Nazi Concentration Camps (1945) Movie Script

[man] "I, George C. Stevens,
Lieutenant Colonel,
Army of the United States,
hereby certify that from 1 March 1945
to 8th May 1945,
I was on active duty with
the United States Army Signal Corps,
attached to Supreme Headquarters,
Allied Expeditionary Forces,
and among my official duties
was the direction of the photographing
of Nazi concentration camps
and prison camps
as liberated by Allied forces.
The motion pictures which will be shown
following this affidavit
were taken by official
Allied photographic teams
in the course of their military duties,
each team being composed
of military personnel
under the direction
of a commissioned officer.
To the best of my knowledge and belief,
these motion pictures constitute
a true representation
of the individuals
and scenes photographed.
They have not been altered in any respect
since the exposures were made.
The accompanying narration
is a true statement
of the facts and circumstances
under which these pictures were made.
George C. Stevens,
Lieutenant Colonel, A.U.S.
Sworn to before me this second day
of October, 1945,
James B. Donovan, Commander,
United States Naval Reserve.
[man] I, E. R. Kellogg,
Lieutenant, United States Navy,
hereby certify that from 1929 to 1941,
I was employed at 20th Century-Fox
Studios in Hollywood, California,
as a director of photographic effects,
and am familiar
with all photographic techniques.
Since the 6th of September, 1941,
to the present date of the 27th
of August, 1945,
I have been on active duty
with the United States Navy.
I have carefully examined
the motion picture film
to be shown following this affidavit,
and I certify that the images of
these excerpts from the original negative
have not been retouched, distorted,
or otherwise altered in any respects,
and are true copies of the originals
held in the vaults of the United States
Army Signal Corps.
These excerpts comprise
6,000 feet of film,
selected from 80,000 feet,
all of which I have reviewed,
and all of which is similar in character
to these excerpts.
E. R. Kellogg, Lieutenant,
United States Navy,
sworn to before me
this 27th day of August, 1945,
John Ford,
Captain, United States Navy.
[narrator] These are the locations of
the largest concentration and prison camps
maintained throughout Germany
and Occupied Europe
under the Nazi regime.
These film report, covering
a representative group of such camps,
illustrates the general conditions
which prevail.
More than 200 political prisoners
were burned to death
at this concentration camp
near Leipzig.
Others among the original total
of 350 inmates
were shot down by German elite guards
as they dashed from the prison huts
to celebrate the arrival of
American troops outside the city.
The atrocity story is told
by the few who managed to survive.
They relate how 12 S.S. troopers
and a Gestapo agent
lured 220 starving prisoners
into a big wooden building at this camp,
sprayed the structure
with an inflammable liquid,
and then applied the torch.
Machine guns set up
at various vantage points
mowed down many victims
who ran from the burning building.
Some miraculously escaped
the hail of bullets,
but were electrocuted
by the live wires of a fence
which was the final hurdle
for those fleeing the flames.
The Leipzig victims were
Russians, Czechs, Poles and French.
The dead are viewed by Russian women,
liberated from slave labor.
At Penig, German, a concentration camp
was overrun by the 6th Armored Division,
containing mainly Hungarians
who were people of wealth and esteem
in their native country.
Among them were young girls
of only 16 years of age.
The women show the scars of miserable
existence under Nazi prison rule.
American doctors examine the victims.
Some have gangrenous wounds.
Others suffer from fever, tuberculosis,
typhus and additional
communicable diseases.
All existed under appalling conditions
in vermin-infested quarters
and with little or nothing to eat.
As soon as our troops arrived,
arrangements were made to remove these
people from the miserable surroundings.
Under supervision of
the American Red Cross,
the stricken inmates are removed
to a hospital which belonged
to the German Air Force.
Nazis who formerly maltreated them
are forced to help
look after the patients.
The staff of German nurses is also
forced to attend the victims.
The were able to smile
for the first time in years.
At this concentration camp
in the Gotha area,
the Germans starved, clubbed,
and burned to death
more than 4,000 political prisoners
over a period of eight months.
A few captives survived
by hiding in the woods.
