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.
German Einsatzgruppen operated in German-occupied territories in eastern Europe during World War II. This rare footage shows a unit during a massacre in Liepaja, Latvia. The film was taken, contrary to orders, by a German soldier. Before the war, the Jewish population of Liepaja stood at more than 7,000 residents. Einsatzgruppen shot almost the entire Jewish population of the town. When the Soviet army liberated the city in 1945, just 20 to 30 Jews remained.
Einsatzgruppen carried out various security measures, such as identifying and neutralizing potential enemies of German rule, seizing important sites and preventing sabotage, and recruiting collaborators and establishing intelligence networks. They are best known for their role in the murder of more than a million Jewish victims during the German-Soviet war (beginning in June 1941), usually in mass shootings.
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 the United States in the Nuremberg trials, opening the case by describing the Einsatzgruppen's use of gas vans to kill Jews and others during the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
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 explains the distinction between war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the process, Ferencz condemns genocide.
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 the opening of the case.
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.
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 that they intended to take no official action to alleviate the German-Jewish refugee problem.
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.
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 force attacked German industry in the Ruhr.
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.
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 aftermath of the Depression. Coughlin also offered to support any candidate opposed to Communists and Capitalists alike.
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.
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.
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 terror among Allied ground forces, who learned to recognize the telltale shriek of a bomber's dive. This German newsreel footage shows a Stuka raid during the German invasion of the Low Countries in 1940.
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 later, in June 1941, Germany broke the agreement and invaded the Soviet Union.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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