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Title:FLEMISH COLLABORATORS AND GERMAN OFFICERS ATTEND A FUNERAL SERVICE FOR FLEMISH WAFFEN-SS TROOPS KILLED IN RUSSIA [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 170-1
Summary: Representatives from the German armed forces attend a ceremony in honour of members of the 6th Waffen-SS Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade 'Langemarck' killed in Russia, in company with the unit's German commander, his Flemish Waffen-SS volunteers and members from the various organisations within the 'Eenheidsbeweging' Vlaamsch National Verbond near Nieuport in northern Belgium in May 1944.
Description: A two-acre plot of ground contains several hundred crosses representing the Sturmbrigade's dead. The names of volunteers killed on the eastern front are inscribed within the stone mausoleum at the cemetery's centre. Seen attending the ceremony are the unit's commander, Sturmbannführer Conrad Schellong, the elderly Flemish Cultural Council President, Cyril Verschaeve, and the black-uniformed SS-Vlaanderen commander, J de Langhe. On parade is the 'Langemarck's' Colour Company, in battle dress, the Wacht company, in parade dress, an SS-Vlaanderen company and uniformed boys and girls from the 'National Socialistische Jeugd'; a Wehrmacht band plays for the occasion. Schellong lays a wreath in honour of the dead at the mausoleum. The entire party inspects the two- acre plot where girls of the 'Dietsche Meisjes Scharen' lay wreaths at the foot of the crosses.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 894 ft; Running time: 9 mins
Notes: Summary: The 'Eenheidsbeweging' Vlaamsch National Verbond created in 1943 was a fusion of all Flemish Nazi parties and groups. The Sturmbrigade Langemarck was formed in 1943, suffered heavy casualties at Tcherkassy in January 1944 on the Russian front, an event which the ceremony seen in this film commemorates; its emblem was the Black Lion of Flanders superimposed on a shield.
Remarks: An interesting document showing an important aspect of German-Flemish collaboration. Taken from a 16mm print, patches of this footage are over-developed. Schellong, the German commander looks like a Hollywood caricature of a Waffen-SS officer. Cyril Verschaeve looks distinctly uncomfortable at being in such company.
Production Credits: Three or four anonymous Belgian cameramen working for the 'Eenheidsbeweging' VNV, whose material was re-printed by the AFPU.
Documentation/associated material: A suggested bibliography for the 6th Freiwilligen Sturmbrigade Langemarck would include 'Patriotic Traitors' by David Littlejohn and the Ministry of Economic Warfare's 'Basic Handbook-Belgium'