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  • Einsatzgruppen trial: Justice Jackson details use of gas vans

    Film

    After the trial of major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, the United States held a series of other war crimes trials at Nuremberg during the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings.The ninth trial of these proceedings, before an American military tribunal, focused on members of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) who had been assigned to kill Jews and other people behind the eastern front. This footage shows US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, chief prosecutor for…

    Einsatzgruppen trial: Justice Jackson details use of gas vans
  • Einsatzgruppen trial: US prosecution condemns genocide

    Film

    After the trial of major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, the United States held a series of other war crimes trials at Nuremberg—the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The ninth trial before the American military tribunal in Nuremberg focused on members of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units), who had been assigned to kill Jews and other people behind the eastern front. In this footage of the prosecution's opening statement, US prosecutor Ben Ferencz…

    Einsatzgruppen trial: US prosecution condemns genocide
  • Einsatzgruppen trial: US prosecution opens case against Einsatzgruppen members

    Film

    After the trial of major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, the United States held a series of other war crimes trials at Nuremberg—the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The ninth trial before the American military tribunal in Nuremberg focused on members of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units), who had been assigned to kill Jews and other people behind the eastern front. This footage shows US prosecutor Ben Ferencz outlining the purpose of the trial during…

    Einsatzgruppen trial: US prosecution opens case against Einsatzgruppen members
  • Estonian policemen stand trial for war crimes

    Film

    Estonian auxiliary forces assisted the German Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) in the mass killing of Jews and others during World War II. Ralf Gerrets and Jaan Viik were both members of the Estonian security police during the German occupation. This footage shows them during their trial, on charges of war crimes, in the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Estonian Supreme Court found both guilty and sentenced them to death in 1961.

    Estonian policemen stand trial for war crimes
  • Evian Conference fails to aid refugees

    Film

    Delegates of 32 countries assembled at the Royal Hotel in Evian, France, from July 6 to 15, 1938, to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees. The refugees were desperate to flee Nazi persecution in Germany, but could not leave without having permission to settle in other countries. The Evian Conference resulted in almost no change in the immigration policies of most of the attending nations. The major powers--the United States, Great Britain, and France--opposed unrestricted immigration, making it clear…

    Evian Conference fails to aid refugees
  • Exhumations at Hadamar

    Film

    The Hadamar psychiatric hospital was used as a euthanasia killing center from January until August 1941. Nazi doctors gassed about 10,000 German patients there. Although systematic gassings ended in September 1941, the killing of patients continued through the end of the war. In this footage, American soldiers supervise the exhumation of the cemetery at Hadamar and begin the interrogation of Dr. Adolf Wahlmann and Karl Wilig, who participated in the killings.

    Exhumations at Hadamar
  • Fall of Rotterdam

    Film

    Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Four days later, German planes bombed Rotterdam. The Germans tried to halt the raid on the city because Dutch authorities had agreed to negotiate the surrender of their country. However, a communications failure delayed the order halting the attack. The bombing destroyed much of the city center, leaving almost 80,000 people homeless. The Netherlands surrendered just a few hours later. On May 15, in retaliation for the bombing of Rotterdam, the British air…

    Fall of Rotterdam
  • Fall of Warsaw

    Film

    German troops reached parts of Warsaw on September 8 and 9, 1939. During the German siege of Warsaw, the city sustained heavy damage from air attacks and artillery shelling. Warsaw surrendered on September 28. Here, German troops occupy Warsaw. This footage comes from "Tale of a City," a film made by a Polish underground film unit.

    Fall of Warsaw
  • Father Charles Coughlin opposes Roosevelt

    Film

    Father Charles E. Coughlin was a Catholic priest who reached a large audience through mass rallies and radio broadcasts. Coughlin, openly antisemitic, was an outspoken critic of the political establishment. This footage shows him addressing more than 80,000 people, the Illinois members of the National Union for Social Justice, at Riverview Park in Chicago. He criticized President Roosevelt (running for a second term as President of the United States) and attacked the government's fiscal policy in the…

    Father Charles Coughlin opposes Roosevelt
  • Fighting in the Philippines

    Film

    Japanese forces took the Philippine islands between December 1941 and May 1942. After US naval victory in the Battle of Midway (June 1942), Allied forces slowly gained naval and air supremacy in the Pacific war. In October 1944, US forces began the liberation of the Philippines. The campaign on Luzon, largest and most northern of the islands, began in December 1944. This battle footage shows many Japanese soldiers being taken as prisoners of war.

    Fighting in the Philippines
  • French Liberation

    Film

    Jubilation over the liberation of Paris: US troops parade along the Champs-Elysees and French civilians celebrate. General Charles de Gaulle and General Omar Bradley review the troops.

    French Liberation
  • German air campaign in the Low Countries

    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 ground forces. 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 superiority in the air. Stukas caused…

    German air campaign in the Low Countries
  • German and Soviet forces partition Poland

    Film

    The German-Soviet Pact of August 1939 included a nonaggression pact whereby Germany and the Soviet Union promised not to attack one another for 10 years. Germany was thus able to invade Poland on September 1, 1939, without fear of Soviet intervention. In accordance with secret provisions of the pact, Poland was partitioned between Germany and the Soviet Union. Soviet forces occupied eastern Poland. In this footage, German and Soviet forces meet along the Bug River in central Poland. Less than two years…

    German and Soviet forces partition Poland
  • German civilians forced to view atrocities committed in Buchenwald

    Film

    US forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany in April 1945. Here, US soldiers escort German civilians from the nearby town of Weimar through the Buchenwald camp. The American liberating troops had a policy of forcing German civilians to view the atrocities committed in the camps.

