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.
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.
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.
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.
German invasion of Russia during World War II. A map showing German invasion path in Russia until defeat at siege of Stalingrad. A map showing Soviet postwar expansion into Eastern Poland, East Prussia, portions of Finland and other areas. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are incorporated as Republics into the Soviet Union. Russian zones of occupation in Germany, Austria and North Korea. Map depicts an "Iron Curtain" encompassing the Soviet postwar territories. Soviet troops and tanks occupying countries. Soviet ZSU-57-2 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns traveling along a city street. Crowds cheering in a stadium in Soviet East Germany. President Wilhelm Pieck of the German Democratic Republic is among people seen applauding in the stands. . Soviet cargo ships in a harbor operating under trade agreements. Chinese Communist forces moving with guns and artillery and tanks to expel Chiang Kai-Shek and Chinese Nationalists from mainland China, in 1949. Chinese refugees including a casualty and a child holding a bag.
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.