Liberation of Buchenwald
- Film Title
- Rover Boys in Europe
- Event Date
- 1945 April
- US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marist College Archives
US Army and Lowell Thomas at Buchenwald camp just after liberation, torture devices simulated, corpses stacked in truck, pile of ashes, captured German POWs. Shot by Dick Ham, US Army Signal Corps.
Landing at Eschwege airfield, two oxen-pulling carts as Red Cross jeep passes on the road. CU of "Berlin" and "Dresden" road marker. MS civilians at city street corner, American jeep goes by. Column of German townspeople walking along road on way to view Buchenwald. Main camp gate. GIs clustered around as civilians enter. Various torture devices demonstrated. Thomas observes and is surrounded by many camp inmates. Inmates standing in front of barracks. Scaffold near crematorium from which prisoners were hanged and ashes outside crematorium where inmate holds out bone fragment. Dead bodies stacked on back of truck. Photographer shoots Thomas and truck. Inmate with injured foot in courtyard. Inmates still in uniform with sewn on symbols. Old man hobbles across yard with both hands wrapped. Other inmates walk past. German WACS out on grass on blankets. LS captured German and Hungarian officers are fed C-rations near Gotha. Driving toward Hershfeld, pass truckloads of German POWs. Female Red Cross worker in Hershfeld bedecked in German medals.
Record last modified: 2018-03-07 13:30:17
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Also in Lowell Thomas Collection
Excellent color footage from the Lowell Thomas Papers at Marist College showing American GIs and high-ranking officers touring Europe (Italy, France, Germany) and celebrating VE Day under the title, Rover Boys Abroad Europe. This 1945 film was shot by Dick Ham and was never aired or shown publicly. A scene list and script describes the coverage.
US Army and Lowell Thomas in Europe after liberation. Shot by Dick Ham, US Army Signal Corps. Gen. George Patton, a Lieutenant and others come out of Patton's headquarters in Hershfeld, Germany. CUs, Patton and the Major General. This was the first day Patton put on his four stars. Harsh, Barnes, Combs, Gen. Patton, and Howe. CU Patton talking to correspondents. Patton and the Major General walking towards camera, going into HQ. Command car leaving HQ gate with Hershfeld in BG, returning to Eschwege. 01:00:55 CU, sign of Eschwege. According to Lowell Thomas, the town was filled with civilian snipers, and they expected to be shot at any minute. Driving around town. Trucks filled with soldiers. Officers smoking, group in a Timberwolf jeep, CUs. Soldier holds a rifle before a local (or captured?) man leaning against a doorway. Two officers greet a well-dressed civilian couple. Back in Eschwege, soldiers on tanks in the towns' streets. "Little Rebel" airplane. Officers gathered around a little white car. "Sad Sack" on plane. Instruments of transport, pan up to pilot's window, preparing for return flight to Paris. Aerial view flying over German town, the Rhine, and the city of Koblenz. Pilots talking to each other. Aerial view of Eiffel Tower. GIs in Paris streets. Newspaper headlines, "La Wehrmacht est coupee..." Crowded street corner by the underground. 01:05:58 CU, survivors with striped hats and armbands. Stars and Stripes headline, "Nazis Crack Up". Soldiers at an outdoor café. Hotel Scribe. Two officers speaking. CUs, three military men converse on a busy street corner by the "Old England". More conversations in the streets with male and female military personnel, some decorated. 01:08:49 Johannes Steele gets onto the plane at the airport in Paris. Aerial view of journey to Marseilles. Howard Barnes, asleep in the p ane. Aerial view of the Rhone Valley and the Mediterranean intercut with shots of Barnes sleeping. The flight lands in Marseilles. Bombed air hangar in BG, and Barnes is asleep. The group makes way to lunch. Conducting Officer Maj. Mehan is ushered into plane by George Combs. Views over the Mediterranean Sea on the way to Italy, and Barnes is still sleeping. Aerial view of the outskirts of Rome, the railroad, the Tiber, and the bay of Naples. CU, Lt. General Joseph Cannon, Commander of the 9th Air Forces at his headquarters in Caserta. Quincy Howe and George Barnes beside and behind Cannon. Flying over and to Florence, where the party enters the Excelsior Hotel, and Barnes is asleep. 01:11:28 LS, Bailey Bridge on the foundation of the Old Santa Brinita Bridge destroyed by the Germans. Two Italian military guards on the bridge. LS, Ponte Vecchio. Five man shell boat passing under the bridge, pan showing the ruined part of town at the far side of the bridge. 01:12:05 An English captain sketches. Pan to Ponte Vecchio bridge. Two street vendors disagree. Old bearded man with his dog. View of Florence. Insignia on the fighter planes of the Brazilian Air Force based in Pisa. Cartoon and motto. A pilot climbs into his plane and taxis away. Pilot returns from mission, climbs out of plane, and shakes hands with the CO. 01:14:06 CU, sign: "Commanding General," General Mark Clark's headquarters outside Florence. The General and a few correspondents who came to interview him. CU, Joe Harsch on the left with Clark and another correspondent. They shake hands and say goodbye. The group takes off, views of wing of plane, clouds. HAV, airport with dozens of plane components. Mechanics repair #86. Soldiers greet others and review a map. Airplane takes off and lands. Americans and locals run towards a crashed plane and care for the wounded pilot. 01:16:59 The group flies to Rome. Sign, "CURFEW for all Allied troops in Rome at midnight." Two GIs walk by the Roman ruins. Italians and African soldiers play dice on the street. MS, St. Peters church. Policemen at a car on the piazza. The group visits the Vatican grounds and chambers - their cameraman is stopped by the guard. The Allied soldiers crowd inside the Vatican waiting for the Pope. A Swiss guard halts them at the door and the chamberlain hands out pictures. Soldiers exit and walk through the courtyard. Three guards in elaborate dress designed by Michelangelo. Man holding up a hand-made Communist flag with hammer and sickle. Mobs parading on the street on the morning of May Day (May 1, 1945) for a Communist demonstration. Truckload of demonstrators. CUs, band. More crowded street scenes. 01:19:58 Lowell Thomas's group boards plane with logo "The Air Transport Command / U.S. Army Air Forces" for Paris to prepare for V-E Day. Flying over Mediterranean islands and the coastline. Aerial shot of Arc de Triomphe in Paris. People buying newspapers with headlines, "Hitler est mort", "Hitler Dead", "Capitulation sans condition", "Jour de Victoire", "Victory". The city of Paris decorated with flags, crowds march down street with flags of Allied nations, going by Palace of Vendorne. Trucks filled with Americans, French, English, men, and women. CU, drunken American soldier and sailor embrace. Man holds tricolor French flag on top of truck piled with people. Crowd gathers in the Champs Elysees. Thousands march by the Arc de Triomphe and the Eternal Flame of the Unknown Soldier. Silhouette of the Arc de Triomphe.