axis

    Film

    In Berlin, Germany, officials from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan sign the ten-year Tripartite Pact (the Three-Power Agreement), a military alliance. The pact sealed cooperation among the three nations (Axis powers) in waging World War II. This footage comes from "The Nazi Plan," a film produced and used by the United States in the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials.

    Berlin-Tokyo-Rome Axis
  • Book peddler in Munkács

    Film

    Exterior of house of study. Book peddler negotiates a sale with a young customer.

    Book peddler in Munkács
  • Books burn as Goebbels speaks

    Film

    In their drive to rid the country of all that they deemed "un-German," the Nazis publically burned books in cities across Germany. Here in front of the Opera House in Berlin, a chanting crowd burns books written by Jews and leftist intellectuals. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of propaganda and public information, speaks of the intended "reeducation" of Germany.

    Books burn as Goebbels speaks

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