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Nazi propaganda: war in the Balkans

Film | Accession Number: 1995.147.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0891 | Film ID: 29

This "Sonderbericht der Deutschen Wochenschau" [Special report of the German weekly newsreel] starts on April 4, 1941 with footage of Goebbels addressing the German people via radio and von Ribbentrop delivering diplomatic letters to the ambassadors of Yugoslavia and Greece. Then soldiers, armored personal carriers, and tanks cross the Yugoslav border into Croatia from Styria, thus opening the Southeastern front of WWII after an alleged 'new provocation by the British.' German Stukas [dive fighters] and Italian warplanes fly over Greek mountains. Serbian fortresses and bunkers are captured, Serbian soldiers and defectors are taken prisoner, many of them wounded, whereas the Croatian and Slovenian population reportedly welcome the 'German liberators.' Villages are 'cleansed' from snipers and partisans, resistance is 'unrelentingly exterminated,' a 'captured Jewish officer' is shown (05:16:02). General Weichs is shown in uniform. The Slovenian city of Maribor is 'liberated,' while many Volksdeutsche [ethnic Germans] cheer. Nis (Serbia) is bombed by warplanes, the Iron Gates of the Danube are captured. The German army and Waffen-SS approach Belgrade from the Bulgarian border. After heavy shelling by warplanes, German troops invade Belgrade as the seat of the "Kriegsbrandstifter" [war incendiaries] on the Balkans. Special mention is given to the Gespensterdivision [army unit with a specter as symbol]. Most of the battle scenes were allegedly shot by Propagandakompanien [propaganda units of the army] following the soldiers closely into the fight.

Film Title
War in the Balkans
Event:  1941 April 04
Production:  1941
Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Berlin, Germany
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:52:04
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