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Mogilev; Smolensk; Vinnitsa -- German capture

Film | Accession Number: 2003.458 | RG Number: RG-60.3903 | Film ID: 2688

Map showing Mogilev and Smolensk. Interior with officers studying documents (map?) on a table. The narrator indicates that this is a conference of the army high command. An attack is being decided upon. A soldier at a typewriter types up the orders, which will be distributed to the field. The battle starts, represented by a shot of a howitzer firing. Shirtless German soldiers operate artillery. The narrator identifies the location as Vinnitsa. Long shots of smoke rising from the countryside. The "Armeefuehrer" arrives in a plane to observe the conflict. German soldiers push their bicycles and march across a field. The narrator indicates that they are marching towards Mogilev and that their way is now free; shots of destruction in the town, including burning buildings. The narrator says that Mogilev has been mostly destroyed by the Soviets as they retreated. More shots of burning buildings and destruction. German soldiers set up equipment in communist party headquarters, which are "for the first time being put to a meaningful use." We are told that the electricity produced by the equipment will be used to run medical machinery. This narration is accompanied by shots of the interior of a hospital or infirmary, with patients, doctors, and various equipment. A flag with a cross is shown flying outside the building.

01:13:12 Pan across a Soviet air field, now captured by the Germans. The hangars and planes on the field have been badly damaged by German bombs. Close-up on a bullet-riddled Soviet star on the side of a plane. The narrator indicates that the Soviet air force as a whole is in a similar state. Further shots of damaged planes; stirring music. Panning shots of cannons and tanks, also damaged. Pan across crowds of Soviet POWS sitting on a hillside. Many are in civilian clothes. The narrator says that in the first weeks of the war, hundreds of thousands of Soviets have given up their weapons and themselves. Brief close-ups of Soviets in civilian clothes. Long columns of prisoners marching along a road, raising dust. Close-ups of some of their faces. Almost all of these prisoners wear uniforms.

01:15:43 German soldiers walking beside a damaged and smoking railroad car and tracks. The narrator identifies the region as Smolensk. After fourteen days of fighting, the Germans have won. Shots of still-smoking railroad cars, which have been bombed by German Stukas. A German military vehicle with several soldiers aboard races past the destroyed transport train. The scene switches to the city of Smolensk in flames. Germans run along a street, avoiding snipers. The narrator observes that the troops entered Smolensk on 16 July [1941], but that according to British and Soviet propaganda, Smolensk was still in Soviet hands two weeks later. More street fighting, and capture and search of Soviets wearing civilian clothes. The narrator claims that they are soldiers who have put on civilian clothing. A line of men in civilian clothing, with hands raised, marches toward the camera.

Event:  1941
Production:  1941 August 06
Mogilev, Belarus
Smolensk, Soviet Union
Vinnitsa, Ukraine
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of George R. Wheeler
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:59:39
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