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German activity at the Westwall and the French border

Film | Accession Number: 2003.122 | RG Number: RG-60.4283 | Film ID: 2552

Title on screen: Ozaphan 12/39 Monatschau; Die Wacht am Westwall [The watch on the West wall]. The West wall was a German defense line along the western German border. Two German soldiers sit on a hilltop overlooking a river. One looks through binoculars and points into the distance. German soldiers march down into a concrete bunker (part of the West wall) with a relief of a soldier carved around the doorway. Soldiers running around a structure that appears to be camouflaged with tree limbs. A cannon, camouflaged with tree branches, rises up out of the woods. Germans fire cannons, presumably from the bunker. Title on screen: Von den Franzosen geraeumte deutche Grenzorte [The German areas from which the French have been removed]. A sign in front of a town reads "Herbitzheim" (?). Brief panning shot across destroyed houses. Title on screen: Hier hausten Marokkaner [Moroccans resided here]. Interior of a destroyed house. Title on screen: Hinterhaeltig angelegte Sprengladungen [Cunningly laid explosives]. German soldiers reconnoiter amongst ruins of houses. Explosions issue from the interiors of a couple of houses. The Germans find explosives wired to the underside of a cart. They take shelter as the cart explodes. A person, possibly a civilian, appears briefly in a doorway. Title: Franzoesische Gefangene [French prisoners]. French prisoners march through a field, smoking cigarettes; prisoners being driven off in the back of a vehicle under German guard. Title on screen: Deutsche Lautsprecher bringen __ Franzosen Musik und Aufklaerende Nachrichten [German loudspeakers bring the French music and illuminating news]. German soldiers play instruments and set up loudspeakers. A group of soldiers looks through binoculars across the border (?), where French soldiers can be seen dancing. The Germans unroll and erect a banner with a large message on it in French. The whole message is not readable, but the first word is "Pourquois." Title on screen: Luftballons bringen Druckschriften hinueber [Balloons take leaflets across]. German soldiers send several bunches of balloons, with rolled paper leaflets attached, aloft over a large tarp of some kind, probably over the border. Title on screen: Unsere Luftwaffe haelt scharfe Wacht [Our Luftwaffe observes a strict watch]. Luftwaffe members, shot from below, look through binoculars from atop some structure. A brief shot of a row of planes on the ground. A group of men with a large weapon of some kind. A German positions the barrel of a cannon, which is camouflaged with foliage. Title on screen: Geschossene franzoesische Flugzeuge [Shot-down French planes]. Germans in the woods inspect the wreckage of French planes. One of the soldiers hoses down a still-smoking plane. Title on screen: Die "Royal Oak" und "Repulse" in Scapa Flow torpediert [The Royal Oak and Repulse, which were torpedoed in the Scapa Flow]. Views of several ships, including at least one submarine. Some shots show sailors aboard, presumably British. Title on screen: Begeisterer Empfang der kuehnen U-Boot-Besatzung in Berlin [Joyful reception of the brave U boat crew in Berlin]. Crowds surround an airplane, from which naval officers disembark. Close up shots of one of the officers and one of the sailors, smiling at the camera. Scene shifts to an officer traveling in a motorcade down a Berlin street. Excited crowds salute and press against the barricades. They are held back by police. Title on screen: Staatspraesident Dr. Tiso begruesst die siegreichen slowakischen Seeresperbaende [State president Dr. Tiso greets the victorious Slovakian ??]. Jozef Tiso, president of Slovakia, reviews troops. Another man pins medals on an officer. Soldiers marching.

Event:  December 1939
Berlin, Germany
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Claranne Bechtler
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:46:10
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