Thursday, January 21, 2010

WWII Newsreels

Die Deutsche Wochenschau

I hit the jack pot when I decided to dig into the NARA Motion Picture, Sound and Video Reference collections. This all came very handy for a customer needing documentation for a WWII movie in the making. There’s little more aggravating than watching a non-fiction film, with poor facts.

I was informed real footage for this project was preferred. And, with a bit of hunting - VOILA!- I located ninety-one newsreels within the NARA Motion Picture, Sound and Video collections.

Die Deutsche Wochenschau - The German Newsreel - was a series of newsreels from 1940 to the end of WWII. This same footage was used as the source of many Nazi propaganda films and WWII documentaries. Narrowing the search to the Die Deutsche Wochenschau collection probably would have sufficed, but included were newsreels produced by UFA Ton Woche and UFA Schmalfilm Magazin.

After narrowing my choices and cross referencing the three producers of newsreels using the National Archives Catalog, I was able to print out shot-lists of each newsreel, referenced by NARA newsreel number, producer and location id.

DIE DEUTSCHE WOCHENSCHAU, 1941 ARC Identifier 100393 / Local Identifier ROPE-ROPE-361 Item from Collection ROPE: William F. Rope Collection, 1936 - 1949 reel 2 only; NEWSREEL: Includes one-minute theatrical trailer at end, warning against loose talk which divulges information to the enemy. NEWSREEL: (1) German recruits build bridges in France(?). (2) Germans demolish memorial dedicated to Marshall Foch and the German surrender in 1918. (3) Shows Paris' Renault and Citroen auto and truck factories. (4) German soldiers repair autos, wash clothes and repair shoes; others relax at seashore and eat at French restaurants. (5) German biplane rescues a downed pilot in the North Sea. (6) German destroyer patrols along the White Cliffs of Dover; sunken ships. (7) Italian sub-marine crew salutes passing German vessel in German port. (8) German bombers attack British coastal shipping. (9) Italian fleet on maneuvers in the Mediterranean.

Although many of the newsreels were missing header (and or trailers) which meant the original newsreel number was not available, I was still able to provide a shots list using dates or contents.

Here is a link of one of the films of January 18, 1945. It helps if you speak German, but you will get the idea. For this reason the shot-lists were in English: Reel 2: Die Deutsche Wochenshau?
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

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