A sign identifies the village of Bande, in Belgium, during World War 2. View of snow-covered village rooftops from a distance. Closeup of a cafe in the village. Bodies of 34 young men from the village are seen lying in the cellar of the cafe. All had been executed on Christmas Eve, by a unit of the Nazi SD (Sicherheitsdienst) affiliated with the SS (Schutzstaffel) in retribution for the deaths of three German soldiers killed by Belgian maquis (Resistance fighters) on September 5, 1944. (Bande had been occupied by U.S. forces soon thereafter, but was retaken by German forces in the December Ardennes offensive, setting the stage for the massacre.) British troops that re-occupied the village on January 10th, 1945, are seen removing the bodies from the cellar and placing them on the snow-covered street. Wooden coffins are stacked up at the side of the building. Some closeups of the victims are seen. Scene shifts to a snowy field where the bodies are on the ground and men wrap them in sheets and place them in coffins. Closeup of British soldiers placing cover on a coffin and affixing an identification tag on it. Next, the Village Priest presides over a mass funeral for the victims, as villagers stand along the line of coffins. Women in black grieve over the victims. British soldiers carry the coffins to army trucks.The villagers follow behind the trucks as they proceed to the graveyard for burial. The coffins are placed on the ground at the cemetery.
Images and testimony related to the Nuremberg Trials held at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany in October 1946. Flashbacks of a variety of Nazi crimes against humanity during the years of World War II. Reference to testimony of Kenaris and Hans Frank in describing Nazi policies and methods for exterminating Poles and others. Pictures recording the implementation and results of Nazi policies; atrocities and murder of victims in Ouradour Sur Glane in France, in Bande in Belgium, in the Catacombe of San Callisto in Italy and in Czechoslovakia. Nazi forces seen leveling and destroying the town of Lidice in Czechoslovakia in 1942 in retaliation for the assassination of SS Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich. Corpses of the victims of the Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz, in 1945. Bones of humans in crematory ovens. Cramped starved camp victims in barracks. Stacks of luggage and suitcases of victims at a concentration camp, along with locks of hair, stacks of toothbrushes. Shaving cream brushes, shoes, clothing, and finally, piles of bones of camp victims. Testimony of Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höss (sometimes spelled Höß or Hoess or Hess) describes concentration camps at Auschwitz in Poland. As scenes of victims in hospitals are shown, testimony of Rudolf Hoess is read, describing medical experiments include lowering the body temperature, injecting the body with poisons and infectious diseases and subjecting the body to high altitude pressure chambers. Shows pile of mutilated corpses.The "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign over the camp entrance of Auschwitz. Scenes of dead victims of Nazi brutality in the concentration camps.
January, 1945, on the Western front during World War 2. Troops of the U.S. 8th Infantry Division test new white camouflage coveralls for use in snow. They patrol in snow covered forest areas on the Western Front. A sergeant makes outdoor field adjustments to the coveralls using a knife and captured German sewing machine. He helps a soldier who tries on his new coverall. The material used is from old mattress covers. Several soldiers are seen putting on the camouflage coveralls. Scene shifts to U.S. troops with a jeep towing a 20mm Italian dual purpose gun for use in Germany. On January 2, 1945, they set up and fire the gun at targets a half mile away. In Belgium, U.S. Army engineers of Company B, 238th Engineer Battalion, improvise remote controlled bazooka shells as road blocks. They set them up on fence posts and fire them by ordinary flashlight batteries. U.S. soldiers from a Signal Company of the 99th Infantry Division are seen using a Weasel vehicle (officially designated an M29C light cargo carrier) to lay communication cables through snow in the 1st Army Sector, Belgium. Views of the wire spool on back of the weasel, and soldiers pulling wire from it.
U.S. Army 3rd Armored Division advance in Belgium during World War 2. U.S. Army Captain examines a snow-covered disabled M4 Sherman tank, with shell holes in it, in Sterpigny, Belgium. Damaged buildings all around. American soldiers look at a damaged German Panther tank. View of jeep approaching on road. Shattered trees along the roadside. (Note:This footage was shot in the town of Sterpigny, Belgium just after 16 January 1945. The 2nd Battalion, U.S. 330th Infantry Regiment was attached to the 3rd Armored Division and fought alongside tank units of the 3rd Armored Division against elements of the 9th SS Panzer Division to capture the town on 16 January.)
Three U.S. Army Air Forces P-38 aircraft fly overhead and peel off to begin landing at an airfield in Belgium, during World War 2. . A formation flight of Four P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes follows, peeling off to land. One of the P-47s, a "razor back" from the 387th Fighter Squadron (yellow cowl band, coded "B4"), 365th Fighter Group, is seen landing on the runway, with its canopy open.
U.S. 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion of the 2nd Armored Division parades in East Belgian town of Hasselt, led by 66th Armored Regiment military band. Flags of Belgium hang from windows of houses. Belgian spectators line the sidewalks. Road sign reads 'Hasselt'. Civilians on balcony display a large American flag. Two young Belgian women stand holding bouquets of flowers. Staff car arrives in town square. Brigadier General Issac White, Commanding General of the 2nd Armored Division, steps from the car, returns salute of uniformed City Burgomaster, and accepts the flowers from the Belgian women. General White climbs a stage erected in the square and greets Belgian civilian and military officials. The Burgomaster, Dr. Joseph Bollen reads a citation and presents a flag to General White, who carries it down to the street where he holds it for all to see. Quick glimpse of 2nd Armored Division patch on uniform. Belgian soldiers salute. Camera focuses on Children spectators. U.S troops salute.