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Activation of the Volkssturm

Film | Accession Number: 2009.244.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4868 | Film ID: 2866

DW 738/1944 (October 25, 1944) Men of the Volkssturm march down the street. Posters and newspaper articles about the Volkssturm (People's Assault), which was the militia activated near the end of the war to defend Germany from the approaching Allies. The Volkssturm consisted of those males previously considered unfit for military service, including boys younger than 16 and men up to age 60. Shot of a crowded recruiting station for the Volkssturm. Men fill out paperwork and speak to recruiters. A boy staffs the station where 16-18 year olds should register. Himmler speaks about Hitler's decree at a battle monument in Leipzig (original sound of Himmler's speech). Shots of the audience listening. Shot of General Heinz Guderian. Volkssturm members at a rally in the district of Annaberg. Aerial shot of 10,000 Volkssturm members (according to the narrator) in an eastern district (Katowice, according to the Library of Congress newsreel finding aid). They are addressed by their Gauleiter. Shots of various signs, including: "People rise up - the storm breaks loose!"; "No sacrifice is too great for success"; and "The call of the Fuehrer is a holy command." The narrator says that the members of the Volkssturm are ready to protect the fatherland with their blood. Shots of the huge crowds and of individual faces. The men cheer and raise their rifles in the air. The Volkssturm battalion marches through the city, saluted and cheered by crowds of onlookers. More narration about how determined the members of the Volkssturm are to fight to the end. There is a brief interruption in the image. The newsreel breaks off abruptly.

Event:  1944 October
Censor:  10/25/1944
Katowice, Poland
Leipzig, Germany
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:04:15
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