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  • Anti-Nazi protest

    Film

    Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Soon thereafter, terror actions against opponents of Nazism began: Jews were a major target in these campaigns. Many Jews were subjected to public humiliation or arrest, and others were forced to quit their posts. Anti-Jewish measures climaxed with the April 1, 1933, boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. This footage depicts a Jewish anti-Nazi march in Chicago.

    Anti-Nazi protest
  • Anti-Nazi protest organized by American Jewish Congress

    Film

    The American Jewish Congress was among the first groups in the United States to oppose Nazism. It held a mass rally as early as March 1933, soon after Hitler rose to power in Germany, and continued to hold rallies throughout the war years. The American Jewish Congress organized this anti-Nazi march through Lower Manhattan. The event coincided with book burning in Germany.

    Anti-Nazi protest organized by American Jewish Congress
  • US condemnation of Kristallnacht

    Film

    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…

    US condemnation of Kristallnacht
  • Roosevelt announces aid for Britain

    Film

    Although constrained by powerful isolationist sentiment in the United States, President Roosevelt was determined to help democratic Great Britain continue the war against Nazi Germany. Even as he promised to keep the United States neutral in the European war, Roosevelt ordered the expansion of military construction and pledged--as shown in this footage--that the United States would serve as the "great arsenal of democracy." In March 1941, Congress approved Lend-Lease aid for Britain. Britain ultimately…

    Roosevelt announces aid for Britain
  • Memorial Pageant calls for the rescue of European Jewry

    Film

    After word reached America of the Nazi killing of European Jewry, pressure mounted on the Roosevelt administration to help European Jews. To spur action, playwright Ben Hecht prepared a memorial to the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, "We Will Never Die." The pageant, sponsored by the Zionist Revisionist Bergson Group, was part of a mass demonstration at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Later seen in other US cities, the show was part of the Bergson Group's effort to pressure Washington to act…

    Memorial Pageant calls for the rescue of European Jewry
  • Soviet military advance in Vitebsk

    Film

    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…

    Soviet military advance in Vitebsk
  • Liberation of Vilna

    Film

    In June 1944, the Soviet Union launched a massive offensive against the German army in eastern Europe. Soviet forces liberated Vilna in July 1944, after bitter street fighting with the German garrison. They then continued on toward Kovno, the capital of Lithuania. This Soviet footage depicts the battle for Vilna and the final liberation of the city by the Soviet army.

    Liberation of Vilna
  • President Truman attends Potsdam Conference

    Film

    After the sudden death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in April 1945, Vice President Harry S. Truman became president of the United States. Here, President Truman meets with the heads of state of the Soviet Union and Great Britain (Joseph Stalin, Winston S. Churchill, and later Clement Attlee) in Potsdam, near Berlin, to discuss the future of defeated Germany. The leaders agreed to the partition of Germany and Berlin, Germany's capital city, into four zones of occupation: British, French, American, and Soviet.…

    President Truman attends Potsdam Conference
  • Scenes from the liberation of Buchenwald

    Film

    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.

    Scenes from the liberation of Buchenwald
  • German civilians forced to view atrocities committed in Buchenwald

    Film

    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.

    German civilians forced to view atrocities committed in Buchenwald
  • Nazi atrocities discovered upon the liberation of Buchenwald

    Film

    US forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. This footage records examples of Nazi atrocities (shrunken head, pieces of tattooed human skin, preserved skull and organs) discovered by the liberating troops.

    Nazi atrocities discovered upon the liberation of Buchenwald
  • Goebbels claims Jews will destroy culture

    Film

    This footage shows Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister for propaganda and public education, speaking at the September 1935 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. In the speech, Goebbels--a fanatic antisemite--linked Bolshevism with international Jewry and warned Nazi party members of an alleged international Jewish conspiracy to destroy western civilization. Goebbels led the purge of Jewish and other so-called "un-German" influences from the cultural institutions of Nazi Germany.

    Goebbels claims Jews will destroy culture
  • Theresienstadt

    Film

    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.

    Theresienstadt
  • Sudetenland ceded to Germany

    Film

    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.

