- “GERMANY” "THE RHINE” Dark shots from from a boat on the Rhine River of the surrounding area. Castle on the hill. Trees. Smokestacks of boats on the water. The castle wall on the edge of a hill. Waterfront. Smaller castle on a terraced hill. “HALL IN WUERTEMBURG” Schwäbisch Hall, a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Steep stairs lead up to St. Michael’s Church. Houses line the slanted road. Nazi flag. St. Michael’s Church. Young girl approaches the camera, joined by a young boy and mother.
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Ann Major
Ralph H. Major
Ralph H. Major, MD (1884-1970) was an American doctor from Kansas City, Missouri teaching medicine at the University of Munich in the 1930s. His children, Ralph Jr. (b. 1920) and John (b. 1924), attended a boarding school in Marquartstein, Germany during the time. His wife Margaret (b. 1891) and daughter Virginia (b. 1926) visited them in Europe in the summers of 1933, 1934 and 1937. Major captured several reels of 16mm film of Albania and Yugoslavia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, and England.
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- Conditions on Access
- You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Conditions on Use
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum places no restrictions on use of this material. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this film footage.
- Copyright Holder
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Keywords & Subjects
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- Film Provenance
- Ann Major contributed her grandfather's film collection for study and analysis to Snowden Becker's graduate level seminar on home movies at the University of California at Los Angeles in Spring 2016. Ms. Becker contacted the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's film archivist about Major's home movies of Europe and Ms. Major then donated 18 of the 42 original 16mm films to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in November 2016.
- Film Source
- Ms. Ann Major
- Special Collection
Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive
- Record last modified:
- 2023-11-07 12:18:25
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Also in Ralph H. Major Home Movie Collection
The Ralph H. Major Home Movie collection is comprised of 42 reels of 16mm film, 18 of which have been donated to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The films cover an American family (from Kansas) traveling in Europe, events, and holidays from 1927 to 1954. Locations include Albania, Yugoslavia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, England, and the United States. Ralph H. Major was teaching at the University of Munich in the mid-1930s. Ralph Jr. and his brother John attended a boarding school in Marquartstein, Germany. Their sister Virginia and mother Margaret joined for some of the trips. Highlights include footage of the dedication of the Haus der deutschen Kunst, the exhibition of Degenerate Art, and a Hitler parade in Munich.
"The Palio at Siena" Attending the horse race in Siena. HAS of riders dressed in elaborate costumes, marching band on streets. Crowd, balloons. Interiors, ceremony. Large crowd in square. 01:01:55 (switches to color). Procession of riders into the stadium, horses, flag-waving. Costumes represent the different city wards. 01:03:55 (switches to black and white) The cermony proceeds, including elaborate floats. Horse racing. Flag-waving. "The Cathedral at Orvieto" (color) VAR, EXT of the cathedral. 01:06:51 "The Ponte Vecchio at Florence" (color) Scenic views of homes along the river in Florence. 01:07:28 "San Marino The Oldest and Smallest Republic in the World" (black and white) Roman buildings built into the hillside in the enclave of San Marino. Cathedral. Mountains. "Venice The New Entrance" Road with one truck. Man dressed in white directs traffic. Pan of four-story building "Officina Autorizzata". Bridge over the canal in venice, boats, tourist views. Train. 01:10:22 "St Mark's Square" (color) St. Mark's Basilica and clocktower on Piazza San Marco in Venice. "A Funeral on the Grand Canal" (black and white) Funeral procession along the canal, flowers, clergy, coffin on decorated gondola, proceeds along the Grand Canal. Cafe. 01:14:07 "The Dolomites" Mountains, pine trees, lake. KODAK.
