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Death of Fritz Todt

Film | Accession Number: 2003.458 | RG Number: RG-60.3910 | Film ID: 2691

List of "Kriegsberichter": Dr. Aletan, Blenck, Buhlmann, Dressler, Elton, Ertl, Frentz, Frickhoeffer, Garms, Gessl, Grund, Hapke, Hardacker, Hornschu, Jacobi, Koenig, Komor, Lehmann, Mahla, Olesko, Onasch, v. Reibnitz, Sakeus, Schmidmeier, Alfred Scholz, Hans Scholz, Schwennicke, Thoemmes, Wenig.

Tribute to Dr. Fritz Todt and the works of the Organisation Todt, including construction of the Autobahn and the Westwall. Todt walks with other officials. He hands out shovels to workers, who march with the shovels over their shoulders. The narrator states that construction of the Autobahn began in fall of 1933. Nice shots of the construction of the Autobahn. Close-up of Todt at a construction site and being thanked by Hitler for his work. The narrator links the construction of the Autobahn, some 7,000 bridges, and other civilian projects with the beginning of the war and the construction of the Westwall and munitions manufacturing. Good shots of cars traveling along completed sections of the Autobahn; members of Hitler Youth and League of German Girls waving down from an overpass. Todt in an office with another man, studying a map or blueprints. Shots of construction of the Westwall. A close-up of a drawing of a tank and then men constructing a tank. Interior of a factory with rows of tanks, shown from different angles. Todt visits various construction sites or factories near the front (in the east - shot of road signs pointing toward Gorki and Witebsk, in Belarus). He speaks with workers and soldiers. Close-up of the medals worn by the workers. Construction of bridges and roads in the east. More construction, including shots of workers wearing "Organisation Todt" armbands. Todt at the Fuehrerhaupquartier with Hitler. Founded in 1938, the Organisation Todt was a state construction agency. It was initially created to construct various military facilities, the first of which was Germany's western defense line, the so-called "Westwall." The ranks of the OT were first filled with German men who were fulfilling their labor service obligations. During the war, however, the OT was eventually subsumed into the Wehrmacht engineering corps and organized along military lines. Its German personnel were outfitted with uniforms and armbands, but due to the demands of the war, the OT also utilized thousands of foreign forced laborers and prisoners of war, including concentration camp inmates and Jews. Fritz Todt remained the head of the OT until his death in a plane crash in February 1942, after which the OT was directed by Albert Speer.

01:05:12 01:05:14 Funeral of Todt. Cortege of tanks traveling down a snowy road, saluted by German soldiers. The camera focuses on the flag-draped coffin, which is on its way to Berlin. View from the train as it travels toward Berlin. Train pulling into the station and the coffin being unloaded. Crowds of military and civilians paying respects, giving Heil Hitler salute. Lots of good shots of the coffin and people with somber expressions. The coffin is taken into the Reichskanzlei. Interior of the Reichskanzlei; flags at half-mast. Hitler greeting and offering condolences to people in black (presumably family members). Goering is also present. Somber music. Interior of Reichskanzlei, where crowds are seated for the funeral. Brief shot of Hitler speaking. Front row of funeral, including family members and Goering. Hitler paying his respects and laying an enormous wreath on the coffin. More ceremony as the coffin is carried out, people leave, and the cortege moves slowly down the street, watched by crowds. The narrator lists Todt's accomplishments.

Event:  1942 February
Production:  1942 February 19
Berlin, Germany
Soviet Union
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of George R. Wheeler
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:43:14
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