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Constructing the Siegfried Line

Film | Digitized | RG Number: RG-60.1983 | Film ID: 4267

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    Constructing the Siegfried Line


    German film on the construction of the Siegfried Line. Reel 1, views of various German cities and maps the site of the fortifications. Dr. Todt studies plans, officers survey the land, and draftsmen draw plans. An animated chart depicts the Todt engineering organization. The ground is cleared, steel is made in mills, and railroads move supplies to the site. Workers arrive, march to the site, live in barracks, eat and construct and camouflage forts. Reel 2, Hitler, Todt, and staff arrive to inspect construction. Antitank obstructions and trenches, barbed wire entanglements, and the French and German fortifications facing each other across the Rhine. An animated diagram shows the interlocking fields of fire from pillboxes. A column of German soldiers marches into an entrance of the Siegfried Line. Men and supplies move by train and elevators through tunnels and levels of the line. INT views of the fortifications. Ammunition is rushed to the surface by elevator during a drill. Barrage balloons are sent up and German fighter planes take off and fly over the Siegfried Line.
    Film Title
    Der West Wall
    Production:  1939
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
    Director: Fritz Hippler

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 4267 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - HD
      Master 4267 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - HD
      Master 4267 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - HD
      Master 4267 Digital: ProRes HD HQ 422 - HD

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Public Domain
    Conditions on Use
    To the best of the Museum's knowledge, this material is in the public domain. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    Jack Penman donated high definition film transfers of World War II materials from the National Archives and Records Administration to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in April 2017.
    The Siegfried Line was a defense system stretching more than 630 km (390 mi) with more than 18,000 bunkers, tunnels and tank traps. It went from Kleve on the border with the Netherlands, along the western border of the old German Empire as far as the town of Weil am Rhein on the border to Switzerland. Adolf Hitler planned the line from 1936 and had it built between 1938 and 1940. In English, "Siegfried line" commonly refers to this World War II defensive line opposite the French Maginot Line; the Germans called this the "Westwall."
    Film Source
    Jack Penman
    File Number
    Source Archive Number: 242 MID 2778
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:05:18
    This page:

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