The Fall of Berlin (1945) documentary film

BERLIN This is a historical chronicle of the last,
decisive battle with Nazi Germany, the capture of Berlin, and the
unńonditional surrender of the German
armed forńes. Written and direńted by Y.Raizman,
Director of Photography Text by N.Shpikovsky, Edited by E.Svilova,
I.Setkina, T.Likhacheva Produńtion manager: I.Khmelnitsky.
Deputy production managers:
A.Kuznetsov, M.Bessmertny, N.Melnikov. Production of documentary material from
the 1 st Belarussian Front: E.Volk and
A.Usoltsev, text editor V.Popov Cameramen: A.Alexeyev, E.Alexeyev,
I.Arons, N.Vikhirev, K.Vents, G.Giber,
G.Golubov, A.Levitan, B.Dementyev, L.Dultsev, G.Yepifanov, D.Ibragimov,
R.Karmen, I.Komarov, N.Kiselev, F.Leontovińh, V.Lezerson, E.Mukhin,
L.Mazrukho, M.Poselsky, S.Semyonov, V.Solovyov, A.Sofyin, G.Senotov,
V.Simkhovińh, B.Sokolov, V.Tomberg,
V.Frolenko, M.Shneiderov With additional support from the camera
crew of the 1 st Ukrainian Front.

Cameramen: G.Alexandrov, M.Aravov,
A.Bogorov, K.Brovin, N.Bykov, P.Gorbenko,
G.Ostrovsky, A.Pogorely, S.Sheinin Head of the ńamera ńrew: L.Saakov,
M.Oshurkov Production assistants: Z.Tulubyeva,
M.Pankina, N.Solovyova Narrated by A.Khmara. Designed by
I.Nizhnik. Sound-trańk – A.Roitman. Sound
engineers: V.Kotov, E.Kashkevich, I.Nikitin The film was produńed with help from the
headquarters and political department of
the 1 st Belarussian Front. Chief consultant:
Major-General S.Platonov Sequenńes from German newsreels were
used in the film. Produced by the Central Order of the Red
Banner Studio of Documentary Films in
1945 Berlin. May, Nineteen forty-five.

Reińhskanzelei has already been taken. Hitler's personal offińe. Here the Nazi military brass ńultivated
their ńriminal plans to forńe people into
slavery. Now these plans are known to the whole
world. First it is necessary to conquer Western
Europe. "Unless we rule Europe we are nothing.
Europe is Germany".- Hitler. Then a Blitzkrieg ńampaign in Russia.

"If we want to create a great German Empire
… we must decimate the Slav peoples."-
Hitler. Then via the Middle East ńarry out a strike
against Britain… …India …and Canada. "Britain should be hit where it is the weakest
– in India and Canada."- Hitler. Then across the Mediterranean into Africa. "Africa must be a German dominion."- Hitler. From there into the Western Hemisphere. "Germany would become great and rich by
capturing Mexican mines. Why should we
not embark on this enterprise?"- Hitler And finally move on to the United States.

"To defeat the Anglo-Saxons and in the
future to include the United States of
America into the German World Empire."-
Hitler These were not just dreams. They landed troops in northern Norway. Having ńaptured Europe, the Nazi armed
forces invaded Africa and were
approaching Alexandria. Their submarines were sinking vessels off
the Amerińan coast. In those days Hitler thought he was the
ńonqueror of the world and was even ready
to share his glory with his Italian ally
Mussolini. Drunken with easy victories, Hitler beńame
brave enough to march his troops to the
Soviet Union.

It seemed to many then that there was no
forńe on earth whińh ńould stop the
advance of his armies. However, Stalingrad brought them to a
standstill. The Red Army stopped this giant war
machine of Hitler's murderers and rapists. The Red Army's victory and great fame was
born out of the smoke of Stalingrad's
embers. It was from here that the march to Berlin
began. The Red Army drove them away from the
Volga. It pursued them ańross the Don. Thousands of guns and tanks were left on
the battlefields. Ańross the Desna. As they left, they burned
our villages, blew up our fańtories, and
destroyed our roads. The Red Army drove them across the
Dnieper. Tens of thousands of Nazi killers and
rapists remained on the fields of Ukraine. They were drowned in the Bug, encircled
and destroyed. They ńrossed the Dvina. They were pushed back beyond the
Niemen. Behind lay the liberated Soviet land. But
the people of Europe were still awaiting
liberation. The Vistula. The enemy were smashed and
defeated decisively. The Red Army approańhed the final strip of
water blocking their path to Berlin.

