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War in the East [original title Krieg im Osten]

Film | Accession Number: 1995.147.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0892 | Film ID: 29

This documentary in the style of a Wochenschau [weekly newsreel] depicts the 'irresistible' military advance of the German army on the Eastern front of WWII, its reception as 'liberators' by the respective populations, & the scorched earth left behind by the retreating Soviet troops. Scenes show the German-Finnish border & the polar circle the German army crossed in summer 1941 as they advanced toward the Soviet Union. German troops & Waffen-SS enter Lithuania from Eastern Prussia and cross the Memel River, advancing & taking the capital Kovno on June 24, 1941. In Daugavils (Latvia), political commissars & "Zuchthaeusler" [penitentiary inmates] fighting for the Soviet side are captured. On the way to Bialystok (Poland, occupied by USSR), an engineering corps constructs a bridge across the Bug River. During the attack on Grodno (Poland, occupied by USSR), captured Soviet POWs are described as "Sowjethorden" [Soviet hordes] and "Gesindel" [rabble] with the aim of 'bolshevizing Europe.' The population cheers during the invasion of the 'old Hanse city' of Riga (Latvia). Armed Latvians supporting the Germans are shown. "Ein Filmberichter bei der Arbeit" - film cameraman is barely visible (05:39:00) in midst of scene with tank, fires, movement, filming attacks on Soviet positions & tanks from Stukas [dive fighters]. In the Lithuanian city of Jonava, the synagogue and Jewish quarter are said to be the only parts of town spared by the 'Jewish GPU-commissars' from widespread arson. Shots of Jews, with narration: "Juedische Ghettotypen, Abschaum der Menschheit" [Jewish ghetto guys, scum of mankind]. In Siauliai (Lithuania), pictures of Stalin are ripped & a German Frontzeitung [Front newspaper] is distributed. In the midst of heavy street-fighting in Liepaja (Lithuania), uniformed Kriegsberichter [war reporters] are shown with movie cameras, photographic cameras & notepads. Finally, the commentator thanks the German soldiers for the 'rescue of Europe' from the "bolschewistische Weltfeind" [Bolshevist world enemy]. The film ends with the song "Führer befiehl, wir folgen dir!" [Leader command, we follow you !].

Event:  1941-1942
Kaunas, Lithuania
Riga, Latvia
Soviet Union
Jonava, Lithuania
Bialystok, Poland
Helsinki, Finland
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:04:21
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