The Buchenwald camp was one of the largest concentration camps. The Nazis built it in 1937 in a wooded area northwest of Weimar in central Germany. US forces liberated the Buchenwald camp on April 11, 1945. When US troops entered the camp, they found more than 20,000 prisoners. This footage shows scenes that US cameramen filmed in the camp, survivors, and the arrival of Red Cross trucks.
Children from the cheder (traditional religious school) in Munkacs recite their lesson.
US prosecutor Thomas Dodd introduces the film compilation "Nazi Concentration Camps." At the end of the courtroom scene shown here, the lights are dimmed for the screening. The footage, filmed as Allied troops liberated the concentration camps, was presented in the courtroom on November 29, 1945, and entered as evidence in the trial.
On September 1, 1939, Julien Bryan was one of the last reporters holding citizenship of a non-belligerent nation remaining in Poland. His ten-minute film Siege records the horror and confusion of Warsaw during the German attack. Through actual footage taken during the siege, Bryan poignantly describes the frightening chain of events that ended in the capitulation of Warsaw and the occupation of Poland. During the early stages of the blitzkrieg, Polish military authorities commandeered civilians to dig ditches, set tank traps, and shore up fortifications. As the Polish soldiers retreated to the east, German troops encircled and laid siege to Warsaw.
The Soviet Union occupied Lvov in September 1939, according to secret provisions of the German-Soviet Pact. Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. After a week of bitter fighting, German forces occupied Lvov. They discovered that the Soviet Secret Police had massacred thousands of prisoners, mostly Ukrainian nationalists, before fleeing from the city. This footage shows the removal of the bodies of some of those massacred. The Germans claimed that the city's Jewish population had supported the Soviets and had taken part in the executions. In the pogroms that followed the discovery, Ukrainian partisans supported by German authorities killed about 4,000 Jews in Lvov.
The Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 (Operation "Barbarossa"). German forces occupied Vitebsk in the northeastern region of Belorussia on July 11. Soviet forces seized the initiative from the Germans after the battle of Stalingrad in late 1942 and early 1943. The Soviet army liberated Vitebsk on June 26, 1944, during their summer 1944 offensive. This footage shows military units involved in the fighting and German soldiers captured during the campaign. By the end of the summer, the Soviet offensive reached the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland.
This footage shows German forces entering the Sudetenland. Under the terms of the Munich Pact, Germany annexed this largely German-speaking region from Czechoslovakia. Germany, Italy, Britain, and France were party to the pact, which averted war. Czechoslovakia, however, was not permitted to attend the Munich conference. Hitler later violated the Munich Pact by destroying the Czech state in March 1939.
The German western campaign into the Low Countries and France shattered Allied lines. Within six weeks, Britain evacuated its forces from the Continent and France requested an armistice with Germany. Paris, the French capital, fell to the Germans on June 14, 1940. In this footage, triumphant German forces raise the swastika flag over Versailles and over the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Versailles, the traditional residence of French kings, was deeply symbolic for the Germans: it was the site of both the declaration of the German Empire in 1871 and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. The Treaty of Versailles had imposed humiliating peace terms on Germany after its defeat in World War I. Germany would occupy Paris for the next four years, until 1944.
In the Justice Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings, nine officials from the German Ministry of Justice and seven members of the Nazi-era People's and Special Courts were charged with “judicial murder and other atrocities, which they committed by destroying law and justice in Germany, and then utilizing the emptied forms of legal process for the persecution, enslavement and extermination on a large scale.” This footage shows US prosecutor Telford Taylor describing the defendants.
In the Justice Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings, nine officials from the German Ministry of Justice and seven members of the Nazi-era People's and Special Courts were charged with “judicial murder and other atrocities, which they committed by destroying law and justice in Germany, and then utilizing the emptied forms of legal process for the persecution, enslavement and extermination on a large scale.” In this footage from the trial, US prosecutor Telford Taylor describes the nature of the crimes committed.
In this video introduction to The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936, American Jewish athlete Marty Glickman, US Holocaust Memorial Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield, exhibition curator Susan Bachrach, and German Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann reflect and remember the 1936 Olympic Games as more than history.
