Never-Before Seen Color U.S. Army Footage Shows Horrors of Dachau (VIDEO)
Never-before seen color footage shot by a Hollywood filmmaker during World War II has revealed the U.S. Army’s discovery of the Dachau concentration camp.
In several graphic clips, the film documents troops as they came upon piles of emaciated bodies of Jews laying in and alongside boxcars in the notorious death camp.
Some were lying frozen in the snow. Others were strewn on the ground near still-burning fires in structures, possibly those of ovens where they were to be later burned.
One of the film crew narrated the scene in a halting, distraught voice.
“As a 20-year-old man… with a sheltered life behind him… it was a terrible shock. How can one human being do this to another human being,” he asked.
“Impossible to think of; how does one justify the smallest murder… you just wanna’ hate the Germans. You just want to hate all Germans at this time,” he said.
George Stevens, who was known for 30-era classics like Gunga Din and films of dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, had joined the war effort and headed up a unit tasked with filming the troops on 35mm black and white film, according to the UK’s Daily Telegraph.
Stevens and his crew, nicknamed the “Steven’s Irregulars,” were aboard the HMS Belfast on “D-Day” during “Operation Overlord,” the allied invasion of Normandy.
His son, George Stevens Jr., who is also a filmmaker, discovered the personal visual journal of the war, in cans that were later developed in the States but then languished in his father’s attic for the next 70 years.
When he watched the first images unfold, he realized that his father shot them on “the morning of the 6th of June, the beginning of the greatest seaborne invasion in history.”
His father filmed the color footage with his own 16mm camera and rolls of color film. The unit followed Army units through the hail of German bullets onto the beaches, and throughout the fierce fighting across Europe.
“We thought at the time that this was the only color film of the war in Europe. As it turned out, there was some German film that had not yet been discovered,” Stevens said.
“But it is the greatest body of color film, and World War II was a black-and-white war. That’s how we see it. That’s how we saw it. And suddenly to see it in color, it just took on a whole other dimension.”
Watch part of the footage below: