Germany Year Zero (1948) Script

The digital restoration of Germany, Year Zero was based on the original image and soundtrack negatives and a vintage fine-grain print preserved at CSC - Cineteca Nazionale.

The restoration work was carried out by Cineteca di Bologna and CSC - Cineteca Nazionale at L'lmmagine Ritrovata laboratory in 2013.

UNION GE'NE'RALE CINE'MATOGRAPHIQUE

AND TEVER FILM PRESENT A FILM BY ROBERTO ROSSELLINI GERMANY, YEAR ZERO


THIS FILM IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY SON ROMANO


The Russians had jam yesterday. The Yanks had margarine.

So they're going to put honey on our bread, but we're still going to die.

I'm sick and tired of it all.

Well, jump in that grave, then, if you're tired.

Don't pretend you're tired.

Didn't I say 2m x 1.50m x 0.75m? We're not digging up potatoes here!

That kid isn't pulling his weight! What's he doing here anyway?

How old are you? 15 years old.

He's lying! If he's even 13, I'll eat my hat!

No, he's only 12. He's in the same class as my boy at school.

Is that true? Leave me alone!

Where's your work permit?

It's in my bag.

I'm sure it's forged. These rascals will try anything!

If you want to work here, you'll need a work permit.


I want a piece, too. Go away. Go on. Scarper!

Leave that coal alone, you rascal!

Just you wait till I get hold of you!


What's going on?

The man from the power company is here.

You went over by 62 kilowatts. I could have seen that coming!

Don't forget, there are ten of us living here.

Five separate households.

That's no excuse. You can expect a hefty fine.

Have you got any cigarettes? I gave them all away.

These are my last.

And you? I don't have any.

Did you bring back anything? Only coal.

All right. I'll carry the excess over into next month.

It can't go on like this!

Last week it was the gas, now it's the electricity.

Next week you'll be stumbling in the dark.

We need stricter rules. From now on, there will be no hot water!

We can't run around like pigs!

I only wash with cold water. Nobody can say that I'm not clean.

Can I still use my hairdryer, Dad? Keep quiet.

The Köhlers - I'll give them a good talking to.

Let him talk. Don't do anything stupid. Come on now!

Is everything OK? Yes.

All that fuss with their father- tea, hot-water bottles, hot compressors - it can't go on like this.

You mustn't forget he's a sick man.

Sick! We're all sick! No one has it any better.

I know, but...

It's easy for you to say. You didn't go through what we did.

Is everything OK? Yes, yes. Don't worry.

What was that about? They read the meter. Too much power.

Oh, so they're cutting off the power?

We talked the man out of it.

You've got yourself all dirty again.

Well, did you get the Level 2 card?

No. They found out that I wasn't 15.

That's no surprise. I told you this was going to happen.

Actually, I'm pleased it has.

That's no work for a 13-year-old boy.

But we would have had more to eat. For Karl-Heinz, too.

Did you hear that... Karl-Heinz?

Do you understand that your brother is shouldering the entire burden of our existence by himself?

And you?

What do you do?

You live in hiding.

You don't even register with the authorities.

You don't even have a ration card.

How are four people supposed to get by with three food cards?

We can't afford the black market.

We've sold everything.

I'd do anything for you, anything within my weak powers, but, like this, in my condition...

Just think what madness it is, what you're doing.

What could possibly happen to you?

I don't want to die in a POW camp!

I've had enough! I can't go on.

But I gave you the newspaper and you've heard it on the radio.

Ex-military don't have to turn themselves in now.

You just have to register with the police, like everyone else.

But when they find out that I fought to the very end, and what regiment I belonged to, do you think they'll let me go?

That was during the war. You were doing your duty as a soldier.

They can't hold that against you.

That's easy for you to say! It's not your life on the line!

Father, you have no idea. You haven't been out there.

It's only logical. Has anyone caused us any trouble up to now?

Fine! If you're going to take the responsibility, I'll turn myself in!

No, Karl-Heinz! No!

Stay here!

I'll find something, and so will Eva.

Just give us a little time.

