September, 1939

1047. SEPTEMBER 1939 (1961-Canada). Narrated by FRANK WILLIS. September 1,1939: “When the Nazi forces let loose on Poland and its unprotected cities, the most concentrated and ferocious assault in history. This was a new concept for waging war and gave a new word to the language Ñ the Blitzkrieg – the Lightning War!” This comprehensive, emotionally overwhelming documentary brilliantly combines Polish newsreels, German propaganda and other rare archival sources to tell one of the most dramatic stories of all time. Polish films show the peaceful sights of pre-invasion Warsaw, one of the centers of European culture and civilization, while the narrator ominously tells us. The city that you see here has vanished from the Earth.” Audacious Nazi propaganda fiIms build up the supposed Polish threat to German security, and call for “counter attack.” The land invasion, aerial bombings and courageous Polish resistance are shown in exciting, superbly edited footage, augmented by excellent sound effects. Through breathtaking aerial photography, we ride with the Luftwaffe on their bombardments of roads, railways, bridges and cities. Combat films portray the people fighting back, but the cities topple like dominoes, and the final fierce battle is waged in the now-unrecognizable streets of Warsaw, Eventually we see a country littered with refugees, bodies and rubble Ñ a civilization that has indeed vanished before our eyes. The invasion of Poland was the first act in a war that shaped the modern world, making this definitive, first-rate film an essential piece of history. 60 minutes. Documentary