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GIs in Paris, Brussels, and Düren

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2021.89 | RG Number: RG-60.7179 | Film ID: 4517

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    GIs in Paris, Brussels, and Düren


    (b/w) American soldiers in Paris, sightseeing, street scenes, local civilians, opera house, Avenue des Champs Elysses, Arc de Triomphe, the Unknown soldiers' tomb. 01:04:59 Title card: “Maastricht, Holland.” Street scenes, soldiers in field. 01:05:26 Sightseeing in Brussels, street cars. Title card: “The King’s Memorial to his wife” 01:07:59 Title card: “US Army Pro. Station in rear” Well-dressed women, ornate buildings in city. 01:08:36 Sign for American soldiers, “Warning Curfew in Brussels”. Building destruction. Title card: “Bomb crater”. 01:10:54 Title card: “Duren, 40,000-complete ruins!” Bombed out city of Düren, Germany, taken by the 8th Infantry on February 25, 1945. Ruins, GIs. Title card: “Four engine bombers”. (color) Snow covered, destroyed buildings, civilians. CUs of Red Cross medics and other American soldiers holding and showing-off hand pistols. 01:14:32 (b/w) Title card: “Infantry advancing!” Active war zone, soldiers in field. Title card: “Mortars in combat.”
    Event:  1945
    Paris, France
    Brussels, Belgium
    Düren, Germany
    Maastricht, Netherlands
    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.
    Some sequences are introduced with handmade intertitles.
    Copied From
    16mm bw color reversal print
    Film Source
    Museum of Jewish Heritage
    File Number
    Source Archive Number: Banen 2/5
    Lender Number: IL2019.1.1
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:59:18
    This page:

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