Opening scene shows a man being roughed up by a group of men in an alleyway. A slate comments (in French) that when nations are bellicose, an assassination can cause a world war. Next, a slate shows picture of the world and states (in English) "One murder may start a world war." Another slate (in French) states that In 1914, while Europe's armies and fleets were more powerful than they had ever been, the nephew of the Emperor of Austria (Archduke Ferdinand) was assassinated. A front page is shown of newspaper, "Journal De Geneve" carrying the story. Next scene is a view of the city of Sarajevo. The ancient Emperor's Mosque dominates the scene. A slate appears asking Where is Sarajevo? It is followed by a map of Europe in 1914, which zooms in on Austria and Serbia and identifies and labels Sarajevo,in Austria, close to the Serbian border. Slates (in French) says Austria accused Serbia of War and other nations enter the melee. Animated World map shows the nations getting involved, starting with the German Empire in 1914, including its African colonies, and then successively showing Russia, France, Belgium,Great Britain, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. Map advances to 1915, showing the Italian empire, Bulgaria,and Central Arabia. In 1916 it adds Portugal, Roumania. Next, the U.S.A. is added in, 1917, along with Central and South America, Greece, Siam, and China. Finally, the slate shows the war ending in 1918. Slate shows Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month (November), with time shown on hands of Big Ben in London.
General of the Imperial Japanese Army Baron Sadao Araki speaks for a while, with the National flag of Japan (Sun-mark flag) in the background. A group of Japanese hikers is seen on the windy slope of a snow-covered mountain. Camera pans across the snowy scene. Closeups of individual hikers, who seem intimidated by the prospect of continuing their journey. Next, they are seen climbing the mountain, using picks, and lifelines, in an experienced manner. As the leader reaches the summit, he secures their lifeline and assists those behind as they arrive. Shadow of the leader is cast on the snow at the summit. As they cross a Crevasse, one of the climbers falls in, but his descent is stopped by the lifeline. Others work securing the line and pulling him up. With their help, he gains footing up the side of the crevasse and climbs out. Scene shifts completely to the Palace of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, home of the League of Nations. Inside, Japan's chief delegate, Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka, is seen objecting to the League's report charging Japan with responsibility for the hostilities in Manchuria. Animated map shows Europe with arrow pointing to Geneva, Switzerland. A cartoon explosion rises there and drifts East to encircle Japan in its smoke, transforming into a steel chain around Japan and environs. It shrinks, successively tightening its grip, choking Japan into its home islands, where the Japanese national Sun-mark flag flies. A train arrives at a crowded station. The crowd contains many persons displaying protest banners and waving small Japanese National flags. Many police are amongst the crowd, maintaining order. Next, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yosuke Matsuoka, arrives from Geneva to report to the Emperor and Government. He steps from a limousine, and walks across an esplanade, followed by many officials. He and they, all bow toward the Imperial Palace, as a photographer takes their picture. For a moment, Yosuke Matsuoka holds a handkerchief to his face as he proceeds across the esplanade. The animated map appears again, this time showing the encircling cartoon smoke ring looping out to enclose part of Manchuria, where the flag of Manchukuo now flies. Scene shifts back to the mountain climbers, who now are descending from the summit. View of clouds below them as they stand with arms raised celebrating their accomplishment with what appears to be three "Banzai" shouts. Final scene is a view from moving railroad train of Mount Fuji and other views of Mount Fuji.
