As many of you who've read my books on the Nazi aspect of this big story know, I have long maintained serious doubts about the claims that during their 1938-1939 expedition to Antarctica they began the establishment of large bases there, and continued to do so during the war. My chief reason for opposition to this long-standing myth has been that operationally, it would have placed severe limitations on the German Kriegsmarine during the war. Additionally I have also maintained that the idea of a large research facility in Antarctica was also very dubious, since the advanced physics projects such as the Bell and so on would have required enormous electrical power, taxing those meager naval resources even more, for imagining shuttling by U-Boat from Germany the construction crews, technicians, and equipment to make all of it possible.
With that in mind, watch these(they're about 12 minutes in length, total). I apologize as I have not had the time to translated the various title cards that appear in the newsreels, but here, the message is in the pictures anyway.
First, let me say that there is no question in my mind that we are looking at actual authentic UFA newsreels of the 1939-1939 Ritscher Expedition to the southern-most continent.
It is this that makes the comparison between the two films interesting, for in the second, shorter film, one is given the impression that the expedition was conducted by a U-Boat, when in fact, the first film gets that part of the story correct: the expedition was led by Captain Ritscher, and it was mounted from a large sea-plane tender ship. But what I find really really interesting in the second film are the images. One sees clear evidence that the Nazis found large caves there, exactly as has always been maintained by the "Nazi Antarctica Myth."
But then the film shows some truly remarkable thins, and does so without commentary; after showing us various pictures of large caves in Antarctica, it then goes on to show blueprints for a large underground bunker or factory, and then its actual construction in Germany. It shows after this a picture of research facilities - again without commentary - with what appears to be two very large Van de Graf generators or Tesla coils (I forget which, at the moment). But the important point here is that it shows research facilities and electrical equipment.
All of this, of course, suggests that indeed the Nazis had plans for Antarctica, and that those plans exceeded those of using that continent merely as a U-Boat base.
The first film does not show or say anything else, but this is the clear impression that it gives. There is the usual statement by Reichsminister Goebbels at the beginning of the film, the endless music of Wagner playing in the background. The difference between these two films suggests that the first one may never have seen the theater, for it is very revealing; the second film contains little to none of the imagery of the first: no blueprints for underground factories, no construction of the same in Nazi Germany, no Tesla coils or Van de Graf generators, no hints of research facilities.
Whether or not the Nazis ever did succeed in the plans suggested by the first film is not, for the moment, here at issue, for the first film does in a way corroborate the persistent legend aboutr Nazi survival in Antarctica, and it is true that the size of the caves depicted in the film could easily shelter a fairly substantial number of people. Sustaining them would have been the problem.
We are left again, with a maybe of Nazi survival in Antarctica, a maybe that could, might, just slimly support the idea of some sort of research facility, though that maybe just now grew a lot stronger.