Nacht fiel uber Gotenhafen (1960) Script


January 30th, 1945 Position?

12 sea miles north of Stolpemuende.

Wind strength? Five to six.

Light snowfall lasted until 9 p.m.

The weather is clearing up ever since. Air temperature?

18 degrees below zero.

The shipwrecked quickly freeze to death.

The name of the ship? Wilhelm Gustloff.

Coming from Gotenhafen.

Gross register tonnage 26,000 Launched in spring 1938.

The Workers of the brow and of the fist will travel upon you under the motto...

"Strength Through Joy" !

In the name of our Fuhrer Adolf Hitler...

I wish you fortunate tours for always.

I please you, Madam.

I christen you to the name of "Wilhelm Gustloff"!

Later the most beautiful woman on board will be elected...

Who else but you could win? I bet you are telling that to everyone!

No, really. You look charming! Thank you.

Having fun?? Thanks.

That didn't sound too sincere.

How are you? The same for me. Well, you aren't exactly looking... like Strength-Through-Joy. Ah, it sucks in here. This ship is nothing but a huge brothel. Well, well! Don't exaggerate...

Let Maria have her little flirt and don't turn this into a drama.

She is just dancing with a neat sailor. Ah! That neat sailor ... has been after her for days! I have had enough!

Don't try to intermediate or appeal to my human understanding.

That won't work. Sod you and ahoy!

Ladies and Gentleman! And now for this evening's highlight - the election of the most beautiful woman aboard.

She will dance an honorary dance with our estimated Captain Bertram.

Numbers will be attached to our ladies, and we men make our choice.

An honest secret election, a true-blue plebiscite. Ready? Go!

There are two votes you can count upon, Maria. Whose?

Mine and that of Herr Schott. No? Yes.

That is nice of you both, but I count on Kurt's. I wouldn't be so sure about that right now.

What do you mean? You should rather ask him yourself.

Where is he? He was just around a minute ago.

Excuse me.

A great job you have done here, Dr. Beck! Thanks, and to be even more explicit:

Give up, stay out of this. Are you sure this is your business?

Yes. The three of us are travelling together, just as we work together in a radio station in Berlin.

We are good friends, and between us: I love her too.

Is that enough for you?


Yes, what's up? Don't pretend.

You know why I came looking for you.

Is something wrong, Kurt? What should be wrong?

Go dance, with whom and as much as you want. Oh, I am glad to hear that.

Right now I want to have the honorary dance with the captain, and you are not even there to vote for me! You have enough suitors around.

These super-classy snotty noses! Who do they think they are?

These are jaunty,cheery dancers, great for partytime. Why don't you try yourself?

The honorary dance has started. You don't need to vote for me anymore.

I already have.

And now everyone!

Captain, you are asked to come on the bridge. Excuse me please.

Please take over for me. With pleasure, Herr Kapitän.

What is the problem, Schmidt? We have just received this message.

We are commanded to revert our course and to reach the next German harbor.

You know, what that means, Schmidt. There is only one answer to that:


In the wake of initial victories a flood of iron crosses, then more and more wooden crosses, descended upon the men of the army.

From Narvik... to Tobruk.

From Monte Cassino to Stalingrad.

The German women payed for their men's bravery and readiness to die with lonesome, sleepless nights.

Payed with arms empty of love and hopeless waiting.

Payed with an endless stream of tears.


Hello, Maria. Sorry, I didn't hear you.

Now, does he get a furlough, or not? Of course not, and nobody knows when.

I don't even know anymore how he looks like. It is New Year's Eve today.

I'll have some nice people around. Come and join us!

No way! My mother-in-law will immediately write it to Kurt and will make me look bad.

How ghastly! That is her idea of motherly love.

She even fell sick, to prove to me what true, consuming love really is.

Don't let yourself be pulled down. It will pass.

Wait until Kurt returns.

"This is the Greater German broadcast with noontime news..."

Maria, is that you, Yes, Mum.

How good you are finally back. I worry so much!

Yes, Mum.

So, how are you?

Headache again? Don't ask, my child.

This endless hammering inside my temples. Do you need some pills?

No, I have had enough for today.

You have to go shopping, I couldn't do... I feel dizzy.

Sometimes I really admire you how calmly you can stand all this.

Not everybody can be as sensitive as you are, Mum. What do you need?

Something special? Nothing, I don't care anyway.

I cannot eat. I will just make some pancakes.

Kurt's favourites. Yes, yes... I am going now.

But first I will pay a vistit to Edith. How often did I ask you to stop seeing her?

She is no good for you!

Mum, please allow me that little pleasure of having a friend, OK?

Ah, good afternoon, Dad-in-Law. Good day, my child. How is she today?

The same as usual. Well, don't let yourself get stopped.

Bye. Bye.

Aha, a visitor.

Come in, Maria. Did you smell the good coffee I just have made?

I just need some air. If she goes on like that, I'll move out.

Good afternoon. Good afternoon, Herr...

Hans Schott. We danced together on the Gustloff, 1000 years ago...

Old friends and I had no idea! Despite that young being my cousin.

I am glad to see you again healthy. Not so formal! Here, the cups.

Sit down, I will bring you the coffee. What are you doing in Berlin?

Furlough for convalescence. Have you been wounded?

Yes, the Brits got me, but I am alright now. Kid, please put on a different record.

We are going to celebrate tonight big deal. And do you know where? At Muemmel's fashion boutique!

