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Elbe river crossing; Woebbelin after liberation; POW camp

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2021.89 | RG Number: RG-60.7176 | Film ID: 4514

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    Elbe river crossing; Woebbelin after liberation; POW camp


    Field camp of German anti-aircraft soldiers. Title card: “Forced labor camp of Poles, Russians and French" Low brick buildings of unidentified forced labor camp. Men, women and children dressed in civilian clothes, daily activities. Title card: “Just married this morning! I just missed it. Romance blossoms under any conditions it seems”. Social gathering in town center. Title card: “The Germany of the future…I hope!” People tilling soil on farm with cow pulling plow. “Note primitive wood plow” Walking along road - soldiers in uniform along with women and men in civilian clothes, all smiling. Title card: “Just liberated these French after 4 years of labor start their long trek home and were they happy!” 01:04:39 Title card: “Wonderfully good roads” Red Cross, other military trucks. Passing British soldier’s grave draped in flowers, soldier’s helmet. Caravan, including tanks crossing over Elbe River on bridge. Displaced German civilians walking in opposite direction on foot through villages. 01:09:00 Title card: "Germans waiting for milk. Doors open at 3. They were here at 6.”

    01:09:29 Title card: “Inside forced labor camp” American soldier inspects empty building of bunks at camp, dishes left on tables. Title card: “Boards, a little straw to sleep on” Title card: “Concentration camp at Wobbelin” Low wooden camp buildings, barrels, barbed wire fencing and guard towers, concealed in wooded area. Sign: “Auffanglager Woebbelin Kommandantur”. Pan, remains of camp building with brick columns, wood beams. Title card: “Barbed wire to sleep on!”

    01:12:54 Title card: “Germans fleeing from Russians become refugees” Displaced German refugees set up camp, tents in fields. Men, women, children, daily activities. Title card: “Horses plentiful but going fast for food”. Massive number of people (displaced civilians and soldiers) on foot, some with carriages, trucks with personal belongings. Title card: “Fleeing from the Russians, Germans by the thousands jam the road.” 01:16:30:23 “Soldiers by the 100,000! Thrill packing hours”. 01:18:23 Title card: “PW Camp” Soldiers on foot, horseback with weapons, prisoners (POWs) marching in fields.
    Event:  1945
    Woebbelin, Germany
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Museum of Jewish Heritage
    Camera Operator: Abraham T. Banen
    Dr. Abraham T. Banen (1909-2014) served with the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, likely with the 551st Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion. Banen grew up in Minnesota, majored in German at the University of Wisconsin, and studied dentistry at the University of Minnesota. Banen enlisted in the Army and landed in Normandy with his infantry battalion in July 1944. In March 1945, the 551st Battalion completed the construction of the 1900-foot pontoon bridge across the swift-moving Rhine River, making it possible for the Allied Armies to cross and initiate the big push to end the war. Banen used a personal 16mm movie camera to document his wartime experiences. He was often relied upon for translations in German and French. He was shot in the back of his knee and awarded a Purple Heart. In January 1946, at 37 years old, Banen started a dental practice in International Falls, Minnesota, married Blanche Bachinski in Guatemala City in 1949, and had three children. From 1972-1974, he served as mayor of International Falls. He lived to the age of 104.

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Museum of Jewish Heritage
    Conditions on Use
    For permission to reproduce and use the materials, contact the Museum of Jewish Heritage at with the subject line "Reference Inquiry" or "Licensing Request".

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    Wendy Banen, the daughter of Dr. Abraham Banen, donated her father's 16mm films taken during his U.S. Army service in Europe during World War II to the Museum of Jewish Heritage around 2001. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum digitized several amateur film originals from the Museum of Jewish Heritage (New York) collections in 2019-2020.
    The Abraham Banen collection includes a 16mm print of this reel labeled "Camps Labor Concentrated" under MJH Source Number Banen 1/5.

    Some sequences are introduced with handmade intertitles.
    Copied From
    16mm bw reversal original
    Film Source
    Museum of Jewish Heritage
    File Number
    Source Archive Number: Banen 4/5
    Lender Number: IL2019.1.1
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:59:18
    This page:

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