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Anti-Nazi, pro-Soviet film about the Ukraine

Film | Accession Number: 2004.724.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4108 | Film ID: 2736

Film illustrating the effect on the Ukraine of the Nazi invasion there in 1941. The perspective is pro-Soviet and anti-Nazi (it was produced by the US Government). The film opens in the city of Lvov. People wearing native costume parade along a street, then shots of civilians marching and giving the Soviet salute. The narration speaks of the divided, oppressed Ukrainians and the freedom and unity they found under Joseph Stalin's rule. The camera focuses on a reviewing stand full of Soviet officials but Stalin does not appear to be among them. The camera pans across an aerial view of Kiev, described by the narrator as "the spiritual home of every Ukrainian." People on a field perform calisthenics while the narrator discusses the hoped-for future of the youth of the Ukraine. More shots of the parade and women in native costume. Panning shot along fruit trees, symbol of the garden that Ukraine might have been. German planes in the sky drop bombs. Destruction, burning buildings and fields, distressed livestock. Ukrainians on the roads with livestock and farm equipment, fleeing the German advance. Shots of German soldiers, described by the narrator as "those creatures," moving across the landscape. One kicks in the door of a home. Hermann Goering, the "murderer in chief" is shown entering a home. The narrator states that Goering is in the Ukraine "looking for loot." Goering inside the house, then outside again. The scene switches to show Ukrainian men and women defending their country -- digging fortifications, laying sandbags. Fighting and war damage. The narrator notes that "thousands and thousands of Romanians met their death outside Odessa." However, eventually "the defenders of Odessa had to retreat." Their retreat was covered by the ship Red Ukraine, which is shown discharging its guns. The next part of the film extolls the virtues of the Soviet Union. Various shots of Moscow as the narrator states that the Soviet Union and its people are continuing to fight to defend humanity and to sacrifice everything in the fight against Hitler. Stalin is shown speaking as the narrator says that "the people have shown their immense patriotism and their deep affection for Joseph Stalin." People working in factories in the Urals, where Ukrainians also came to work. Women making small bombs on an assembly line. Tanks rolling out of factories and on a snow-covered battle field. Scenes of fighting then pan across debris and cross-shaped grave markers in the snow. The narrator says that "the huns, the enemies of mankind... will not forget the Russian Steppes.... their corpses at Stalingrad." Film breaks off -- this is one of several reels.

Event:  1941
Production:  1947?
Kyiv (Kiev), Soviet Union
Odessa, Soviet Union
Lviv (Lvov), Poland
Moscow, Soviet Union
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:02:06
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