Of course, Edmund. We'll get through it somehow.

I have to go and see Mr Rademacher. He has something for me.

I'll be right back.

It's always worked out so far.

Come on, Father.

You'll be more comfortable lying like this.

I have to talk to you. Fine.

But not here. Come to my room.

So that person sees me, right?

She's harmless. Harmless!

Sure! The so-called victims of Fascism.

Then come to the bathroom. No one will see us there.

See if anyone's out there.

No, there's no one there. Come on.

I've kept quiet the whole time, Karl-Heinz, because I didn't want to argue in Father's presence.

You know his condition. We mustn't upset him.

I didn't start it. I'm happy to be left alone.

Because you're a coward. Maybe.

And terribly selfish.

You don't care where the food comes from, as long as it's there.

I didn't ask Edmund go to work.

No, you never ask for anything, and yet here you are - hungry and thirsty.

You don't care where I go at night, as long as I bring home cigarettes.

Do I smoke them?

No, but they provide the bare necessities, and you know it.

So should I admire you for it? All the girls do that these days.

And more. You see?

Do you want me to become a whore for you?

Sorry. I didn't mean it.

We're both on edge.

But just look at the situation we're in. We're getting more desperate.

You needn't explain it.

We just can't let Edmund...

I know that, too! Don't you think I worry about it?

But all of you only think about yourselves.

What I went through all those years is forgotten about!

You're wrong.

We know that you almost died of thirst near Tobruk and nearly froze to death in Russia.

I don't want to suffer anymore! I'd rather end it all.

No, Karl-Heinz. You survived it and you'll go on living.

Here you are, Gina. Come along.

No, Mummy. I want to stay here.

Your girl's not disturbing me.

You're working in this light? We have to save electricity.

But not when you need it.

Can I help you? Thanks, but I'm fine.

So you're suspicious of me too? No.

But the others are, aren't they? I think so.

For what reason? Because I was abroad for so long?

No. Because of your political views. That's ridiculous!

I'm convinced the Rademachers hate me because I'm taking up a room.

Are we moving again? No, we're staying here. Keep quiet.

You live with Miss Köhler. They're very nice, simple people.

Can you tell me what they have against me?

I'm sure it's because their son...

Come on, Gina.

I'll pick out some linen for you. You can make some nappies out of them.

She's always very helpful.

I don't believe in help from strangers.

These days, everyone has to help themselves.

I'm very understanding, my boy. I'm not a monster.

But there's a limit. I've told you that before.

And I don't know what type of help you could possibly offer me.

Can't I get something for you?

But what? You know I hate the black market.

Or swap something?

That's what the official Exchange Office is there for.

They swindle us every time. Give him the scale.

My scale? How am I going to check my weight?

It's not the first thing we've had to sacrifice, my child.

Go and fetch the scale. All right.

How much should I ask for it?

What can we get for it, Mother? I'd say 200 marks.

Far too little. At least 300. Exactly the price of a pound of butter.

Edmund... Oh, pardon me.

Your food's getting cold, Edmund. Hurry. I still want to go out.

Yes, I'll be right there. Excuse me.

Miss Rademacher... may I see the scale, please?

It's outrageous! That woman has no shame!

Just like that girl, Blanke.

To think our daughter has to mix with people like that.

A typical sign of the times.

What have you got against my sister? Why are you always moaning about us?

Be quiet.

Take the scale and don't come back with less than 300 marks. Understood?

Yes, Mr Rademacher. I'll come for it tomorrow morning.

Eva? What is it?

Where are you going? I'm going out.

Why are you going out?

I go out every night. Why do you go out every night?

To take my mind off things.

Are you ready to go? Yes, yes. I'm coming.

You know they won't wait for us. Yes, I know.

I don't want you to go out every night.

Edmund, what's got into you all of a sudden?

What are you thinking?

Come here, my boy.

Look me in the eye.

Now... go to bed and don't worry.


Cigarette, mademoiselle? Cigarette? Thanks.

Waiter, two cognacs.

- Merci. Not right now. Later. All right.

