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Łódź becomes Litzmannstadt

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.725.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4341 | Film ID: 2796

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    Łódź becomes Litzmannstadt


    Germans build new planned city for German Volk. Łódź before and after being "rebuilt." Stroll through town, labor camps, city street.

    LS panorama of city. Animap highlights darkened area "Wandalen" (early history of Vandals and Germanic occupation of area). CU stone surrounding circular metal object, pull out to reveal museum (archeological?) cases of vases. "Das Gefaess Aus Biala..." label on one of the vases. Swastika carved into urn. CU of ornamental crosses and other objects, spearheads, helmets. Map of Sudetenland and Warthegau, extreme Eastern edge, points to Litzmannstadt (Łódź), arrows indicated Germanic peoples from the west converging on Litzmannstadt.

    Series of graphics about population totals in 1820, 1821, 1825, 1840, 1906, 1915, and 1940 and the amount of land the city covered in those periods. LS Tilt down chimney to large building empty street, short pan right. MS of pan left along sidewalk and people walking, horse carriage, "Alfons Pegel" on wall above window and door. LS pan past large handsome estate. LS trolley cars rounding into square, VS of building fronts including bank branch. Title at top of otherwise blank screen, "Bevolkerungsentwicklung in Litzmannstadt" fades up to large cartoon character labelled "Polen 66%" and small character labelled "Juden 34%" in 1820, then in 1915, "53% Polen," "33% Juden," and "Deutsche 14%," for a total of 423,000 residents. Buildings, church, then almost 360 degree pan of central square (Adolf Hitler Platz). Pan right shot of rooftops. MLS of man's back as he walks down hallway corridor. Pan of modest room, woman cooking at stove, bed in corner, open window. CU gaslight hooks, view of long alleyway. Long table of men eating a meal. MCU of urinals. Tilt up from CU of water/sanitation drain, pouring out of gutter drain to mucky alleyway. Travelling shot along brick wall, people at window, and people walking at end of alley/muddy street. CU Fluid coming up out of storm drain with label "Łódź", following water down sidewalk, woman emptying bucket, CU of sidewalk stones, lower half of two men walking, CU of hand ringing bell, CU of pail being filled with water. AV of people at water wagon. MS man turns large wheel to pump water into bucket. CU of horse legs, then wooden wagon wheel rolling through muck, shot down nearly deserted street. LS of deserted area perhaps partially flooded, car in distance, CU of shoes walking in mud, tilt up to large empty muddy lot surrounded by fence, buildings on other side. Woman walks past corner of building. This sequence is apparently meant to illustrate the primitive, dirty "before" stage in the Łódź to Litzmannstadt transformation. German army enters city down wide boulevard into main plaza. Helmetless German infantry marching in. Officer's car coming toward camera on cobblestone street. Men salute. CU of older man's portrait, wearing iron cross. MLS of crosses in cemetery? MS Good shots of many civilian men digging at a construction site. LS Pan right to huge construction site area. Trolley car running along edge of fenced off area. Map showing Litzmannstadt in eastern German Reich not far from border with General Gouvernment. Arrows from all directions converge on Litzmannstadt, illustrating the movement of Volksdeutsch from eastern territories into Łódź. Painting of heroic figure in heavy coat in winter, seems to be wagon train behind him. Then in large letters "Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, Einsatzstab Lodsch, Einsatzfuhrung der Wolhynien und Galiziendeutsche Hinterhaus I Stock" next screen "Verbindungsstab Danzig Westpr. Ansiedlung Bessarabien, hof links III Stock." "Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle" sign above door, swastika. Bus comes past gate which has sign "Gemeinschaftslager Volksdeutschen Mittelstelle [resettlement camp]," people from bus walking into courtyard including men in military uniforms and civilian men women and children. MS interior, people in line, pan as man goes forward to present papers to officer. CU of officer checking file, pulls out envelope and tags and hands to another military man. CU of civilian face. Document is marked and civilian man goes outdoors. (these people have probably been assigned to houses of persons whose property has been expropriated.)

    [A portion of this film is missing here, which corresponds to Story 3555 or Reel 2 at NARA.]

    LS long pan right of construction site, intriguing shot of people scurrying around on both sides of barrier and on upper level in BG. [Could some of these people be Jews?] LS from high angle, pan right of construction site and materials in FG, buildings in BG. Pan left of relatively flat area with tracks in FG and carts in distance. Trolley in BG. MLS of area where bricks are being made. CU of man getting canister of water as he goes to other men mixing cement. MS pan left as bricklayers work on building. CU in FG men digging ditch, man grabs woman playfully, new buildings in BG. Pan of new buildings at construction site. Landscaped model of new town. CU "Warning Construction" sign, CU dumping and laying of rocks for roadbed, MS of men doing this, CU to tilt up of men working on new trolley track. CU new curbstones, neat and clean and edge of sidewalk. MS of milk? cart pulled by horses through construction site, pan to LS of new road being prepared. MLS VS construction work. CU Construction panel for town waterworks, lists various companies involved i.e. Lissner, Siemens. Pan right of construction site to waterworks building, pulley in FG. Pan right and down to dedication ceremony? LS of Nazi official at swastika-draped podium, small crowd of men gathered around. Pan left across street and newly paved open area houses in BG as people walk past camera. Shot of open field (next to be developed?). CU of canal, LS of people working at edge, walk along. FG men pushing heavy cart full of rocks or dirt, BG same activity, then tilt cart to empty. LS woman paddles canoe on lake. LS kids dive off bridge into water, pan right to people boating along tree lined waterway. Picturesque view of house. MS people including Nazi officers with child walk up to zoo entrance (Tierpark). LS groups of people walking down tree lined path, shot of park, then patting camels. CU of monkeys in cage, bear being hosed down, tiger, lion cub. Main park in Łódź, film advertising the various leisurely things to do in the city. Many people seated outdoors at tables around large gazebo. MCU of large handsome building to interior shot of students getting music lessons in classroom, playing piano, violin, flute, then shot of recital in large ornate room. LS of front of town concert center with swastika banners. Interior as LS of orchestra playing and audience. CU of audience.
    Event:  1941
    Production:  1940 April-1940 September
    Łódź [Litzmannstadt], Poland
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Filmoteka Narodowa

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    01:15:00:00 to 01:34:49:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2796 Video: VHS - 1/2 inch - PAL
      Master 2796 Video: VHS - 1/2 inch - PAL
      Master 2796 Video: VHS - 1/2 inch - PAL
      Master 2796 Video: VHS - 1/2 inch - PAL
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2796 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2796 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2796 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2796 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Federal Republic of Germany. Bundesarchiv.
    Conditions on Use
    Researchers who wish to use this footage should contact the Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv at to sign a release, or submit the online request form at:

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased this collection of segments from the WFDiF (Documentary and Feature Film Studio, Film Archive) in Warsaw, Poland in December 2004.
    See also Story 638, Film ID 303 for another version of this film, obtained from NARA.
    Film Source
    Filmoteka Narodowa
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 4642
    Source Archive Number: MF 0873 R1+2
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:56:00
    This page:

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