The Night of the Generals (1967) Script

Take cover!

There's some more, over there!

Back up, around the other way.


What's the odd smell in this house, inspector?

The smell of war, Major Grau.

Good morning, inspector. Major.

I'm sorry to call you at such an ungodly hour.

Not very nice, I'm afraid.

The work of an amateur butcher, I should say.

Why have you called me?

The dead woman's Polish, isn't she?

This is not a case for the German authorities.

Her name was Kupiecka. Maria Kupiecka.


Oh, yes, she was a prostitute and a good friend to us.

She was also a German agent.

Killed by a Polish patriot?

Providing the Polish patriot was also a sexual degenerate.

Patriotism has been known to have its vicious side.

One hundred knife wounds goes beyond normal patriotic zeal.

One hundred? That's just my guess, sir.

It would be impossible to count.

As you can see, the focus of the murderer's attack was on the woman's sexual organs, using what appears to have been a large clasp knife...

Thank you, doctor, there's no need to be vivid.


Find anything? No, not yet.

Who reported the murder? A voice on the telephone.

A man. He heard screams at about 11:10.

Identify himself? No.

Who lives in this house?

One of you...

One of you heard a scream and telephoned the police.

One of you knows something about the way in which this woman died.

If that person does not tell us everything he knows, we shall assume that her death was political.

That she was killed by a member of the Polish underground and that you are all accomplices.

In which case, it will be my sad duty to turn the whole lot of you over to the Gestapo.

The man who telephoned the police has one minute in which to make himself known.

I heard the scream.

This one terrible scream.

And then, well, I... I hid in the lavatory.

Then later, perhaps 10 minutes later, I telephoned the police. That's all.

You did not give the police your name.

That means that there was something you didn't want them to know.

What could that something be? Well, there's a...

There's this crack in the door to the lavatory.

And naturally, you put your eye to the crack and you saw?

I saw a man coming down the stairs.

Describe him, please. Well, it... It was dark.

Describe him, please. I couldn't see all of him.

Just the lower part, the trousers.

Why are you so frightened by what you saw?

Because it was a uniform, sir.

Like yours. Like mine?

A German officer? The man's a liar.

German officers can commit murders like anyone else.

Is that all you noticed?

That the trousers were like mine?

Exactly like mine? No.

Not exactly, sir. No.

There was a...

There was a red stripe running down the leg.

He's lying.

Are you aware that only German generals wear the red stripe?

Yes, sir. That's why I was afraid.

I see.

It's impossible. Nothing is impossible.

A German general. Well, well.

I don't think we need to take this testimony too seriously.

After all, it was dark on the stairs. Sir, I swear...

I swear, I'm telling the truth.

And I believe you, until there's evidence to the contrary.

Why would he tell a dangerous lie? I want a complete investigation.

But what happens if the murderer really is a general?

What happens? Well, justice is blind, my dear inspector.

Justice cannot see the red stripe or the gold braid, but justice can sometimes hear the cry of a murdered woman.

If a general is responsible, why, we shall have to hang him.

Don't worry, Liesowski, the responsibility is mine.

Good night.

Well, Inspector Morand, you can't blame me for not quite remembering a case that occurred almost a generation ago.

But as they say, it's the long arm of the law.

It's... It's 23 years ago.

My God, how time passes.

When I left the police, right after the war I managed to keep some of my files.

Always glad to help a colleague.

Ah, here we are, inspector.

"Kupiecka, Maria. Murdered. Unsolved."

The suspects were...

Oh, yes. Yes, now I remember.

A German general was seen allegedly leaving her room.

And of all the generals in Warsaw, only three had no alibis for the night in question.

Here, this is the Lichnowsky Palace.

It used to belong to the Polish kings.

Then later it became a museum.

As you can see, today it's still a museum.

During the war, the German headquarters in Warsaw was located here.

As I was saying, we were quite thorough, I thought, in the way we eliminated suspects.

Had to proceed tactfully, of course.

They were generals, after all, and it was war.

And Poland was occupied.

Ready for inspection, sir.

One of them was General von Seidlitz-Gabler, 7th Corps commander.

He was a Junker of the old school.

He lived like royalty in the palace, with his wife and daughter.

The night of the murder, he was not in his quarters.

His chief of staff, Major General Klaus Kahlenberge also had no alibi that night.

Of all the generals, he was the least disagreeable.

An interesting man. No wife, no children.

General Gabler, a message. Yes?

A message from General Tanz, sir.

Thank you, Fraulein Neumaier.

It seems we have failed to keep proper order in the city.

You have read it? Oh, yes.

And because of our notorious incompetence...


They don't realize that this is a garrison post, that I am given only the dregs of the army, the misfits.

Well, that was General Tanz's word. "Incompetence."

Not to mention subordinates who shirk responsibility.

And because of our failure, the Fuhrer has ordered General Tanz to solve the problem of Warsaw.

How? Meticulously.

In three phases.

Using the most drastic means, I suppose.



Lieutenant General Tanz commanded the Nibelungen Division.

He was the youngest Wehrmacht general.

A hero at Leningrad, a pet of Hitler, a remarkable officer.

We Poles detested him.

He arrived in Warsaw on the day the woman was killed.

He, too, was unaccounted for that night.

First roadblock, set up there. Yes, sir.

The sniping last night came from a street two blocks away.

The entire quarter is to be sealed off.

We shall take a leaf from the fisherman's book.

First, we'll mark out a wide perimeter, then we'll start combing the outlying streets.

That should set the fish in motion.

Of course, they'll try to make off in the opposite direction, but we'll have roadblocks there to cut them off.

By the time we've closed the net, we'll have them exactly where we want them.

With their backs to the ghetto wall.

Excuse me, general, what about the civilian population?

The latest estimate, this section of the city contains about 80,000 inhabitants.

One can hardly talk of a normal civilian population in this place.

I regard the experience to be gained from this operation as absolutely indispensable. Hold it at 20.

Now, about those flamethrowers, sir, to be on the safe side, I've requested three times as many as needed.

What are you scared of, children?

I think they're hungry.

What food do we have? Some sandwiches, sir.

Bring them to me. Yes, sir.

Yes, you're quite right, they do look hungry.

Poor little devils.

Your lunch, sir.

Open. Yes, sir.


Your hands.

Look at those nails.

Not even Polish children should be given such muck.

Make a note.

Food and sweets to be carried at all times for the children.

It does no harm to win their confidence.

As for him, he's relieved as my orderly. Home leave cancelled.

Filthy pig. Last week he offered me an unwashed glass.

Now he enters my sight looking as though he just exhumed his grandmother with his bare hands.

Absolute cleanliness, that's what I demand from the people around me.

Do I make myself clear? Yes, sir.

As for our immediate requirements, see they're fully met.

Once they are, I shall seal off the district and put the inhabitants through a sieve.

All 80,000?

General Tanz, forgive me, but just as a matter of curiosity, what do you feel is the exact purpose of this exercise?

You've read the memorandum. Oh, yes. Yes, I have...

And what does the memorandum say?

That phase one is intended to intimidate the population to search houses, to find and arrest resistance.

Then that is the exact purpose of the exercise.

An excellent plan, by the way. Much like my own when I first came here, only I was never given the ultimate authority to implement it.

But am I to understand that if there is resistance during phase one, you would then go to phase two and even to phase three, which would mean the destruction of the entire city?

You are to understand exactly that.

Well, uh, isn't that somewhat excessive?


You will be aware that we are 30 miles from Moscow.

We are moving ahead on a 5000 mile front.

Every available soldier is needed if we are to conquer Russia.

Yet here in Warsaw, three divisions are rotting, because of a few thousand criminal Poles and Jews hiding in slums.

It is excessive to permit this state of affairs.

Who is it? You have my full list of requirements.

Eleanore, come in. Come in, my dear. I hope I'm not disturbing.

My wife arrived early this morning from Berlin.

How was Berlin?

Eager to hear the good news that always follows in the wake of a good soldier.

When I heard you were with my husband, I came straight here.

I wanted to tell you myself what an inspiration you've been to us all at home.

I am flattered, ma'am. Oh, no, I'm not flattering you.

I'm honoring you as you deserve.

If you're not too busy, I shall need your help with the arrangements for the soiree tonight.

In your honor, General Tanz. I'll look forward to it, ma'am.

Oh, incidentally, our daughter, Ulrike, is here in Warsaw.

She'll be at the soiree too. Yes?

Well, you remember her, don't you?

In Berlin, at the garden party at General Jodi's house.

Oh, yes, I do remember her. My compliments, ma'am.

Sorry. I suppose that was obvious.

But you know how mothers are.

Anxious to become mothers-in-law, I should think.

A splendid officer, no doubt of that.

A mother would be proud to see her daughter...

Married to a war memorial?

Excuse me, ma'am.

I shall continue to study General Tanz's plan.

With sinking heart.

I detest that man.

What does he mean, "with sinking heart"?

Oh, the black book.

What were you saying, my dear?

I don't dare say anything when you've got your book out.

One must protect one's reputation.

Another mess like the one you've made here in Warsaw and you won't have a reputation to protect.


What's the date? The 13th.

Fortunately, I still have some influence at Supreme Headquarters.

Indeed you have, for which I am grateful.

How nice that you are here at last. I want to talk to you about Ulrike.

And I want to talk to you about the soiree tonight.

I think you should know that this morning Ulrike was extremely rude to me.

Considering where you are sending her, I'm not surprised.

Excuse me, general, but there is a Major Grau from Intelligence.

He would like to see you.

What does he want?

He said it was personal.

He's most persistent.

Tell him, some other time.

Yes, sir.

By the way, what did you do to your uniform last night?

Do? To my uniform?

Yes, there was a stain on the jacket. A red stain.

But since you obviously didn't cut yourself shaving, it could only have been lipstick.

Shall I match the color with the seductive shade Fraulein Neumaier wears?

Don't be absurd.

Anyway, the evidence is destroyed. I've sent everything to be cleaned.

Aren't you glad that I am here now to look after you?

Of course I am, dear Eleanore.

We are well-suited, aren't we?

I wish you'd remember to knock. Sorry, sir.

Major Grau of Intelligence just rang from downstairs, sir. He asked to see you.

What about? He wouldn't say, sir.

Tell him I'm busy. I already told him, sir.

I took the liberty.



Apparently, he rang the motor pool this morning.

Wanted to see the log for last night to see if anyone had used the car.

I told the officer in charge that no information could be released without clearing it first with us.

Good. Yes, that's very good.

Thank you, sergeant.


Sir, um, about my cousin Hartmann.

Your cousin Hartmann? Yes, sir.

You have his record, sir. On your desk, sir.

Oh, yes.

He's just out of hospital, sir. He was wounded at Voronezh.

He's on temporary duty in Warsaw.

I had hoped that we could make his duty with us permanent.

And by some extraordinary coincidence, he's waiting in your office to see me.

Yes, sir.

Show him in. Thank you, sir.

Come in.

Hartmann, Kurt, lance corporal. Reporting as ordered, sir.

At ease.

Well, it's a distinguished record, corporal.

I see from your press clippings, Otto is obviously keeping a scrapbook for you.

I see that you are "the reincarnation of Siegfried, a German hero from the golden age."

Do you feel like Siegfried?

Well, I'm not at all certain, sir, how Siegfried felt.

Well, that's a sensible answer. I see they've given you the Iron Cross.

He killed 40 Russians single-handed, sir.

Splendid. Well, now, as to your future, I imagine that, as a university man, you'd want to become an officer.

Therefore, I shall be happy to send you to...


You don't want to go to officers school?

I should prefer to remain a corporal, sir.

Actually, general, he doesn't mean that.

What he means is... What do you mean?

I mean, I don't want to become an officer. That's all, sir.

I'm shattered.

My world is toppling.

What is the point of being a general when corporals prefer to be corporals?

He's still a bit shaky, after the hospital.

Yes, apparently.

Now, your cousin suggested that you join us here at headquarters, but I should think you'd be anxious to get back to the fighting.

No? No, sir.

General, what he really means is... Leave us, sergeant.

I, um...

I don't seem to understand you, corporal.

I want to survive, sir. I want to live through the war.

Well, naturally. We all do.

But we are soldiers, we must fight. Yes, sir. And I have.

And you don't want to go back.

Is this the "reincarnation of Siegfried"?

I'm sorry, sir, but I have a horror of death.

Even in a good cause?

Let me see now...

According to your papers, in civilian life you were a student at Dresden?

Music conservatory, yes, sir. I studied piano.

Music, piano, yes. Yes.