The camp is chosen
for a High Command inspection,
led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Also present are
Generals Omar N. Bradley
and George S. Patton.
The 4th Armored Division
of General Patton's Third Army
liberated this camp early in April.
The generals view the rack that was used
by the Nazis to whip the inmates.
They see the woodshed where lime-
covered bodies are stacked in layers,
and the stench is overpowering.
Former inmates demonstrate how
they were tortured by the Nazis.
American Congressmen invited
to view the atrocities
were told by General Eisenhower,
"Nothing is covered up.
We have nothing to conceal.
The barbarous treatment
these people received
in the German concentration camps
is almost unbelievable.
I want you to see for yourselves and be
the spokesmen for the United States."
The General and his party next see
the crude woodland crematory,
actually a grill made of railway tracks.
Here, the bodies of victims
were cremated.
Charred remains of several inmates
still lay heaped atop the grill.
Another group to visit the Ohrdruf camp
is composed of local townspeople,
including prominent Nazi party members.
They'll be taken on a forced tour
of the camp site
by Colonel Hayden Sears,
commander of the 4th Armored Division's
Combat Command A,
which captured Ohrdruf.
A German medical major is compelled
to accompany the townspeople.
Colonel Sears stands by
as the Nazis are informed that they
must see all the horrors at the camp.
First, the visitors view
some 30 freshly killed bodies
lying in the courtyard of the camp
where they'd been shot
on the evening preceding the entry
of American tanks.
These two are identified
as slave labor bosses
who maltreated, tortured
and killed their workers.
Next, to the woodshed,
which the Nazis are reluctant to enter.
But Colonel Sears demands
that they get a close-up look
at the most gruesome of sights.
The labor bosses enter.
According to reports, the local Nazis
continued their tour of the camp
without apparent emotion.
All denied knowledge of what had
taken place at Ohrdruf.
They are taken to the crematory,
two miles outside the camp,
where the list of the atrocities is read
for all to hear.
The 4,000 Ohrdruf victims
are said to include
Poles, Czechs, Russians,
Belgians, Frenchmen,
German Jews
and German political prisoners.
A day before these Nazis
visited the camp,
the Burgomeister of Ohrdruf
was forced to view the horrors.
He and his wife were later found
dead in their home,
apparently suicides.
American officers arrive
at a Nazi institution
seized by First Army troops.
Under the guise of an insane asylum,
this has been the headquarters for
the systematic murder of 35,000 Poles,
Russians and Germans sent here mainly
for political
and religious considerations.
Those still alive are examined
by Major Herman Bolker
of the American War Crimes
Investigation Team.
The townspeople in Hadamar, Germany,
called this place
the House of Shutters.
Meanwhile, at the graveyard
attached to the institution,
bodies are exhumed for autopsy.
Twenty thousand are buried here.
Fifteen thousand who died
in a lethal gas chamber
were cremated and their ashes interred.
Death books found hidden in
the wine cellar of the Hadamar Institution
revealed part of the story
of the mass killings.
The bulky volumes contained
thousands of death certificates.
"Profession unknown, nationality unknown"
was written after each name.
The corpses are lined up
pending the arrival of W.C.I.T. officers.
Major Bolker performs the autopsy.
A detailed listing is made
of all clinical data.
Interrogating the institution heads.
Dr. Whalmann, the taller man,
was the top Nazi in charge of the place.
The other man entering the room
is Karl Willig, chief male nurse.
He admits to killing inmates
with overdoses of morphine.
The testimony of other witnesses
substantiated the fact
that morphine was issued
at the institution
without attempt at making a record.
As many as 17 at a time died
from the morphine injections.
The investigating officers were told
that the Nazis never bothered to determine
whether a victim may have survived
the over dosage.
Instead, all were hustled off
to the graveyard
and buried in piles of 20 to 24.
The prisoners are removed
to await trial.
A Hadamar judge told the investigators
that when the 10,000 victim died,
the institution heads and Nazi officials
staged a celebration.
This is Breendonk Prison
in Belgium.
