Film: 1623

War + Military | 1930 | Silent | B/W

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Synopsis:

An educational film produced by the Reichsanstalt fuer Film und Bild in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (a state body), which documents Germany's annexation of Austria, Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia, and the Memel Territory between 1938 - 1939. The film emphasises the warm reception that met German troops on the streets of the four territories.

A map of Europe delineates the borders of the German Reich and Austria.

Close up of the newspaper 'Berliner Illustrierte'. The headline announces that the Austrian chancellor, Kurt Schuschnigg, has stepped down and that Vienna is requesting German troops.

A series of shots show the German annexation of Austria. People mill about expectantly in a street in Vienna. Soldiers march along a road giving the Hitler salute. A group of civilian men are led by a man bearing a swastika flag. Cheering crowds line a main street and welcome the arrival of German troops, dozens waving nazi flags. An immense crowd passes the opera house. Arthur Seyss-Inquart addresses the Austrian people from a balcony. Close up of Seyss-Inquart giving the Hitler salute and looking into the camera.

00:59:00 The barricade at the border between Germany and Austria is physically removed by smiling officials. German soldiers march in. An Austrian official in uniform shakes a mounted soldier's hand. Onlookers fill a street running up to a castle. Cheering crowds greet the soldiers in a town square. Troops with loaded carts pass over a bridge and into the town. Women and girls jostle to give soldiers drinks. Austrian and German soldiers compare uniforms. A peasant woman links arms with two soldiers. Passengers in a moving train shake hands with the troops.

01:40:05 Horse drawn army carts and troops roll into the streets of Vienna and are greeted by cheering crowds. Adolf Hitler stands in an open topped car and salutes the masses. Point of view shots of crowds waving flags. Hitler accepts a posy of flowers from an onlooker. The official car passes a sign post pointing the way to Vienna. Bird's eye views of the vast crowd assembling in the Heldenplatz. Hitler steps out of his car. More shots of the saluting crowds and nazi flags. Hitler addresses the Austrian people from the balcony of the National Library. Various shots of people listening. A woman peers eagerly through binoculars, a man in traditional clothing looks on. An intertitle gives a summary of the speech.

02:59:00 On the map the borders between Germany and Austria dissolve.
A nazi flag is hoisted up a pole at a large military parade. The same flag flutters on a mountain summit where troops armed with swords stand to attention.

The map delineates Germany's new borders and those of Czechoslovakia, before highlighting the area inhabited by the "Sudeten Germans".

Various shots of the signing of the Munich Agreement. Close up of the nazi newspaper 'Voelkischer Beobachter' announcing the cession of Sudetenland. A sign post bearing the Czechoslovakian coat of arms is knocked down as soldiers on motorbikes ride past. The crest is physically removed from the post. Tanks roll along a country lane. Military men greet Hitler, who is given a tour of army fortifications. Hitler inspects a bunker. Various shots of German troops arriving in Sudetenland in armoured trucks and being giving a warm welcome by crowds. A group of women in traditional costume cheer and wave bunches of flowers. Civilian men march down a street. Various shots of large crowds assembling in the streets and main square, which is decorated with nazi flags and banners. Hitler addresses the people from a podium. Enthusiastic onlookers give the nazi salute. Hitler parades through the streets in an open topped car. Pan of a provincial town. Various shots of soldiers and crowds in streets, and buildings decorated with nazi regalia. Hitler waves from the balcony of a large state building. The masses respond by giving the nazi salute. Various shots of Hitler driving down a main street accompanied by a fleet of official cars. A zeppelin floats over a cathedral. A high ranking military official talks to soldiers in an air field. The same man gives a little blond girl a biscuit while greeting the public in a crowded street. Together with Hitler he salutes the masses. Women in traditional outfits give ecstatic salutes. A banner proclaims that the nazi's are bringing food supplies to the Sudeten Germans. Various shots of a field kitchen in a village, men queuing up and receiving bowls of goulash or stew.

06:39:21 On the map the borders of Germany enclose Sudetenland.

Close up of the 'Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung'. The headline declares that the Czechs are taking up arms against the Germans. A sub-headline announces a meeting between Hitler, the Czech president, Emil Hacha, and the Czech foreign minister. Night shots of three officials and a guard of honour standing to attention.

Close up of a headline in the 'Voelkischer Beobachter' declaring Bohemia and Moravia to be under German control.

Armed soldiers on motorbikes lead a line of trucks on an icy road. A road sign announces Prague. A soldier talks to a presumably local official from his truck. Various shots of the troops rolling in to Prague, large guns attached to their vehicles. Crowds lines the streets and cheer. Snow falls on German soldiers sitting in the back of a truck. A line of men in nazi uniform march forwards, one man has a bandage over his eye. Swastika banners decorate buildings. Hitler walks down a street greeting crowds. A group waves and salutes. A figure shifts in the window of a large building. Armed soldiers file past bearing flags with nazi insignia. The march reaches a main square.

08:33:15 The map shows the Czech half of Czechoslovakia become part of Germany, it is renamed 'The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia'. Slovakia is labelled 'under German protection'.

The new map of the German Reich. The border with the Memel Territory dissolves.

An officer throws a newspaper into a crowd. Close up of the newspaper 'Memmelwacht' declaring freedom for the Memel Territory. A man climbs a ladder and fastens a little nazi flag above a door. A banner declares "We have come home". A bilingual sign at a ferry station is defaced, leaving only the German text. A uniformed official opens a metal gate, ecstatic young men and women flood in waving flags. Soldiers poke their heads out of a covered army truck and wave at the crowds, one carries a posy of flowers. Local soldiers wearing uniforms decorated with fresh flowers watch the procession on the ground and in the air. A formation of aircraft fly above. Shots of the sea from a military vessel. Officers sit and chat on deck. Various shots of the boat and its passengers, some waving. The boat docks in the harbour. Hitler and a second high ranking military man disembark and are greeted by an official party. Hitler receives a bunch of flowers. He inspects the guard of honour and parades though town in an open topped car. Point of view shots from a moving vehicle of the cheering crowds in the streets. The official party come round a bend. Another guard of honour. The man salutes the crowds. Men, women and children cheer and wave handkerchiefs. Various shots of a stage prepared for a speech, the expectant crowds saluting. On stage Hitler returns their salutes. A nazi flag flutters in the wind.


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