Slate: "Capt. Carter, Prod #186, Buchenwald C-31, Date: 4-15-45" MS of a truck bed piled with bodies, clothed and unclothed. CU of a bearded man lying on the ground. His arms are crossed over his chest, his tattooed number visible on his forearm. Medium, direct shot of a truck bed of corpses. Extreme CU of corpses, slow pan over their heads and feet. Extreme CU of three heads and feet.
MCU of a clothed corpse lying on a low wheeled stretcher. CU of a man's face who had apparently been beaten. A picture of Jesus is pinned to his clothing. Extreme CU of the same inmate at different angles. MS of the camp entrance, soldiers and survivors walking around. An older man with beret and plaid scarf speaks to the camera, he pauses to look at camera, then looks off into the distance. CU of mantle above gate: "Recht oder Unrecht - Mein Vaterland" carved in wood (in red). A young man with a beret, glasses, and a red "B" triangle on his jacket speaks to the cameraman. Two men in striped uniforms take off their blankets and roll up their sleeves to show their tattoos to the camera.
A boy wearing only a belted blue shirt stands in the doorway of the barracks. Behind him there is a man with crutches and a bandaged ankle. CU of the boy looking at the camera. A few faces of other survivors are evident behind the boy, peering out from behind the barracks door. MCU of two men with crutches, one is almost naked while the other is in a striped uniform, in the barracks doorway with 5 or 6 others standing behind them. A naked man with bandaged thigh is being held up by another survivor in the doorway of the barracks. Three men moving around in the BG. CU of young male prisoner speaking, he has a shaved head and one eye is badly damaged. CU of a little boy with red triangle, he is holding a wooden plank and wearing a heavy jacket and a hat, smiling. [The boy is Joseph Schleifstein, born 7 March 1941 in Poland. See Photo Archive #85913, #07230] CU, stops smiling, tears in eyes. A group of boys stands together, all wearing caps and parts of the striped uniform. More survivors file out of barracks and join the group, lining up in the back of the group, slow pan.
LS of a group of men standing around fires in an open area near barbed wire. Men sit and stand by the fire, eating and stirring soup with twigs or metal spoons. Pan of group. 6 older men stand together and look at camera. One man has his hands together and is trembling and praying aloud. CU of the same man crying and praying, raising his hands and his eyes to the sky. Camera pans over men standing along fence with their hands in their pockets.
Dark, dreary pan of entrance to camp as men in prison uniforms stand behind the barbed wire fence. WS of camp road, barracks are in the BG. Survivors stand at the fence.
Tattoos on pieces of skin removed from prisoners are displayed. CU of chair back with tattooed skin of naked female angel with wings. CU of tattoos on a piece of skin from a chest picturing St. George slaying dragon. CU, tattoo of a woman with a hat. CU of a book cover "Ein Beitrug zur Tatowienungsfrage," the book is opened and leafed through. CU of shrunken heads, first female then male specimen, mounted on wooden bases. Pieces of tattooed skin lay out on a table. CU of a human male head preserved in a yellowish liquid in a glass tank. The specimen is turned to reveal that the head has been cut in half and the other side exposes the brain. Specimen tanks containing organs sit on a shelf. Three survivors demonstrate how prisoners were executed by hanging and then how they were beaten in the head to ensure their death. CU of one survivor as he demonstrates with a piece of rope how the noose was tied. CU of a survivor in a beret, holding a bludgeon. He has a very serious, tense expression on his face. CU of another survivor as he holds a wooden bludgeon and demonstrates for the camera the nicks and dents in the bludgeon, indicating that it was used often and with force. LS of camp as seen from the watchtower (shots underexposed). Spotlights of the watchtower in the FG. Slow pan from watchtower to the camp below as people wander about the camp.
VQ: Beginning of reel, right side of frame, emulsion loss, ends within a few seconds. Image is generally high contrast throughout, loss of visual information due to the fact that this is a dupe of original footage. There are many film rolls throughout.
Material corresponds to the objects described at length in a June 24, 2001 Washington Post article.
Still photo appears in USHMM brochure "The Holocaust" available at the Information Desk naming the boy who appears in this film. He is identified as Joseph Schleifstein, a 5 year old survivor of Buchenwald. See Photo Archive #85913, #07230, with biographical information, including "born 7 March 1941 in Sandomierz, Poland" - son of Israel and Esther Schleifstein.
Footage is also available on sub-master PD#20: Liberation By Americans Reel 1.
Biography / History:
1990.492.1 The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased this collection from the National Archives and Records Administration in November 1990. The footage was obtained as research for the Museum's Permanent Exhibition.
CONCENTRATION CAMPS (LIBERATION)
US Army Air Force
Captain Carter; Arthur Mainzer
April 15, 1945
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 18 SFP 9119
1"; Uncompressed QT (R10g); ProRes 422; Betacam SP; VHS; MP4
03:01:07 - 03:20:36