    German civilians forced to view atrocities committed in Buchenwald
  • German forces enter Warsaw

    Film

    Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, beginning World War II. German forces swiftly overran Polish border defenses and approached Warsaw, Poland's capital city. Warsaw suffered heavy air attacks and artillery bombardments during the campaign. The city surrendered on September 28. This footage shows German forces entering Warsaw amidst the destruction caused by their bombardment of the city.

    German forces enter Warsaw
  • German forces in Italy surrender to the Allies

    Film

    Allied forces occupied most of Germany by the end of April 1945. German forces fighting in Italy were the first to surrender unconditionally to the Allies. Representatives of the German command in Italy signed the surrender on April 29, and it became effective on May 2, 1945. Five days later, on May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to the western Allies, ending the war in Europe.

    German forces in Italy surrender to the Allies
  • German invasion of France

    Film

    Germany invaded France in May 1940. This footage shows German tanks, artillery, and divebombers attacking the Maginot Line, a series of French fortifications intended to protect France's border with Germany. The main German assault, however, went to the north through Luxembourg and bypassed the Maginot Line. German forces entered Paris on June 14, 1940. Little more than a week later, defeated France signed an armistice with Germany.

    German invasion of France
  • German invasion of Norway and the naval war

    Film

    Germany invaded Norway on April 9, 1940, simultaneously attacking Norway's coastal cities from Narvik in the far north to Oslo in the south. Despite Allied naval superiority, German naval forces played an important role in the campaign. This footage shows German naval units sailing towards Norway in rough seas. German victory in Norway secured access to the North Atlantic for the German navy, especially the submarine fleet, and safeguarded transports of Swedish iron ore for Germany's war industry.

    German invasion of Norway and the naval war
  • German invasion of Norway: Narvik

    Film

    Germany invaded Norway on April 9, 1940, simultaneously attacking Norway's coastal cities from Narvik in the far north to Oslo in the south. Narvik was the scene of fierce battles between German forces and the Allies, who landed troops by sea in support of the Norwegians. Narvik changed hands several times. However, British, French, and Polish forces were finally withdrawn in June 1940 due to the success of the German campaign in western Europe. German victory in Norway secured access to the North Atlantic…

    German invasion of Norway: Narvik
  • German military court trial of French resistance members

    Film

    France signed an armistice with Germany on June 22, 1940, recognizing the right of German authorities to oversee the French administration. Further, German military authorities held jurisdiction over matters of internal security. In this footage, a German military court in Paris tries French citizens charged with resisting measures of the military occupation. Despite harsh military justice, the Germans could not quell opposition in France, and resistance activities would reach a peak during the Allied…

    German military court trial of French resistance members
  • German paratroopers land near Rotterdam

    Film

    Germany launched its western offensive on May 10, 1940. German paratroopers landed in the Netherlands on the first day of the German attack on that country. They seized key bridges and fortifications, compromising Dutch defensive positions. This footage shows the German air force (Luftwaffe) dropping paratroopers near Rotterdam. Within days, the Netherlands was defeated. The country surrendered to Germany on May 14. The Dutch government and Queen Wilhelmina fled to exile in Great Britain.

    German paratroopers land near Rotterdam
  • German presence in Copenhagen, Denmark

    Film

    Denmark signed a nonaggression pact with Germany in 1939, hoping to maintain neutrality as it had in World War I. Germany, however, broke the agreement on April 9, 1940, when it occupied Denmark. King Christian X remained on the throne, and the Danish police and government reluctantly accepted the German occupation. This footage shows the German presence in the occupied Danish capital, Copenhagen. In 1943, as German policies towards Denmark toughened, the Danes would form one of the most active and…

    German presence in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • German victory parade in Warsaw

    Film

    Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. The Blitzkrieg ("lightning war") campaign in Poland was short and decisive. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, surrendered on September 27. In early October, Adolf Hitler visited Warsaw to review his forces. This footage shows victorious German army units parading before Hitler in the streets of the devastated city.

    German victory parade in Warsaw
  • Germans bomb Coventry

    Film

    On the night of November 14-15, 1940, almost 500 German bombers attacked the British industrial city of Coventry in central England. The bombers dropped 150,000 incendiary bombs and more than 500 tons of high explosives. The air raid destroyed much of the city center, including 12 armament factories and the historic Saint Michael's Cathedral. This footage shows scenes from the aftermath of the attack. The bombing of Coventry came to symbolize, to Britain, the ruthlessness of modern air warfare.

    Germans bomb Coventry
  • Germany invades Poland

    Film

    Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, begining World War II. Quickly overruning Polish border defenses, German forces advanced towards Warsaw, the Polish capital city. This footage from German newsreels shows German forces in action during the invasion of Poland. Warsaw surrendered on September 28, 1939.

    Germany invades Poland

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