Film scenes span from early 1940s through mid 1960s. Film opens showing armed conflict in Laos and South America. Soldiers firing rifles in jungle areas. Armed men running across a field and in a town in Cyprus. Heavy armor engaged in conflict and buildings burning in undisclosed location. Riots in Congo with a crowd of men beating another man. Armed Republic of South Vietnam soldiers (ARVN) moving through jungle in Vietnam. A Viet Cong shot as ARVN troops attack a hut. People fleeing in streets of Cuba as government soldiers engage armed revolutionaries under Castro. A civilian woman suffering a seizure as Red Cross workers attempt to carry her. Burned body of dead tank crew soldier atop a tank. Medical corps persons moving wounded on a stretcher. Various views of ARVN with captured Viet Cong in Vietnam. Narrator discussion about Geneva Conventions and Counterinsurgency. View of the Palace of Nations building in Geneva Switzerland. Scene shifts to inside, in 1949, where delegates of 59 nations are gathered to develop rules to protect prisoners of war, wounded prisoners, noncombatants and others caught up such internal conflicts. View from ground of German paratroopers during World War 2, jumping from Junkers Ju-52 trimotor transport planes. Closeup of German soldiers leaping from a plane and descending in parachutes. Japanese soldiers surrendering to Americans on a Pacific Island in World War 2. Several scenes of massacre victims lying on the ground, victims of Nazi German brutality in Europe during World War II. Survivors of a Nazi concentration camp near the time of its liberation in 1945. A U.S. Army medical corpsmen help one to a stretcher. Executed prisoners of war. Courtroom of the Nuremberg trials. Seen in the front row of Nazi leaders are: Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, and Julius Streicher. Seated behind them are: Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Franz von Papen, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Albert Speer, and Konstantin von Neurath. Scene shifts to the postwar trial of Japanese Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma, in the Philippines. Prisoners with hands bound, in an unidentified Asian conflict, being herded into an open truck. Views of the document constituting the 3rd Geneva Convention of 1949, addressing treatment of prisoners and of parts directed to "conflicts not of an international character." Views of a traumatized civilian driver wounded and a female passenger killed in in his car (appears to be in Cuba or Latin America). Armed gunmen have the man leave the car. A man lays the body of the woman beside the car. Scene shifts to a group of surrendered Vietcong fighters with their weapons stacked. Wounded combatants being carried on stretchers. American survivors of a Japanese prison camp receiving a good meal after being rescued - this is possibly in the Philippines in 1945. Many of the American prisoners are gaunt and emaciated and malnourished. Narrator recites list of activities prohibited by Geneva conventions, as images show these activities: A ditch filled with victims of massacre. Hostages being taken in an internal conflict in an African country. Prisoners being beaten by non-uniformed civilians in and humiliated in public. A recently liberated prison with a former prisoner in striped uniform beating a man as a group is marched away (likely a World War 2 concentration camp with a liberated prisoner beating a former Nazi guard). Death sentences being rendered without due process. A court in Cuba. A boy pointing at a lineup of prisoners. A prisoner shot.
Documentary of the League of Nations titled 'Message from Geneva'. British policy towards League & its operational functions. Exterior view of houses of the Parliament and Big Ben. Speech of King Edward VIII, regarding opening of Parliament and League of Nations. Exteriors of BBC Broadcasting House in London and Post Office Headquarters. Man on telephone arrange radio broadcast from League of Nations in Geneva. Map shows post office radio land lines across Europe. Radio engineers prepare circuits. View of Canterbury Cathedral. Montage illustrates route from Geneva to England. BBC radio broadcast technicians at desks in London, switch to Geneva. Broadcaster in front of microphone in Geneva speaks.
Delegates of the 7th Assembly of the League of Nations at the Woodrow Wilson Memorial in Geneva, Switzerland. Shows Norwegian delegate Dr. Nansen; President of International Labor Organization, Thomas Albert; Count Johann-Heinrich Von Bernstroff of Germany and a host of inventors and reformers. Delegates at ease before for the council meeting at the Pales Des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Japanese delegates pose for a group photo at the League's gardens. Latin American delegates converse. Shows Mr. Urrutia of Columbia and Mr. Guani of Uruguay in conversation.
Geneva Peace Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Venue of the Geneva Peace Conference. Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov arrives for the conference. British Prime Minister Anthony Eden at the conference to discuss Korea and Indo China problem. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and United States Secretary of State John Foster Dulles also arrive to attend the conference. Delegates from different countries seated around a table discussing the issue.