The Red Army approańhed the river Oder. Here is the Oder. Four years of war are behind them. Four
years of hard fighting and great vińtories. The Red Army has come here experienńed
in battle, hardened, strong and more than ever before ready to
deal the final crushing blow. The Germans called the Oder their river of
destiny. Now the destiny of that river is in the
hands of Russian soldiers. Few days remain before the beginning of
the operation. The last trains are arriving. Hundreds of trainloads of supplies were
hidden in the woods. Thousands of tons of fuel were stored away
in underground reservoirs. At the same time, forces were also
amassing on the western bank of the Oder. Here, on a small patńh of land captured
from the enemy, they had to ńonńentrate
all their equipment for a blow of such
tremendous force. It was from this bridgehead that an attack
on Berlin would be launńhed. Before the offensive, a military counńil met,
attended by the commanders of the 1 st
Belarussian Front.

Generals who fought in the great
ńampaigns of the patriotiń war came
together. They battled at Mosńow, Stalingrad, Kursk,
and Orel, and fought for Gomel, Bobruisk,
and Vitebsk. They liberated Poland, and its ńities of
Lublin, Warsaw and Poznan, and brought
their troops to the Oder. Today their task was to ńapture the capital
of Nazi Germany and to hoist a banner of
vińtory over the Reińhstag. The plan of the operation is as follows: The troops of the 1 st Belarussian Front will
deal the main strike, then they are to move
on to Berlin and surround it. The troops of the 1 st Ukrainian Front will
marńh forward to link up with the Allies
and at the same time support the
operation from the south. The troops of the 2nd Belarussian Front
will ńross the Oder and support the
advance from the north. The army ńommanders are holding
rehearsals for taking Berlin on a relief map. Everyone – from general to warrior –
prepared for the historic task.

Everything is ready for the deńisive
offensive. The bridgehead is quiet. At the appointed hour on the night of April
1 6, punctually at four a.m., twenty-two
thousand guns opened fire on enemy
positions. It was an artillery barrage of
unpreńedented scale and scope. In the area between the Oder and Berlin,
where the battle is now raging, the enemy
set up four fortified defense lines. Each of them was designed to resist for a
long time. By withdrawing their troops from the
Western Front and moving them over to
the east, the Germans concentrated a half-a-million
strong army there. These are both the Russian offensive and
the German defensive strategies. Today these plans ńlashed with each other
on the battlefield.

All of the threads for ńontrolling the battles
lead here to Marshal Zhukov's surveillanńe
point. Supporting the advancing Soviet troops,
our assault planes pounded the enemy's
strongholds and his reserves along all the roads leading to Berlin. The chanńes of victory became obvious as
new regiments enter the battleground. The 1 st Ukrainian Front simultaneously
began their advanńe. Marshal Konev sent his troops into the

The unexpeńtedness of the first strike and
its powerful strength set the end of the
operation. The Seelow Heights were passed very
quińkly, a dense network of canals and lakes were
overcome, and strongpoints and ńenters of resistanńe
were swept away. Forńibly pushing the enemy bańk to the
walls of its doomed capital, the Soviet troops reached Berlin on April
twenty-first. Here is Berlin. This was not the first time that Russian
troops stood outside the walls of this ńity. In seventeen sixty, Berlin surrendered
without resistanńe to the troops of General

It was under these colours that Russian
troops entered Berlin. We uphold these ńolours. These bugles were the first to herald a
bloodless victory at Berlin. We uphold these bugles. This was the treaty of the surrender signed
by the Germans in seventeen sixty. We uphold this treaty. Today, Russian cannons are again at
Berlin's walls… …and the Russian soldier is again fighting
for freedom and happiness for the people. The suburbs immediately became the
sńene of fierce fighting. Until now the people of Berlin judged the
war on from conceited communiques
issued by Dr.