"Dubrovnik in Jugo-Slavia or Ragusa in Dalmatia" Sailors. Outdoor cafe, including a table with the Major family visiting from Kansas. Local people. Band performs. Pan up, church. Religious procession with young girls and boys. Harbor. "Bled The Summer Home of King Peter" (color) LS, lake and mountains in Bled with villas. Switches to black and white, marching soldiers. Rowboats on the lake in Bled. 01:12:30 KODAK
Home in Bavaria. The visiting Americans (the Major Family) and locals dine outdoors. CUs of individuals in the garden. "The Fire Department of Munich rescues a cat" Many specators watch a fireman climbing firetruck ladder to rescue a cat in a tree. 01:14:17 "In the Bavarian Tyrol" (color) EXT, buildings in Bavarian village. Men in traditional Bavarian dress. Decorated maypole for a folk ceremony with swastika symbols at the top. Street scenes, local shops. Hotel Alte Post (Anton Preisinger guest house) in Oberammergau. Bicycles. (changes back to black and white) Group of Hitler Youth with back-packs march along a country road. Different view of the HJ boys. Autobahn, "Ausfahrt" sign. KODAK
"FRANCE" Riverside. "Views of Paris" Street scenes in Paris. Seine. Book market. Street traffic with parked Coca-Cola truck. Shops. La Madeleine church. Arc de Triomphe and cafe. Le Figaro. Riverboats. Fountain. Children playing. Outdoor cafe. Pedestrians crossing the street. American-Express-Co building. 01:05:53 "The World's Fair In Paris" Pan up, Eiffel Tower. Crowds attend the World's Fair. Pavilions with fountains and monuments. 01:06:57 Nazi flag flying from the Germany pavilion. CUs of Great Britain and USA pavilions. Visitors. The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne was held from 25 May to 25 November 1937 in Paris, France. 01:07:54 "In the Tuileries Garden along the Champs Elysees" (color film, some damage with magenta dye) Garden views. People reading news. 01:10:00 "Cherbourg" (black and white) Workers on bicycles. Waterfront. Clocktower. American visitors (the Major Family) pose for camera. HAS, train station. Scouts. Sign: "VICHY Mai Octobre VICHY" People wait in the station. 01:11:29 "The 'Columbus' Arrives" Large ship approaches the port in Cherbourg. Crowd gathers to watch a young woman seated at a table rolling dice, sailors assist. "The End"
"GERMANY" "Lunch at Ettal" Beer hall in Ettal. Locals. The American family sits outdoors at cafe. "Munich" "American Express Co. Bavarians" Shops. People in Bavarian dress gathered outside the American Express store. "The Hofgarten" Outdoor cafe, waiter prepares meal. 01:02:32 "The Exhibition of Degenerated Art" INTs, Degenerate Art exhibit at the Archeological Institute in Munich in 1937 [ENTARTETE KUNST]. Modern artwork, sculptures, and paintings declared by the Nazis to be "degenerate" on gallery walls. Museum visitors. 01:03:34 "Haus der Deutschen Kunst | House of German Art" Building exterior. BDM girls. Outdoor cafe tables. 01:04:22 "The Dult or Flea Market in Munich" Busy market. "The Ludwigstrasse State Library Ludwigskirche" EXTs, Library and church on Ludwigstrasse. "The English Garden Benjamin Thompson Monument Chinese Pagoda" CUs, monument to Benjamin Thompson in the English Garden, and Chinese Pagoda. Dining outdoors. 01:06:42 "The Koenigsplatz New Government Buildings" City scenes. Reichsadler on government buildings in Koenigsplatz, the NSDAP center of Munich, including Das Braune Haus and Fuhrerbau. MS, Hitler Youth boys march across the square. Memorial, wreath. LS, Koenigsplatz, with swastika flag. 01:08:53 "Marienplatz with the Rathaus" (color) Busy Marienplatz in Munich. Pan up, neo-Gothic Rathaus building, tram, clocktower. "The Glockenspiel in the Rathaus Tower" Crowds gather on sidewalk in front of shops for the daily display of clock chimes (43 bells triggered by six different reels according to season) with 32 figurines (referring to motifs from the legend and history of Munich). CUs of the rotating figures. Spectators lining the streets, policeman directs traffic. 01:11:33 "The Deutsches Museum" EXT, museum in Munich. Sign, "Deutsches Museum" and front entrance.