Two cognacs, waiter.

Hello, Jean. Still in Berlin? Yes, my friend. Excuse us a moment.

He's nice, your Frenchman.

Yes. Very nice.

You've got to hurry and try to seize the opportunity.

I'm fine just enjoying myself a bit.

I don't think you know how to handle men.

I can't do it. Oh, don't be so stupid, child.

You might catch one for keeps.

I told you I can't do it. I'm just too stupid.

Are you having a good time? Yes. Coming to the Bavarina with us?

I'll walk with you for a bit. Come on.

But then I'll go home.

Young people just don't like working.

All they think about is their dodgy dealings.

Do you know young Lehmann?

Working in construction? "Working"?

If you ask what he's doing, he says, "I don't know. I start tomorrow."

Hurry, Hilde! Or there will be nothing left.

A few grams won't matter. But if there's nothing at home...

Get in the queue!

I say, it's getting harder with three hungry men in the house.

I don't know what to cook anymore.

Butter was 200 marks a pound yesterday.

My father's pension is 70 marks a month. That's if he even gets it.

And you go out for four or five cigarettes.

It's still 20 marks.

What can you buy for that? Two kilos of potatoes.

You're crazy, my darling. Believe me.

Maybe, but what do you want? I can't help it.

Because of Helmut? Yes.

Don't you think he understands your situation, like all POWs?

He won't be back for a long time. I'm sure he'll understand.

It's not about understanding.

He and I... How can I explain?

At first it was a few innocent postcards.

Then I heard nothing from him for a long time, until suddenly another letter came from the POW camp.

He wrote to me because he had no one else.

And he had to write to someone.

He only had one thing to hold on to... and that was me.

Do you understand?

He lives just waiting for my letters and I have someone to turn to, too.

But you have your family.

I do what I can for them. Oh, that's very little.

I know, but I don't have the courage to do any more.

You must find the courage and after ten glasses of schnapps, you do, believe me.

What are you doing hanging around here?

You're all I need!

What's going on here, boys?

How much for the scale? 300 marks.

For that rust bucket? You must be crazy!

That rust bucket works just fine. Try it and weigh yourself.

Really? Very well, then.

I'll give you something good for it.

Take it easy. Relax. I'm not going to run off with it.

Wait, wait, wait.

I'll give you this for it.

What's in it? Top-quality tinned meat.

Is that all?

It's worth more that!

Be quiet. I'll throw in another tin.

Today I'm in a generous mood. Now go away!

That's not enough. I need more. Shut up now!

You're such an idiot!


You used to be in my class. Yes, Mr Henning.

See, I have a good memory.

What's your name again?

Edmund Köhler.

That's right. Edmund Köhler.

You've grown up to be a handsome, strong young man.

How's your father?

My father is sick. Very sick.

I see. You have a big brother, too, don't you?

Yes. He was in the war. Now he's at home.

So he's unemployed, just like me.

Why? Aren't you a teacher anymore? No.

The school authorities and I didn't see eye to eye about educating today's youth.

Tell me, my boy... Edmund, what are you doing here?

Nothing much.

Then keep me company for a while. Yes, sure.

I'm always happy to see a former pupil.

Here, Henning!

I suppose you didn't recognise me. I did, I did. Dirty work, eh?

Work? It's slavery!

A good situation we're in.

We used to be real men. National Socialists.

Now we're just Nazis. Yes, yes.

Henning, the tram's coming!

All the best. Goodbye.

Ready!


Did you have to shovel, too? Of course. To clear up the rubble.

And work on the rooftops, too? That, too.

My brother was supposed to, but he didn't register.

Unfortunately, they caught me, but I got put on the sick list.

Remember how I scolded your father for that forged certificate when he tried to keep you out of the Hitler Youth.

You were honest and didn't tell any lies.

I should have taken stronger measures, but I didn't, for your sake.

Right, here we are.

Have you always lived here? No.

You've just moved? Yes. A good friend took me in.


Oh, there you are.

Hello, madam. Hello.

What happened? Did you go? Yes.

