A documentary on the Battle of the Bulge in the Clervaux corridor

D'Preise së rëm zréck
Alamo zu Cliärref

Un documentaire sur la Bataille des Ardennes dans le secteur de Clervaux

Ein Dokumentarfilm zur Ardennenoffensive im Raum Clervaux

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Finally available on DVD!

Our documentary "D'Preise së rëm zréck - Alamo zu Cliärref" can be bought as a Region 2 DVD in shops throughout Luxembourg.

The DVD is available in many shops in Luxembourg, you can find it as well in the “Librairie Ernster” bookshops, as in the “Cactus” supermarkets, the “K Kiosk” newsstands and many other places throughout the country. Unfortunately we could only make region 2 DVD  copies. So for our friends from the United States of America it won’t make no sense to buy a DVD, we are sorry about that! But you will be able to buy the documentary as “video on demand” as soon as the DVD will be released.

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Trailer

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synopsis

Synopsis

About the movie.

When on December 16th 1944 Clervaux was hit with full force by German Forces, the civilian population was drawn into a nightmare of war, fear and loss. American soldiers bravely resisted the onslaught during three days. They retreated into the Castle where they fought to the last bullet before surrendering to the Germans and an uncertain fate.

After years of occupation by German Forces the Luxembourgish population thought that war had ended with the liberation by American Forces on September 1944. On December 16th 1944 however the north of the country was struck with full force when the Germans attempted a last desperate attack. Clervaux, a small city in the north of Luxembourg, was overrun by the Germans who were on a very tight schedule to reach Brussels and Antwerp. During three days American soldiers from the 28th division fought valiantly in this small town and managed to slow down the German advance. By this courageous action they helped delay the attack on Bastogne and decisively contributed to the outcome of the battle. This documentary retraces the civilian and military events that took place in Clervaux during the Battle of the Bulge.

 

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The idea behind the documentary was to retrace the main events that happened during the first three days of the Battle of the Bulge when Clervaux fell back into German hands.

Michel Tereba – Director
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Why this Documentary?

If you are actively working on keeping the memory of the Battle of the Bulge alive, you can’t but make two, contra- dictory observations. On one hand the general public is ex- tremely receptive for the history of WWII and the events of the Battle of the Bulge, on the other hand the knowledge of the subject is, at best, fragmentary. The goal of this doc- umentary is to eliminate this contradiction. The lm is not primarily targeting the historian or the military history bu , it is aimed at the layman who wants to understand the his- tory and past of his forefather and the region he is living in. Nonetheless, also historians and the a cionado of military history, can nd in the documentary, interesting details and snippets of information that beforehand were not known to them.

 

Just when everyone thought the war was finally over, the small town of Clervaux was hit with devastating force and brutality.

Michel Tereba

Directors Statement

michel_tereba_color_webWhat attracted me to this project was the scope of devastation and the personal fates that unfolded during just a few days of an intense battle in 1944. Just when everyone thought the war was finally over, the small town of Clervaux was hit with devastating force and brutality.

The idea behind the documentary was to retrace the main events that happened during the first three days of the Battle of the Bulge when Clervaux fell back into German hands. It was important to give a scope of what the occupation was like in this part of the country. Some submitted, others resisted passively the occupation forces. Everyone coped as best they could. I wanted to give an overview of the geopolitical events that explain the military strategies and recount the personal fates of the people who lived through the hell of the battle. The most striking events were reenacted as accurately as they are remembered through documented recounts. By shooting in real locations, as far as they still existed, the contrast between Clervaux back then and today was emphasised. Our goal was to give the viewer a direct connection to events that happened over 70 years ago. Events whose effect still ripple into today’s Clervaux.

In collaboration with CEBA (Cercle d’Etudes sur la Bataille des Ardennes) I made a selection of the important events that would be reenacted. Through interviews with witnesses who have lived through the war, we adapted the reenactment scenes and dialogues.

Until this day experts try to determine the exact positions of specific troops. We knew that geographical positioning was key to understanding the events that unfolded during the battle for Clervaux. Animated maps allow the viewer to constantly localise the important events. Archive footage and photos of the area underline the narration.

War is controlled chaos. A euphemism for the struggle that every single person fighting for their life or trying to survive goes through. Every viewers should get a little insight into the hell that these people went through. Moreover this documentary serves as a reminder of the personal sacrifices of a few against many.