You don't know what that is? Muemmel's! You have been hanging out in the war too much!

I do design work for him. We three go there and meet the craziest people of Berlin!


You know, Edith, I cannot go. I already cancelled Dr. Beck.

You can't sit behind the oven forever! I'm not planning to.

Then go and have some fun for a change! Maybe you are right.

I'll try!

Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

My best wishes for you! Happy New Year! All the best! "Pupil, cast a stiff look into New Year's dead blue eye.

And if all the snow shall burn, the ashes will still remain for us!"

Maria! I have to wish a happy new year to Maria too. Maria!

Happy New Year, honey! Happy New Year!

I am glad you are here, my boy, that is so charming. All the best!


Do you know the Alabama song? Of course we do!

Peter-Baby, play Lilli Marleen. Then turn on the state radio, you goat!

Do you know the Alabama song? Of course we do!

Yes, then sing the Alabama song, and this is how it goes:

Oh, Susanna, don't be so hard and mean just quench the fire on my roof and be my air raid queen Do you know the Alabama song? Of course we do!

Yes, then sing the Alabama song, and this is how it goes:

Oh, Susanna, have a happy year just drink and wait another one, until all the lies are gone.

Oh, Susanna, life is so bitter-sweet...

Everything you quietly wished for in this moment shall become true.

Thanks, Herr Scholl, but I have no glass. Please take mine then.

Don't you have a piously hopeful wish for me? I wish you from all my heart that... you'll be healthy ... Don't, I know this sermon.

"Break a leg, good luck and health in war and peace." No, everybody wishes that.

I want something just for me alone. My goodness, what could I... l don't know anything. Allright, I wish a New Year's kiss then.

Is it that difficult for you?

Come on, not like this!

Enough now! Once and for all!

We will never meet again. Pardon me.

1944 was the year of withdrawal from all fronts.

The seduced masses understood, that the war was impossible to win.

Thus began the epic march of the German people... into national suicide.

Sergeant? The Lieutenant says, we have to clear Orsha.


This shithole cost us 100 men, and now it's going back again!

Lt. Dankel is waiting outside. I'm expecting him, let him come in.


Take a seat. Have you finished your report? - Yes.

Hand it over to my adjutant. He will take care of it.

Clear your office, I have got something new. I expected that.

I guess you are not surprised that it is not about a front commando.

I am glad to hear, one shouldn't risk more than one eye.

Or are they already sending the cripples? Cut it, Dankel.

You are going to be transferred to a submarine training group as a naval officer.

I had expected a commando as an instructor. -No.

I would have loved to tell the clueless newbies, whats really happening out there. - Thats why!

Your marching order is directed to Gotenhafen. Report to Cpt. Zahn on the Gustloff, that old Strength-Through-Joy-steamer. It serves now as water barracks for the submarine division. That's my ship!

When I still had my two blue eyes I used to be on the Gustloff!

You will feel at home then. Good luck!

Dankel? Yes?

You better guard your tongue in the future.

Believe me, you won't do anything good with that. Take this fatherly advice from me.

The practical housewife is considering how to create a cooking box all by herself.

Best modify a charcoal box or a sea chest. ... That was the Housewife's Hour, after a short break we will send a concert.

I'll tell her... wait, there she is! Edith Markwardt. She says, its important.

She already called three times. Everything is important for Edith.

Hello, whats up? You have to come immediately!

Honey, you gotta come. Hell is loose in here. I'm scramming! My train leaves tonight.

Yesterday one of those party guys visited me. He wants me to fabricate bombs and grenades!

Fashion is done! Now its total war and all! Edith, you can't just run away!

Sure! I'm going home to East Prussia, milking cows... thats important for the war as well.

At least join me at the train station. I promise to cry really hard.

At 9:22, yes...

I told my father-in-law I was on night service. Clever kid.

It means so much for me to have a quiet evening for once. - Join me at Laswethen, it is quiet there.

You'll miss your train, Edith, go! It wont dare to leave without me.

Good luck, Edith. Join me soon!

Stay healthy, Maria! Here is the key to my apartment.

Take a look from time to time if some fire bombies have entered my living room.

Goodbye, Hans, write to me... why does this train go already??

Hans, good luck, write to me, OK?? Yes! Goodbye!

She put me in charge as her baggage porter... it is not my fault. - Bah, nonsense.

I have forgotten the little incident a long time ago.

I am expecting every day to be sent off as an instructor.

Oh my God, Edith has kept the lights burning. Good night. I have to rush upstairs before the air raid attendant sees it. Shall I come with you?

You stay here. Good night. Will I see you again?

No way!

Oh, its you? Yes.

I forgot, Edith has left a bottle of Cognac for me. Hum, what did she say?

In the cupboard on the left I think...

There it is! You are pretty impertinent.

One must take care of this stuff! It is rare nowadays! - Not for me, please.

To Edith. Just one! Allright then.

Hopefully she is having a good trip. Hopefully. Cheers!

Now take your bottle and scram! You are really eager to get rid of me.

Have you noticed finally? You are just afraid of me.

Don't be so big-headed.

Well, thats what you got out of it! Quickly, into the cellar.

Johannes, don't forget to turn off the gas!

My parents-in-law. They must not see us together.

And now? I am staying.

It won't be so bad. But you... If you allow me, I'll stay with you.

How long will it last today??

The windows must be opened, otherwise they will break.

Spectacular! Out there we never get to see that sort of thing!

Get off from that window, this is pure madness!

