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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

German News Reels

GERMAN NEWS REELS OF INTEREST TO ME AND MY CHILD


I ran across these on youtube tonight. They were taken from German Newsreel Excerpts 1940-1944, the year I was born (in October 1944).

My father fought on the Allied side with the Canadian tanks. My father would not have approved of my showing this newsreel. But it's history to me, and at the time of my birth, it is revealing what the "other side" had to say.


I thought it was interesting that the soldiers used trees and foliage to conceal themselves and their equipment. It reminded me of Shakespear's MacBeth where the forest moves close to the castle as prophesied, because the soldiers are using trees as camouflage.

The newsreel is in German and so I can't understand it.

I have German readers who may enlighten me.


However, I found this on the menu underneath the video:

Uploaded on 2 Apr 2011
GERMAN NEWSREEL EXCERPTS - National Archives and Records Administration 1944 - ARC 43553, LI 242.279 - DVD Copied by Nick Stoller. Series: Motion Picture Films Confiscated From Foreign Countries And Sources, compiled 1940 - 1944. Reel 1, Part 1, German women ride horses trained in cavalry units. Part 2, Nazi-officered Slovakian cadets hear a presidential speech in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, and salute with sabers. Part 3, Croatian officers, trained in Germany, detrain in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, review troops, hear a speech, and parade with Chief of State Ante Pavelic. Part 4, bombed-out residents of Lisieux, France, huddle in cellars as rescue workers search through ruins. Part 5, German truck and bicycle patrols in the Cherbourg sector are issued newspapers. Allied planes attack a German motor column; one is shot down. Alone in a ruined church, a German soldier plays an organ. Reel 2, action in the Caen sector, France. German troops in foxholes eat, play with pets, and receive mail. Infantry and tanks, supported by artillery and rockets, destroy Allied armor. A German tank crew is decorated. German infantry, tanks, and armored cars enter a town.

My German fiance:

  • I had a German fiance for a brief time when I was  16 or 17 years old, a Displaced Person whom my parents disliked. He was tall, blond, and athletic. He moved like a cat. He had escaped from prison in Eastern Canada, I found out years later, where he had been jailed for armed robbery. He stole a car in Grande Prairie and went back to prison.

A child is born:

  • By that time we were no longer engaged, but I gave birth to his son in Calgary, Alberta at the age of 17 and gave the child up for adoption. I couldn't go home again, had no job or money in Calgary, and eventually worked as a file clerk for an oil company after my son was born, and met my first husband there.

Happy baby


  • My eldest son, the German man's child, was raised by Mormons in southern Alberta and found me in 2001 through an adoption finder's agency.

A husband and another family:

  • In the meantime, I raised a wonderful son from my husband as my eldest, and my daughter, his sister, was the youngest child. For most of my life my friends thought I had two children.

Left with two living children once again:


  • Now I have a third.

  • My son who was closest to me has passed on. The German boyfriend's son and I remain close but never as though I had raised him.

  • I sometimes feel I should have kept him, but I wanted him to have a better life, and he did.

Times were different then:

  • Times were different back then. A child out of wedlock was a great disgrace. My parents would not let me go home again, and locked me out of their home when I was 16.

A second marriage:

  • My first husband died at the age of 29 in a motorcycle crash, when the two children were infants. I married again, unhappily, ten years later, and divorced him within six years.

  • Both husbands, my two children, and in-laws all knew about the boy born out of wedlock. It was a source of anguish to me at times that I had given him up.

Anguish and a not unexpected call:

  • I wanted to find him again in 1990, but my mother advised me against it, and I was ill and weak. I wish now I had pursued it, as he was looking for me at that time.

  • I received a phone call from the adoption finder's agency on February 13, 2001. It was a call I had been expecting for many years.

  • We talked for the first time on February 14, 2001. He looks a lot like me. He is going to be 51 years old this year. I am so glad he is in my life.

On adopting a child:

  • I would not recommend giving up a child for adoption, and abortion is out of the question. There remains but one option, what young single mothers almost universally choose now: to keep the child and raise her on their own.

Prejudice in all its nasty forms:

  • To tie this story into the German newsreel: the young German fiance wanted to marry me when he returned to Grande Prairie, but I was under age and my parents would not allow it.
  • Just as well, he was not a kind man. He married soon after, to another young woman with child.
  • But if he had not been of German descent, my parents would have not disapproved to that extent.

So it goes, racism and prejudice in all generations.

The children suffer.
Soldiers at war



4 comments:

  1. I watched a program about the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC last night. It was interesting and quite disturbing -- which is what the designer aimed for. He wanted people to feel uncomfortable. Interviews with concentration camp survivors were featured. One commented that her children would remember the stories of war, but her grandchildren would not. Therefore, she said, the Museum was important for future generations. Its architect (also a survivor) was originally hired to build a monument, but convinced the president that a museum was more fitting.

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  2. Thank you, Kenna, for sharing such personal life history. You are a brave woman, and I admire you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank u, my faithful Judi and Lauren. There are those in this world who would cast doubt on the holocaust. Disturbing, right, but it could have happened in any country. No country would accept Jewish immigrants from Germany before the war, much persecution in America and UK as well, for example. And moi? It happened and like a survivor of any abuse, I must advocate for those of a kind.

    ReplyDelete

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