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  • German military court trial of French resistance members


    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
  • Destruction of Lidice


    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.

    Destruction of Lidice
  • Yugoslav partisans prepare to fight


    At his hidden headquarters in the mountains of Yugoslavia, Marshal Tito (Josip Broz), head of the Yugoslav Communist partisan movement, prepares his forces for battle. Women gather silk parachutes, used to drop supplies by Allied forces, for use as bandages. Partisans train, preparing to fight the Germans. At the height of the partisan war in Yugoslavia in 1943, Tito's partisans engaged some 35 Axis divisions, which otherwise might have been in service on the Italian or eastern fronts.

    Yugoslav partisans prepare to fight
  • Fall of Rotterdam


    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
  • Air war in Flanders: Western Campaign


    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…

    Air war in Flanders: Western Campaign
  • Battle for Danzig


    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…

    Battle for Danzig
  • Annexation of Austria


    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
  • Agreement Reached at Munich Conference


    [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
  • Annexation of Austria: The Anschluss


    In an attempt to prevent the German annexation of Austria, Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg called a plebiscite (referendum) on Austrian independence. On March 11, 1938, the Germans pressured Schuschnigg to cancel the plebiscite and resign. This German newsreel footage from March and April 1938 served as propaganda for the Nazi annexation of Austria. It begins with images of pro-Nazi residents in Graz expressing their opposition to Schuschnigg's plebiscite. It also includes footage after…

    Annexation of Austria: The Anschluss
  • Liberation of Ebensee camp


    US forces under the command of General Omar Bradley reached the Ebensee forced-labor camp in Austria in early May 1945. The Germans had built Ebensee at the foot of the Austrian Alps as part of the Mauthausen system of camps. The Nazis employed Ebensee prisoners as forced laborers during the construction of an underground rocket factory. Thousands died from the harsh conditions and back-breaking labor.

    Liberation of Ebensee camp

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