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Ships in iced-over Rhein; Sinking of English ship; "Altmark" in Norway

Film | Accession Number: 2003.122 | RG Number: RG-60.3924 | Film ID: 2700

01:00:00 Line of troops walking across chunks of snow and ice, wearing dark clothing that makes them stand out. Mountains in background. Brief shot of a large boat, which appears to be stuck in the ice. Title: "Pioniere setzen mit Schlauchbooten ueber den vereisten Rhein" [Engineers set up inflatable dinghies on the frozen Rhein]. The engineers use a foot pump to inflate a dinghy, then a wide shot of groups of men pushing the dinghies across the snow. Troops running with packs on their backs; they arrive at the edge of the Rhein and toss their supplies into the inflatable boats. They board the boats and paddle out into the river. The Rhein is clogged with big chunks of ice and snow but there is still water visible. The last shot shows two boats being carried downstream by the current.

01:00:34 Title: "Uebung deutscher Schlachtschiffe bei schwerem Eisgang" [German battleship maneuvers in difficult river ice]. Views from the forward deck of a ship as it plows through ice-covered water. Shot of the water churning with ice. Waves breaking over the bow of the ship. A naval man on deck looking out over the water with binoculars. More shots of the ship from different vantage points. Several shots of the ships' guns being fired, explosions in the water.

01:01:13 Title: "Deutscher Flieger versenken bewaffnete englische handelsdampfer" [German pilots sink armed English cargo ships] View from the cockpit of a plane flying low over the ocean as it shoots at and sinks two British ships. Various views of the damaged and sinking ships, including a shot of one of the ships as the top of its masts sink below the surface of the ocean.

01:02:00 Title: "Das Verbrechen an der "Altmark" im Joessingfjord, Februar 1940" [The crimes against the "Altmark" in the Joessing fjord, February 1940]. View of a snow-covered valley village. The "Altmark" in the harbor. A group shot of wounded sailors on deck, looking into the camera. Sailors disembark, one carried on a stretcher. Interior hospital scene with patients in bed and a nurse assisting them. Doctors examine patients. A shot of the Nazi flag being lowered to half-mast and somber men carrying a flag-draped coffin and lowering it into the ground (a banner laid across the coffin reads "Den Kongelige Norske Marine"). Funeral-goers give the Nazi salute. A close-up of a banner or tablet reading "Adolf Hitler." UFA logo. The "Altmark" was a cargo vessel that took refuge in the Jossing Fjord (near Bergen, Norway) after being pursued by British and Norwegian ships. The Altmark was carrying some 300 British seamen who had originally been taken prisoner by the German pocket battleship Graf Spee in the South Atlantic. On the 16th of February, 1940, the British destroyer HMS Cossack entered the Fjord and captured the Altmark, gaining the release of the British prisoners and killing several German seamen. The Altmark was undamaged and allowed to return to Germany.

The titles repeat, one after the other. They are centered and do not run off the screen. 01:03:18

Event:  1940 February
Production:  1940
Jossing Fjord, Norway
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Claranne Bechtler
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:02:17
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