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Buchenwald camp at liberation - the dead and the living

Film | Accession Number: 1990.492.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0001 | Film ID: 1

Slate: "Capt. Carter, Prod #186, Buchenwald C-31, Date: 4-19-45" MS of a truck bed piled with bodies, clothed and unclothed. CU of a bearded man lying on the ground. His arms are crossed over his chest, his tattooed number visible on his forearm. Medium, direct shot of a truck bed of corpses. Extreme CU of corpses, slow pan over their heads and feet. Extreme CU of three heads and feet.

MCU of a clothed corpse lying on a low wheeled stretcher. CU of a man's face who had apparently been beaten. A picture of Jesus is pinned to his clothing. Extreme CU of the same inmate at different angles. MS of the camp entrance, soldiers and survivors walking around. An older man with beret and plaid scarf speaks to the camera, he pauses to look at camera, then looks off into the distance. CU of mantle above gate: "Recht oder Unrecht - Mein Vaterland" carved in wood (in red). A young man with a beret, glasses, and a red "B" triangle on his jacket speaks to the cameraman. Two men in striped uniforms take off their blankets and roll up their sleeves to show their tattoos to the camera.

A boy wearing only a belted blue shirt stands in the doorway of the barracks. Behind him there is a man with crutches and a bandaged ankle. CU of the boy looking at the camera. A few faces of other survivors are evident behind the boy, peering out from behind the barracks door. MCU of two men with crutches, one is almost naked while the other is in a striped uniform, in the barracks doorway with 5 or 6 others standing behind them. A naked man with bandaged thigh is being held up by another survivor in the doorway of the barracks. Three men moving around in the BG. CU of young male prisoner speaking, he has a shaved head and one eye is badly damaged. [This man has been identified as Hessel Goldberg] CU of a little boy with red triangle, he is holding a wooden plank and wearing a heavy jacket and a hat, smiling. [The boy is Joseph Schleifstein, born 7 March 1941 in Poland. See Photo Archive #85913, #07230] CU, stops smiling, tears in eyes. A group of boys stands together, all wearing caps and parts of the striped uniform, including Henry Kinast. More survivors file out of barracks and join the group, lining up in the back of the group, slow pan.

Slate: "Capt. Carter, Prod #186, Buchenwald C-34, Date: 4-15-45" LS of a group of men standing around fires in an open area near barbed wire. Men sit and stand by the fire, eating and stirring soup with twigs or metal spoons. Pan of group. 6 older men stand together and look at camera. One man has his hands together and is trembling and praying aloud. CU of the same man crying and praying, raising his hands and his eyes to the sky. Camera pans over men standing along fence with their hands in their pockets.

Dark, dreary pan of entrance to camp as men in prison uniforms stand behind the barbed wire fence. WS of camp road, barracks are in the BG. Survivors stand at the fence.

Tattoos on pieces of skin removed from prisoners are displayed. CU of chair back with tattooed skin of naked female angel with wings. CU of tattoos on a piece of skin from a chest picturing St. George slaying dragon. CU, tattoo of a woman with a hat. CU of a book cover "Ein Beitrug zur Tatowienungsfrage," the book is opened and leafed through. CU of shrunken heads, first female then male specimen, mounted on wooden bases. Pieces of tattooed skin lay out on a table. CU of a human male head preserved in a yellowish liquid in a glass tank. The specimen is turned to reveal that the head has been cut in half and the other side exposes the brain. Specimen tanks containing organs sit on a shelf. Three survivors demonstrate how prisoners were executed by hanging and then how they were beaten in the head to ensure their death. CU of one survivor as he demonstrates with a piece of rope how the noose was tied. CU of a survivor in a beret, holding a bludgeon. He has a very serious, tense expression on his face. CU of another survivor as he holds a wooden bludgeon and demonstrates for the camera the nicks and dents in the bludgeon, indicating that it was used often and with force. LS of camp as seen from the watchtower (shots underexposed). Spotlights of the watchtower in the FG. Slow pan from watchtower to the camp below as people wander about the camp.

Event:  April 15-19, 1945
Production:  1945 April
Buchenwald, Germany
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2023-06-06 08:42:18
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