British sapper served with 23rd Air Construction Group, Royal Engineers in GB and North West Europe, 1944-1945
REEL 1 Background in Usk, GB, 1922-1942: family; employment. Aspects of enlistment and training with Royal Engineers in GB, 1942-1943: call up and initial infantry training; attitude to army life; selection for Royal Engineers; description of Bailey Bridge and Pontoon Bridge. Aspects of period as sapper with to 23rd Air Construction Group, Royal Engineers in GB, 1944: posting to unit; preparations for D-Day landings; convoy from Eastbourne to Gosport. Recollections of operations as sapper with 23rd Air Construction Group, Royal Engineers in North West Europe, 1944-1945: crossing English Channel and landing on Sword Beach, D-Day, 6/6/1944; establishment of unit in beachhead; contact with French civilians; construction of airfields.
REEL 2 Continues: types of airfields constructed; crossing River Rhine at Nijmegen, Netherlands; use of Caterpillar D4 bulldozer; shooting of German sniper; sight of German casualties in Falaise Gap; attitude of Belgian civilians; opinion of American troops. Recollections of period as sapper with 23rd Air Construction Group, Royal Engineers in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany, 1945: initial impressions of camp; digging trenches for corpses; reaction to sight of dead bodies; discovery of live woman amongst pile of dead; sight of Joseph Kramer and Irma Grese; use of bulldozer to push bodies into trenches; use of Germans to clear dead bodies; attitude towards work in camp; how he was filmed by BBC for newsreel.
REEL 3 Continues: discovery of live woman in pile of dead body; question of whether local German civilians were aware of camp. Aspects of period as sapper with 23rd Air Construction Group, Royal Engineers in Berlin, Germany, 7/1945-10/1946: arrival in Berlin; state of city and conditions for German civilians; duties in Berlin; demobilisation, 1947. Reaction to period in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, 1945.
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The Holocaust was the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War. The Nazis also enslaved and killed other groups who they perceived as racially, biologically or ideologically inferior or dangerous. Hear seven survivors talk about and reflect on their experiences.
After the end of the Second World War, the Allies brought the leading civilian and military representatives of wartime Germany and Japan to trial on charges of war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. The principles of the trial of the Nazi leadership were agreed at a meeting of the ‘Big Four’ – Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union and France – in London in the summer of 1945, resulting in the Nuremberg Charter.