Damn, that was close! That was inside the house!


Are you crazy? Get away from here, quickly!!

Do what I say, or else...! Don't touch me so rough!

Shut up and go inside! Goddamn, isn't anybody coming?

All sitting in the cellar, while the roof is burning! Fire! Fire!

Stop howling, where do you come from? From next door. Come on!

How are things? Everything under control.

Thank God. That could have ended really badly.

But we have made it. What a romantic night you and me are having here. Let's drink to that, we have deserved it.


OK. Who is buying me a new uniform now?

Are you hurt? Yes, I got a bit.

The air raid attendant had some dressing material. You have to play nurse now.

Your arm looks terrible, all burned!

Oh, tell me about it... I think you don't look so well either.

What you women have to endure here is unbelievable.

We have no idea about that. We already feel important if some water bombs eplode near us.

But if you look at all this...

You get used to it. Even to that. Even if you think you are losing your mind.


If we continue like this, we will soon be back where we started.

Well, "Home into the Reich", as the parole goes. Officer, please help!

Your soldiers have set our whole village on fire! Is that my fault? Quick, go!

Looks quite used up, the Gustloff. Like everything, my boy.

Thanks, Lieutenant. Sailor, what are you looking for?

Gosh, Dankel, what are you doing here? I came as an instructor! - I know!

You have been registered for long time. How are you?

Like an idiot with just one eye. Now I am only fighting paper wars.

Now come in, I have some fine welcome Schnaps prepared.

Girls, there is, my old friend Hans Schott. This is Monika.

We have already expected you. And this is Inge.

Good afternoon, Lieutenant. Helper, please, pour us some drink.

These are mighty nice girls. Without them you would die of boredom in here.

They are always cheerful. Singing and dancing like the Huepfner sisters.

You must join us at The Merry Widow. Is that a night club?

Private. You get everything in there. Good, solid black market.

Don't talk so bad about Mrs. Kubelski! I don't, I love to go there myself.

Cheers, old boy. Welcome aboard! -Cheers.

Nobody at home.


Maria, are you home yet? -Yes, Mum.

Wonderful news! Thank God! Kurt is coming on a furlough!

When? His letter came this afternoon.

It was for you. Sorry, I opened it... Couldn't wait.

I was just over at the pharmacy. Dad is overwhelmed with joy.

And you? Aren't you happy? Yes, Mama, of course I am happy.

What is wrong? You are not happy. Not really. What is it?

Nothing, just some trouble at the office.

Please let me recover for a moment. Of course. Take a rest, my dear.

I want Kurt to see happy faces, when he returns.

Maria! Hurry! Air raid! Johannes, the gas!

Maria, aren't you listening?

What's up? Can't you answer, when I call... you are crying?

Why? You are being told, your husband is coming home, and you are crying?

Go! I'll stay here.

Are you nuts? What kind of vagaries are these? Johannes!

Come here? She doesn't want to go to the cellar, playing crazy.

What is it, Maria? Do you have fever? No.

I think you have!

She will drag us into the grave with her preposterous fuss.

She should be happy to have a husband like Kurt and a home like this.

The bombs will be reaching us soon. I don't give a damn anymore. l am going to have a child.

My boy is on furlough, and she is having a child.

But not in my house! Of course not. Kurt will never see me again!

Laswethen is a cozy place. I go there and wait for the "final victory" as well.

Thanks for everything and have a good trip. You are welcome, Madam.

Are you waiting for somebody? I was supposed to be picked up here.

But she seems to have forgotten about me. If you are the lady from Berlin, Fraulein Edith cannot come. -Aha.

Is it far to the Markwardt's place? -Nope. 3 or 4 kilometres.

I'll get you there. What, 4 kilometres with all that baggage?

Are you the lady from Berlin? - Yes. The Generaless will pick you up.

Who? The Baroness von Reuss, General Reuss' wife. He has fallen near Paris.

Are you Maria Reiser? That is me. Good day, Madam.

I am sorry you had to wait. Come on, I will take you to the Markwardts.

Take the luggage, Gaston. Oui, Madame. Vive la collaboration.

Pinkoweit, why has the train passed already? Your wife said it would be one hour late.

It did, exactly one hour. Usually, when you say one hour it is one and a half. Today it was exactly on time one hour late, I can't help it. A civil servant in service does not make jokes!

Yes, Frau General! Welcome to this prairie, Madame.

Don't chat, Gaston, drive!

Goodbye, Frau Pinkoweit.

Allez hop! Cut that "allez hop"! These are not circus ponies!

Pardon, Madame. Alors: ohne Tritt... marsch!

Allez! Allez!

Gaston is a french prisoner of war? Yes, but he speaks German very well.

He has been working on the manor for years.

This is where your friend's property begins. They are strenous people.

Why didn't Edith pick me up? She is driving the tractor today.

The only one around that is still working. I will need him tomorrow.

Do you know how to drive them? Me? No!

One rarely drives tractors in Berlin. -You'll have to learn it.

But you know how to play bridge? Neither. Is that bad?

Yes. We need a fourth man.

Maria! Maria!

Thank you for taking her with you, Madam. Will you join us for a glass of red wine?

Some other time, but now I have to take care of my chicken. Edith!

Your friend doesn't play bridge. Terrible! What are we going to do now?

I'll teach her! Jawohl, Frau General. Thank you!

Now I came sooner than we thought! Great fun, isn't it?

I told Hans in a letter my opinion on that. Leave Hans out of it.

It doesn't matter who it was.

I will never forgive myself that my marriage is ruined. And neither will Kurt.

Hello, Mother! - Kurt, my boy!

Hello, Father! How wonderful to have you back.

Where is Maria? Is she still asleep?

My poor boy... What has happened?

Kurt, we have to talk about this...

Another Russian offensive started this morning between Pripjet and Duna to crush the German front.

The attack was thrown back by the iron will of our soldiers.

Only minor damage was done to the front line. These were the twelve o'clock news.


I am happy to see you so well. Please take a seat.

I will get us a nice little Schnaps... Cut it.

I will make it short. Do you know why I have come?

Because of Maria.

I made it possible that she could leave. You need to know the right people for that.

So you have arranged all this so well. Do I have to say 'thank you' now?

Nonsense! She had to go somewhere, after your mother kicked her out.

You think that was wrong? Kicking her out? Yes.

This is where our opinions differ. But I did not come to argue.

Where is Maria?

At Laswethen, with her friend Edith. Listen, I think it is very reasonable that you want to contact her. Have you gone crazy?

I need her address for my lawyer. I understand.

You want a divorce. Very soon. Of course! Shall I wait until the child is born?

This woman is dead for me. I completely understand you.

But we have to do justice to the other side. The "home front"...

What our women have to suffer... Is that an excuse for adultery?

No! But you cannot judge this by civil peace-time standards, not in an insane war like this! No? What else have we left but these standards?

But you have always defended her.

For me, this woman does not exist anymore!

"Under this roof with the friendly light, lives little Maria, as tasty as labskaus..." So?

How are your submarine newbies? Great.

Just made for drowning in these swimming leaden coffins.

Everytime I see their enthusiasm, my heart tears apart.

We too were once as naive as them. Now you have a limp, and I have an empty eye.

And we still try to encourage them, to risk their lives for Fuehrer and Fatherland.

We have already done our share. You have to get ready now.

Why, what's happening? It's wednesday! The 'Merry Widow'!

I'd rather stay here. Something wrong?

For days you have been running around, as if you had lost all your money.

So, is there something?

Yes. I have written to Laswethen, confessed my sins and offered my help.

Edith asked me politely to stay away. Quote: "You have done everything you could."

Well, the lady has a peculiar sense of humour.

She writes, that neither now nor later she will make any demands to me.

If only I stay away. But I want to go there! Stay here, it is better like this.

Are you coming now, or will you continue sulking? I come. Is the water still hot?


"It's not easy even for easy girls to get anything, anything done..."

Hansi, you are pulling such a sour face. May I?

Thanks, I need this. Is it about a girl?

Nowadays people seem to have two problems only: girls and Hitler.

But Frau Kubelski! As soon as I can I'll go and leave., Whereto?

Friends in Copenhagen will take care of me. I see you have been around.

Warsaw, Kowno, Koenigsberg, Danzig and now Gotenhafen.

And always some helpful little soul put a stamp into my passport.

I hope you will be lucky this time also. A woman like me must be lucky.

Or do you want me to cut my wrists right now? Evening, Frau Kubelski!

What are you doing here, Lothar? Get your coat off and make yourself cozy! l am here on duty. How can I help you?

You know exactly why I am here. Come on, wipe that dutiful look from your face.

Go have a drink! Pardon me for spoiling the fun, but I am coming with search warrant. But... what do you expect to find? You know this place! Do you know a certain Wischnewski?

No! The carpenter? Who worked for you?

Who has built a secret hiding place in here, like in some pulp novel?

Bring the rascal in! Let's see which of you is lying.

Go ahead! Tell the truth or else... Forgive me, Frau Kubelski.

Here we go!

Out of here, quickly!

What do you want from him? He is my father! To me he is just a Jew.

Change your ways, Lothar, all will be over soon! You impudent, outrageous person!

Then I am asking you: please help us! You have always said you are my friends!

We have committed no crime! Nothing at all! Dankel, Fritzen, Schott, Schwätzge, you are heroes, aren't you? Don't you have all these medals for courage and bravery? Please don't leave us alone now!

Anyone who tries to oppose me, will be reported.

Quick, bring them away! This one too!

I am sorry for you, you poor devils!

We can't just stand and do nothing...

Yes, we are just standing, doing nothing... "Heroes", she said...

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 heroes!

How disgusting!

Ah, bonjour, Herr Markwardt. Hello, Gaston.

Ah, the Generaless is already here. Yes, we have just arrived.

Unhitch the horses and ask in the kitchen for food.- Manger?

Yes, yes. Thank you.

Finally! Good afternoon, my dear ladies!

You are late again, Father. Pardon, I have tried hard to be on time.

Where have you been hanging around? Exercise, Frau General, on the fields.

Duty is duty, and bridge is bridge. "Dear fatherland, put your mind at rest!"

I want to see you doing military exercise. Bah, no problem.

Shoulder arms!

Achtung! Present arms!

Gosh! You would have never thought that you have to play the solder again, no? I have been there from 14-18 already.

Once you get it, you never forget.

Ok, I am ready now. Here, Father, this is for great presentation.

Next time you go exercising, bring such a shooting gun for me.

Why, do you want to present it? No, I want to shoot.

One can never know what will come next We"Volkssturm" guys are being quite optimistic.

The great withdrawal from all frontlines doesn't bother you gentlemen? How lovely!

Well, but ... No discussions! Maria?

