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Five months before the end of World War II in Europe – as enemy forces are advancing from East and West, and German cities are being bombed mercilessly – Germany’s leaders call up all remaining able-bodied men to defend the nation.

In Munich, a ceremony commemorates the 1923 attempt to seize power. Home guard (“Volkssturm”) soldiers are sworn in at large gatherings in East Prussia, Danzig and Berlin. Goebbels address a mass rally of home guard men in central Berlin. From the German wartime weekly newsreel, “Die Deutsche Wochenschau,” of Nov. 16, 1944