A film made by Nazi officers showing them laughing and joking on a verandah, enjoying coffee and cake with female companions has been found in the storeroom of a church in rural Devon.
The SS officers, who were running a forced labour regime in southern Russian during the Second World War, are seen relaxing while troops make prisoners work. Historians said the footage was highly unusual because it was taken in Russia , and shows informal scenes as opposed to the slick Nazi propaganda films.
The 10 minute black and white film has been stored at Cullompton Baptist Church for 20 years. It was believed to be part of a collection of films left to the church by a local worshipper Reg Whitton, who died in the 1980s.
Mr Whitton ran a foundry and a transport firm and after the Second World War employed several emigres and former German prisoners of War.
Worshippers at the church who remember him said he was probably given the film by one of them. None of Mr Whitton’s films were ever viewed because no one could work the 16 mm projector he also left to the church.
The existence of the film only became known when another church member John Jeffery recently gave Mr Whitton’s collection to the South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) in Plymouth.
The film, thought to have been taken by a senior SS officer near the Caspian Sea in 1942, shows prisoners-of-war unloading logs from a truck observed by armed guards. A further scene shows Russian peasant women bringing in a harvest, and there is footage of mechanics working on Mercedez-Benz staff cars.
The cameraman also took shots of his fellow officers enjoying dinner and drinking wine.
Elayne Hoskin, director of the archive, said: “We are sure it was filmed in Southern Russia in high summer and there is an almost unreal feeling of relaxation about it given that the Germans were driven from Russia shortly afterwards.
“It must have been a senior officer who filmed it because of the high level of informal access to other officers in it. There is also footage of oil platforms, probably in the Caspian Sea and shots of German war graves dated 1941.”
Link to story http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... /unazi.xml
Link to film. Does anyone see anything in the film that shows a “forced labour regime”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolavconsole/ukfs ... 081854.stm
Typical misleading story. Go to the story link and instead of putting up a picture from the film they put up a photo of what they claim is Auschwitz. That is because when you see the film you don’t see anything that would be prejudicial to the Germans. Just Germans working, walking, driving etc. There is also some possible Russians or Ukrainians harvesting and some who worked at what appears to be a saw mill. But I guess they needed a photo to justify the quote below so since the film did not show anything they dug out the Auschwitz photo, though even that photo shows nothing more then relatively healthy people
The SS officers, who were running a forced labour regime in southern Russian during the Second World War,