A large number of refugees flee East Berlin under the regime of Communist rule and reach West Berlin, in Germany. A large number of refugees walk near Berlin Quadriga. Russian and East German soldiers guard the Berlin wall line of demarcation between East and West Berlin. Families communicate across the line and relatives weep. A young girl weeps as she views relatives across the divided east and west Germany. A wedding bride waves to her parents in East Germany. A woman (Frieda Schulz) is pulled at the same time from above by east German authorities, and by West German helpers from below as she jumps from the window of her home on Bernauer Strasse to escape into West Germany. Scenes of several successful escapes by east Germans through barbed wire at the border, as they reach the hands of waiting helpers in West Germany.
Opening scene shows the Schoeneberg Rathaus (West Berlin City Hall) where Willy Brandt, Mayor of Berlin, is addressing a large crowd of West Berliners, concerned about the building of the Berlin Wall, by the Soviets. Many carry placards and signs, including some in English,reading: "We trust Kennedy,'Pay any price, Bear any burden, for survival of Liberty;'" and "Millions behind the Iron Curtain ask for help." Scene shifts to a limousine driving into the center of a crowd. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson steps from the car, accompanied by U.S.General Lucius D. Clay, who is seen next, with arm raised, acknowledging the crowd, while standing with Johnson and Brandt, at a podium cluttered with microphones. (Narrator refers to him as "Father of the Airlift.") The next day, British and American soldiers are seen driving in jeeps and trucks and M59 Armored Personnel Carriers, through cheering crowds, as they arrive to reinforce their Berlin garrisons. Closeup of cheering Berliners, waving hankerchiefs. Change of scene shows animated map of Europe illustrating the Westward encroachment of Soviet occupation through World War II and the postwar era, concluding with East Berlin, in 1962. The threat to other Nations and regions is also illustrated. Next, legislators are seen in session in The plenary chamber of the German Bundestag in Bonn. Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer, Chancellor of Germany, is addressing the assembly. He states that Germany does not stand alone in the world. In France, Prime Minister Georges Pompidou addresses the National Assembly, regarding the Berlin Wall. In London, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, addresses Parliament. In the United States, on September 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy, is addressing the UN General Assembly, in New York, about the dangerous crisis in Berlin. Scenes of of the Berlin wall and Checkpoint Charlie . Memorials to persons killed attempting to escape East Berlin, are seen along the wall.
East Germans cross Wall of Shame in Berlin,Germany in the year 1962. View of the Wall of Shame or Berlin Wall. Reflective mirror light from atop a tower intended to block western observation of activity in East Berlin. Officer looks through binoculars at the East German guards across the wall. Communist guards carrying away body of Bernd Luenser who was shot trying to escape to West Berlin. Russian guards loaded in buses move through streets. Freedom bell rings. General of the United States Army Lucius D Clay salutes as the Allied soldiers march past in the streets of West Berlin along with U.S. tanks.
Camera pans along a portion of the "Berlin Wall" made of rough concrete blocks topped by barbed wire. Next, a large group of East German people are seen lined up along a fence topped with barbed wire. They look through the fence. More views of the rough concrete block wall. Scene shifts to Asia, where large numbers of refugees are seen moving along a dirt road. Glimpse of Soviet military on parade in Red Square. Refugees and displaced persons in various places and conditions. Some are barefoot. Huge crowds filling Red Square in Moscow,Soviet Russia. The Kremlin wall and old Russian Senate building and Senate Tower in background. Glimpse of Felix Dzerzhinsky giving empassioned speech in Soviet Russia. Glimpse of fallen refugees beside a road. The film displays a rotating globe of the earth and slate identifying "The Big Picture." A statue and photograph of Karl Marx, the philosopher who espoused Communism. Communists marching during early days of the Soviet revolution in Russia. Series of One-way road signs in various languages. Large gathering of German people carrying signs reading "Frieden" (Peace). View of a person apprehended attempting to escape across the barrier separating East and West Germany. Closeup picture of East German citizen, Bernt Leuton, who was shot by East German border guards, after successfully swimming to West Germany.
General Lucius D Clay retires in Germany. Military Governor of the U.S. Zone of Germany shakes hands with people along a roadside as he prepares to leave after retirement. A torch light demonstration outside the General's house. General Clay waves to the crowd. People hold a banner that reads ' thank You Lucius Clay'. General Clay shakes hands with the crowd.
A film titled 'The Big Picture'. Ruined buildings of Nazi Germany. Eagle of Third Reich pulled down. United States Army of occupation marches into city as German population line sidewalks and watch them. Sign on a shop reads 'Gaststatte Schosser'. American soldiers give candy to German children. Nazi leaders,Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Wilhelm Keitel, in the Nuremberg war crimes trials. German people struggling to rebuild. Americans providing food assistance and feeding German children. Russian troops occupying East Berlin. Russians removing a lathe and other machinery and tools from Germany. A map of Germany and Berlin seen with divided regions as American, British, French and Soviet zones. Children play amidst the desolation and destruction in East Berlin. Kammergericht, Headquarters of the Allied Control Council. American General Joseph T. McNarney. French General Marie Pierre Kœnig (Marie-Pierre Koenig). Soviet General Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov. British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery. Spandau prison guarded by troops of occupying powers. Soviet blockade of West Berlin. Germans plant vegetables in city to survive. The Berlin Airlift operations. U.S. Air Force C-54 in flight bringing supplies to West Berlin. C-97 landing. Unloading relief supplies from airlift aircraft. American C-47s and C-54s in the Berlin Airlift. Soap and milk being loaded on airplanes. German children watch American airlift planes land at Tempelhof Aerodrome, Berlin. Tiny parachute with candy drops from American airplane. Children run to retrieve it. blockade is lifted in 1949 and rebuilding of West Berlin resumes. Trains cross between East and West Berlin. German people cast votes,establishing Federated German Republic, U.S. General Alfred B. Gruenther with Konrad Adenauer,President of the new German Republic. in the West.Workers seen working on construction sites. Soviet oppressed East Germany faces riots. Refugees from East Germany in West Germany.