Yes. I think I have an assignment for you.

But one which requires great courage. Only a man who has killed...

How many was it? Let me see.

Yes, 40 Russians single-handed, would be equal to the task.

Now, what about Chopin, wasn't he Polish?

Didn't he write the Polonaises?

Can you play them? Yes, madam.

You don't sound very enthusiastic.

Well, madam, they were patriotic pieces, celebrating the glory of Poland.

Well, the glory of Poland isn't precisely what we're here to celebrate.

No, madam. So I thought that perhaps we might play...


I remember the Fuhrer saying to me after a performance of Parsifal, "There's no such thing as too much Wagner."

After Parsifal?

I must say, it's unusual to find a fighting man who also knows about music. Thank you, madam.

Oh, no, don't thank me, wait until I've thanked you.

And I won't until after the soiree.

I dislike being a bore, major. You never bore me, Engel.

But I can't help wondering what you're trying to prove.

Just what do you think you're doing? My job.

But if you say anything to any of them, he'll know...

The murderer will know that you're after him.

That's the point of the exercise.

Good evening, sergeant. Sir.

But look, sir, why do you care who killed that bitch?

She's better off dead anyway.

Have you ever heard of the Eumenides?

The what? Greek mythology.

A number of disagreeable ladies, sometimes known as the Furies.

They believe that spilled blood calls out for vengeance.

That's how justice began.

Well, we don't want it to end, do we, just because there's a war on?

Wait for me here. I'm afraid I won't be long.



Colonel Mannheim. What on earth are you doing here?

You must be out of your mind.

If the generals won't see me, I must come here to see them.

Well, God help you, Grau. I won't.

Better have some champagne. You'll need it.

You may be right, sir.

General Tanz, to my mind you're a model man in every respect.

Except one. You've not married.

May I ask why not? No opportunity. Greatly regret it.

Well, perhaps you've allowed opportunities to slip by.

My dear, General Tanz is a young man whose life has been spent as a soldier.

His generation has been denied the pleasures of domesticity.

We live in a period which makes great demands upon us.

Consequently, there is little time for what is commonly known as private life.

Quite right. Champagne, general? Water.

Water? A glass of water for General Tanz.

Ah. Here comes Ulrike.

You remember her from Berlin. Good evening, general.

She's been with me over a year now, as a soldier.

An excellent soldier. Thank you, Father.

I must say, I still find it hard to get used to the idea of young girls in the army.

We're building a new world order, and women should not be exempt from playing their part.

I knew you would understand, general.

Ulrike has now decided to become a nurse in a military hospital run by an order of nuns in Bavaria.

We're very proud of our girl.

Tell me, general, is it true that in the battle of Leningrad you used frozen bodies instead of sandbags for your artillery?

The story is exaggerated.

Oh, I am sorry.

Some soldiers lie and rot in the battlefield.

I thought it most imaginative, putting the dead to work, you might say.

Nobody rots with me.

Your water, general.

Thank you.

My compliments. I liked the bit about the frozen bodies.

Oh, thank you, general. Be careful.

Ulrike has a most original way of expressing herself.

Needless to say, I shall miss not having her with me.

Then why let her go?

Come along, general, let's have some supper.

You'll join us, too, Kahlenberge?

Courage. Is not enough.

How dare you speak like that to General Tanz?

It serves you right, Mother, for what you're doing to me.

Whatever I do is for your own good. I think only of you.

Only of me? You have changed.

When did I begin to interest you so much?

Good evening.

You've become vicious. Yes, it's the war, Mother.

Well, the nuns will soon improve your manners.

Suppose I refuse to go?

You will be ordered to go. I have seen to that already. You have no choice.

You really are a terrible woman, Mother.

I suppose we deserve each other.

Colonel Mannheim!

Good evening. Yes, I'd love to dance with you.

In my memoirs, I keep a record of everything.

Yours will be the place of honor in the Warsaw chapter.

General von Seidlitz-Gabler?

Sir. Oh, yes, you are Major?

Grau, Intelligence. Under Colonel Mannheim.

I tried to see you today.

In fact, I tried to see each of you, without much success, I'm afraid.

I'm sorry, major, but general officers are sometimes busy, you know?

Of course.

What was it you wanted to see us about?

Last night, a prostitute was murdered.

