Vorführung Luftwaffe Rückkehr FrankreichfeldzugTITEL (LFS00472 2)


Events filmed or related

Vorführung Luftwaffe, Begrüßung siegfreicher Truppen Frankreichfeldzug


German Air Force demonstrations and greetings to victorious German troops return from the French campaign.


ZT: German Air Force demonstrations At the airfield maneuvers of the Air Force. A truck with gun on gun carriage drives up to demonstration shooting. Return from the campaign in France. Soldiers decorated with flowers, on horses, with cars and a steaming field kitchen.


Reference / film number :  LFS00472 3
Date :  1940
Coloration :  Black and white
Sound :  Mute
Running time :  00:03:27
Reel format :  16 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  War, Second World War : German occupation - Annexation of Alsace

Context and analysis

Audience appears in the foreground. Their heads shoot up when lightning flashes in the air next to the aircraft squadron and thick plumes of smoke rise on the ground next to the anti-aircraft guns. The pictures of the air force demonstrations precede those of the return of the soldiers from France. The productions of the victorious Wehrmacht - also in Lahr, take place in June 1940, after the western campaign was over after a few weeks.

The Air Force aircraft turn the airspace into a stage in the well-known manner of an air show: sometimes in a low or landing approach, sometimes high up with abstract shapes in front of the cloud cover. And already the film is on the ground with an infantry car that swings open and gives the show the character of a war game. Then the spectators come into the picture, their heads stretching when simulating the emergency with fire and smoke.

Hermann Göring had already taken over the newly created Reich Aviation Ministry on May 10, 1933; on March 1, 1935, the Air Force was officially founded by the National Socialists. As a result of the reintroduction of compulsory military service, the Air Force already had 37,3000 soldiers in the summer of 1939, and its material armament was swift thanks to a diverse air defense industry. In the 'West Campaign' in 1940, the Air Force won air control after a few days. It was primarily used to support the army by supporting the tips of the tanks in the event of resistance from the air or by destroying the opponent's traffic routes.

On September 1, 1939, the Second World War began with the attack by the German Wehrmacht on Poland. France and Great Britain then declared war on the German Reich, but there was initially a period of 'sit-down war' during which the warring parties only observed each other. On May 10, 1940, the "Fall Yellow" planned by Hitler and his general staff was triggered, the invasion of German troops in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The 'Fall Red' followed at the beginning of June: In a 'Blitzkrieg' with combined tank and air operations, the Germans proved to be superior to the Allied defense strategy and took Paris on 14 June. The Compiègne armistice of June 25, 1940 divided conquered France into a German zone of occupation in the west and north, an unoccupied zone in the southeast, which was administered by the French Vichy regime, and an Italian zone in the western Alps.

The first picture of the parade of the returnees in France in Lahr can just grasp the situation in a short time. A military car with the top down rolls between viewers on either side of the street. Some of the bystanders on the sidewalks raised their arms to salute Hitler. The shot from the side condenses in the surface of the picture before the film opens the room to the depth of the scenery in the next shot. In step, they come around the curve, the units of the soldiers, and again and again spectators step out of the crowd, handing bouquets to the rider at the head. With the houses and trees in the background, there is an indication of an urban space that has now become the stage for the soldiers. The winners have their appearance, take possession of the room as they advance. For a moment there seems to be a collective space in the pictures of the film - the community that is supposed to come together in the euphoria of victory.

The film, probably shot on behalf of the city of Lahr, retains the shot of the long shots in order to capture the movement of the soldier groups again and again with a series of cuts. A space opens up in the 'medium' of the military parade, which is also a period of time: the victorious soldiers ultimately also go their way into a new era - the state that the Nazis called the 'Third Reich', which was to last a thousand years and after twelve Years ended. In the parade medium, the factual is combined with the collective imagination. Foot soldiers, riders, a bicycle troop, a horse-drawn carriage and the Red Cross carriages - in the film, the forward movement of the winners becomes a movement across the individual images. In the military ritual, it points to the future of a new German Empire. A horse shies and the audience moves to safety.

The movement continues in another shot with fewer viewers in the background making a large dark house stand out. A field kitchen, a child in uniform and a helmet on a horse tied to a covered wagon appear between the acquaintances. On the street, the movement of the troops increasingly shows what it is: the 'occupation' of the home floor in the staging of a military parade.

Reiner Bader

Places and monuments


  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.