View of Ellis Loring Dresel, United States commissioner to Germany and chargé d'affaires for the United States in Germany, seen standing beside a building in Berlin. Men gather for the signing of the United States peace treaty with Germany in Berlin, almost three years after the World War I armistice was signed. Mr. Dresel and two other diplomats enter a 1920's car parked on the street, as a small crowd stands by. The Treaty document is shown for the camera, bearing the signature of Ellis Loring Dresel.
Rise of fascism in Germany and Italy due to economic and social unrest in the wake of World War 1. Animated map of Japan, Germany and its neighboring countries, and Italy. Views of Italian Fascist "Black Shirts" marching bearing flags, and rendering fascist salutes. Fascists participating in the famous "March on Rome" in October, 1922. Spectators line the sidewalks and side of the road. Brief (jerky) views of unrest in Italy following World War I, due to unemployment and hard times. People getting food at an outdoor soup kitchen. Fascists promising better times are seen parading and riding in jammed open cars. Benito Mussolini, who was elected to Parliament in 1921, is seen in a top hat, arms akimbo, standing with other officials. Glimpse of Black Shirts marching. Back to Mussolini, again, who now makes some remarks to those standing with him and expresses himself with exaggerated body language. Another glimpse of Black Shirts marching. Film transitions to Germany, where Adolf Hitler is seen walking through a dense crowd of supporters. Hitler's clothes resemble a military uniform. Next, scenes illustrating the terrible post-World War 1 hyperinflation suffered by Germany during the Weimar Republic. Various banknotes and currency in ridiculous denominations are shown. People trying to buy groceries during this period. German militaristic marchers. Fascists giving arm salutes as they parade in a city street. General Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg (who is also President of Germany) is seen standing in front of Germany's top military leaders. Directly behind him is Marshal August von Mackensen, in a fur busby hat with Totenkopf (death head) insignia. Other Generals wear pickelhaube spiked helmets. Hindenburg's closest associate, General Erich Ludendorff stands just behind and to the left of Hindenburg. Glimpse of German soldiers in more modern uniforms. Next, Hindenburg is seen reviewing troops in the company of their commander. Next, Hitler is seen with a group of German civilian industrialists whose interests he promises to support. Alfred Krupp Jr. sits, with his legs crossed, next to Hitler. Glimpse of Hitler, in uniform, waving from a window. People running as a cadre of mounted police canter in formation down the street.
Scenes from the Russian Revolution and years immediately after in Russia, roughly 1918-1921. Troops moving in the snow. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the Bolshevik leader, makes peace with the Germans. The Civil War breaks out in Russia. White Russians continue war with World War 1 allies, against Germany. Czarist Cossacks seek to restore the monarchy of Nicholas II. Photograph of the Russian Czar and family sitting outdoors on the ledge of a wooden building. Secret police seen arresting people. Bolshevik firing squad executes three prisoners, who fall dead into a mass grave behind them. Lenin, holding a kitten in his hand, seated at a table. March 7, 1921: Workers and sailors gathered on the streets, in Kronstadt, demanding peace, freedom, and bread. Red Army Troops disperse the crowd, shooting many of them. Leon Trotsky, Commander of the Red Army, states that the slaughter was necessary. Trotsky seen walking with other officers. People on the sides of a path watching Trotsky. Families looking over dead workers and sailors in a field.
A film depicts scenes of the rise of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) in Germany from 1921 to 1933. Early parades of Nazi Party and crowd in Germany. Adolf Hitler arrives at Nazi Party meetings. Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels speaks. Party members gives a salute. Demonstration and riot in Munich in Marienplatz area, between Communist KPD members and NSDAP browshirts, and police, known as the Beer Hall Putsch or Munich Putsch in November 1923. Newspaper headlines of Erich Ludendorff and Adolf Hitler jailed. A man writes on a Nazi Party card. Joseph Goebbels at his office. Baldur von Schirach exits a building. Italian members of the Fascist Party arrive by car on visit in Germany.
Statue of Karl Marx on his grave stone in Highgate Cemetery, London. A picture of Karl Marx. Scenes in the Soviet Union. Soviet soldiers walking slowly in loose formation. Bolsheviks standing with a large banner. Damaged shops on a street. "One way" street signs in several languages. Large gathering of people carrying signs reading: "Frieden" (Peace, in German). A sign reading: "HALT, Landesgrenze" marking a German provincial boundary. A sign in German, designating the customs border at Furth im Wald, Bavaria ("Zollgrenz-Bezirk, Furth i.Wald"). East German border guards setting obstacles and sentry paths. Picture of Günter Litfin, a twenty-four-year-old tailor, who swam across the Spree Canal to West Germany on 24 August 1961. View of him being fatally shot from across the border, by East German guards, as he is being pulled into West Germany (the first such fatality at the East West German border). Animated map of the world with label references to Berlin,1961; Havana, 1959; Budapest, 1956; Coyoacan, 1940; and Kronstadt, 1921.
Changes in Germany during Adolf Hitler's leadership. Workers on strike because of unemployment. Workers sitting with no work. Hyperinflation during the Wiemer Republic 1921-1923. Money, drafts and notes with huge values seen. Woman buying from vendor with large prices posted. People play jazz, dance and express hopeless abandon as inflation becomes uncontrollable. Men are given shovels to march with by Nazi official. Adolf Hitler speaks to a crowd about rebuilding of Germany. The launch of a Kraft durch Freude 'KDF' ship, which was part of the National Socialist Organization Strength through Joy program. German officials give Nazi salutes. German flags on the ship. A large crowd at the launch of a KDF ship.