The Sideshow

Newsreel footage shows Hindenburg disaster in stunning detail

Rarely seen footage of the Hindenburg airship's tragic end, posted by the Public Domain Review, is an amazingly intimate look at a 76-year-old disaster.

While the exact cause of the airship’s fiery demise is still debated, the video—which also includes historical newsreel coverage of the Hindenburg on safely executed flights—is a moving look at the moments leading up to the explosion, and a frightening birds-eye view of the explosion itself.

As Slate notes, the Hindenburg actually completed more than 30 successful transatlantic trips before the disaster in New Jersey on May 6, 1937.

The newsreel footage includes clips of the Hindenburg floating over Manhattan with a swastika on its tail.

Interestingly, Slate gives an explanation as to why only about a third of the people onboard the Hindenburg died in the explosion (35 died; 62 passengers and crew survived): Some of the passengers and crew managed to jump out in time, seemingly possible as earlier clips show people peering from the Hindenburg's windows, which were designed near the bottom of the huge airship.