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At dawn of December 17, hundreds of keyed-up German tankers in leather jackets sat expectantly in Panthers and Tigers just a few miles east of Clervaux. On their timetable, Clervaux – key to the ridge – would fall before noon.

John TOLAND, Author and Pulitzer Price Winner, Battle – The Story of the Bulge, 1959
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In the Press

  • CHRISTIAN SPIELMANN – Lëtzebuerger Journal

    “[…] Somit ist Michel Tereba ein interessantes Filmdokument gelungen, das eigentlich alle Luxemburger interessieren müsste.” (link)

    CHRISTIAN SPIELMANN – Lëtzebuerger Journal
  • POL SCHOCK – Luxemburger Wort

    “Michel Tereba erzählt in seinem Dokumentarfilm die Geschichte der Ardennenoffensive aus der Perspektive des Öslinger Ortes Clerf und greift dabei auf alle klassischen Stilelemente des Genres zurück.” (link)

    POL SCHOCK – Luxemburger Wort
  • Gabrielle Seil – Revue

    “Indem Michel Tereba seine sorgfältig geführten Interviews mit Archivbildern und wichtigen strategischen, politischen und nationalen Informationen mischt, entsteht eine sehr lebendige Dokumentation über eines der traurigsten Kapitel der Luxemburger Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts.”

    Gabrielle Seil – Revue
  • RTL Lëtzebuerg

    Live interview with Michel Tereba, director of the documentary and Erny Kohn, president of CEBA: Click here

    RTL Lëtzebuerg
  • CHRISTIAN SPIELMANN – Lëtzebuerger Journal

    “[…] Somit ist Michel Tereba ein interessantes Filmdokument gelungen, das eigentlich alle Luxemburger interessieren müsste.” (link)

    CHRISTIAN SPIELMANN – Lëtzebuerger Journal
  • POL SCHOCK – Luxemburger Wort

    “Michel Tereba erzählt in seinem Dokumentarfilm die Geschichte der Ardennenoffensive aus der Perspektive des Öslinger Ortes Clerf und greift dabei auf alle klassischen Stilelemente des Genres zurück.” (link)

    POL SCHOCK – Luxemburger Wort
  • Gabrielle Seil – Revue

    “Indem Michel Tereba seine sorgfältig geführten Interviews mit Archivbildern und wichtigen strategischen, politischen und nationalen Informationen mischt, entsteht eine sehr lebendige Dokumentation über eines der traurigsten Kapitel der Luxemburger Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts.”

    Gabrielle Seil – Revue
  • RTL Lëtzebuerg

    Live interview with Michel Tereba, director of the documentary and Erny Kohn, president of CEBA: Click here

    RTL Lëtzebuerg
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What people say – Impressions

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18 screenings all over Luxembourg!

The documentary has been shown 18 times in ten different theaters. More than 1000 people have come and seen our epic account of the Battle for Clervaux! Thanks to you all!

If you are interested in a special screening for your friends, an association or your club, please feel free to contact us! We can arrange for a very special event! If you are up to it, we can even combine the screening  with a Battlefield tour!

This documentary explains to the audience the history of the Battle of the Bulge, focusing on the events that unfolded around the town of Clervaux, and delivering a wealth of information on the time in-between 1940 and 1944 when Luxembourg was under German occupation.

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Civilians killed during the Battle of the Bulge (approximately).
Source: Schrijvers, Peter (2005), The Unknown Dead: Civilians in the Battle of the Bulge, University Press of Kentucky, ISBN 0-8131-2352-6

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about

About

The partners behind “D'Preise së rëm zréck - Alamo zu Cliärref”

The Municipality of Clervaux

The municipality of Clervaux lies in the heartland of the luxembourgish Ardennes, it is made up, since the incorporation of the municipalities of Heinerscheid and Munshausen in 2011, of 17 picturesque and charming villages whit nearly 5000 inhabitants.

Having preserved it’s rural character, the small town of Clervaux is the center of the economical and social development as well as the attraction point for the northern tip of the Grand-Duchy. This touristic hotspot, nestled in the deep valley of the “Clerve” river, is dominated by it’s medieval castle, built in the 12th century it has since been a witness to the might and prestige of the Counts of Clervaux.