Nice kid. Who is he? One of my former pupils.

A pretty boy. Did you tell them we sent you?

Yes. And?

I have to go back tomorrow. Then we'll probably get the stamp.

Did you bring my nail varnish? Yes, madam.

I hope it's the right colour.

Excellent! Have a look.

So, if you'll...

Goodbye. Goodbye, my boy.

Goodbye. Do you like this colour?

It's too showy.

Oh, what would you know about women's things?

Hello. Hello.

Nice kid. Never seen him before.

Former pupil. Is he around? Out on the terrace.

Come on.

Come in, my boy. Give me your bag.

We'll put it here.

And now tell me... what have you got to tell me?

Nothing. Come on. Sit down.

And in school? What are they teaching you?

Democracy?

I can't really say because I'm not going to school at the moment.

Why? Don't you like your new teachers? I do, but I have to work.

Work? Why?

There are four of us with just three ration cards.

Oh, poor boy!

I see, because your brother didn't register?

Yes, he's in hiding.

And he fought to the very end. Right to the corner of our street.

Don't worry. We'll find a solution.

I've tried everything.

Today I went to get a work permit and then I went to work at the cemetery, but they threw me out again.

You're back, young man? Yes, Mr Von Laubnitz.

This is a former pupil of mine.

Did you get anywhere? I think tomorrow.

So it's not been decided yet? No.

The matter has to be decided. Yes, sir.

Listen, my dear little Edmund, I'd really like to help you.

But you must promise not to tell anyone. Understand?

It's nothing really, but I don't want it to attract attention.

I'll give you something you can sell, but you must say it's yours, if anyone asks.

Even in this house, OK? Yes.

You'll take it to the Chancellery. Do you understand?

I'm sure you'll find a lot of Yanks or Tommies or other idiots there who you can flog this record to, OK?

Get your bag.

So... it's a speech by Hitler.

Take the record player with you, too.

You can just say I lent it to you. OK.

And now prove to me that you're a clever boy, all right?

And what did you get? Nothing.

Typical... you stupid cow!

And how did you do? Me? Great! We'll meet tonight, yeah?

Hello! Jo and Christl, come here. What is it?

Take this little boy to the Chancellery. He's got something to sell.

Make sure he does it right. He's just a beginner.

You can count on us. Go with them.


When I grow up, I'm going to buy a car.

I can't wait that long.

Edmund! Wait here a minute.

Edmund, come quickly! Hurry!

Here he is!

Yes, you can listen to it. Hurry up.

I'm not an express train! Don't be such a slowcoach!

... hold the flag high when the storm rages and thunder strikes.

I'm proud to be the leader of this nation, not only in happy times, but especially in hard ones.

I'm happy that in these times I can once again give my strength and trust to the nation that I can and must raise up the entire German people and say, "German people, set your hearts to rest.

"We shall overcome. Victory awaits us in the end!"

Hello, children! What a coincidence! What are you doing here?

Where have you been? At the Chancellery.

So it all worked out? Yes, sir.

How much did you get for the record? 200 marks.

Where is it? Here.

So... here are 10 marks for you.

You see? I take good care of you. Come by and see me again soon, OK?

Bye.

Jo! Come on, then!

Wait here a minute.

Why do we have to wait? Jo's pulling off a job.

What sort of job? Don't ask stupid questions.

If you're so curious, go after him. I will!


Jo! I told you to wait outside.

What are you doing down here on the train platform?

Selling something. What?

This here. What is it?

Soap. Soap? That's why I had to...

Be quiet! You'll see what you can do with soap.

Go on! Disappear! And you too, you stupid cow!

Next stop: Zoological Gardens!

50 marks. I don't have it.

Yes, but just smell this.

Smell it. Nice, but too expensive.

For you, it's 40.


Come on. Hurry up.

Now you know how to soap people up, right?

No one here? The gang was supposed to be here.

Wait for me here. I'll see where Ali Baba's hiding.

Is he your brother? Who? Jo? No.

Don't you live together? Us? Live together?

I thought you were living together.

We don't live together. Hey, Jo!

