Map highlights Vitebsk region of Belarus. Roaring flames in the city, during World War 2. Refugees with a wooden cart mingle with retreating German infantry walking across a bridge over the Dvina River. A German tank with a huge log fastened to its side as extra protection. It is followed by another tank and three soldiers on a motorcycle and side car. Some infantrymen walk casually but another contingent marches in formation, smiling as they pass the camera. Domes of an orthodox church are seen in the background, as passing soldiers wave to the camera. Smiling German infantrymen walk next to picket fence. Line of refugees in horse-drawn wagons leaving the city. German gunners set up an artillery field piece. View of rail lines and station set ablaze by German troops. Explosions occur along rail line as German sappers detonate charges to destroy tracks. Smoke and haze covers the area. German officer looks through binoculars at smoke from explosion in distance. German soldiers bury Teller land mines along railroad bed. Closeup of a soldier setting mine in place and covering it with patch of grass. German antiaircraft battery set up overlooking Dvina River. Below, German army vehicles cross steel bridge.Sappers destroy another bridge. The Uspenski Cathedral in backgound at confluence of Dvina and Vitba Rivers. A huge explosion sends clouds of black smoke aloft, as German sappers destroy more buildings. A German soldier carrying a Panzerfaust recoiless antitank weapon runs to join another lying prone with an MG 42 light machine gun. More huge demolition explosions. German soldiers ready for combat. Huge fires rage in the city.
Map shows Belorussian and Russian areas near the Dnieper river. Field Marshal Ernst Busch, ostensibly being honored for 40 years of service. (He has been notified that he is relieved from command of German Army Group Centre, following disastrous defeat by Soviets during their 1944 Belorussian Offensive of World War 2.) He steps from his headquarters in Belarus, receiving salutes from his staff. He accepts an elaborate candelabra, as a gift. Busch shares a document with a German General, and they both are amused by it. Members of the staff bid Marshal Busch farewell.
German military action on the Eastern front in World War 2. Map shows places. German forces invading Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Soldier near a German Tiger tank. Military vehicles move on street. Soldiers fire from tanks. Soldiers near rail road station. They lay demolition charges on railway tracks. The charges destroy the tracks. Bombardment in the area. Houses and trees. Local refugees leave the area along with their belongings in wagons and their cattle. Tiger tanks move on the field. Destroyed Soviet Sherman tanks (Lendlease). Wreckage in the city.
German leader Heinrich Himmler visits a camp near Minsk. He is accompanied by other German officers. Several men stand on stairs of a building. German officers stand in a line. Heinrich Himmler meets and talks to them. Several men stand on a balcony. Heinrich Himmler waves to them. His car leaves the area. Heinrich Himmler stops the car and talk to people, including a young boy, working in fields. The car moves on a road. Buildings in the background. He arrives at Minsk Ghetto. Wire fencing on the boundaries of the camp. The prisoners sit on the other side of wiring. He tours the camp area.
German Operation Barbarossa in World War 2. View from Adolf Hitler's Ju 52 transport plane, of the city of Minsk, Belarus, below. Hitler silhouetted in profile against the window. View from window as the airplane taxis to parking place. Closeup of enthusiastic German troops cheering Hitler, as he descends steps from the plane. General Field marshal Von Block greets Hitler, Inside German headquarters, Von Bock points to a large map and briefs Hitler on the military situation and operations. Animated map depicts miliary movements from Bialystock to Minsk and then further to Smolensk. German armor is seen pursuing Soviet forces, who have left buildings burning in scorched earth retreat. German troops firing light field artillery (10.5 cm leFH 18 leichte FeldHaubitze) and advancing through smoke over rough terrain. They flush Soviet defenders out of their fortifications. Brief view of destroyed reinforced bunker. Panzer light and medium tanks and move at high speed along roads, cross bridges and waterways and close a ring around Minsk. German and Soviet armor confront each other at close range. As the Germans fire, some soviet vehicles abandon the roadway to escape. German tanks continue to roll, raising clouds of dust. Tanks fire across open fields of grain. Smoke rises from shell strikes. German gunners set up and fire batteries of mixed field artillery including light, medium and heavy guns. Infantry moving house to house in villages. View from behind German gunners firing a maching gun from partially protected position. They duck for cover as enemy round flies close overhead. Soviet prisoners double-time marching along a road.
A visit to a Camp Near Minsk, Belarus. Head of the Schutzstaffel (SS) Heinrich Himmler visits Minsk and a concentration camp near Minsk. Himmler with group of German officers, including Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, Karl Wolff, Otto Bradfisch (Leader of Einsatzkommando 8, Einsatzgruppe B, possibly Hans-Adolf Pruetzmann and Hermann Fegelein. Minsk streets. Himmler greets small line of uniformed men and salutes people on balcony. His car leaves city. Himmler seated in a car, Bach-Zelewski far right, gestures to local woman wearing kerchief. Himmler and others including Wolff and Bach-Zelewski walk through field of cut wheat, talk to young boy who answers. Himmler looks at front end of Russian farm equipment and walks past houses being built. Car leaves huge compound serving as SS/SD headquarters. Drives through Minsk, views of destruction. Outside town, walks into wire enclosed compound, met by German officers. Walks along wire on other side of which are many Soviet prisoners, talks to one prisoner and inspects camp, accompanied by Karl Wolff and others.