It offers evidence of Nazi brutality
imposed on Belgian patriots
during the period of German occupation.
Many of the horror exhibits
remain untouched,
such as the bloodstained coffins.
Demonstrating how the victims
were tied up
for administering vicious beatings.
A barbed wire stick was used
on the backs of the men.
Another method for rendering
a patriot helpless
while he was attacked by
his Gestapo guards.
The Nazis also would tie a man
in chains in this manner,
and then apply the tourniquet.
A Berlin-made thumbscrew,
and how it was used.
A victim shows scars caused
by repeated beatings.
Others show what happened to them
as results of both beatings
and cigarette burns.
A Belgian demonstrates the manner
in which his crotch
was split by the Nazis.
A woman discloses
the results of a beating.
The Harlan Concentration Camp
near Hanover.
Out of 10,000 Polish men brought here
ten months prior to April, 1945,
only 200 remained.
Prisoners who could walk were removed
before American troops entered Hanover.
The others were left to starve and die.
Immediate relief was provided for the men
with the arrival
of a Red Cross Clubmobile.
The men broke into tears
when they were given hot soup,
other food, and cigarettes and clothing.
When questioned, most of these men
could not remember
when they'd last eaten a decent meal.
Many had been beaten and tortured
so long, their minds had failed.
Some of the inmates are too weak
to leave their bunks, or even eat.
Others bunk together to keep
their frail bodies warm.
The deaths continue even after
liberation of the camp.
Some were too far gone
when the Americans took over.
An A.M.G. sergeant checks
the list of inmates.
The victims relate the atrocity story
and photographs are made
for further documentation
of the horrors committed
at the Hanover camp.
This concentration camp was overrun
by American troops in April.
The prisoners were mainly Poles
and Russians.
Maltreated and starved,
1,700 were housed in tents
which contained only 100 bunks.
While our forces were nearing Arnstedt,
the Nazis removed most of the captives.
They shot those who were too weak
to get away fast enough.
Savage watchdogs were used
to help guard the camp.
German civilians are forced
to help dig up the bodies.
This is the second burial ground
for the victims.
The spot where they were originally
buried after the massacre
was apparently too close to the town.
The Arnstedt villagers could not tolerate
the stench of the dead,
and they themselves moved
the bodies to this site.
Now they again must exhume the corpses,
this time under armed persuasion.
Victims bear the marks of violent deaths.
American troops view the evidence
of Nazi barbarism.
Slave labor camp at Nordhausen,
liberated by the 3d Armored Division,
First Army.
At least 3,000 political prisoners
died here
at the brutal hands of S.S. troops
and pardoned German criminals
who were the camp guards.
Nordhausen had been a depository
for slaves found unfit for work
in the underground V-bomb plants
and in other German camps and factories.
Amid the corpses are human skeletons
too weak to move.
Men of our medical battalions
worked two days and nights
binding wounds and giving medications,
but for advanced cases of starvation
and tuberculosis,
there were often no cures.
The survivors are shown being evacuated
for treatment in Allied hospitals.
The victims are mainly
Poles and Russians,
with considerable numbers of French
and other nationalities
also included in the camp roster.
The Burgomeister of Nordhausen
is ordered to provide
600 German male civilians
who will inter the 2,500 unburied bodies
at the camp.
A priest administers
last rites for the dead
while the corpses are being carried
to the hillside for burial.
Then the actual burial in common graves
of the 2,500 Nordhausen victims.
I'm Lieutenant Senior Grade
Jack H. Taylor, U.S. Navy,
of Hollywood, California.
Believe it or not, this is the first time
I've ever been in the movies.
I've been working overseas
in occupied countries,
in the Balkans, for 18 months.
In October '44, I was the first
Allied officer to drop into Austria.
I was captured December 1st
by the Gestapo,
severely beaten--
even though I was in uniform--
severely beaten and considered as
a non-prisoner of war.
I was taken to Vienna Prison,
where I was held for four months.
When the Russians neared Vienna,
I was taken to the Mauthausen
Concentration Lager,
an extermination camp,
the worst in Germany,
where we have been starving and--
and beaten
and killed.