Hey, darling! Hands off!

Don't be like that!

What a conceited princess! A mattress that dispenses cigarettes.

She's not the only chick I've been with.

Listen up! There's a train full of potatoes coming in tonight.

Great! We're gonna get them! The police will be there, too.


Jo! I know where to find him.

Hey, Jo! What is it?

Won't you sell me a piece of soap?

Why not? How much do you want for it?

40 smackers.

40 smackers? I have 10 marks.

You'll get the rest tomorrow and the day after.

All right. Good.

OK.

Now put the soap away. I want to look at it first.

You dog! You cheated me!

Good night and sweet dreams.

Where are you going?

I have a rendezvous.

Where are we anyway? Well...!

I live near the Alexanderplatz. How do I get there?

No one's forcing you to go home.

Where am I supposed to sleep?

Wherever you want. There's plenty of space.

Alone?

With her. Or don't you like her? I do, but...

Are you afraid of girls? That's not it.

She's a nice girl, you moron.

Now get lost, you two.

But Jo, are you going to keep all those potatoes for yourself?

No, you can have a few.

Where shall I put them? In here.

Is that all? Where would you put more?

You're right... I'll give you more tomorrow.

Promise? I promise.

Now good night and make each other happy!

You'll see, it's lots of fun.

Come on. Jo! Listen!

Jo! Come on.

Jo!

They're really going to be livid, my boy. Do you think so?

Yes. Staying out all night won't go unpunished.

What should I do? You're gonna have to take the rap.

I only stayed out all night because I...

You don't have to tell me, my boy. Explain it to your sister.

Come on.

Eva! Edmund! Finally!

I thought you weren't going to come home at all.

You gave me such a fright!

You're a horrible boy!

What's going on? Nothing. It's just Edmund.

Oh, right. Go back to sleep.

Go on! Go to your room!

Where were you the whole night? Where?

I didn't do anything bad, Eva. Honestly.

I want to know where you were. I was getting potatoes.

That's no reason to stay out all night. I'll get more tomorrow.

Look.

Father's awake. Can you hear how he's coughing?

He was very ill last night.

Does he know? Yes.

Eva. Yes, Father.

Edmund's here.

Come here.

Closer!

It's not my fault! The other boys made me...

Save it! I'm not interested in your lies!

You should be ashamed to be so depraved and corrupted at your age!

I'm sure he didn't mean any harm, Father.

He was only trying to find us some food. I won't eat any of it.

Me neither. I'd rather starve.

That's easy to say.

I don't want to lie around anymore and be worthless and of no use.

Don't get upset. I'm sure Edmund won't do it again.

Show us how many potatoes you brought.

And tinned meat.

The tinned meat isn't for us.

Who then? For Mr Rademacher.

Well? How's it going?

Any luck? It's not as easy as you think it is.

The main cable has to be in there. Yes, but it's hard to get at.

And the power company might notice that we're tapping into it.

There's no need to worry about that.

With five households it could have been any one of us.

Here, Mr Rademacher. What do you want?

Your tinned meat. I didn't order any.

For the scale. And where are the 300 marks?

That's all I got for it.

What? You dare to bring me tinned meat for my expensive scale?

You want to poison us all?

It's not bad. Then you take it...

Thanks a lot. It's very kind of you. ...to my wife.

Right! Out with the truth! Where's the money?

What money? For the scale. I bet it's in your pocket.

How can you accuse me of that? It's perfectly clear.

You're all dying of hunger and trying to get by at any cost.

First you forced yourselves on me. That was the housing authority.

But I have to put up with it.

We all have to put up with your father's constant wailing and whimpering.

Why doesn't he just die? Then we'd finally have some peace.

Where are you going? To the bathroom.

Wait. I'll help you.

Thank you, my child.

Come on.

Your soup is on the stove. Close the door.

Do you want some?

No, you eat it. Eva warmed it up especially for you.

Do you want an American cigarette?

So Eva can hold it over me?

It's not from Eva.

Don't tell me you bought it. No, it was a present.

From whom? The boys you were running around with?