A prostitute? That's an occupational hazard, isn't it?

When you hear the details, I'm sure you'll agree it's a unique case.

Unique? You can't be serious.

We live in an age in which bodies lie around streets like cobblestones.

What's so unique about this case?

All right, all right, come to the point, major.

Last night, a woman was murdered.

Yes, general, in Bulkowa Street, number 27, fourth-floor apartment, Maria Kupiecka, a prostitute, also one of our agents.

She was stabbed to death most brutally. Cut to pieces, in fact.

A charming story. But what has that to do with us?

Preliminary investigation has established that each of you was... well, unaccounted for last night.

To whom should we be accountable, major?

I fail to see what my...

What our movements should have to do with you or with this woman's death.

Well, the murderer was seen leaving the woman's room.

In that case, you must know who he is.

Not exactly. The face was not visible, but the uniform was.

It was the uniform of a German officer.

In fact, a German general.

This is a serious charge. I hope you know what you're doing.

Oh, yes, sir, my duty.

Then consider your duty done, major. Good night.

Are you, by any chance, using perfume?

I occasionally use a strong eau de cologne after shaving.

Good night, sir.

I will, of course, want to see each of you tomorrow, if I may, in line of duty.

It is quite possible we've been misled, but we don't want to leave any loose ends dangling, do we?

Until tomorrow. Good night, generals.

Astonishing behavior!

Who invited him? Not I.

Socially, Major Grau has not been a success.

I'm sorry, general. I should have had him arrested.

Why? He was merely doing his duty.



Now, there are some officers I should like to present to you.

Some sauerbraten, general?

Make yourself comfortable, inspector.

This is my third restaurant in Berlin.

That's if you count the sausage shop I had down by the station right after the war.

We were really on our arse then.

Now look, Germany is booming. We made it.

Well, come along, inspector, do sit down.

One large Munchen, please.

Now, then, you asked me about General Kahlenberge.

Well, I don't suppose there was anyone who knew him better than me.

Hartmann's doing a good job, isn't he, sir?

Yes. What?

Oh, yes! Apparently.

Of course, inspector, as I said before, I haven't seen Hartmann since the war.

Don't want to see him, after what he did.

But I'll say one thing, he had the most extraordinary effect on women.

I don't know why.

Well, he wasn't what you'd call really handsome.

Too skinny.

But whatever it was he had, it worked out all right with women.

I think they must have got together almost from the first moment they met.

Well, things were like that in the war.

I remember once in Paris, meeting this girl in the Metro.

Well, anyway, you didn't waste time, not with knowing maybe tomorrow you'd be sent to the fronts or the damned Allies would drop a bomb on you.

Oh, worry, I didn't mean that about the Allies.

After all, where would we be now without Americans?

Nice. I'd forgotten how nice.

Would you say there were no girls in Russia?

Girls? I was too scared.

I'm hopeless when I'm scared.

Well, it's a good thing I don't scare you, isn't it?

Yes, it's just that this room makes me nervous.

Nervous? Mm.

Oh, you have no sense of history.

Do you realize this used to be the bed of the king of Poland.

Did it really? Mm-hm.

It's like sleeping on the floor.

It's freezing in here.

Ah, but the king and the queen never slept. They just made love.

They were never cold.

Do you like the war?

Do I like the war?

Good God, no. Do you?

If it weren't for the war, I'd be on the marriage circuit now, living on some army post, making conversation with dreary young officers.

Instead of making love with dreary young corporals.

Oh, not dreary. Not at all.

In fact, the best so far. Oh?

Do you specialize in corporals? No.

Only heroes like you.

Just think, all this bravery in my arms.

It must be very inspiring.

What's the matter?

You know, we mustn't like each other too much.

Why? Because I'm a corporal and you're a general's daughter?

No. It's because...

It's a man, a girl, a war.

Two boys I knew are already dead in Russia.

It's funny.

In the dark, you feel just like them to me.

And you like this war?

No. I like this.

No, no!

What's wrong?

Nothing. I thought they were firing at me.

You're shaking like a leaf.

I'm all right now.

What's it like having people try to kill you?

Noisy bastards.

Good morning.

Good morning, king of Poland.

What's it like having people try to kill you?

Well, what do you think it's like? Terrible.


I'm glad...

Well, I'm glad that you're here. So am I.