Our game will make the Markwardt's minds boggle!

Damn... I pass.

Hello, Pinkoweit.

How are you? Well, if that isn't young Herr Schott!

Haven't seen you for a long time, Lieutenant! I just came for a brief visit.

Can I use your phone? Sure, you know how.

That was excellent, Maria, thank you!

What the heck? Can't we finish a single round?



O my god, where are you? At the train station?

Hans is here. Excuse me.

What? Of course, honey! I'll get the horses ready and pick you up.

Have a chat with Pinkoweit until then. See you!

Excuse me.

Woman's crap!

What's wrong, Maria? I don't want to see him.

But he is worrying about you. It is my child, and only my child!

It is none of his business! He shall leave me alone! Tell him, I love my husband.

Tell him, so he finally understands!

Allright. I will talk to him.

Gaston can drive you in the coach. Thanks, but I'll take the bike.

Maria doesn't want him to come.


Do you know how to do solitaire, Herr Volkssturm? Jawohl, Frau Generalin.

So have some fun for yourself, OK?


We have known each other for a while now, and I think a great deal of you.

Whenever I can do something for you, just ask...


Let us be friends, yes? -Yes.

I just don't get it. What I have done is of course unforgiveable.

But can't I just talk to her? She doesn't want. Please respect that.

It's her who is having the baby. Then tell her, you have to go away!

All of you! East Prussia is in great danger! Where shall we go to?

Hans, all of Germany has become a trap!

Yes, Major. No, we have beaten back the T-34s.

A moment, major. Lieutenant Reiser is back with two prisoners.

Yes, I will call back. Over. This two are from a burning tank.

They carried these papers with them. What are we going to do with you chimney sweepers?

The next p.o.w camp is miles away.

What is this? Can you read it? Show me.

This word means "to kill", I think.

Let's ask our studied helper. Hey, Fyodor! Come here!

Translate this.

"Kill, you brave red soldiers, kill the fascists, wherever you meet them.

Follow the orders of comrade Stalin.

And crush the fascist beast in its cave.

Let there be no mercy.

Kill it, you brave, advancing red soldiers, kill it!"

Signed: Ilya Ehrenburg.

Thanks, Fyodor. llya Ehrenburg, isn't that a famous Russian writer?

He put quite some force into that. -Are you surprised? From now on it's

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". That is the payback.

That was my last round. I have to go back to the train station.

The train schedule doesn't wait. Yes, go. Good luck.

Say my apologies to the Generaless, so she doesn't think, I am a deserter.

Tomorrow I can spend half a day. Great. Bye!

Good Day, Good Day, Herr Pinkoweit.

Coffee break! The Generaless wishes to express her thanks by herself, but the Kreisleiter kept her back. Typical!

Come to us, Frau Rauch. If I don't bother you, Frau Reiser.

On the contrary, Maria is happy to talk with another future mother.

How are you? I haven't seen you for a long time. It will be your turn soon!

Just eight weeks, but honestly, I am a bit afraid.

I felt that way as well when my first one came. But now, with my fourth, I know how it goes.

Practice leads to mastership. But it always puzzles me -

You women are getting pregnant from men, that are on furlough and then quickly disappear... and when your children have grown up, you let themselves kill each other in wars.

Not mine. When it has grown up, the war will be over and the world will be different. - May God provide!

So, how far are things inside? Don't make so much noise, Father!

You are making us nervous!

Good evening, Generaless. It was about time you came.

Calm down, Markwardt. It is not you who is having the child!

Well, is the baby finally there? The broads don't say anything!

That's what makes me so crazy!


They have no idea how dangerous this is.

I as a farmer know, what catastrophes can happen, and...

Es ist nichts zu machen! Cool down, Monsieur Markwardt.

We will make a bet. I bet one mark: it will be a boy.

Two marks, a girl.

Three marks, a boy. Five, a girl!


Five marks!


Good evening, Frau Reiser.

Good Evening, Meta, is the Generaless at home? -Yes, come in.

It won't be long, Karl. Yes.

Come in.

Frau Baroness. Maria!

Good day. How nice! Take a seat.

Bring some tea, Meta, and give this list of chicken to the administrator.

It is easy with chicken, if they are lazy, they'll get cooked.

I haven't seen you since Christmas. How is your boy?

Thanks he is fine. He weighs almost 12 pounds now. I ...

I want to get him baptized soon, and hoped you could be the Godmother.- With pleasure.

Thanks, Especially, because you know that the father is not my husband... but Hans Schott. Yes.

Schott! He grew up with my boys here in Laswethen.

The played their tricks together and together they received their thrashing - by me!

Just wait when I see him again. He'll get another one, because of you.

But we are not baptizing the producer, but the child. When? l thought, 20th of January. The 20th?

That means next week.

"Never will a bolshevik enter German soil", they said.

Four mighty Russian armies invaded Germany.

They wanted revenge for Hitler's insane methods of extermination.

A storm of destruction and death swept over East German lands.

A migration of peoples began, as grim as the world had never seen before.

A migration that has not finished until today.

Millions of peoples took flight to the west, without any plans or hopes.

Goodbye, my darling!

Herr Markwardt, I will be grateful all my life.

It is allright. God bless you.

Just see that you get away from here. And what about you, Father?

I will head for the Volkssturm troops. I have to try, I have my orders.

Come with us. It seems that no organisation is functioning anymore.

But I have to, as long as I can... Father.

Calm down. Maybe all this will be not as bad as we fear.

Maybe we will be back in two or three weeks...

Come with us, Father! If I do, they will arrest my as a deserter in the very next village we reach... Children, don't make it so difficult for me.1 Frau General's trek is waiting. With her, they will let you pass anywhere...

Let's check the road again.

Just like I said! We are on the right way!

Budopoenen, about 20 kilometres.

Laswethen. How far is that? About 6 km. But we won't pass through.

Why do you ask?- My wife is over there. I thought you are through with her!

Of course, but I can't just pass her by like this.

I understand. Take this rusty bin and go. You'll make it in 30 minutes.

To Budopoenen! Good luck, my boy! Thanks!

Gaston, what about you? Are you coming with us, or are you going back into the camp?

I am coming with you for sure. I'll look for the Generaless.

Good day, Frau Reiser. Is your family assembled?

The boys and my mother have left already. Boy or girl?

Her name is Christina.

Fräulein Edith, I am in despair! My husband doesn't want to leave the train station.

He say, he can't desert his duty! Can't you help me?

I'll get him. Gaston, to the train station! Pinkoweit, that crazy man!

Duties! Duties! German discipline! Allez hop!

Allez! Allez!

Hey! Get down!

Gaston, turn around, while I get this idiot!


Good Lord!

What's wrong? Pinkoweit is dead!

Gaston! No! No! Let me go!

Frau Pinkoweit, your husband is late again!

Where are Gaston and Edith? We must to leave before nightfall!

My husband! Kurt! How did you get here? Markwardt told me, you are here.

You have to go! My husband, Baronin Reuss.

How is the front? Russian tanks are all over the area.

You must hurry! What are you waiting for? For Edith.

There is Gaston! Gaston! Gaston!

What happened? Where is Edith?

Edith is dead!

Pinkoweit... dead.

The Russians are at the train station! The Russians!

Get him into the car! My husband is dead!

Come on!

"Father is off to war...

Mother is in Pomeranian land Pomeranian land has burned down.

Sleep, little one, sleep..."

I'll get some information.

Go down, man, the crossroads are under fire!

I have been looking for my band for three days! How is the situation? - Back! We are going back!

We are the last ones. We will leave after the demolition squads have passed.

Get off from the street and try to find a way through the young forest plantation.

Bring some dressings! Is he with you?

Yes, my trek is down there. My men will carry him to the trek.

Take him to the casualty station. That is all I can do for him. - Thanks.

How is he?

I won't lie to you. His leg is in a very bad condition.

What can we do? Can nobody help? Help?

Tens of thousands need help! You have seen how our casuality stations look like!

Many must be left to the Russians. My advice: Run, and drive until your horses drop dead!

If you reach Gotenhafen or Danzig in 2 or 3 days, his leg might be safed.

But nobody can help you here.

Here you have some syringes and bottles with medicine.

Give him an injection every six hours. Do you know how?- No. - But I do.

In any case, I thank you. Can the doctor take a look at Gaston?

A French p.o.w. He is wounded. Of course.

Where? In the last carriage.

Thanks, Kurt.

Are you in pain? No, it is not so bad. l just hate being of no use.

Any news? I have been at the local party administration.

Big chaos, nobody knows, what is happening, orders are not getting through anymore. but they say there are ships at Gotenhafen. That's were we are going now. - Generaless!

Gaston is coughing blood!- I am coming!

Meta really sacrifices everything for the Frenchman.

In vain. I have just seen him. He won`t make it.


Gaston, don't go! Stay with us, my boy.

We need you! Merci...

Merci, Madame.


Gaston and me... I know, I know...

Be grateful, you had some happiness...

Thanks for your help, pastor.

Let us pray.

"From fire, ice and storm we have built you a coffin.

We, who ourselves have no home anymore.

Our land is wasted, our cities burned by fire.

Strangers devastate our fields right in front of our eyes Deep night and darkness have come upon us.

In restless earth you must lie, because we are the hunted. we are a heavy burden upon ourselves heavier than the darkest night."

Gotenhafen. That name attracted the fugitives like a magnet.

Here lay the big ships: the Deutschland, the Cap Arcona, the Oceana, the Hansa, the Gustloff. They were already packed with masses of people, but every day tens of thousands more came, to fight for a place.

A ticket for the ship was equal to a ticket for a new life.

Why can't this registrating business go faster?

But these big shots don't give a damn about a few more frozen legs.

Have you come by train as well? No, with a trek passing by Danzig.

In Elbing they put us on roofless freight wagons, at 14 degrees below zero!

Packed like herrings! A young woman next to me kept quiet all the time.

I thought, maybe she doesn't want to get too much fresh air into her lungs.

When we arrived, she was still sitting. Stiff as a plank.

Frozen to the wagon wall! She froze to death, just next to me!

Without a sound or whimper! Frau Reiser, here we are!

Maria, did it work out? I am finished.

The military hospital has been dissolved. The last train to the west left yesterday.

Kurt's fever rose to 40 degrees! He is lost!

Try to reach the Gustloff, they say there is a good hospital and excellent doctors as well.

The Gustloff...

Leave the buoys, sort out the life jackets.

A certain Frau Maria Reiser is at the pier.

She wants to speak to you urgently. Tell the guard to let her through.

I'll meet her in the entrance hall. Take over, Kortner. I'll be back soon.

Maria! Maria, you are really here! Right in front of me, as if you had fallen down from heaven! It wasn't heaven. On the contrary!

I worried so much. Where is Edith? And the little one?

Edith is dead.

The Russians?

We need your help now. - Anything you want. We need to get aboard the Gustloff.

I'll manage that. How many people are you? Nine. And one of them is my husband.

Your husband?? That's impossible! He is wounded, and in a serious condition.

He must get aboard the Gustloff! But soldiers are being sharply controlled!

I have never demanded anything from you. But this I am demanding now!

Kurt must get aboard the Gustloff! I understand.

A friend of mine here is an officer in charge. I will go ask him.

Where do I find you? I have written everything down for you.

I will come and get you this evening. You can rely on that.

I was searching for you like for a needle in a haystack. I am, but a thick-headed one.

Are you leaving the ship again? - I need to organize life jackets, rubber boats...

I hope to get some more in Danzig. We haven't got nearly enough.

The Gustloff is supposed to harbour only 2000 people, and we already have about 4000.

And we are still expecting entire populations to come! I will come with you. Maria is here.

She came with the trek from Laswethen, our child and her husband.- Her husband??

He is seriously wounded. I promised to get him aboard. - O my God!

You put quite a load on your back here! Yes, and that's why I need your help!

How do we get a wounded officer passing through the controls?

That is why I came to you.

Listen. Maybe Monika can do something. She has a list of the casualties I have been running around for half an hour now, the ship is so terribly big!

Monika, didn't some casualties arrive today?

And you have been preparing a list of them, no? Yes, I have. There it is.

There are 161 casualties in the alcove. You are wrong, there are 162.

Number 162 is a little late, we are just about to pick him up.

His name is Kurt Reiser.- I can't do that. Yes, you can. Don't ask questions.

If you put this name on the list, you are doing a good deed. Agreed?

Well, allright, I'll do it. Wonderful, my girl! Let's go.

Where is the trek from Laswethen? No idea.

Over there. We must hurry. Kurt is unconscious. - We will try.

This is my friend Dankel, with his help it can work. - Thank you.

Allright, let's not lose time. Now, about the tickets... Hand them out. - I can do that! What are looking at?

Have you seen a ghost? No, Frau Baronin.

Good evening, Hans. I have been told that you want to help us.

That will maybe make up for a thing or two. You rascal!

But now hurry, Reiser has high fever.

Eduard! At your service, Frau Generaless.

Eduard, we are about to enter a ship.

Alas, they only accept women. And we can only take the most necessary luggage with us.

You'll have to struggle your way to the West alone.

If we are lucky, we will meet at Stettin.

Good luck! Godspeed, Frau Generaless!

Hellwig! Here are the papers. The truck must be unloaded immediately.

Rubber boats, life jackets and all that. I also picked up some women with tickets on the way.

Oh, and wait! There is another wounded soldier as well.

The hospital train has forgotten him. Lt. Reiter or something. Where is the list?

Over there is a copy. Show me. Thanks.

There he is, the last one! Yes, Lt. Reiser.

Ask him to show his pay book, to make sure it is really him.

Maria, come! I have to take care of Kurt.

You stay with the Generaless, I will take care of him.

Now, the wounded officer.

May I ask your name? We have to put you on the list.

Put me, my child, but quickly. I can hardly stand anymore.

After you have finished, take the ladies to the reading room. There is some space left.

Inge, which one is Frau Reiser? The woman with the baby, next to Frau von Reuss.

Frau Reiser? Good evening. Good evening, Frau Generaless.

Lt. Schott wants you to know that the wounded man is at the doctor's.

Herr Schott asked me to take care of you. God knows he should.

Do you want a shower? What, with real hot wa---

Quiet, we cannot have a shower for 5000 people. Do you want to go first?

You go first, I need a rest. Give me the boy.

Watch out... Thanks.

Come on.

It is not very comfortable in here, but there is no other way.

We have almost 6000 people aboard, mostly women.

May I pass? Thanks.


This is the quarter of the communication assistants. We are below the waterline here.

Sigrid, give me your comb please.

Here, take mine. Oh, thanks.

Why does she get extra care? Because she belongs to Lt. Schott and is a really poor wretch. -Aha.

Girls! I need some volunteers to prepare lists. Who will go?

The departure will be tomorrow, January 30th.

The exact time will be announced.

I habe asked the officer from the naval staff about enemy activities in the Baltic Sea.

There is no direct danger.

The bay of Leningrad is still under our control. Gentlemen...

Women and children are an unusal cargo for us.

We will try to make this trip as comfortable as possible for these thousands of people.

Thank you.

I am out of milk for the child. Should I ask at the galley?

Give me your boy, Frau Reiser. Take him, Frau Pinkoweit.

I have left enough for tonight, also for your boy.

Thank you, Frau Rauch. Of course.

Yes, Herr Admiral. Over. Finally we are going.

We have received the command. We depart at 12:20 Uhr, together with the Hansa.

They have 6000 people aboard as well.

Prepare all the necessary arrangements.

Herr Zahn, the ship has been cast off.

Goodbye! Good luck!

Put on the life jackets!

Where is your life jacket, Madam? I will put it on as soon as possible.

If I ever catch you again without one, I'll send you peeling potatoes.

I am sorry.

There you are again! - How are you? Did you ask the sister?

Yes, just as I promised. She will bring you a glass of water.

The doctor told me to pull myself together.

How can I, with a hole in my stomach??

Are you finally awake?

I am so full of narcotics, I can hardly open my eyes.

What time ist it? - About four.

