May 8, 1945
MLS, German prisoners, closer shots. MS, tanks/jeeps moving down road, probably the surrender of the XI Panzer Division (and other German units) on May 4 and the days immediately following. The XI Panzer Division was a Wehrmacht unit. German prisoners stand beside road, start marching. CU, destroyed German weapons. Pan up to column of trucks of surrendering Germans. MS, German civilians standing around. CU sign: "Limit of Advance - All US Troops." CU, German general near tank. German prisoners on trucks pass by, GI directs route of surrender. MS trucks with dead German prisoners pass through crowd. MS trucks of Allied liberated prisoners go through crowd. Civilian masses on road. German generals in staff car, GI disarms them. Truck of German prisoners pass through crowd of Czechs. Crowd disperses. German armorer surrenders. Truck of German displaced prisoners. MP directing German surrendering troops. Armed German troops. VCU, armored US Colonel talking to German soldier. Truck of Germans. MS, two German officers talk to Colonel. CU, prisoners. American tanks direct surrender traffic. CU, GI taps message on wireless. Men watch the surrender. Trucks of Germans. German women soldiers. Surrendered Germans. Girl walking up road. Cars pass by. German vehicles. One-legged German soldier walks in FG. Vehicles halt, surrendering troops on board, CU of three very young German boys, CU, German officer and girl. Truckloads of German surrendering troops riding past camera, officer gives Nazi salute. CU, truck filled with women. CU, German officer talking with Americans. VCU, German officer. VCU American officer talking to Germans. Truckloads of German troops. Nazi drinks from bottle, large group of Germans around him. MS, German civilians and German soldiers walking up road. MS, surrendered troops. CU, German officer talking to American officer. Long line of German surrender troops, marching down the road, CUs feet, faces of troops as they pass the camera. CU, Nazis on motorcycles.
Film includes mixed German forces, including Wehrmacht, Waffen SS, Luftwaffe, and German women's auxiliary forces.
The date on the initial slate reading 4/8/45 is incorrect. In the NARA notes, there is a comment about how the slate must have been wrong, but the erroneous date ended up in NARA and USHMM paperwork. The correct date is early May 1945.
Biography / History:
The surrender of the XI Panzer Division on May 4 just west of Plzen was the principal mass surrender of an intact unit in Czechoslovakia, prior to the overall German capitulation agreed on May 7. The 11th Panzer division was in central Berlin in the end of April (camping out in a subway train) and began marching south on May 2. This division gained some Luftwaffe troops in late April which explains the uniforms in the footage.
2000.620.1 The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased this from the National Archives and Records Administration in July 2000.
WEHRMACHT (GERMAN ARMY)
US Army Air Force, 4th CCU
National Archives & Records Administration (NARA), 18 SFP 9177
Betacam SP; VHS
01:37:12 - 01:55:30