It wasn't the boys. It was a girl.

You should be ashamed! Why? Everyone else does it.

That's no excuse!

Her name's Christl. She lost her parents. She lives in a basement.

She laughed at me because I didn't smoke.

She often brings cigarettes for the other boys.

You should have someone to look after you, too.

Me? I don't need anyone.

I've had enough of this rotten life!

You mustn't lose courage, Karl-Heinz. No, I mustn't.

A soldier can lose everything, but not his courage.

But I'm no longer a soldier.

I'm a nobody! One more mouth to feed.

I'd like to jump out of the window.

Come quickly!

Come quickly!

Father's had another attack.

I think we have to call a doctor. Do you hear?

Yes, but... I'll get him. I know where he lives.

Don't worry. It's nothing serious.

His heart is very weak, but his poor overall condition is what concerns me most.

What should we do?

Most importantly, he needs nourishing food, like fats and vitamins.

How can we get that? We only have a Level 3 card.

Yes, I know. It's the same misery everywhere.

It would be best to get him into a hospital, but they're all overcrowded.

Do you think there's a chance?

Well, they've turned away worse cases, but fortunately I have some good connections with the health authorities.

Did you hear that, Father? You're going to the hospital.

You can eat all you want there!

Three meals a day.

Wait a minute.

I can't make any promises, but I'd be surprised if I couldn't sort it out.

Get well soon. Goodbye.

Are you happy now, Dad?

Do you feel better? Much, much better.

Not so loud, Father. Remember what the doctor said.

You're right - someone might hear us, but I have to tell you.

You can't imagine... What, Father?

...what I've had to eat.

First soup. Then meat with vegetables. With fresh vegetables.

And milk. This much milk.

Really? What do you say to that?

I'm happy you have it so good, Father.

In the evening there's another hot meal.

You'll see how quickly you get better.

Yes, yes, but when I think of all of you...

Don't worry about us.

As long as you feel better, that's a comfort for us.

And it makes things a little easier, doesn't it?

Yes. That's what I tell myself, too.

Is Eva's still coming? Definitely. She went to the hospital.

Can I smoke here? Of course.

Would you like one? Thanks. I've just had one.

Hold on. I'll get you a light.

Where are the matches? There aren't any left.

Then go and get some. With no money?

Ask Rademacher. No need.

My friend will have some. I have to go and see her anyway.

Here you are. Why? What is it?

I'll tell you later. I'm off to Hilde's. All right.

How's Father? He's doing better.

But we're doing worse. They cut off the power.

How can they do that?

They found out that someone in the building was plugging in for free.

Rademacher suspected us. Of course.

That's why he's shouting like that. That crook!

Someone ought to shut him up.

"Ought to" - always these big words...

But you just sit around while everything happens to us.

That again? You must have done something wrong.

I only did my duty. Then you have nothing to fear.

I asked about it again yesterday.

With that refugee woman? No. With an allied officer.

The allied officers guide your morals.

Our troubles don't even bother you!

They're not as bad at the moment while Father's been in hospital.

But he's back tomorrow and we have nothing in the house.

I'll find something. Now I know how! And that's fine with you, is it?

Let Edmund do the dirty work and get more and more neglected!

Oh, leave me alone.

Go dancing with your Yanks!

Mr Henning! Mr Henning!

Yes? What is it? Can I talk to you?

Yes, sure. Come back later or tomorrow.

Listen. Can't you see I'm busy?

It's to do with my father.

OK. Tell me. Come with me.

Wait here a minute, OK?

Well, what is it?

My father comes back from hospital tomorrow.

And?

We have nothing in the house. No bread, no jam, no margarine.

Not a thing. It's all my brother's fault.

I know, but what am I supposed to do?

We have to get him something to eat. Can you help?

Tell me what I should do. I have no idea, my boy.

You have to accept things as they come.

He is old and weak. You've tried everything.

You can't fight destiny.

What if he dies? Then he dies.

We all have to die sooner or later.

You can't all starve just to keep him alive.

Mr Von Laubnitz.