Uh, fortunately, my turn hadn't come.
two American officers at least
have been executed here.
Here is the insignia of one,
a U.S. Naval officer,
and here is his dog tag.
Here is the Army officer,
executed by gas in this lager.
[man] How many ways
did they execute these men?
Five or six ways:
by gas, by shooting,
by beating--
that is, beating with clubs--
by exposure--
that is, standing out in the snow naked
for 48 hours
and having cold water thrown
on them in the middle of winter,
and pushing over a hundred-foot cliff.
This is all true, has been seen,
and is now being recorded.
[man] Where did you get
that uniform you have on?
This uniform, uh,
I came here in uniform,
but it was taken away from me,
and this was substituted
with my number and "U.S.A."
I have been condemned to death
as another American also in this camp,
but, fortunately,
the 11th Armored Division
has come through
and saved us in time.
[narrator] Pictorial evidence of
the almost unprecedented crimes
perpetrated by the Nazis
at the Buchenwald concentration camp.
The story in written form is contained
in the official report
of the Prisoner of War
and Displaced Persons Division
of the United States
Group Control Council,
which has been forwarded
from Supreme Allied Headquarters
to the War Department in Washington.
It states that 1,000 boys
under 14 years of age
are included among the 20,000
still alive at the camp,
that the survivors are males only,
and that the recent death rate
was about 200 a day.
Nationalities and prison numbers are
tattooed on the stomachs of the inmates.
The report lists surviving inmates as
representing every European nationality.
It says the camp was founded when
the Nazi party
first came into power in 1933,
and has been in continuous
operation ever since,
although its largest populations date
from the beginning of the present war.
One estimate put the camp's
normal complement at 80,000.
In the official report,
the Buchenwald camp
is termed an extermination factory.
The means of extermination:
starvation, complicated by hard work,
abuse, beatings and tortures,
incredibly crowded sleeping conditions
and sicknesses of all types.
By these means, the report continues,
many tens of thousands of the best
leadership personnel of Europe
have been exterminated.
Bodies stacked one upon the other
were found outside the crematory.
The Nazis maintained
a building at the camp
for medical experiments
and vivisections,
with prisoners as guinea pigs.
Medical scientists
came from Berlin periodically
to reinforce the experimental staff.
In particular, new toxins and antitoxins
were tried out on prisoners.
Few who entered the experimental
buildings ever emerged alive.
One of the weapons used by S.S. guards.
The body disposal plant.
Inside are the ovens
which gave the crematorium
a maximum disposal capacity
of about 400 bodies per 10-hour day.
Gold-filled teeth were extracted
from bodies before incineration.
The ovens, of extremely modern design
and heated by coke,
were made by a concern which
customarily manufactures baking ovens.
The firm's name is clearly inscribed.
All bodies were finally
reduced to bone ash.
Twelve hundred civilians walk
from the neighboring city of Weimar
to begin a forced tour of the camp.
There are many smiling faces and,
according to observers,
at first the Germans act as though
this were something being staged
for their benefit
One of the first thing
that the German civilians see
as they reach the interior of the camp
is the parchment display.
On a table for all to gaze upon
is a lampshade made of human skin,
made at the request of
an S.S. officer's wife.
Large pieces of skin have been used
for painting pictures,
many of an obscene nature.
There are two heads which have been
shrunk to 1/5th of their normal size.
These and other exhibits of Nazi origin
are shown to the townspeople.
The camera records the changes
in facial expressions
as the Weimar citizens leave
the parchment display.
The tour continues
with a forced inspection
of the camp's living quarters,
where the stench, filth
and misery defy description.
They see the result of lack of care
in the bad case of trench foot.
Other evidences of horror, brutality
and human indecency are shown,
and these people are compelled to see
what their own government had perpetrated.
Correspondents assigned
to the Buchenwald story
have given wide notice to the well-fed,
well-dressed appearance
of the German civilian population
of the Weimar area.
Dachau, factory of horrors.
Dachau, near Mnchen, one of the oldest
of the Nazi prison camps.