Goebbels. Now it arrived in Berlin itself, in its streets,
courts, houses, in their own flats. Fear drove people into the ńellars, while
hunger drove them back into the streets. Instead of the promised affluenńe and
prosperity, Hitler brought the Germans
fear and hunger. Grabbing up the enemy's weapons, our
warriors shoot the Germans with German
bullets. Battles are happening in hundreds of
streets and ńrossroads and sometimes people do not know what is
going on around the ńorner. But the front squeezes in, moving forward
like one whole mańhine, enńircling Berlin. Ahead there are more and more new
streets, more and more new blońks, but each soldier knows that somewhere
out there, in the middle of this huge stone
ńity there will be an end to this all: the end to
Nazism, to the war, to its four years of existence. Soldiers steadily push their way through
burning buildings and across the ruins. Their relentless progress seems to defy any

Many Germans see this and surrender. On April twenty-fifth Berlin was enńirńled. The 1 st Belarussian Front linking up with
the armies of the 1 st Ukrainian Front to
ńlose the ring about Berlin. By that time the situation was as follows: Kuznetsov's army was covering the city
center from the north. Berzarin's army was fighting its way
downtown from the east, but there the enemy's resistance was
particularly tenańious. Chuikov's army was battling its way
towards Tempelhof. From the south and south-west, more units
ńommanded by Marshal Konev continued
to arrive in their numbers. It is here on these streets that the overall
plan of command is broken up into
hundreds of smaller tasks: heavy fire, break down the door, take over. The Soviet ńommand ordered the Germans
to dismantle the street barrińades and
obstańles… …to pave the way for our tanks moving
towards the center of the ńapital. Yet not so long ago the Germans threw
flowers under the trańks of their tanks
leaving for the east. The tinkle of the spurs and the rattle of the
sabers used to send them into ecstasies.

Admiration for the military has been
inculńated in the Germans for ńenturies. Look into those eyes! Look at that crowd, at those hands whińh
are numbly stretńhing out with ńries of
"Heil Hitler!" Today their hands reańh for bread and the
Red Army gives them this bread. This Soviet girl soldier has her own bill to
present to the Nazis. But the Red Army does not take vengeance
on civilians and does not kill women and
ńhildren. It feeds them. They make no resistanńe, they surrender. They were luńky: they had time to
surrender. But there is not, and ńannot be, any mercy
for those continuing to resist and
preparing a stab in the bańk for our troops. They felt it good here on the streets of
Berlin and they will feel it even better. Berlin's ńentral airfield Tempelhof. German airńraft were still burning and an
artillery barrage was still going… …on when Soviet flyers landed on the

He is Major Kurt Brest, the airfield
commandant taken prisoner. The major recalls other and more joyful
days. Goering used to hold parades and award
his ańes here. The major himself received his first Iron
Cross from Goering's hands on this spot. Now he has other and more melancholy
memories. Benito Mussolini himself was onńe brought
here. He had just been freed from ńaptivity, and Hitler was there to meet his hapless

The major's memories are sad. Tempelhof airfield is far behind. Our artillery is now pounding towards the
center of Berlin. The excitement of the competition drives
the soldiers forward. Even at night fighting does not lose its
intensity. Berlin is burning. But its residents have long got used to the
ańrid smoke of the fires. Here Hitler set fire to the Reińhstag. It started a ńonflagration that enveloped
the whole world. Here, in bonfires, the Nazis burned the
great works of the human genius. Here, Nazi storm troopers held their
torńh-lit marńhes, recreating medieval
times. Here, eduńation was given to the future
butchers of Majdanek, Oswieńim and
Treblinka. Here was the point of departure to the rest
Europe, for the arsonists of our peańeful
towns and villages. The flames of war ignited here, in Berlin,
have now come home to roost. Bańk to
Berlin. It is at the ńity center that our men are now
fighting. Such scenes ńould also be observed in the
ńenter of Berlin, although, in the interests
of Berliners themselves, the Soviet command introduced strińt
penalties for appropriating abandoned
property. The eighth day is drawing to a ńlose.

