Film of Nazis at play is found in church

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A film made by Nazi officers showing them laughing and joking on a verandah, enjoying coffee and cake with female companions, has been found in the storeroom of a church in rural Devon.

The SS officers, who were running a forced labour regime in southern Russian during the Second World War, are seen relaxing while troops make prisoners work.

Historians said the footage was highly unusual because it was taken in Russia, and shows informal scenes as opposed to the carefully-shot Nazi propaganda films.

The 10-minute black and white film has been stored at Cullompton Baptist Church for 20 years.

It was part of a collection of films left to the church by a worshipper, Reg Whitton, who died in the 1980s. Mr Whitton ran a foundry and a transport firm and employed several emigres and former German prisoners of war. Church members who remember him said he was probably given the film by one of them.

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