It is known that from 1941 to 1944,
up to 30,000 people were
entombed here at one time,
and 30,000 were present
when the Allies reached Dachau.
The Nazis said it was a prison
for political dissenters,
habitual criminals,
and religious enthusiasts.
When these scenes were filmed,
over 1,6000 priests,
representing many denominations,
still remained alive.
They came from Germany, Poland,
Czechoslovakia, France and Holland.
Incoming prison trains arrived,
carrying more dead than living.
Those strong enough to travel
were brought to Dachau
from outlying points
which were threatened by
the Allied advance.
This is how they looked
when they arrived.
Some survived,
and when the rescuers arrived
they administered what aid they could.
Others died after the liberation.
They were buried
by their fellow prisoners.
As in the case of other camps,
local townspeople were brought in
to view the dead at Dachau.
This is what the liberators found
inside the building.
Hanging in orderly rows
were the clothes of prisoners
who had been suffocated
in a lethal gas chamber.
They had been persuaded
to remove their clothing
under the pretext of taking a shower
for which towels and soap were provided.
This is the brausebad,
the shower bath.
Inside the shower bath,
the gas vents.
On the ceiling,
the dummy shower heads.
In the engineer's room,
the intake and outlet pipes.
Push buttons to control inflow
and outtake of gas.
A hand valve to regulate pressure.
Cyanide powder was used
to generate the lethal smoke.
From the gas chamber, the bodies
were removed to the crematory.
Here is what the camera crew
found inside.
These are the survivors.
I am the officer commanding
the regiment of Royal artillery
guarding this camp.
Our most unpleasant task
has been making the S.S.,
of which there are about 50,
bury the dead.
Up to press, we have buried
about 17,000 people...
and we expect to bury about
half as much again.
When we came here,
conditions were indescribable.
The people had had no food for six days,
and were eating turnips.
The cookhouses have now been organized,
and, although they have to be guarded
so that everybody gets a fair share
of the food,
things are now going fairly well.
The officers and men
regard this job
as a duty that has to be performed,
and none of us are likely to forget
what the German people have done here.
[off-camera woman
gives instructions in German]
[woman speaking German]
[narrator] Speech of the woman doctor
at concentration camp Bergen-Belsen,
24th of April, 1945.
This is the doctor in charge
of the female section
of the concentration camp
She was a prisoner at this camp.
[woman speaking German]
She says there were no covers,
straw stacks or beds of any kind.
Persons had to lie
directly on the ground.
They were given 1/12th of a loaf of bread
and some watery soup daily.
Almost 75% of the people
were bloated from hunger.
An epidemic of typhus broke out.
Two hundred and fifty women
and thousands of men died daily.
In the men's camp, they cut out liver,
heart and other parts of the dead
and ate them.
[woman speaking German]
No medicines were available
because the S.S. men
had collected everything.
Two days before the British army came,
the first Red Cross food was distributed.
Two months before,
150 kilograms of chocolate
had been sent to the children
of the camp.
Ten kilograms were distributed.
The rest the commandant kept for himself
and used it as barter
to his personal advantage.
[woman speaking German]
[clears throat]
[speaking German]
She adds that
various medical experiments
were made on the prisoners.
Doctors gave some of them
intravenous injections
of 20 cubic centimeters of benzene,
which caused the victims to die.
She concludes by saying
that sterilizations
and other gynecological experiments
were performed on 19-year-old girls.
[woman speaking German]
Kramer, camp commandant,
is taken into custody.
Such was the speed of the Allied advance
that the guards were taken
before they had time to flee.
Inside Belsen, the same story:
starvation and sickness.
Liberated prisoners
could not control their emotion.
Despite German attempts to cover up,
we found these in the open fields.
Clear-cut evidence of beatings
and outright murder was on every hand.
Nameless victims were numbered
for records which the Germans destroyed.
S.S. guards were impressed
to clean up the camp area.
German woman guards were ordered
to bury the dead.
Sanitary conditions were so appalling
that heavy equipment had to be brought in
to speed the work of cleaning up.
This was Bergen-Belsen.
[no audible narration]