Newly discovered film shows Rotterdam Blitz destruction from WWII
Barendrecht film digitizer Bas Romeijn has discovered previously unseen footage of Rotterdam shortly after the blitz on 14 May 1940. The five-minute-long montage shows the smoldering remains of various locations in Rotterdam city center, Rijnmond reports.
“The rubble is still smoking; you can see smoldering remains. It must have been shortly after the bombing,” Romeijn said to the broadcaster. “What struck me most about this video is the atmosphere of disaster tourism on the one hand, and the perplexity people walk around in on the other. You see people walking around in shock.”
Romeijn discovered the footage in the estate of amateur filmmaker Joop Stolk (1918-1995), which he is working through with Stolk’s son. Romeijn doesn’t think Stolk himself recorded the footage. “It was shot on 8 mm, and the work I know from Joop Stolk is all 16 mm,” he explained. But Stolk did do the editing, he believes. Romeijn left that as is. “The sequence, the title cards, I left everything it was. I only shortened the title cards slightly.”
Romeijn uploaded the footage to his website, Bas Romeijn Films. He will give the original 8mm film to the Rotterdam City Archives.