Lieutenant Colonel Baldwin of the US prosecution team presents the case against defendant Hans Frank at the Nuremberg trial. Baldwin refers to several of Frank's diary entries about the appropriation of scarce Polish grain for use as food in Germany.
In response to growing international awareness of Nazi atrocities, the Nazis decided to allow a Red Cross investigation committee to visit the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia. Elaborate measures were taken to disguise conditions in the ghetto and to portray an atmosphere of normalcy. This footage, showing an orchestral performance, is part of a German propaganda film made following the Red Cross visit to Theresienstadt.
Members of a German Zionist youth group learn farming techniques in preparation for their new lives in Palestine. Many Jewish youths in Nazi Germany participated in similar programs, hoping to escape persecution by leaving the country.
This film clip shows translators in action at the Nuremberg trial. English, French, Russian, and German were the official languages of the Nuremberg trials. Interpreters provided simultaneous translations of the court proceedings which were then available to the trial participants via headphones.
A former US prisoner of war (POW), United States Navy Lieutenant Jack Taylor, testifies to the treatment he and other American POWs received in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.
Ion Antonescu governed Romania from 1940 until 1944. Antonescu aligned Romania with the Axis powers in November 1940, and became one of Nazi Germany's closest allies. Romania joined in the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. It also implemented harsh anti-Jewish policies against Jews in Romania. While Antonescu ultimately refused to hand Jews over to the Germans, Romanian forces brutally killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, mainly residents of Bessarabia, Bukovina, and the western Ukraine. As the war turned against the Axis and Soviet forces entered Romania in 1944, Antonescu was arrested and turned over to the Soviet Union as a war criminal. Soviet authorities returned Antonescu to Romania in 1946 to stand trial. A tribunal found him guilty of war crimes. He was executed on June 1, 1946.
Francois Boix, a concentration camp survivor, testifies about Albert Speer's visit to the Mauthausen concentration camp. Boix identifies Speer by pointing to him in the defendants' dock.
World War II began with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended in Allied victory in Europe with the German surrender in May 1945. May 8 was proclaimed VE (Victory in Europe) Day. In this footage, United States president Harry S. Truman proclaims victory in Europe and promises to continue the war in the pacific until the unconditional surrender of Japan.
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was established in November 1943 to aid refugees fleeing Axis aggression. After World War II, UNRRA sought to assist millions of refugees displaced by the war and its consequences. In the aftermath of the war, worldwide food shortages threatened millions with starvation and the world looked to the United States for assistance. In this footage, UNRRA's fourth council meeting convenes in Atlantic City. Director-General Herbert H. Lehman pleads for understanding among nations as a prerequisite for world peace.
In the summer of 1945, representatives of the victorious Allied nations—the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union—met in London to discuss the formation of an International Military Tribunal. The questions on the table were daunting: how and where such a court would convene, what the criminal charges would be, and which perpetrators would be put on trial. US President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order designating Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson to be the US representative and chief prosecutor. This film clip contains part of Jackson's opening statement to the International Military Tribunal.
During World War II , the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker relief organization, provided food, shelter, and other aid to thousands of Jewish refugees—especially Jewish children—in France. The Quakers were active throughout France, even in areas occupied by German forces. In this footage, Quaker relief workers feed children at one of the Quaker-established schools in Marseille in the unoccupied southern zone of France.
On November 9, 1938, the Nazis led a nationwide pogrom against Jews. During the pogrom, known as "Kristallnacht" (the "Night of Broken Glass"), bands of Storm Troopers (SA) destroyed thousands of Jewish-owned businesses and hundreds of synagogues. Almost 100 Jews were killed in the process. This footage shows scenes from a protest rally in New York City. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise voiced the outrage of the American Jewish community. As part of an official protest by the United States government against the violence, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recalled America's ambassador from Germany.
Portion of the speech in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the US Congress to declare war on Japan following the previous day's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
In this footage, General Dwight Eisenhower, General George Patton, and Major General Lewis Craig inspect conditions at the Feldafing displaced persons camp near Wolfratshausen, Germany. Feldafing was one of the first displaced persons camps to house primarily Jewish refugees. In August 1945, Eisenhower ordered that Feldafing be used as a model for the establishment of other camps for Jewish displaced persons in the US occupation zones of Germany and Austria.
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