"Peasants in the Fields" Farmers. "Rothenburg on the Tauber" (color) Bavarian district. Medieval buildings with lush plants. "Dinkelsbuhl" Facades of businesses with flowers, hotel, local civilians, street scenes. 01:04:02 (switches to black and white) Street views in Dinkelsbuehl. CU, entryway with memorial plaque. Schoolgirls in white walk in the road. 01:04:58 "Heidelberg" (color). Scenic views of castle in Heidelberg, river, bridge, and buildings. 01:07:06 "On the Rhine" Small group of musicians play instruments on the street. HAS, Autobahn with passing truck, overpass. "Coca-Cola" refreshment stand, INTs. Boat on the Rhine. People board the boat - "Koln-Dusseldorfer." Castles along the river. 01:09:10 "The Wine Festival at Oberwesel" Crowds gathered outdoors in Oberwesel for a wine festival. Couples dancing. Swastika flags. Cigarette and wine stands. Band. Crowd waiting by the river for boat. Sausages. Castle walls. Hotel-Restaurant-Rheinterrasse. Street. People with umbrellas observe a ceremony under covered gazebo. 01:12:07 Children hiking on grassy path, CUs. Women follow with rain ponchos. Scenic views of the Rhine river and castles, taken from a boat. Group of BDM girls with backpacks march along the road. More scenic shots of the Rhine and riverboats cruising. 01:14:55 "Two famous Castles Burg Gutenfels Burg Rheinstein" (color, some damage with magenta dye) LS, the castles, manicured gardens, and the Rhine river. KODAK
"ALBANIA" "Streets and Bazaars of Tirana" Street scenes in Tirana. Craftsmen line up across from the Et'hem Bey mosque (in front of what is now the entrance to the National Library). Shop with three boys. Cobblers making traditional wooden shoes called "nallane". MCUs, market, merchants selling wares. Artisans making "qeleshe", the traditional Albanian cap. Pottery-making. The old bazaar - crowded outdoor market. Pan up, Xhamia e Kokonozit mosque (torn down by the communists in 1967). 01:02:59 Street scenes with pedestrians and building (what is now the Avni Rustemi statue). Four American visitors (the Major Family) move towards the camera in a horse-drawn carriage. LS, bazaar with banner hanging above the street, locals, and two policemen. 01:04:05 "Market Day in Tirana" (color) Xhamia e Kokonozit Mosque. Main market in the center of Tirana. 01:05:01 Xhamia e vjeter (the Old Mosque) (sustained serious damage during battle between the communists and occupying Germans in November 1944; this is now the monument to the unknown partisan). LS, street scenes, pedestrians, bicycles, people sit on curb, children, shops, policemen. 01:06:12 "Friday in Tirana" More shots of the Xhamia e vjeter Mosque (black and white), with a well in the courtyard and man sitting at the entryway, engraved stones. 01:06:39 Brief shot of the Majors, Virginia waves to the camera. Men wash, and others enter the mosque. Herd of goats in the city streets by the Tomb of Kapllan Pasha (01:07:17). Et'hem Bey Mosque. Market scenes.
“OBERAMMERGAU” St. Peter and Paul Church in Oberammergau. World War I memorial. People seated at a restaurant. The inscription on the side of the memorial pillar. Other activities in town center. Bavarian-style buildings, people dining, crowded streets.
“HITLERJUGEND” Hitler Youth march in uniform down the street, the boys at the front play instruments followed by those carrying German and Nazi flags. Women at the end also carry flags. “DOG PARADE” Marching band. Officers with dogs, many are German shepherds. Horse-drawn float with a sign that reads, “Dachshunde.” The float is covered with pine trees, and (what looks like) a toy dachshund. Men and women follow, many walking dachshunds. Car with a Nazi flag draped across the front. Boy with “Foxterriers” sign, followed by folks walking fox-terriers. Procession of “Erdhunde” dogs and their owners. “Windhunde” announcing the greyhounds. Soldiers walk with this group, carrying Nazi and German flags.
