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Way From Germany, The (1946)

Main image of Way From Germany, The (1946)
DirectorTerry Trench
Production CompanyCrown Film Unit
Commentary byArthur Calder Marshall
MusicElisabeth Lutyens
CommentatorDeryck Guyler
From the Imperial War Museum Loan Collection

The Allies' problem of how to deal with 18 million prisoners of all nations, liberated on the fall of Germany and mostly anxious to return home.

Video Clips

Complete film (10:43)

What do you think?

Watch the film

  1. What do you notice about the music at the very beginning of this film? What could this suggest?
  2. Who do you think this film was made for?
  3. What do you think the pile of keys symbolises?
  4. How do the workers express their anger towards the Germans?
  5. Why do you think we are told that it was 'miraculous' that some in the camps were fit?
  6. What does life look like in the allied camps?
  1. The film's opening music is dramatic and bold played by a full orchestra - it could be the beginning of a fiction thriller rather than a documentary on refugees. It's likely that the filmmaker wanted to grab the audience's attention and at the same time give the subject matter the gravitas it deserved.
  2. This film was made by the Crown Film Unit which made government propaganda and information films for the public.
  3. The pile of keys symbolise that the prisoners of war are now set free.
  4. The workers are shown rioting and looting in the streets as well directing violence at their German captors.
  5. It's miraculous that some were fit because on the whole the prisoners were treated very badly as the next few scenes show.
  6. On the whole life looks pretty good in the allied camps; we are told the inhabitants get to help run the place themselves and they seem to have access to education, health care and food.