View Full Version : History Enthusiast Discovers Rare Film Footage

03-25-2011, 04:03 PM
History Enthusiast Discovers Rare Film Footage (http://news.err.ee/culture/7277a770-a64d-4292-b85c-ed8c8ae12ae7)

A nearly 100-year-old film reel showing the 1917 German naval and land operation to conquer the western Estonian islands was discovered on the Internet auction site eBay by Vahur Kuhlberg, a collector of antique photographs and documents.

According to ETV, the footage of operation Albion clearly shows 25,000 German troops accompanied by 300 ships in their efforts to occupy Estonia's largest island, Saaremaa, which belonged to Tsarist Russia at the time.

Historian Ago Pajur noted that operation Albion has left its mark on history as the largest and most successful landing operation of World War I. "I had no clue that a film was made about it," he said.

Kuhlberg bought the film for a substantially high price from a Belgian vendor, who said he had obtained it from the former German Nazi Party's school archives.

After the footage arrived to Estonia, it was immediately taken to restorer Jaak Elling, who said that it was in surprisingly good shape. The reel was probably a copy made from the original footage in 1930, but that does not detract from its substantive value, said Elling.

In the past Kuhlberg has found other rarities by browsing the Internet, such as pencil drawings by the Baltic-German artist Wilhelm Stavenhagen, 18th-century silversmith’s beakers and antique photographs of Estonian manors.