“MARQUARTSTEIN.” Snow-covered castle in Bavaria. The American boys - Ralph (age 11) and John Major - in the doorway. They attended boarding school in Marquartstein. Sledding and skiing. “CARNIVAL” Carnival-goers, confetti. Young boys in costume march through the street. Many decorated floats, each introduced with a number on a sign. Some are animated with large paper mache moving parts. “Lufthansa” globe. Men in Native American outfits on horseback. “WAITING TO CLEAN UP. Men with brooms. “UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH” Triumphal arch in Munich. Cars pass the University of Munich where the American Ralph Major taught in mid-1930s. Man (Ralph?) speaks to women in front of the university. Men dressed identically look at bulletin board. Colonnaded entryway. “MUNICH HOFBRAUHAUS” Poster: “Droses Militarmufit Konzert.” Men drinking and smoking in the famous beer garden courtyard around barrel tables. Others sit on benches at long tables, eating soft pretzels with steins of beer. “THE KING OF BAVARIA.” A man chugs from his beer stein. Two men chat over a barrel, one in traditional German dress. A waitress carries four empty steins. Men drink, eat, and socialize.
“MARKET FREIBURG” Sellers and shoppers in the Munsterplatz Market in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. A man looks over goods in a large basket. “CORPUS CHRISTI DAY FREIBURG” Religious procession for Corpus Christi Day. Marching band. Young girls in white dresses wear flower wreaths on their heads. A large reliquary is carried down the street. German bishops, friars, and other clergymen march. Canopy. Marching band, men walking, and flag bearers.
“MUNICH” “LUDWIGSTRASSE.” People walk along Ludwigstrasse in Munich, some turn to look at the camera. “ODEONSPLATZ.” Funeral wreaths on the stairs of Feldherrnhalle. Nazi soldiers walk down the stairs on the left. Children, pigeons in the Odeonsplatz. “HOFGARTEN” Munich, Germany, white chairs and covered tables in the pavilion. “OKTOBERFEST” Procession of men on horseback, marching band. They are dressed in traditional costume. Spectators and children on the sides. Men in military uniform march. “WAR MEMORIAL” The World War I memorial in front of the Old Army Museum in Munich. Tomb covered in flowers and funerary wreaths. One is adorned with a Nazi flag and “London” banner. Sculpture in relief on the side of the monument. Pedestrians. “REICHSWEHR” Military marching band, all wearing helmets. Men follow on bicycles. “SCHOOLGIRL” Girl with bookbag walks away from the camera on the sidewalk. She smiles, continues down the street.
“TAG DER DEUTSCHEN KUNST.” In Munich, people ride bicycles. Outdoor area with seats, decorated with large swastikas behind the podium and Reichsadler on the wall at the center. Nazi soldiers form a wall in front of the crowd on the street. Men in uniform walk by. “HERR HITLER” Hitler’s motorcade, he stands in the passenger seat of a car, salutes crowd. “PARADE” Spectators heil as the parade moves. Men transport a model of the Reichsadler. Soldiers on horseback with large Nazi flags. Classical-style sculpture of a male torso is carried. More parade floats and costumes. “SEEING THE PARADE WITH A PERISCOPE” Two women use periscopes to see the parade. People on the roof of a building. The crowd disperses, and moves through the streets. Many German soldiers, men in uniform. A poodle on the sidewalk with its owners.
“NAZI MEMORIAL.” People outside Felderrnhalle, a landmark in the Odeonsplatz. Nazi soldiers stand guard in front of the Mahnmal der Bewegung monument at Felderrnhalle. Pedestrians walk by and heil. “RECENT CONVERTS.” Soldiers march in neat rows on the side of the street. “MARIENPLATZ” German civilians in the street by Old Town Hall. MS, New Town Hall in Marienplatz. “VON DER TANN STRASSE” Large banner across Von der Tann Strasse: “Unsere Ziele find Arbeit, Freiheit, Brot und ein Frieden der cher” [Our goals are work, freedom, bread and peace] Nazi flags. Men ride bicycles. A traffic officer directs the busy intersection.