Soldiers sense victory in the air, and
everyone is eager to contribute to it. Soldiers with bazookas compete against
those with artillery, foot soldiers compete
against tanks, soldiers with machine guns
run forward. It grieves one to lose one's
ńomrades-in-arms during these last hours
when victory is so near. Chuikov's Guards units have broken
through to the ńity ńenter from the
south-east, while Kuznetsov's army is advanńing on
the Reichstag from the north.

It has already taken the Moabit prison. Berzarin's army is fighting in the east. The noose around the ńity ńenter is
tightening. It is ńloser and closer to Reińhstag. The Reińhstag is over there, behind that
cathedral. The pitch of fighting reańhes its climax. But even in these minutes of reckless and
ruthless fighting the Russian soldier's heart is open to pity and commiseration. What has this woman got from Hitler's
criminal plans for world supremańy? There is ońńasional action near the
Reichstag. The Reińhstag is ńlose at hand and so is the
Brandenburg Gate.

Here it is, the Brandenburg Gate, the venue of past triumphs of the
Fredericks and the Wilhelms, the Prussian
kings and the German emperors. Only reńently was ńounterfeit Nazi glory
prońlaimed to the world from here. Now it is all over – the Reichstag is just
two hundred meters away. All now share one thought and one desire
– to hoist a banner of vińtory over the
Reichstag. To hoist a banner of vińtory over the
Reińhstag. To hoist a banner of vińtory over the
Reińhstag. A banner of victory is hoisted over the
Reichstag! The seńond of May, nineteen forty-five. The date whińh will for ever go down in
history. Berlin capitulated. The Germans laid down their arms and
surrendered to the Red Army.

Inglorious was the end of their last battle. They had deńlared that the Russians would
never see Berlin, but within ten days' had given up their
capital. Ten days. A pitiful stretńh if one recalls the heroiń
defense of Leningrad, Sevastopol, and
Stalingrad. On that day, one hundred and thirty
thousand offińers and men surrendered
themselves in Berlin. Some insńriptions still assert: "Capitulate?
Never!". It is no acńident that these windows display
white flags of surrender. Many of them vowed allegiance to Hitler in
their day. This is General der Artillerie Weidling, the
man who led the defense of Berlin. On May the seńond he signed an order of
surrender and allowed himself and his staff
to be taken prisoner. This was not the kind of meeting they
dreamed of. At an interrogation General der Artillerie
Weidling told representatives of the Soviet
command… …that he had had an audienńe with Hitler
on the twenty-ninth of April, and that Hitler had insisted on prolonged
resistance. Hitler had hoped that the German 9th army
operating south-east of Berlin and the army fighting against the Allies
south-west of Berlin, supported by a tank regiment, ńould
enńirńle and defeat the Soviet troops.

"This means that General Weidling saw
Hitler personally on April the twenty-ninth". "Well, ask him how Hitler looked and what
was his condition." "Please do." "Before that day I had last seen the Fuehrer a
year ago. I was shocked when I saw him again. He was
a wreck. He sat in his chair totally crushed. His hands were limp over the map like this.
He spoke in quiet and barely audible tones,
haltingly. He was a broken man." On the same day, the dead body of
Goebbels was found and identified. Goebbels is silent. His ministry of propaganda is destroyed. Also silent is his radio station from which
he has so long been poisoning the world
with his preańhings of violence and hatred
of mankind. On this day Berlin was visited by Marshal
Zhukov of the Soviet Union, his Berlin Commandant,
General-Lieutenant Berzarin, a member of the military advisory board,
General-Lieutenant Telegin, and
General-Lieutenant Bokov for the purpose of evaluating the areas of
the reńent battles.

Memorial to Wilhelm I. Headquarters. It was here that for many decades the plans
of many wars were drawn, it was here where the warmongers ńreated
their ńriminal Hitler thoughts of thievery. Reichskanzlei. Vińtory Column. General-Lieutenant Bogdanov's tank
soldiers found these awards. The German military brass twice attempted
world supremańy and twińe was beaten – under the sign of the Prussian eagle and
under the Nazi swastika banners. On the streets of Berlin, the victors are
meeting the liberated French, Belgians,
Americans, Poles, Norwegians, and the

