Major Sydney L. Burr Collection
April or May 1945
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Aerial views of a German city, probably Stuttgart, along the river with collapsed bridges and bomb sites. Pan of the twisted metal of bombed rail cars and railroad tracks. VAR shots of massive destruction and rubble. 01:09:30 CU, "Photographieren Verboten!" sign. Soldier talks to a woman on a bike, gesturing and trying to show her something on a piece of paper. Piles of rubble on street. 01:09:53 Two young boys (orphans?) in oversized coats and boots look up at the camera. Three walls of a warehouse barely stand amidst the rubble and debris. Some buildings in BG remained untouched and undamaged, in stark contrast to the wreckage. 01:10:51 Fog, shots from inside a vehicle crossing a bridge over the river, rafts. Skeleton of an airplane hanger. Soldiers stand by a sign, "You Are Crossing the Beautiful Blue Danube Thru Courtesy of the 12th Armored Division." Views of the Danube river, soldiers on a bridge.
Original title on film can: "Nuremberg, Stuttgart - Bombed Out - Spring 45 #3"
Transferred at 24 FPS
Biography / History:
Major Sydney L. Burr of New York City, NY was stationed northeast of London in Suffolk, England at Knettishall Air Force Base from 1943 to 1945. He served with the 388th Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force. His formal function was to debrief bombing missions over Germany. It is unclear how he made his way to Germany to film the liberation of Dachau, but since he was very close to those soldiers and celebrated their returns from successful missions, it is likely they slipped him on board one of their flights after VE-Day.
In May 1945, the 388th flew into Austria and flew French POWs back to France (otherwise they would have had to walk). They also flew ground support troops of the 388th around Europe for an aerial tour; Major Burr was a passenger on one of these flights. See http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=388-I-BUR18-01&dataType=Person
2008.118.1 Jamie B. Russell donated two reels of 16mm film taken by her father, Major Sydney L. Burr, who served with the 338th Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force during the war, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in September 2008.
Sydney L. Burr
Jamie B. Russell
16mm b/w reversal original
16mm; DigiBeta; Betacam SP; VHS
01:06:39 - 01:12:03
US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Jamie B. Russell