Bad Orb, Germany
(LIB 5064) Unloading rations from a jeep. Liberated Allied prisoners, of Bad Orb POW camp, CU one with a turban scarf. Carrying boxes of rations. CU, two liberated men. Walking with wheelbarrow, white crosses for deceased along a barracks in the BG. Entering barracks in BG while men sit on a stone wall and read US newspaper with headline "Yanks invaded Ryukyu..." HAS men and liberating officers. Barracks 35. Climbing up to watchtower, removing flag and dropping it. Opening aluminum can with a dog tag necklace. Distributing cigarettes. Men with blankets over shoulders. Various shots of liberated men eating chocolate and smoking cigarettes. Writing letters. Group of men huddled in cold. Another group filling helmets with water. Chalkboard with meals listed; "Coffee for breakfast and E-ration from US Army Now!!!". MS, men with clock-tower behind reading 12:50 pm. Distributing food rations (bread and canned goods), including African-American soldiers. Cooking rations over small fire. Another view of men in front of wire gate (entrance to camp?). Carrying boxes of rations on shoulders. EXT, Barracks #35. Eating along a stone wall. Various shots of liberated men. Another shot, drinking, with white crosses behind. Names visible (Bubb, Brecktel, Casados, Bakkum). Wider shot of same. 02:41:27 LS, men walking past vehicles, getting into trucks. Caravan of military vehicles on dirt road. A dozen men escort a cart containing a coffin. 02:42:07 Reenactment of surrender on April 2, 1945 of the 114th Regt, 44th Div. Commandant (Oberst) Karl Sieber (center, German Officer) surrenders Stalag IXB to Lt. Col. Walter D. Fetterly. Included are Pvt. Eddie Pfannenstiel (CMOC of camp with white arm band) and Pvt. Ben F. Dodge his assistant. LS, vehicles move along tree-lined road. Men with guns move out of vehicles/tanks, salute guards at a house. MS 02:42:53 Germans and other shake hands, one with a rifle.
Biography / History:
The POW camp (Stalag IXB) was located near Bad Orb, Germany. The camp was liberated on April 2, 1945. This film taken on April 4 showing unburied bodies and many sick or dying Allied soldiers. Several soldiers held Lt. Col. Walter D. Fetterly, commanding officer of the liberating force, in contempt for his actions regarding the production of the film. The first Americans arrived at Stalag 9B on December 25, 1944 after being captured in the Battle of the Bulge. Stalag 9B was supposed to be used to classify POWs and send them to regular camps. The privates and Pfcs. never left. Officers were kept until January 10 and non commissioned officers sent out on January 25. In mid-January the Jewish American soldiers (abt 70-80) were placed into separate barracks. Then in February 1945 they became part of the group of 350 Americans selected from Stalag 9B and transported to Berga Am Elster slave labor camp. The conditions in the camp, as reported by the Swiss Red Cross, were cold and horrible - bad food, filthy barracks, poor health conditions, and lack of clothing.
2010.479.1 The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased the film excerpts from the National Archives and Records Administration in March 2010.
U.S. Army Signal Corps
National Archives & Records Administration (NARA), 111 ADC 3844
DigiBeta; Betacam SP; DVD
02:36:53 - 02:43:05