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  • British army chaplain describes Bergen-Belsen upon liberation

    Film

    British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in April 1945. They filmed statements from members of their own forces. In this British military footage, British army chaplain T.J. Stretch recounts his impressions of the camp.

    British army chaplain describes Bergen-Belsen upon liberation
  • Kamikaze attacks on US ships, 1945

    Film

    Japanese pilots used the tactic of Kamikaze (suicidal) dive-bombing attacks on enemy warships in 1944 and 1945. The "USS Nevada," despite an escort and efforts to fight off a Kamikaze attack, sustained such a hit in early 1945 off the coast of Japan. The "USS Ticonderoga," a carrier, also sustained such a hit in early 1945 off Formosa (Taiwan). The impact of Kamikaze attacks decreased during the final months of the war in the Pacific, in part because of an improvement in Allied evasion tactics.

    Kamikaze attacks on US ships, 1945
  • 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
  • Japanese surrender

    Film

    World War II in the Pacific theater ended with the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. The surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay aboard the American battleship USS "Missouri." Foreign Minister Shigemitsu headed the Japanese delegation. General Douglas MacArthur accepted the surrender on behalf of the Allies. Admiral Nimitz signed for the US and Admiral Fraser for Britain. Representatives of all the Allied nations attended the signing.

    Tags: World War II
    Japanese surrender
  • 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
  • D-Day

    Film

    Massive Allied landings of air- and sea-borne forces on five Normandy beaches (codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword) began on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). The purpose of the invasion was to establish a bridgehead from which Allied forces could break out and liberate France. By the end of the operation's first day, some 150,000 troops were ashore in Normandy. This footage shows Allied forces landing on the Normandy beaches.

    Tags: World War II
    D-Day
  • D-Day bombings over France

    Film

    Allied air superiority over Germany was a decisive factor in the success of the D-Day (June 6, 1944) landings in France. This footage shows the Allied bombing of suspected German positions during the battle. Allied air attacks both supported Allied ground operations in Normandy and prevented German reinforcements from reaching the area. The Allies would liberate most of France by the end of August 1944.

    D-Day bombings over France
  • Invasion of the Soviet Union

    Film

    The German army (Wehrmacht) regarded the war in the east as a crusade against communism and not subject to the "normal rules" of war. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Soviet soldiers followed a "scorched earth" policy to hinder the German advance. In this German newsreel footage, German soldiers approach a burning village, one of many destroyed during the invasion of the Soviet Union.

    Invasion of the Soviet Union
  • Relocation of Soviet Citizens

    Film

    German forces launched Operation "Barbarossa," the invasion of the Soviet Union, on June 22, 1941. The German army made rapid initial progress in the campaign into Soviet territory. In this German military footage, German soldiers separate women and children from men in a Soviet village.

    Relocation of Soviet Citizens
  • Liberation of Auschwitz: Victims of medical experiments

    Film

    Soviet troops entered the Auschwitz killing center in January 1945 and liberated thousands of sick and exhausted prisoners. This Soviet military footage was filmed shortly after the camp was liberated. It shows Soviet doctors examining victims of sterilization, poisonous injection, and skin graft experiments.

    Liberation of Auschwitz: Victims of medical experiments
  • Medical Case: US prosecutor details illegal experiments

    Film

    The Medical Case was one of 12 war crimes trials held before an American tribunal as part of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The trial dealt with doctors and nurses who had participated in the killing of physically and mentally impaired Germans and who had performed medical experiments on people imprisoned in concentration camps. Here, chief prosecutor Brigadier General Telford Taylor reads into evidence a July 1942 report detailing Nazi high-altitude experiments and outlines the prosecution's goals…

    Medical Case: US prosecutor details illegal experiments
  • Verdict announced in Medical Case

    Film

    The Medical Case was one of twelve war crimes trials held before an American tribunal as part of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The trial dealt with doctors and nurses who had participated in the killing of physically and mentally impaired Germans and who had performed medical experiments on people imprisoned in concentration camps. Sixteen of the defendants were found guilty. Of the sixteen, seven were sentenced to death for planning and carrying out experiments on human beings against their will.…

