Film: 3184

Places + Locations | 1930 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Rather odd film of pre war eastern Europe, including Vienna, and its borders and old disputes. Interesting in context of World War Two and the state of Europe and lead up to the war.

The Star Newspaper, The Evening Standard reads European situation. More head lines of newspaper, are on top of the other, about the coming of war in Europe. "Europe is in the headlines today". The 1936 newspapers read as follows: The Star: "Danzig, What Next?"; Evening Standard: "European Situation"; The Star: "Polish Corridor Again"; Evening News: "Danzig Crisis: Germany Blames The League"; Evening Standard: "Europe: Grave Developments"; News Chronicle article: "Two Dictators Rule The Free City"; Evening Standard: "Middle Europe Tension Eased". Map showing connection between London and Vienna, Danzig, Lithuania, Wilno etc. Evening Standard paper reads, "Austria?", in big letters, 1936. Map shows London and white line to Vienna. Water swirling. "The water is not blue, but muddy coloured". View of Danube, river, bridge, outline of a church, misty scene. "Not unlike the Thames". Views of river side boats and buildings. Vienna buildings architecture, street scenes, traffic, flower stall. A train comes into a station. Passengers get out, "The Austrians refuse to take independence very seriously". Close up of trams.

Small bar, waiter brings beers to customers in a patio. Outside cafe with neat hedge around sitting area. Smart waiter serves. Crowded tables with mainly cafe society women. Picturesque bridge is background to serenade musicians at a table with a couple. Woman and man drink large steins of beer, he wears a traditional hat. German soldier, close up as he plays a drum. Another close up. The Karl Marx building, a huge council estate in Vienna, various views, Ballhams Platz. The Chancellery in Vienna, view of the building, tram passes, where Dr. Dollfuss was shot. Close up of the windows, window of room re he was assassinated. Company of soldiers stand guard, close up. Back of solder, in service dress with gun and fixed bayonet. Two soldiers are on drum, one plays bugle. "Austria's problem has been to presume her independence". File of marching soldiers. Recent treaty recognizes that sovereignty. Will the Hapsburgs come back?" Lots of soldiers march and parade. Children's hand windmills turn. Wisteria. Shop signs. Mozart sign. Close up of musical architecture details. Close up of man playing violin in the street. Report shot of serenade more bierkeller shots, all exteriors. Woman and man click glasses. Woman buys pretzels from a street seller. Older woman and man, in hat, eat a hearty dinner. White line form London to Danzig on a map. "Danzig" on the back of a boat. The old Hanseatic League city.

View of the town by the harbour. Close up of the building facades. The house of the English merchants. Statue of Poseidon. Shop signs. "Tradition of Freedom". View of a large and impressive Jewish synagogue. "To all people and all ages", motto of the synagogue. Street scenes. Trams, traffic police, a typical German Town. School children pass, one salutes. Newspaper seller sells a paper. There are two post offices, one German, one Polish views of two letter boxes. The fish market on the quayside of the harbour. Women sell fish. Busy market scenes, buying Danzig's trade is being choked by the new Polish port of Gdynia, lots more shots of the fish market. Views of the quayside and wharves from the sea, two men turn a winch. The relationship between Danzig and Gdynia is shown on a map. A big 1919 fills the screen. A village of 200 people, Gdynia's old farm, children skip outside a thatched house. 1919 on the screen again, it goes wiggley. 1936 - modern factory and office buildings, including the Orlowski tenement building designed by Stanislaw Ziolowski between 1934 and 1935. Marine Station Gdynia is a monument to Poland's achievement. A league of Nations post. Dockers and solder walk along. Large Wharves. Building new warehouses. Cranes, shops tied up, crane lifts timber from a ship's hold. Modern elevators and dock side equipment. Dockers at work.

Memel, Lithuanian. A map with a white line form London to Memel Part of the Baltic Coast. Once port of East Prussia. Germany claims it. Quiet streets, thatch, harbour. A boy walks down a country lane with a cow on a rope. House in typical style with men and carts. Draining water form a well with a large see saw device. Woman sits churning butter. Pigs feed. Boy chops wood in a big pile. Horse drawn cart through pine forest.
Vilna, Wilno, Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. The grand churches, the spires, the citadel, horse drawn carts pass by, priests come out of a church, old orthodox priest, streets, the Madonna Australbrahms. The church of Madonna Australbramha. Cobbled square of Vilnius. Horse cart goes by. Man waters the road crossing with a watering can. Woman in shawls talk, carry shopping, a priest passes some shops. Children around a show window. Citadel. Close up of Polish soldiers. Lithuania solders parade, wounded veterans of the war for independence. Lithuanian soldier sound the last post on a bugle. Lithuanian flag. "Remember Vilna" pine needles are burnt in remembrance of the dead in war of independence.

Map of the area superimposed on a border fence. The Green Frontier between Poland and Lithuania. A country road. A derelict railway track. No man's land is guarded by one soldier at the border post. Close up of solders on guard. They watch a lonely landscape. Horse plough driven by man, he is bare foot, close up of plough and his feet. Easter European looking woman with scarf and plaits sows. The closed border means families wave to each other across the fences of no man's land, this is shown, woman and children wave. They step forward a solder pushes them back. Close up of soldier shaking his head. Little girl looks sad behind her mother's skirts. Pony cart on a lonely track or road. Horse cart with Russian yoke. Soldiers around a cart. Passport inspection and luggage check. Cameras refused. Luggage on the ground, close up, bags, suitcase etc. The patrols constantly guard border. Horse cart stopped by soldiers. The horse cart is searched, for propaganda and smuggled goods or contraband. Close up of horse's head and bayonet blade. Man with sack wonders through forest. Soldier watches him, soldiers point guns. He is surprised, he throws his hand in the air. The 'Kop' always get their man. With hands raised, the peasant's pockets are searched. The man is marched off. A rural house, children eat at a large table, the 'kop' serve, The 'kop' are the soldiers. Close up of the children drinking soup, with over sized soups. Old men and women eat as well. Two soldiers draw water from a well, the well water is to be tested. Samples are taken. Back to the solders at the citadel. Polish soldiers. "Poland guards its frontiers jealously". Recap of images used throughout the film. Shots of children.


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