In the morning? Afternoon.

Where are we? On the Gustloff.

The Gustloff? No tank in the world can harm us here.

How many years ago have we been here? Do you remember, you wanted an honorary dance with ... People say, we will reach Swinemuende tomorrow.

We will be so happy to be finally save. Yes, but we are not there yet.

What could happen now? This is such a huge ship.

I feel so safe in here. And you will be brought into a real hospital.

And what about you? Nobody knows yet.

I just know one thing:

I would love to stay near you.

But only if you want, Kurt.

Good afternoon, Frau Baroness. Swell to finally see you around.

I was busy. -Bah, I bet it was just the bad conscience.

Because of him. Lovely boy.

May I hold him for a minute?

Don't, Maria wouldn't like it.

I understand.

Frau Baroness, do you know what exactly happened to Edith?

No, no details, and I think it is better that way.

Maybe. I will be back later. Yes, my boy.

How is navigation? - Bad. No wonder, as overloaded as we are.

Escort boat TF 1 reports a fissure at the bow. Water entering.

Asks for discharge from the escort. How great.

First the Hansa cancels her departure because of machine damage, then three escort boats become two, and now one of them drops out.

I finally went there to take a look...

You see this little worm, pedalling, crying and laughing, and you don't understand that this is your own.

And if you do, you feel like sobbing. Fine, let's drink to that.

Cheers, Dad. Cheers.

I am on night service. Can you help me? Don't get mad at me, Monika, but I am exhausted. These many people and all that makes me sick.

I can't wait to reach Swinemuende. Me too.

Good night. Sweet dreams. Good night.

Where are we?

We will pass Kolberg around one o'clock, and reach Swinemuende at four in the morning.

Pea soup - for a change.

I want to see Kurt. Would you help me again? Sure. Meta, watch the child.

Clean your nose, you wonder boy. What's a wonder boy?

Someone who plays the trumpet as nicely as you to annoy other people.

Where is your mother? Peeling potatoes. In exchange for chocolate.

Now the nose! Yes, M'am. 899,1

How is my husband? Asleep, like most of them. We gave...

My child! My child!

We must have hit a mine! Nonsense! These were torpedos!

The forecastle is breaking apart!

Stop both machines! Stay here! Go to your position!

Deck E and parts of D are under water, water ingress in the six rooms at the front.

Send message: torpedo strike, position! Funkspruch: Torpedotreffer, position! Shoot the red signals! Everything you have!

Boat M 131, answer! Gustloff hit by torpedos, all radio equipment destroyed, we sink with 6000 people aboard.

Inform main commando station Gotenhafen. To all naval forces at the Baltic Sea... especially the Admiral Hipper. The Gustloff is sinking, with 6000 aboard. Help with any measures possible.

Get ready for the intake of shipwrecked. Quickly!

Get the boat ready! Be reasonable!

Man stay back! Women first! Let me in!


All are dead! All of them!

Clear off!

Where is my child??

Maria! Give me the child!

Women and children first! No men!

Slowly. Watch out. Wait a minute!

That's how you do it, you swine!

Don't push so hard! lnge! All are dead, all are drowned! lnge, pull yourself together! Take this!

I don't want it. Let me die. You go into that boat! Now!

No, I don't want to die!

Go over there, this boat is full!

Is there still space for women and children? -If we squeeze together a great deal..

Frau Generaless? Go and get Maria, anyone!

Meta! Watch out!

Sit down! Give me the child!

Maria! Here!

Let me pass, for chrissake! Step back, the boat takes off!

Good luck, Inge. - Don't leave me alone, Monika! I'll take the next boat!

The boat is full! Take off!

Look! Look! We are falling!


My child! My child!

Help, I am freezing! Where is my child??

Take off, go!

I am afraid! Maria, come here!

Where is the child? -I want my Mummy!

My child! Be reasonable!

I will never see him again! Yes, you will!

He is safe with the Generaless!

Calm down, kid. My husband! Where is he? l'll fetch him.

Officers and crew immediately clear their quarters for the shipwrecked women and children!

And prepare warm drinks and blankets!

Another bulkhead broken!

Soon we will sink along the bow.

Wait until I am back with Reiser. I'll try to make a cutter ready.



From the Admiral Hipper. Assistance not possible due to submarine alert.

Our escort ship T 35 will take shipwrecked.

Throw the heaving line!

You down there! Come here!

Gustloff speaking! We are sinking very fast.

The crew leaves the ship.

Everybody get off board!

Lieutenant, here!

I can't go on. I am freezing. Pull yourself together.

You have almost made it, Lieutenant!

No excitement. Stay calm.

Where is my mummy?

Where is the child? Who took my child?

Calm down, dear lady, here it is. And the boy?

I had a boy with me! Here we are, Frau Generaless!

The sinking Gustloff is fully illuminated. Can you understand this?

Maybe some emergency device went on.

Gustloff speaking! We are sinking very fast!

Burghardt, save yourself! Burghardt!

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed by thy name..." We sign off - for death.

"Our Father..."

God... have... mercy...

Come, my boy, come... Cry, scream!

A thousand children are crying for their mothers...

A thousand mothers for their children. It tears my heart apart...

Yes, but we must not feel sorry for ourselves.

We women must blame ourselves.

Again and again we back our men so they can fight their wars.

We do nothing to stop them.

Tomorrow even this will be forgotten.

Until another ship is sinking.

A ship as big as the whole world, maybe.