I fell in love with Air-Raid Alarm as I was restoring it. This original German Reich civil defense film Fliegeralarm! was produced during World War II to help educate citizens about how to handle events that would come about as a result of war.
This movie was obviously filmed in Berlin and we get an amazing snapshot of everyday street life. We see streetcars, double-decker buses, couriers, men on motorcycles, horse-drawn wagons, storefronts, street signs, soldiers on bicycles, anti-aircraft positions on rooftops, a soldier with a very strange binocular device, and identified buildings.
This is unique in that it was not a propaganda piece but instead an instructional film. Most unique is the warning in the film that one of the reasons you must find shelter is to protect yourself from the shrapnel falling from the German anti-aircraft cannons that will rain down on you.
As people rush off a streetcar for a bomb shelter you get a glimpse of all types of people, including one teenage boy that is dressed in a Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend) outfit.
The original informational scenes were in German but I worked with a translator to make sure they were accurately translated into English.
If you are interested in Germany during World War II (Zweiter Weltkrieg) this is a must-have movie. I’m sure you will find yourself watching it over and over again, just as I have, and discovering bits and pieces of everyday life that you never read about.
There are a couple of unique vehicles in the movie I have not been able to identify. One is what appears to be a BMW R51 motorcycle but the exhaust is routed differently. Another is a three-wheeled car and the last is a delivery truck with one front wheel.
It was also interesting that when the driver jumps out of the double-decker bus he reaches under the hood to shut it off.
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