    Sudetenland ceded to Germany
  • Aftermath of battle in Danzig

    Film

    The Treaty of Versailles, imposed on Germany following its defeat in 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 to Germany became a central focus of Adolf Hitler's foreign policy. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. After the invasion of Poland, Germany unilaterally annexed Danzig. This German newsreel…

    Aftermath of battle in Danzig
  • Hitler thanks members of the SA and SS

    Film

    In this German newsreel footage, Hitler addresses members of the SA and the SS in the Sportpalast, a sports arena in Berlin, Germany. He thanks them for their support and sacrifice during the Nazi struggle for power.

    Hitler thanks members of the SA and SS
  • Reichstag fire

    Film

    This footage shows the Reichstag (German parliament) building on the day after it was set on fire. While the origins of the fire on February 27 are still unclear, Hitler blamed Communists for the incident. The Reichstag Fire Decree of February 28, 1933, suspended constitutional guarantees. Communist and Socialist deputies were expelled from the parliament. Shortly after the decree was issued, the Nazis established concentration camps  for the internment of political opponents.

    Reichstag fire
  • Reichstag fire trial

    Film

    On the night of February 27, 1933, an unemployed Dutch construction worker named Marinus van der Lubbe set fire to the Reichstag (German parliament) building, causing serious damage. The Nazis blamed the Communists for the fire and claimed emergency powers to crush all opposition. Bolstering Nazi claims, the police also arrested three Bulgarian members of the Communist International, who were in Germany at the time, and a leading German Communist. Despite Nazi claims, however, responsibility for the fire…

    Reichstag fire trial
  • German presence in Copenhagen, Denmark

    Film

    Denmark signed a nonaggression pact with Germany in 1939, hoping to maintain neutrality as it had in World War I. Germany, however, broke the agreement on April 9, 1940, when it occupied Denmark. King Christian X remained on the throne, and the Danish police and government reluctantly accepted the German occupation. This footage shows the German presence in the occupied Danish capital, Copenhagen. In 1943, as German policies towards Denmark toughened, the Danes would form one of the most active and…

    German presence in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • US Quakers aid children in defeated France

    Film

    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.

    US Quakers aid children in defeated France
  • Dachau after liberation

    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 that time. The film seen here was edited from original footage shot by Allied cameramen as liberating troops entered Dachau. It was discovered in the archives of the Imperial War Museum in 1984 and was never completed.

    Dachau after liberation
  • US soldiers care for Dachau survivors

    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 some 30,000 starving prisoners in the camp at that time. In this footage, soldiers of the US Seventh Army feed and disinfect survivors of the camp.

    US soldiers care for Dachau survivors
  • Jewish religious service at Dachau

    Film

    US forces liberated the Dachau concentration camp in Germany in April 1945. Here, survivors of the camp stand during the singing of "Hatikva" ("Hope") before Rabbi David Eichhoren, a US army chaplain, leads one of the first Jewish prayer services after liberation.

    Jewish religious service at Dachau
  • Roma (Gypsies) in Romania

    Film

    About a million Roma (Gypsies) lived in Europe before World War II. The largest Romani community—of about 300,000—was in Romania. This film shows a Romani (Gypsy) community in Moreni, a small town northwest of Bucharest. Many Roma led a nomadic lifestyle and often worked as small traders, craftsmen, merchants, laborers, and muscians.

    Tags: Roma Romania
    Roma (Gypsies) in Romania
  • Romani (Gypsy) campsite near Berlin

    Film

    This film excerpt from Groß-Stadt Zigeuner (1932) by filmmaker László Moholy-Nagy shows a Romani (Gypsy) campsite near Berlin, Germany, in the last year of the Weimar Republic. Although Roma (Gypsies) had faced persecution in Germany even before the Nazi rise to power in 1933, the Nazis regarded them as racial enemies to be identified and killed. Tens of thousands of Roma were killed by the Einsatzgruppen in eastern Europe or were deported to killing centers in occupied Poland.

    Romani (Gypsy) campsite near Berlin

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