Note: There is no sound on this footage. See description below for details.
This newly restored footage was shot in Munich just a few weeks after it was taken by the American troops on April 30, 1945. We see the enormous damage of the bombings which destroyed about 90% of the center of the city. On the 30th of April, 1945, American troops marched into Munich. One week later, on the 8th of May, came the unconditional surrender of the German Reich under Admiral Dönitz. Munich was one of the cities that had suffered the greatest devastation. 90% of the inner city lay in ruins, it had lost 22,346 soldiers in battle, 6,632 people to bombings, and the injured and homeless came to, respectively, 15,000 and 30,000.
On the 10th of May the Bavaria-Film studios (Geiselgasteig) were put under the control of the 6870th District Information Services Control Command of the Information Control Division (ICD). Although Information Control regulation No. 1, that came into force on the 12th of May, allowed for exceptions to the ban on German film activity, subject to registration and licensing, at first no German productions were permitted.
The only exception seems to have been Willi Cronauer, who in June 1945 was already able to shoot footage in the ruined city for his privately financed documentary film project MÜNCHEN 1945. Filming begins on the 3rd of June, 1945, when, for the first time in years, a Corpus Christi procession goes through Munich. Cronauer never finishes editing his material, only occasionally showing a rough cut, "without music or words or stars," as the Süddeutsche Zeitung put it.
On July 25, 1945, a few Munich cinemas that have not been destroyed are reopened, though only for U.S. soldiers. Not until the 1st of August does a cinema for civilians open in Munich.
-- This is shared without profit for educational and historical purposes ---