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  • Liberation of Majdanek

    Film

    In July 1944, Soviet forces liberated the Majdanek extermination camp. The Polish-Soviet Nazi Crimes Investigation Commission, established to document Nazi atrocities committed during the German occupation of Poland, ordered exhumations at Majdanek as part of its efforts to investigate Nazi mass killings in the camp. The commission later published its findings in Moscow on September 16, 1944, in Polish, Russian, English, and French.

    Liberation of Majdanek
  • Liberation of Auschwitz: Child survivors

    Film

    Soviet military footage showing children who were liberated at Auschwitz by the Soviet army in January 1945.

    Liberation of Auschwitz: Child survivors
  • Liberation of Dachau

    Film

    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 about 30,000 starving prisoners in the camp at the time. Here, soldiers of the US Seventh Army document conditions in the camp. They also require German civilians to tour the camp and confront Nazi atrocities.

    Liberation of Dachau
  • 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
  • Liberation of Mauthausen and Gusen

    Film

    This film footage is excerpted from documentary film titled "Mauthausen Concentration Camp," showing footage from both Mauthausen and the nearby Gusen camp. Filmed by US cameramen, the footage opens with a broad view of buildings in the Gusen camp. Excerpts that follow show scenes in the camps, American care of the liberated prisoners, and Austrian civilians loading bodies of victims onto carts for burial.

    Liberation of Mauthausen and Gusen
  • Swastika flag rises over Versailles and Paris

    Film

    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…

    Swastika flag rises over Versailles and Paris
  • 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
  • Japan attacks Pearl Harbor

    Film

    While Japanese diplomats in Washington, DC, negotiated with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Japanese planes bombed the naval base at Pearl Harbor. American outrage at the surprise attack overcame isolationist sentiment and the United States declared war on Japan the following day.

    Japan attacks Pearl Harbor
  • US enters World War II

    Film

    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.

    US enters World War II
  • Truman proclaims victory in Europe

    Film

    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.

    Truman proclaims victory in Europe

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