You are now in the NFF Archive. The archive contains contains information on film, TV and interactive productions that were screened at past festival editions. The NFF does not dispose of this material. For this, please contact the producer, distributor or broadcaster. Sometimes, older films can also be found at the Eye Film Museum or the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
In talking head interviews, eleven eye witnesses tell about the start of the war in Rotterdam, from the breakout on 10 May until the destructive bombings on 14 May 1940. 'They'll never come here', the then 18-year-old marine thought. 'Well, they did come. And how.' A then 21-year-old soldier adds: 'They already knew what killing people was. But what did we know?' They talk about the impression that fire bombs, seaplanes and paratroopers made. And about the victims that fell and they passed in the street. Archive footage shows fire fighters, marching Dutch soldiers, the attack and the devastation. A voice-over reads from letters that German soldiers sent home at the time, while we see present-day aerial shots of the flight to Rotterdam. A then 15-year-old German ship boy on a Dutch freighter explains (in Dutch) how he was detained. The interviewees, men and women, soldiers and civilians, call this period 'unreal', 'ghostly', 'bizarre' and 'hell'.