Rubble in France and Belgium
- Event Date
- Winter 1944
- US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Robert Gatarz
Modern apartment buildings as the soldiers leave Paris. The Reims Cathedral. Rubble and destroyed buildings. Back in Belgium. Soldiers pack up trucks, smoke cigarettes, and joke around. Ruins in the countryside as they enter Germany.
Record last modified: 2018-09-17 11:21:48
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn562922
Also in Murray Goldblatt Film Collection
Murray Goldblatt, a Jewish American soldier, documented his experiences during World War II in Belgium, France, Czechoslovakia and Germany from 1943 to 1945 with his personal movie camera. The collection consists of an hour of 16mm film (the original 5 reels - approximately 100ft in length - were spliced together in the late 1990s by a friend and film collector).
Soldiers line up on a dock and board a ship. The ship from afar. A parting view of the dock. Smoke stacks on board the ship. Murray and fellow soldiers at the deck’s railing. A soldier shows off his American money. Ocean shots. Scenes of soldier life on the ship: playing cards, smoking cigarettes, reading, laughing, sleeping, getting sick over the side of the boat. Murray poses for the camera. More ocean shots. Shot of buildings on the coastline. A smaller rowboat by the side of the ship. Soldiers jump off this boat and swim in the ocean. More coastline shots. “The End.”
Back at Camp Boston. Murray poses in a field. Soldiers show off their injuries after a football game. One day pass to Reims. Details of the Reims Cathedral. A GI cafe. Fuzzy shots of train cars. Scenes of the countryside from a passing train. Soldiers smoke cigarettes and explore an abandoned German railway gun. Trucks enter the USA Calais Staging Area. Panoramic shots of the camp, including tents. Soldiers pose in a group shot with a dog. Soldiers pack their things and board box cars.
Pass to Paris. The Louvre, Venus de Milo, street scenes, Sacre Coeur, view of the city from above, more street scenes, bouquinistes, the Pantheon.
Soldiers line up and receive food. They pose next to a boxcar that says “15 Fin USA Bound.” A sign for Thionville. Soldiers eat at Camp Boston in Reims, France. Children wave at the camera. Soldiers play cards and smoke cigarettes. Scenes at Camp Boston.
Aerial view of Pilsen. Murray posing for the camera. Russian border checkpoint between Pilsen and Prague. Scenes from Prague, including St. Vitus Cathedral and the Hebrew clock at the Jewish Town Hall. Prague Castle. Soldiers on a boxcar with “Dachau” painted on the outside. They line up and board boxcars.
In color, the coast of the French Riviera comes into view from the plane. Street scenes on the Riviera. Murray poses in front of the beach. People sunbathing on rock beaches. “Positively no whistling or stamping allowed.” Various shots of the Riviera from different perspectives. American flag waving. Murray on a boat. More coastline scenes on the beach. Murray in a canoe. Street and beach scenes of civilians. Grass. Planes take off. View from mid-flight on the return to Pilsen.
Entering Pilsen, Czechoslovakia on May 8th, 1945 -- V-E Day. Street scenes of civilians in traditional Czech clothing. The opera house. View of the soldiers’ barracks. Sign for the “15th Finance.” Scenes of life in Pilsen and the countryside: people sunbathing, boating, swimming. An enormous crowd gathers to listen to Grace Moore sing. Soldiers play tennis with local civilians. Scenes from a parade. Pilsen castle. Soldiers smoke cigarettes and drink beer, including Murray. Ingrid Bergman and Jack Benny. Soldiers work in an office. Soldiers board a military airplane. Scenes of mountains and the land below from mid-flight.
Buchenwald concentration camp. Piles of corpses, gallows, a hanging effigy of Hitler. A obelisk inscribed “H.L.B.” Rows of barracks. Barbed wire fences. An aerial view of Bayreuth Nazi training camp.
Scenes of destruction in Volkmarsen, Germany. Murray stands in front of the river. A castle on a hill. Street scenes in Kassel, Germany. The soldiers cross another river. German prisoners at Heiligenstadt. Panoramic views of the countryside. Former German army barracks in Naumberg, Germany, with slogan in German. It is now April of 1945.
A French general leads a V corps medal decoration ceremony in Meschernich, Germany. Village scenes, including shots of Murray and other soldiers. Ruins of buildings and a railroad depot. Soldiers play baseball. The crossing of the Rhine into Neuwied, Germany, over the Victor Pontoon Bridge.
Three day pass to Paris. Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, a bridge over the Seine, bouquinistes, more shots of the Seine, Notre Dame again, the Louvre, the Tuileries, the obelisk at Place de la Concorde, Grand Palais, Haussmann-style buildings, Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Opera Garnier, Place Vendôme, Rue de Rivoli, Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower, a woman with baguettes, Hotel Bayard (American Red Cross HQ), street scenes of civilians and soldiers.
"Welcome to our home theatre.” Scenes from soldier life in the wintertime of 1944 in Belgium. The men wash mess kits, use latrines, walk around town, and have snowball fights. Panoramic shots of buildings and factories in Dolhain. The Grand Bazaar, a department store in Verviers. Scenes from a three day pass in Eupen, including destroyed buildings and rubble. Shots of Murray Goldblatt in a military office in Dolhain. Street scenes of soldier life in Dolhain.