This castle is not only home to the Clervaux municipality administration, but also to three expositions and museums. The museum of the Luxembourg Castles scale Models, the Museum of the Battle of the Bulge as well as the renowned photographic exposition “The Family of Man”, curated by Edward Steichen during his time as Director of MOMA’s Department of Photography. This impressive collection , which figures on UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” register, has been re-opened to the public on July 6th 2013.

Next to the castle another one of the main attraction points is the centenary Benedictine Monastery, that, majestically perched high up on the hill, dominates the valley. The decanal church and the chapel of Notre Dame de Loretto in Clervaux, as well as the Munshausen parish church are as impressive and precious religious edifices.

The regional cultural and arts centre “Cube 521” in Marnach offers all around the year a greatly varied program of theatre, classical music, jazz, dance cabaret shows, and children’s theatre.

Located in the heart of the “Parc Naturel de l’Our” national park, Clervaux is also a landscape of a wild romanticism, filled with adventures and amazing cultural treasures.

Parc Naturel de l’Our

The “Parc Naturel d el’Our” national park lies in the Ardennes region of Luxembourg, right next to the tri-border region of Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. On a territory of 420 square kilometres, home to 21.000 people, eight municipalities have joined forces for a common goal, to bring into balance nature conservation and economical development of this rural region through the implementation of innovative projects.

The region is a perfect destination for hikers and nature lovers as well as for arts and culture enthusiasts. A many streams, amongst them the “Our” border river, have created a landscape with a great variety of reliefs and many different facets, with it’s ridges, steep slopes, offsets and meanders. In remote areas of the region valuable habitats for many species of the flora and the fauna have been preserved until today.

The region’s history and culture can be experienced in many different ways, by either visiting the imposing castles of Vianden and Clervaux, the many medieval churches, ancient mills and museums, by pacing the themed walks, visiting the internationally renowned photographic exhibition “The Family of Man” which is located inside the walls of Clervaux Castle, or by exploring the old copper mine in Stolzembourg…

CEBA

CEBA, Cercle d’Etudes sur la Bataille des Ardennes – Circle of Studies on the Battle of the Bulge – is a non profit making, non governmental organisation working on keeping the memory of the tragic events of the winter 1944/1945 alive. With more then 200 members CEBA is one of the biggest organisations in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg in this sphere of action. CEBA works in close cooperation with partner organisations like the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch or the “National Liberation Monument” organisation.

Pyrrhus Movie Productions

Michel Tereba has directed the documentary “D’Preise së rëm zréck – Alamo zu Cliärref” which was produced by Pyrrhus Movie productions.

He has been directing films since 1999 and has gathered experience in acting, camera, sound recording, make-up, digital effects, editing and project leading.

A constant search for aesthetics, is how he defines his work. “I am always searching for authentic stories and my style is defined by original choices.” Over the years he has gathered experience in comedies, dramas, documentaries, training films and music videos. By combining his experience with his training as an engineer he has developed a unique style. On every project he’s making the clear choice of getting involved in the writing process to give the project its unique style. His work and training as an actor has helped refine his directing work.

Pyrrhus Movie productions is an inventive and quality-driven independent audiovisual production organisation founded in 1999. They make and produce movies and photography for corporate and entertainment purposes.

To audiovisual professionals, they also offer specialised consulting and qualified personnel to help you on your projects. They design and make short and feature-length entertainment movies, series, corporate and advertising movies and photography, documentaries, music videos, and record events (concerts, awards, shows…).

 

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Gemeng Cliärref
Naturpark Our
CEBA
Pyrrhus
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About the Corporate Identity of the Movie

With the logo, I wanted to create a link between the movie, the town of Clervaux and the destruction of the castle by fire during the first days of the Battle of the Bulge.

Eric Steffen, CEBA's Designer

The logo consists of randomly placed strokes in black and red. The black lines create the silhouette of Clervaux castle, the red ones the fire that destroyed the castle during the Ardennes Offensive. The destruction is highlighted by the white spaces seen in between the strokes. The castle is no longer a solid structure, but due to the fierce combats a decrepit building.

Yet, the many lines creating the castle can also illustrate the reconstruction after the war. It is up to the observer which interpretation he/she may choose.

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Contact

Where to find us:

CEBA:
Cercle d’Études sur la Bataille des Ardennes
Study Group on the Battle of the Bulge

CEBA a.s.b.l.
Non-profit organization

Head office:
11, Duerefstrooss
L-9766, Munshausen
Luxembourg

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