Another one of your pupils? No, a little friend.

Come along, my boy. I have something for you.

I hope you understood.

Stop this now. You can't change things.

Everything isn't about you and your selfishness.

Afraid that Daddy will die!

Look at nature. The weak are destroyed, so that the strong survive.

One must have the courage to let the weak die.

You have to be clear about that, my boy.

It's all about saving ourselves.

So, chin up, OK?

Think about your brother instead. Bye.


Father! Edmund!

Come here, my boy! Sit down.

Come closer.

Give me a kiss.

It's so nice of you to come and visit me, too.

Four days here have done me the world of good.

And it was easier on you all at home, too.

Father, you know...

So, let's see how your temperature is today.

Is the little one your son? Yes, he's my youngest.

A nice boy.

Do sit down. You're not in my way.

Now I'll be a burden on all of you again.

I cause such misery.

It would be better if I were dead.

I've often thought...

POISON

...I ought to end my life, but I lack the courage.

My existence is nothing but agony.

I know full well.

For me and for all of you.

Here, Father.

We can eat now. Shall we move the table?

Yes. Grab that end, Edmund.

A little further? Yes.

Wait, Father. I'll help you.

Just potatoes? I'm afraid I couldn't make you any soup.

Why not? The gas hasn't been cut off, has it?

No, but we don't have any more flour or oil.

At least a little tea.

We've run out of that, too.

My God. Why didn't I stay in hospital?

Now I have to lie around here and be a burden to you all again.

The misery of watching and not being able to help.

Condemned to be alive.

Dear Lord, why don't you let me die?

Don't talk like that, Father.

It would be a relief. For me and all of you.

We'll get through it.

If only Karl-Heinz had registered.

I thought my absence would make him aware of his responsibility.

What would have happened if I hadn't come back or if I had died?

Can you tell me that, Karl-Heinz?

Or would you leave Eva and Edmund to face their fates alone?

Of course not.

If only your mother were alive, but she was taken from me, too.

Everything's been taken from me.

My life savings by inflation, my sons by Hitler.

I should have rebelled against it, but I was too weak.

Like so many of my generation.

We saw disaster coming and we did nothing to prevent it.

Only now do we see the consequences.

Now we're paying for our mistakes.

All of us. Me just as much as you.

We just have to acknowledge our guilt.

Complaining doesn't get us anywhere.

Yes, I know, Father.

My days are numbered, but you're still young.

You can still put a lot things right.

Prove you're a man.

Have the courage to register.

You'll see how much easier it makes life.

For you and your family.

Eva and Edmund will be grateful.

And I will be proud of you, too, my son.

You'll give me renewed courage to live.

You'll work. You'll get a ration card like everyone else.

So stop putting it off.

Stop living like a hunted animal.

Try to live like a man who can show his face everywhere.

There's no shame in accepting one's fate.

You know I was an officer in World War I.

You think it was just child's play, but it was enough for me.

Back then we marched along to waving flags, too, conquered half of Europe and got all the way to Russia.

It seemed like no power in the world could oppose us.

And suddenly the end came.

First defeat. Then revolution.

I cried when they tore off my epaulettes.

No one can accuse me of not being a good German.

I longed for only one thing during all those very difficult times and I can confess it to you now - the fall of the Third Reich and defeat.

I don't want to know how the world would look if things had turned out differently.

Here, Father.

Tea? Yes. Edmund got it for you.

Did he?

It tastes odd.

But it's warm. And that does a man good.

Do you want some, Karl-Heinz?

No! I got it especially for you.

You're a good boy. Thank you.

All three of you are so good to me.

I can be proud to have children like you.

Misfortune has befallen us, but it has brought my children back to me.

Come in.

It's a raid. The police are searching door to door.

Good heavens! You have to hide.

I'm not hiding anymore!

Karl-Heinz!


Open up! Police!

All right. I'm coming.

Let's search the building.

Everything's in order here.

There's no need to cause any trouble.

Listen... I don't have any papers.

Take care of this man.

You don't have any papers? No.

Where are they? I burned my documents.

