Amateur footage filmed on the Eastern front by a German soldier
- Event Date
Smolensk, Soviet Union
- Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of La Camera Stylo
Date: Fall/winter 1941 - 1942. Panning shots of a Russian village, with thatched-roof peasant huts and a tall white Russian orthodox church. 00:06:25 A Wehrmacht officer stands beside a road sign that indicates the village is near Roslavl, in the Smolensk Oblast', a province in the Ukraine along the border between Poland and the USSR. Cut to a once-grand, stone, Neoclassical building (church, theater, administrative building?) now in disrepair, with many German soldiers walking about. German soldiers with horse-drawn wagons march down a road through a destroyed section of city or town, possibly Smolensk. Panning shots of destroyed buildings.
00:7:47 - 00:08:28
Location: In or near Smolensk [La Camera Stylo says date is late summer 1941 but there are only a few leaves on the trees so it is probably fall at the earliest]. The camera pans down the bodies of two men hanging from trees. They wear signs that indicate in both German and Russian that they have been executed for arson. It is a public area, with civilian pedestrians and German soldiers passing by behind the bodies. Quick shot of a Wehrmacht soldier posing amid numerous road signs
00:08:29 - 00:14:32
The date is now winter 1941/1942. German soldiers gather outside in the snow, while an officer (perhaps the same man seen at 00:06:25) addresses them. Several are awarded medals. Some of the men wear white caps and are probably not German. Perhaps they are local recruits, although this would not make sense unless the year were 1943 or later. Several shots of a frozen corpse, perhaps that of a Soviet army officer. Someone brushes snow off the corpse's face. 00:10:33 Head-to-toe panning shots of two men who have been hanged as Soviet partisans. One of the men is barefoot. Further images of destruction: bullet-riddled tanks, smoldering buildings. Civilians sift through the remains of destroyed buildings. 00:12:20 January, 1942. LS of people, possibly including women, clearing snow in front of a building. Shots of German soldiers' graves buried in deep snow. Soldiers and the same officer as before stand beside a freshly dug grave. The officer speaks to the men and salutes the grave. CU of the grave, marked with the name Willi Ziegler.
Record last modified: 2018-08-08 16:28:59
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1004548