U.S. soldiers stateside; providing first aid to German prisoners; war damage in France; refugees load carts; captured Germans; softball
(b/w) Amphibious landing drill at Martha's Vineyard (1943). U.S. soldiers stand on a beach and load a small artillery piece and a jeep onto an amphibious transport. The jeep hood is marked with a star, and the transport is marked LCV68. The transport takes off. Another boat marked LCV92 comes to shore and soldiers step off. Camera pans across the beach as similar transports arrive. One very large transport, marked 494, lands and unloads trucks and larger artillery pieces.
01:02:07 (color) Military drill (1943). U.S. soldiers in uniform (not battle dress) stand at attention outside camp tents. Officers present G.C. medals and the soldiers go on to march.
01:03:41 (b/w) In France, a U.S. soldier by the road (1944). A medic bandages a German prisoner and provides first aid. Camera pans across a small river with a demolished bridge. View of Reims, France (1944); buildings have been damaged by war. Soldiers set up tents in the woods. Convoy of jeeps drive down a country road (near Chalons, France). French school children stand in a field with the American soldiers, posing for the camera. A shot of the countryside, hills and woods covered with fog or smoke. There appear to be ruins of an aqueduct. Shots from a moving vehicle of a hillside town and a tower on a hillcrest (still in France?).
01:07:35 (b/w) In a small town square in Germany (1944), refugees load ox-drawn carts to leave.
01:08:20 (b/w) GIs march and stand at attention and receive Bronze Star medals (1945). MS, the cameraman (a soldier). Two U.S. army transport trucks filled with captured prisoners of war (German soldiers) pass the camera (1945). 01:09:48 A high-ranking German approaches the camera with a white armband of surrender. Quick sequence of a group of U.S. soldiers at the entrance to a house; captured Germans enter the building, perhaps to aid in the official surrender of the German battalion.
01:09:58 (b/w) American soldiers play softball on an empty lot at the edge of town.
Record last modified: 2020-08-04 09:20:04
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Also in Lt. Col. Frederick Kenison Collection
Experts at Northeast Historic Film in Maine alerted Archive staff to a collection of private films shot by an American liberator and facilitated duplication for the Museum. The Lt. Col. Frederick Kenison Collection offers a view of the experiences of American troops confronted by the reality of war and Nazi atrocities in the spring of 1945. The 8mm black and white and color home movies document the years 1943 to 1945 when Lt. Col. Kenison served in the US Army in France and Germany. He filmed refugees, the liberation of a concentration camp, Hitler’s headquarters near Berchtesgaden, American soldiers, and German prisoners of war. A selection of his films were screened during the 8th Annual Home Movie Day in New Hampshire in October 2010.
Picture is extremely dark and it is difficult to make out what it is - could be piles of bodies at a camp near a barbed wire fence or some kind of military encampment. Interior of a trailer with a personal effects (gloves, photograph of a woman hanging by the window, books, pistol and holster) possibly belonging to a SS officer (1945). Outside, soldiers unload a truck in Rippig, Germany with framed art, furniture, and other items. A steam shovel is used to clean debris from wrecked homes in an effort to clear the streets in bombed Frankfurt in 1945. There is a very quick incongruous split-second shot of a soldier being thrown into the air. 01:13:24 Soldiers walk about a makeshift aerodrome with C-47 planes. Some planes taxi. Soldiers unloading equipment, including gas. 01:14:29 Mountains of debris and wreckage in Frankfurt, almost completely destroyed by bombing. Glimpse of a theater. 01:15:00 Driving along a country road, past a river dam. Shot of Lt. Col. Kenison's army jeep with a trailer in haul. Another shot of the countryside, then cut to a long shot of people crossing a makeshift bridge over a creek into Bamberg, Germany (1945). Two soldiers relax and cool down by the riverside. There is a large encampment of captured prisoners (or civilians) on the side of the road out in a field. Surrendered German materials and vehicles scattered in a field. 01:17:12 The camera lingers over corpses exhumed from a mass grave. 01:18:36 GIs on R&R enjoy another game of softball. They gather around a truck where they take a drink from a water barrel. They swim at an Olympic diving pool. Some of them sit shirtless and play in a music ensemble while others watch and listen. 01:24:01 CU of the Battalion's flag with an American eagle emblem. Cut to a headquarters room with maps tacked to the walls.
Driving in the countryside around Munich (1945), now in the area around Berchtesgaden. Beautiful shot of the Alps mountains while driving over a river. Soldiers stop alongside the road and enjoy a moment in the sun. A convoy pulls up to the wreckage of Hitler's headquarters at Berchtesgaden. The camera looks down from the mountainside onto a large group of military vehicles gathered in the valley below. Mountain scenes taken from the Eagle's nest. 01:31:03 Soldiers hike in the mountains, then have a picnic on the hood of a jeep (1945). Views of the Isaar River in Munich. CU, archway with insignia and text. Soldiers (with the A Battery) are gathered in formation in city square, then march through city. Civilians walk about. Soldiers exit a church. CUs of a GI walking towards the camera. View of a large cathedral. 01:35:05 Soldiers heat a meal over a fire, using railroad tracks as a grill. GIs wait about at the train station, mingling with the locals/displaced persons, who appear to be packing up and heading out as well. Interior of train with GIs toasting. Loading the boxcars with civilian belongings (sign on a building behind the train reads "Mainz") and locals. The American soldiers march off to mess.