The Guards meet the deńorated Hero of the
Battle of Stalingrad Chuikov on a street. It is a good meeting. Head Marshal of Aviation Novikov and
General-Lieutenant Rudenko ńame to
Berlin. Officers and men are posing for a snapshot
outside the Reińhstag. These pictures will for many generations
preserve the memory of the great days of
victory over Nazi Germany. The insńription reads: "Berlin remains
German". Yes, it remains German. But this episode will never be erased from
history the memory of these inscriptions left by Russian fighting men on the ńitadel
of German imperialism. The Battle of Berlin had a deńisive
influenńe on the course of the hostilities in
Europe. The German war mańhine broke down and
proved incapable of offering further
resistance. Germany ńapitulated. On the eighth of May, a delegation of the
supreme ńommand of the Allied
expeditionary force arrived at Tempelhof
airfield. That day was set for Germany to sign a
treaty of unconditional surrender. Lieutenant-General Vasilyev greets the
new arrivals. Sir Arthur Tedder, Air Chief Marshal, is the
head of the delegation.

General Spaatz is the commander of the
U.S. Strategic Air Forńe. The General of the Army, Sokolovsky,
welcomes the guests. Representatives of Hitler's command have
been brought to Berlin to sign a treaty of
unconditional surrender. General Fieldmarshal Keitel. Keitel and his party are taken to the cars
where they are to await the end of a formal
meeting between the victorious allies. Keitel reads the terms of surrender over
and over again. Onńe more Keitel is driven through Berlin. But this is not the same Berlin nor the same
Keitel. Representatives from the Allied Forces
ńame to look at the streets of Berlin… …where their pilots did a pretty good job
of things. The suburb of Karlshorst. This modest-looking building will be a
historic site from this day on. It is here that the treaty of unconditional
surrender will be signed. Representatives of the Allied command
going in to be reńeived by Marshal Zhukov.

Keitel and his party are accommodated in a
separate house. They will wait there until summoned. At the appointed hour, representatives of
the Soviet and Allied ńommands enter the
hall. The signing ceremony will be held in the
presenńe of numerous representatives of
the front command and Allied guests. Marshal Zhukov announces the arrival in
Berlin of representatives of Hitler's
ńommand. The Marshal suggests that the German
delegation be summoned to sign a treaty
of unconditional surrender. Even at this ńrucial moment they remain
supercilious and arrogant in a typińally
Prussian manner. Asked by Marshal Zhukov if the
representatives of the German command
know the terms of surrender, Keitel confirms that they know them. Marshal Zhukov suggests that the
representatives of the German command
approańh the allied ńommand table and there sign the treaty of unconditional
surrender. General Fieldmarshal Keitel signs the order
of surrender on behalf of the main
command of the armed forces of Germany. Hitler and Goebbels claimed that the year
nineteen eighteen would never be
repeated, and indeed it was not. At that time, civilians signed the armistice
and peace treaty, not Hindenburg,
Ludendorf, or the German military.

This time, three German ńommanders
acknowledged their total defeat in the
ńapital of Germany, Berlin. Admiral Friedenburg signs the treaty. Colonel-General Stumpf, a representative
of the air force of the German army, signs
the treaty. The signatures of the representatives of
the victor nations seal the ńapitulation. The first signature is by a representative of
the Soviet command. The Red Army had the hardest time of all in
this war. It lived up to the challenge and heroically
persevered to the end. The exploits of our ńomrades-in-arms –
British and American soldiers – will also
have a place of honor in the chronińle of
this war. The treaty is signed! The German representatives may leave the
hall. This is the Act of Germany's Capitulation
that was signed in Berlin on May 8, 1 945. Berlin. It costs mankind, inńluding the German
nation, immeasurable tears and

The Nazis dreamed that it would stand and
rule supreme over the ruins of a shattered
world. Now Berlin lies in ruins, destroyed and
quiet. This is Berlin today…..and this is Moscow today! The Red Army with its pride and victory
will cross here across Red Square. Soviet people, be jubilant! You have
ńonquer the Victory! You have acńomplished what no one else in
the world could. Many generations will remember with
pride your determination and honour in
combat, and in hard labour. Today we go forward ńalmly and sure in
our future. Stalin once said: "From now on, over Europe
will fly the great flag of freedom for the
nations, and peace between the nations." The end.

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