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As the war in Europe escalated, German commanders anticipated the anxiety their troops were feeling as they braced themselves for conflict. In a strategy to distract soldiers from thinking too much about their ultimate purpose, they were encouraged to take up photography. Cameras were relatively inexpensive, and taking pictures allowed the men to cope with their hardships by viewing war almost s a hobby. After the war, pictures were saved in photo albums, many of which later became common items for sale in Viennese flea markets.

 

In "Photos from the Front", several of these photographs have been collected, capturing a perspective of World War II that has rarely been seen before. With intimate views of the 1940 Blitzkrieg in France and the attack on Russia in 1941, rank-and-file soldiers as well as press photographers preserved their experiences, while also trying to present World War II as one big adventure. In this film, images, newsreel clips, historical analyses and interviews with surviving soldiers focus not on battles, nut instead on the soldiers' day-to-day routine and provide a rare - and sometimes graphic - glimpse into the workings of the German war machinery. A fascinating account of soldiers on the front line of war, this film will be of interest to not only historians but anyone interested in World War II.

Photos from the Front (2009)

  • Duration: 48 minutes

    Directed by Martin Luksan

    Produced by Petrus van der Let Filmproduktion on behalf of BMUFF (Austrian Ministry of Education, Art and Culture) in cooperation with WIFAR (Vienna Filmarchive of the Labour Movement), PLANET-TV, BRalpha, D, SKANDINAVIA-TV, Dk.

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