Legislators entering a hall in Czechoslovakia, in 1948. Inside,an image of the Small Coat of Arms of the Republic of Czechoslovakia (1920) dominates the scene. New scene shows Gustav Husak, acting Prime Minister, delivering an address urging support for the Communist Party. The next sequence shows violent Communist-led demonstrations, as armed trade unionists riot in the Prague streets, attacking the offices of the political opposition. Police attempt to restore order. On February 25, 1948, the communists achieve a Czechoslovak coup d'état. On February 27th, Czech President, Edvard Benes, receives a delegation including communist Premier Klement Gottwald and the 12 new members of the cabinet, at the Presidential Palace. He is seen signing documents accepting the communist cabinet. Change of scene shows Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Masaryk, giving a speech rejecting the change. (He remained in office, but died under suspicious circumstances on On March 10, 1948.) View of Masaryk in his casket. Mourners at his funeral.The Czech Parliament Building with flag at half staff. President Benes seen strolling, using a cane, accompanied by his wife, Hana Benes, in the garden of their summer home, Benesova vila, in Sezimovo Usti. Narrator notes that he refused to sign a new constitution drawn up by the communists. He died of natural causes at his villa on September 3, 1948. Scenes of his funeral and of him in his casket. Views of Benes' state funeral, with mourners lining the streets. View of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Narrator describes circumstances using Churchill's term "Iron Curtain." A communist parade in an Eastern European city. A person who was roughed up on the street. View of East German uprising in 1953, being suppressed with Soviet tanks. Uprising in Poland in 1955 being put down by local police and Russian soldiers. Polish musicians playing and examples of Polish political cartoons permitted under relaxed communist rule.
A film titled 'Road to democracy' shows Japanese soldiers marching and attacking Pearl Harbor. Reconstruction being carried amidst ruins in Hiroshima. General MacArthur comes out from a building and salutes as Japanese look on. Japanese war crime trials being conducted. Japanese war equipment being scrapped and melted in furnaces. Emperor Hirohito visits patients and children. People campaign for elections using banners. Women vote for the first time in the elections.
The war crimes trial in Tokyo, Japan after World War II. Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo answers questions put up by the U.S. government. Officials seated in the court room. The U.S. government and the high command decisions on the Japanese-American negotiations. Discussion about the proposals given to Japan.
U.S. propaganda piece about threats by communists against various European countries. The Czechoslovak coup and demonstrations. Czech citizens moving on a street during a strike forcing conservative elements to resign from the cabinet. Scenes of police brutality and beatings against strikers. Communists take over the police. Czech President Edvard Benes with conservative politicians in a government building. Huge crowd on a street. Police clashing with crowd. Czech Prime Minister Klement Gottwald with officials. President Edvard Benes, facing possible civil war or invasion by the Soviet Union, accepts a Communist cabinet. He is seen signing documents to that effect on February 25, 1948. Other officials beside President Benes during the signing. View of the first President of Czechoslovakia Tomas Masaryk's son, Jan Masaryk, who remained the Foreign Minister, and did not agree to the new government. Two days later Jan Masaryk is discovered dead. The body of Jan Masaryk in a coffin. Edvard Benes, who resigned in June 1948 after refusing to sign the communist constitution, is seen walking slowly outside the Parliament using a cane. A guard saluting Benes. View of the body of Edvard Benes, who died in September 1948, laying in a coffin. Mourning citizens offering flowers and cry. Officials bearing the coffin. Shift to street strikes in East Germany in 1953. People during a strike and riot in Poland in 1956. Russian tanks moving on a street and Russian soldiers. Elevated view of panic and Polish citizens fleeing soldiers. October 1956: Student demonstrators on street in Budapest Hungary. Russian red star toppled from building roof in defiance. Russian troops respond on tanks in Hungary. Crowd fights back. Russians retreat. Crowd overwhelms local police. Imre Nagy, Prime Minister of Hungary, ascends steps. Hungarian crowd on streets burn communist books and papers. Russian tanks invade Hungary to crush revolt. Tanks fire guns on Hungarian street. Imre Nagy's execution announced June 17, 1958.
Civilians gather in a square for a rally in Japan. A large crowd of civilians gather during the rally. They hold banners. A woman reads, from a long scroll, to the the crowd .Then a man addresses the crowd, and finishes by leading them in three cheers. The rally moves through the streets. Trees seen on either side of the streets. The rally proceeds. Mountains seen in the background.
Newly elected members of National Assembly of Japan in a meeting. Members of the House of Representatives wear a button on their collars. Ancient assembly Diet in session. Japanese in a procession to mark the new civil rights celebrations. A judicial trial at a court room is seen. Disestablishment of Shinto religion and people of different religions pray at their places of worship. Japanese children being taught in classroom under a new democratic educational system. Free press in the country, newspapers being printed and sold.