    Verdict announced in Medical Case
  • Soviet Secret Police massacre in Lvov

    Film

    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…

    Soviet Secret Police massacre in Lvov
  • Pogrom in Lvov

    Film

    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, occupying Lvov within a week. The Germans claimed that the city's Jewish population had supported the Soviets. Ukrainian mobs went on a rampage against Jews. They stripped and beat Jewish women and men in the streets of Lvov. Ukrainian partisans supported by German authorities killed about 4,000 Jews in Lvov during this pogrom. US forces discovered…

    Pogrom in Lvov
  • Julius Streicher

    Film

    Julius Streicher, Nazi leader and publisher of the antisemitic newspaper "Der Stuermer" (The Attacker), makes a speech accusing Jews of trying to control the world and living by the exploitation of non-Jews. According to Streicher, the only answer for Germany is to solve the "Jewish question."

    Julius Streicher
  • Hitler speaks before the Reichstag (German Parliament)

    Film

    Hitler speaks before the Reichstag (German parliament). Amid rising international tensions, he tells the German public and the world that the outbreak of war would mean the end of European Jewry.

    Tags: antisemitism
    Hitler speaks before the Reichstag (German Parliament)
  • Berlin-Tokyo-Rome Axis

    Film

    In Berlin, Germany, officials from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan sign the ten-year Tripartite Pact (the Three-Power Agreement), a military alliance. The pact sealed cooperation among the three nations (Axis powers) in waging World War II. This footage comes from "The Nazi Plan," a film produced and used by the United States in the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials.

    Berlin-Tokyo-Rome Axis
  • Mussolini meets with Hitler in Germany

    Film

    In 1936, Germany and Italy signed a military alliance. The two powers formed the so-called Berlin-Rome Axis. This footage shows Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini's state visit to Germany in September 1937. He met with Hitler in Munich and the two leaders also toured other parts of Germany. During the state visit, Mussolini attended a military parade in Berlin, Germany's capital. Although both dictators declared their desire for peace, Germany would begin World War II in 1939. Italy would then enter…

    Mussolini meets with Hitler in Germany
  • Allied prisoner of war describes work details

    Film

    Most Allied prisoners of war (POWs) were treated well compared to inmates of concentration camps. But, as former Dutch POW Captain Boullard explains here at Dachau concentration camp, some were subject to severe beatings and forced to work in harsh labor assignments.

    Allied prisoner of war describes work details
  • 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
  • Defeat of Belgium

    Film

    German forces invaded western Europe in May 1940. As part of their strategy to defeat Britain and France, German forces invaded neutral Belgium. Little more than two weeks after the German invasion of Belgium, King Leopold III ordered the surrender of the Belgian army. In this footage a Belgian officer signs the surrender and thousands of refugees flood the streets as German forces move through Belgium.

    Defeat of Belgium
  • 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
  • Allies evacuate troops from Dunkirk

    Film

    The German western campaign in May 1940 decisively defeated the British and French forces arrayed against it. By the end of May, the Allies began the withdrawal of British and French forces from the Continent to prevent their surrender or destruction. The evacuation effort centered on the French coastal town of Dunkirk. As German forces completed their conquest of France, more than 1,000 vessels--including small civilian yachts and fishing boats--ferried Allied forces across the English Channel to Great…

    Allies evacuate troops from Dunkirk
  • Battle of Britain

    Film

    After the defeat of France in June 1940, Germany moved to gain air superiority over Great Britain as a prelude to an invasion of Britain. Despite months of air attacks, Germany was not able to destroy Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). In the fall of 1940, the invasion was indefinitely postponed. The German bombing campaign against Britain continued until May 1941. The Germans ultimately halted the air attacks primarily because of preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.

    Battle of Britain
  • Air raid shelter in London during the Blitz

    Film

    After the defeat of France in June 1940, Germany moved to gain air superiority over Great Britain as a prelude to an invasion of Britain. During almost nightly German air raids (known as "the Blitz") on London, the civilian population of the city sought refuge--as shown in this footage--in air raid shelters and in London's subway system (called the "Underground" or the "Tube"). Despite months of air attacks, Germany was not able to destroy Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). In the fall of 1940, the invasion…

    Air raid shelter in London during the Blitz

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