Then you must come with us to the station.

Can I let my family know? Yes, but I must come with you.

Go ahead.

It's the room behind the kitchen. Off you go. Hurry up.

The power's off. Who's the main tenant here?

I am. It's our flat.

Who else lives here? Just womenfolk, Sergeant!

Your occupation? Artist.

Yes, a free-loading artist.

In there, there's a refugee woman with her child.

And next to them? A heavily pregnant young woman.

Her husband's in a POW camp.

We can go. Karl-Heinz, you're staying here!

He hasn't done anything!

Then we won't do anything to him. Come on.

Karl-Heinz...

There's no need to worry. Nothing will happen to me.

It's my father! Help me!

My father! My father!

What are you screaming about?

My father! He's not moving!

I'm afraid he might be dead.

I'm so scared!

The old man's dead, there's no doubt about it.

Don't be upset, Eva.

In his condition, it was definitely for the best.

And just now when Karl-Heinz isn't here.

Come on. It's better if you don't stay here.

Has anyone called a doctor?

A doctor can't help him now.

All we can do is organise a quick burial.

A coffin will cost a fortune. There's always a paper sack.

How awful! When I die, I don't want to be buried like that.

Don't talk nonsense! It doesn't concern you. Go to your room.

So what's it to be? Coffin or no coffin?

That's by the by. The main thing is we get him out of the house!

It's best to put him out on the terrace.

You never know - maybe he had a contagious disease.

Don't worry. He starved to death. That's not contagious.

Right, let's get him outside.

Let's get him outside.

I'll get his head. Good. I've got his legs.

Mother, lead the way with the light. Here we go.

We're lucky he's not too heavy.

Oh, my poor boy.

Wait!

That should do it.

What will happen to his things? Good question.

His old torn pyjamas aren't worth anything.

What about the jumper?

And the woollen socks? These?

Keep moving, please.

I'm back! Oh, Karl-Heinz!

What is it? Why are you crying?

Father is dead. Dead?

Oh, Karl-Heinz!

And all I thought about was how happy he'd be to see me free.

You made his wish come true and that is the main thing.

Come on.

No, not this way. He's here.

Poor boy.

Is he free now? Yes. Completely free.

I've taken care of everything. The coffin has been ordered.

When will it be here? Probably next week. It just depends.

You can't stay here? Where can we go, then?

To my place. I have room. For you, too.

Edmund, pack your things. I'm not going with you.

You can't stay here all alone.

There's plenty of room for me to sleep here.

Who will look after you? Let me worry about that.

You seem to forget you're a little boy.

You should have said so earlier before you made me pound the streets.

Edmund!

Leave him be. He'll come to his senses.


Damn sink-hole!

I told you to watch your step!

Come on. I'll show you the way.

Well, good night. Night.


It's close to necrophilia!

You must have been dropped on the head as a baby!

The buds smell like a cemetery. But they're easy to roll.

Man, they must have lured you out of the jungle with a turnip!

With hash-brown potatoes!

Christl! What is it?

Get out of here!

Looks like you picked up another. I don't hang out with infants.


Mr Henning! Mr Henning!

Hello?

What is it, my boy? Can I talk to you for a moment?

Yes, of course. Come up.

Come in.

Mr Henning, I have to talk to you.

What is it? You're so pale. What's wrong?

Come and sit down.

Right... and now tell me what's the matter.

I did it. Did what?

Killed my father. What? You really did it?

Yes, you told me to.

Me? I didn't tell you to do anything, you... you little monster!

Edmund! Edmund!

Edmund, get up. How could you do such a thing?

People will find out that you've been coming here.

I never told you to do such a thing! Understand? Never!

Come on. Get up. My dear Edmund, calm down!

We'll see what we can do.

I am so fond of you, my boy.

Hey!


Can I play? No, we're playing by ourselves.

I can show you how to play. No!

Come on.


Mr Rademacher!

Mr Rademacher! Someone should tell the children.


Where's Edmund? I haven't seen him.

Have you seen Edmund? Edmund!

We'll find him.


My God!


THE END