Trümmerfrauen (literally translated as ruins women or rubble women) is the German-language name for women who, in the aftermath of World War II helped clear and reconstruct the bombed cities. The fascinating colored films were shot in Berlin in June 1945 by a film team directed by William Wyler.
World War 2
This month, the much anticipated movie “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch will be released. The story is about Alan Turing, the British computer scientist who helped crack the Enigma coder during World War II and was instrumental to the defeat of the Germans by decoding their secret messages.
Although the film focuses on the British Bombe an electromechanical device designed by Alan Turing we should not forget that it took a number of scientists to crack one machine, the Enigma.
The Enigma machines were invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius. The German military Enigma machine became a powerful weapon during WWII for all communications. They were used for enciphering and deciphering secret messages. Not all were used for military purposes, although the public interest and curiosity revolves around the military machines which can be found on display in museums around the world.
The film “D-Day To Germany” was shot from June to November 1944 by the cinematographer Jack Lieb, who was working as war correspondent for the newsreel News of the Day. Twenty-five years later, Lieb recorded spoken narration. Lieb shot silent color footage of the “Operation Overlord” with his own 16mm camera. His commentary create a unique, personal recollection of that momentous time. He had used a 35mm black and white camera to film war coverage for the newsreels and his 16mm home movie camera to shoot color film to show to his family back home. After the war, Lieb edited the color footage.
The film starts with images from London shot in May 1944. Lieb then joins a group of war correspondents at the south coast of England that will cover the invasion. Personalities such as Larry LeSueur from CBS, Wharton Becker, Jack Thompson of the Chicago Tribune, Scripps-Howard Newspapers’ Ernie Pyle, Larry O’Riley of Associated Press, Clark Lee of INS and Chicago Daily News’ William Stoneman, Edward G. Robinson, Bob Landry, Robert Capa and others appear. The correspondents made their way to Franc together with the 101 Airborne Division.
Lieb landed on Utah Beach after the fighting was over. He added some british footage, shot with an automated camera to his film, that shows the landing of the first troops in Normandy. The footage shows some moments when the war correspondents and soldiers had down time, but the job was not safe or easy. His correspondent colleagues Ernie Pyle and Bill Stringer, that you can see in the film, were killed. Jack Liebs film shows scenes from the liberation of Paris and the campaign in France and in Aachen. Lieb returned safely to the States, half a year before the fighting in Europe came to an end. The scenes from Berlin were added from newsreel clips to his film.
Jack Lieb ends his comment that one day we will learn how to avoid wars!
This newsreel footage produced in Germany by the US Group Control Council (USGCC) in August 1945 shows the loading of looted art in Berchtesgaden and Neuschwanstein Castle.
In June 1945 the Munich Central Collecting Point was opened in the former Nazi Party Headquarters close to the Königsplatz downtown Munich. Central Collecting Points were established in Munich and Wiesbaden, to house and sort the thousands of works of art being found by Monuments Men in repositories across Southern Germany, and the Central Collecting Point in Munich was designated to primarily hold ERR (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg) loot, Hitler and Goering’s collections, and other masterpieces found in Berchtesgaden, Neuschwanstein and the Altaussee salt mine.
Stephan Bleek | | Zeitgeist – Vintage Film | 1945, Arts, Berchtesgaden, footage, Germany, Harry V Anderson, Hermann Göring, historical Footage, Looted Art, Monuments Men, Munich, Nazi, Neuschwanstein Castle, Stock footage, Video, Walter Andreas Hofer, World War 2 | 0 Comments