Japanese Emperor Hirohito, and Empress Nagako, arrive at the Tokyo zoo, in a 1949 Cadillac car, with motorcycle escort. They are greeted by Zoo officials and escorted into the zoo proper. The Emperor and Empress see leopards that leap angrily at the cage bars; a lion being fed, elephants (performing tricks), and seals. Empress Nagako feeds fish to the seals. The royal couple wave to a group of spectators who are kept at some distance. They attend a performance by several trained seals, and a trained chimpanzee, who rides a bicycle, dressed in costume.
Animated map shows thrust of German forces during invasion of Soviet Russia in World War 2. Stalingrad is highlighted as a turning point. Another animated map shows Soviet territorial gains at the end of the war, as narrator discusses the disposition of those places and their respective populations, as in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. He also discusses Soviet zones of occupation. Animated map shows "Iron Curtain." Soviet troops on parade. Soviet ZSU-57-2 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (SPAAG) on display during a parade in 1945. A stadium filled with people in Soviet-occupied East Germany, in 1949. Friedrich Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck, the first President of the German Democratic Republic, is seen in the stands. Young East German women parade in traditional costumes, clapping their hands, in the stadium. Waterfront scenes show Soviet trade activities with post-war occupied entities. Scenes of conflict as Chinese communist forces expel Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Chinese forces from the mainland to Formosa, in 1949. A litter-borne casualty and a refugee mother and small girl are seen.
The 1949 Hollywood Gold Cup was held at Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, California. (The entire Hollywood Park season was moved to Santa Anita, following a devastating fire on the night of May 5, 1949 that destroyed Hollywood Park's grandstand.) The spectators seated in the stands. The horses on tracks . The owner of the horse, Solidarity. The race starts. The spectators watch the race and cheer. The horses run on the track. The spectators watch as Solidarity wins the race.
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. Armed Republic of South Vietnam soldiers (ARVN) moving through jungle. A Viet Cong shot as ARVN troops attack a hut. People fleeing in streets of Cuba as government soldiers engage armed revolutionaries. A civilian woman suffering a seizure as Red Cross workers attempt to carry her. Dead tank crew soldiers atop their tank. Medical corps persons moving wounded on a stretcher. Various views of ARVN with captured Viet Cong in Vietnam. Slate identifies the film as U.S. Army Training Film TF 27 - 3616, entitled "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 jumping from Junkers Ju-52 trimotor transport planes. Closeup of them leaving 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. Survivors of a Nazi concentration camp. 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 in unidentified 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 civilian driver wounded and passengers killed in in his car. Surrendered Vietcong with their weapons stacked. Wounded combatants being carried on stretchers. American survivors of a Japanese prison camp receiving a good meal after being rescued. A ditch filled with victims of massacre. Hostages being taken in an internal conflict. Prisoners being beaten and humiliated in public. Death sentences being rendered without due process.
The Kremlin viewed from Borodinsky bridge over Moskva (Moscow) River, in May, 1949. Cathedral Square can be seen to the right (East) dominated by the tall Ivan, the Great, Bell tower. The Metropolitan Hotel viewed from across a square. Buses moving on the streets. Camera pans across members attending meeting of a USSR legislature (Duma), focusing on the wide variety of ethnicities and cultures represented by the persons and dress of the delegates. A speaker delivers a dramatic poetic speech and is applauded. Huge illuminated images of Lenin and Stalin flank the backdrop of the stage and podium. The film ends with the Chairman of the Gosduma, rising and applauding, quickly accompanied by others on the stage and then, by those seated in the hall.
Russian newsreel shows scenes from election day in 1949 in Hungary, as citizens vote in the parliamentary election. Farm workers coming in from fields and preparing to vote. A decorated tractor on election day. Men carrying an election banner. Men and women with families walking toward centers to cast their ballots. Scenes beside ballot boxes with citizens casting their votes. Communist posters visible including those of the Hungarian Working People's Party. Men and women dressed in traditional Hungarian costumes arrive at a voting center. Elevated view of a Hungarian city and bridges over water in the foreground. Hungarian people dance in groups. The happy crowd surrounds First Secretary Mátyás Rákosi when he arrives at a voting center. Matyas Rakosi seen casting his vote in a ballot box. The President of Hungary, Árpád Szakasits, also seen casting his vote. Election officials look on as Arpad Szakasits folds his ballot. A huge crowd gathered on the streets in Hungary for a night time parade. They carry caricatures that parody democratic world leaders and democracy, including U.S. President Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, among others. Hungarians in traditional clothing dance and celebrate