Shooting The War: Episode 2 (WW2 Documentary) | History Documentary | Reel Truth History

Series looking at how the Second World War was documented by German and British home movie makers.

This programme is about the experience of children during the war, seen through the films of them shot by parents, friends and teachers. The films, and the recollections of the children in them, capture the initial novelty of war, but also the later reality of death and loss.

In Britain, filmmakers were on hand to witness the first event of war, evacuation. Eric Powell, a young cine enthusiast from Wiltshire, filmed the arrival of Marion, a girl from London, as she became part of his family. The recollections bring the reality of the transformation of children’s lives to the viewer.

Film shot by the head of Elworth School in Cheshire is recalled by teacher Veronica Kirk and pupil John Owen. The film shows the way the school adapted to war – the school garden turned over to vegetables, children conducting first aid, air raid shelter practice and reality of air attack.

It was much the same in Germany and those looking back on their childhood recall the impact of Hitler on them, the changes at school and at home, the terror of the Jewish school child and the sorrow of the children at the end of the war, living in destitution as their parents were forced to sell toys for bread.

Rainer and Wolfgang Fritz grew up in Stuttgart and remember how their father filmed the building of the community air raid shelter. He filmed his family through the war and was on hand, with the camera, when the family house was destroyed by bombing in 1944.

Life for Jewish child Inge Deutschkron was even worse. She grew up in Berlin and attended the Jewish school in the city. Most of her classmates died in concentration camps, but she stayed in Berlin, in hiding, and survived.

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