The purpose of this letter is to ask if anyone knows whether these films are (or can be made) available for viewing today.
East German film The German Story was released here in 1960 in a censored form (post-1945 material removed). I saw the film then in a cinema in Cardiff. I cannot now find any trace of its existence, except that there is a record of an oral question asked in the Irish Dail on May 17 1960.
Sir Anthony Esmonde, 15th Baronet of Clonegall and a Fine Gael politician representing Wexford, objected to this type of communistic propaganda being shown in Irish cinemas.
The 1958 West German film Blitzkrieg, a compilation of Second World War newsreel, was shown in some cinemas here in 1959. Inevitably, it dwelt on the war on the Eastern Front.
It had an introduction by Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks (a prisoner of war of the Red Army in 1919 and a presenter of TV programmes in the 1950s, lecturing on great historical battles).
I was informed in 2004 that the National Film and TV Archive didn't hold a print of this film. They said that "this title has never been released on VHS/DVD in the UK. It was originally distributed by British Lion. Most of their titles have subsequently been acquired by a French company, Canal+."
So it may be decaying in a vault in Paris. If so, does that mean that the original newsreel material itself is being lost?