During period of Anschluss German occupation of Austria prior to World War II. Heldengedenktag or Heroes' memorial day in Berlin, Germany on March 13,1938. View of the Neue Wache (New Guard) World War One memorial on Unter den Linden. A cross , flowers, and a flame burns next to it. A guard stands outside. View of the equestrian statue of Frederick the Great. Camera pans back across the front of the New Guard building showing soldiers in formation on either side. Accompanied by two officers, Hermann Goering in uniform, including steel helmet, walks behind soldiers as they carry a large floral wreath across the square and into the New Guard building. View from inside as they enter and place the wreath. Closeup of the wreath shows a ribbon with words: "Adolf Hitler." Officers salute. War song, "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden," is softly played in the background. Scene shifts to Vienna, Austria, as Goering gives a speech. View of St. Stephen's cathedral and scenes from several days prior, as crowds cheer in Heldenplatz square about the Anschluss . Animated map showing the annexation territory. Slate displaying the slogan: "Ein Volk; Ein Reich; Ein Fuhrer" (One people; one nation; one leader.)
The opening scene depicts Heldengedenktag (Heroes' memorial day) in Berlin, March 13,1938. It shows the spartan interior of the Neue Wache (New Guard) World War One memorial on Unter den Linden. A cross stands above masses of flowers and a flame burns next to it. A sentry stands outside the building. View of the equestrian statue of Frederick the Great, nearby in the center of Unter den Linden. Camera pans back across the front of the New Guard building showing soldiers in formation on either side. Accompanied by two officers, Hermann Goering in uniform, including steel helmet, walks behind soldiers as they carry a large floral wreath across the square and into the New Guard building. View from inside as they enter and place the wreath. Closeup of the wreath shows a ribbon with words: "Adolf Hitler." The two officers render a Nazi salute and Goering salutes with his Luftwaffe Field Marshal's baton. Throughout the sequence,the war song, "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden," is softly played as a slow dirge in the background. Scene shifts completely to a hall at night, in Vienna, Austria, as Goering gives a speech referring to Adolf Hitler. View of St. Stephen's cathedral and scenes from several days prior, as crowds cheer in Heldenplatz about the Anschluss (annexation of Austria by Germany). Animated map showing the territorial annexation. Slate displaying the slogan: "Ein Volk; Ein Reich; Ein Fuhrer" (One people; one nation; one leader.)
(Note: Regarding the New Guard, in Berlin: Since 1993, it has been the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the victims of war and tyranny. The eternal flame was replaced by a Four- times-enlarged copy of the bronze sculpture, "Mother with Dead Son,"by Kaethe Kollwitz, on a slab of black granite in the center of the room underneath the oculus. Her original small bronze made in 1937, resides in the Kaethe Kollwitz Museum in Charlottenburg.)
Film opens showing Adolf Hitler ascending stairs to the Bergfhof, accompanied by Marshal Hermann Goering, and followed by other high ranking Nazi officers. Inside, General staff officers begin briefing Hitler about plans for German expansion Eastward. Finger points to Austria on map. Next, on March 12, 1938, Border Guards are seen dismantling barriers at the border as German troops march into Austria. German aircraft fly overhead. Hitler stands in his open touring car as it drives into Vienna, where local people line the sidewalk, and welcome him with the Nazi salute. Maps depict the fall of Austria and illustrate the anticipated conquest of Czechoslovakia. Brief overlay image of Bismark as narrator quotes him about Bohemia being key to control of Europe. German troops advancing up steep mountainous terrain. German soldiers on horseback and wagons passing road sign pointing to cities of Karlovy Vary and Cheb, in the west Bohemia region of Czechoslovakia. Czech troops marching in formation with shouldered arms. View of Czech Avia B-534 warplanes at an airfield. Interior of a Czech Skoda works munitions factory. President of Czechoslovakia, Edvard Beneš, signing papers at his desk. French lancers marching in formation, on parade. (Narrator comments on French military alliances with Czechoslovakia and Great Britain.) View of warships in British fleet. Hitler outdoors, surrounded by German military officers, looking over large maps. Animated map highlights the "Sudetenlands" bordering Germany, including districts of Bohemia, Moravia, and parts of Silesia inside Czechoslovakia, where use of German language was common. Street scene from that area showing some youths in uniforms, marching. Hitler giving speech about bringing the German people together again. The uniformed youth marching at a camp. Sign erected on stone wall at the camp reads: "Die Faune ist mehr als der..."(the flag is more than ...) Youth in Naval garb march on a street with a Nazi flags. Spectators give Nazi salutes. Young men in Khaki uniforms march with Nazi symbols. Scenes shift to similar parades in Norway, Sweden,China,and the United States. Back in Czechoslovakia, Hitler reaches down from his podium to shake hands with parading youth. Images of Admiral Chester Nimitz, Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, Senator Robert Wagner, Wendell Wilkie, Henry J. Kaiser, and American military members, superimposed on American flags. Sudentenland Nazi supporters marching. Konrad Ernst Eduard Henlein, Sudeten German politician, with a Nazi officer. More views of Sudeten Nazi supporters. Nazis in an office showing blackjacks. Hospitalized Czechs who suffered at hands of Nazi supporters in street fights. Hitler speaking before the Bundestag. Closeup of Joseph Goebbels.Foreign minister Maxine Lichtenhof speaking to League of Nations meeting announcing Russia's readiness to back action against Germany. Czech borders being closed. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain arriving by plane in Munich. Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Hermann Goering with Chamberlain, at the meeting to sign the Munich Agreement. View of protests by people in the streets of Czechoslovakia. French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier and Chamberlain, both being praised by countrymen upon their respective returns from Munich. (Chamberlain seen arriving just before giving famous "peace for our time" speech.)
German troops enter Austria. Newspaper headlines about earlier discussions between Hitler and Kurt Schuschnigg, the Chancellor of Austria, who unsuccessfully resisted the Anschluss. A sign reads 'state border 65'. German troops along with artillery advance forward towards the city. They cross a bridge and enter. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler in a car. A flag of the Nazis. Civilians gather at Heldenplatz . Hitler addresses the people. People around the Statue of Archduke Charles of Austria on the Heldenplatz . The civilians listen to him. A close up of Hitler addressing people. The civilians cheer. An unidentified aircraft in flight. Hitler and his party members look up in the sky. The soldiers parade and Hitler reviews the parade.
Nazi occupation of Vienna, Austria in 1938. Nazi soldiers play with Austrian children on a street. The soldiers and the children near an artillery gun. Nazi and Austrian soldiers exchange small talks. Nazi troops and tanks parade along a street in Vienna. A band plays. Nazi officers review the parade. An Austrian crowd cheers for the parading troops.
Internees at a concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany. Kurt Gatner, a former Chief of Prime Minister Schuschingg's body guard from Vienna, Austria. He says that he was arrested in 1938 soon after the occupation of Austria by Germans. He states how he was badly treated at various concentration camps. He talks about the harsh punishments being given at these camps. He thanks the American and other Allied forces for liberating him and many others from the camp. Other internees in the background.