But you'll be going back soon, I suppose?

Not if I can help it, I won't.

Can you bear the truth?

Probably not.

I'm a fraud. Impossible.

When they opened fire on us at Voronezh, I ran away.

It's as simple as that.

Then, I've no idea how, I was hit.

It was like a door slamming in my head, and I thought I was dead.

Next thing I remember waking up in the hospital and there was this general congratulating me on having killed 40 Russians single-handed.

You see, they were all killed that day, the whole company.

Everyone was killed except me, and I suppose it didn't look too good in dispatches, a whole company being wiped out, so they decided to make a hero of the survivor.

The one who ran away.

So now what do you think of all that bravery?

Well, that's a lovely story. I think it's marvelous.

Marvelous? Yes.

For once, the joke's on them.

Come, make love to the queen of Poland.

I must say you are, well, unexpected.

It's lucky we met.

What's lucky is right now.

You know, when this war is over...

Mm-mm. It will never end.

Well, what happened?

Did you see them?

Generals Gabler and Kahlenberge are in conference and cannot be disturbed.

I told you they wouldn't see you.

Where's General Tanz?

Look, why don't we forget about this?

It's not as if we don't have other things to do.

Where's General Tanz?

In the old city, conducting a tactical exercise.

I don't trust him.

Naturally, in the field, he must use his discretion.

He has no discretion. He is ruthless.

Now, now, you exaggerate.

He will only go to phase two if phase one should prove to be a failure.

What is a failure?

Well, if the Poles, the Jews try to retaliate.

What constitutes retaliation, a rock thrown at his golden head?

Is that sufficient warrant for the demolition of the city?

You always overstate things, Kahlenberge.

General Tanz is a responsible officer...

Come in.

Sorry, sir. Colonel Mannheim to see General Kahlenberge, sir.

We'll discuss this later.

And don't worry about Tanz. I'll take care of him.

Colonel Mannheim, sir.

You wanted to see me, general. Yes, yes.

Yes, I did, colonel. I wanted to see you about...

Damn it, what was it about?


Yes, I remember now.

You have an officer on your staff, a Major Grau.

Halt! Halt!

Major Grau to see General Tanz.

Major Grau?

Just a minute, sir.

Get me CP, Colonel Sandauer, urgent.

Roadblock 4 calling CP. Roadblock 4 calling CP.

Can you hear me? Over.

Get your hands up.

Hands up.

Colonel Sandauer on the line, sergeant.

Colonel Sandauer, there's a Major Grau here.

Wants to see the general. My orders were...

What? Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

You may pass, major.


Go ahead.

Well, at least you have one friend. So it would seem.

Hands up!

Keep moving. Keep moving.

Have them over here. Over here. Over here.

Get back!


First name?

Profession? Halt!

Major Grau. Go ahead, sir.

Wait for me here.

This is Wehrmacht's radio unit assigned to the Reich's general government of Poland.

This broadcast is coming to you directly from Warsaw.

A few yards from where I am, I see General Tanz, the hero of Leningrad.

He is conducting maneuvers in the streets of the city.

An entire area is being temporarily evacuated in the interest of public order and safety.

Sector one reports phase one successful.

Sector three, no resistance encountered.

Thank you, Sandauer.

The soldiers, of course, are dedicated to their commander.

He is a superb craftsman of war and his presence alone inspires men to extraordinary valor.

The exercise is being carried out with meticulous precision according to plan.

The population is extremely cooperative and friendly.

Sector four reports phase one operative.

Sector two, flamethrowers ready to action.

Phase one to continue until further orders.

Yes, sir.

All sectors, from commanding general, phase one to continue until further orders.

Main sector, flamethrowers ready, sir. Go ahead.

Forward march.

General Tanz?

A few more minutes.

Halt! Stop!

Get him!

Stop! Fire!

Sandauer! Sir?

Stand by for phase two. Phase two, sir?

Stand by for phase two.

Yes, sir.

Notify all units. Phase one completed.

Stand by for phase two. Yes, sir.

CP to all sectors, stand by for phase two.

Phase two!

Phase two.

Yes, sir. Phase two.

Phase two.



Now the major may put his questions.

He's gone, sir.

That maniac is blowing up half the city.

Let's go.

Did you say there was no real resistance?

No, I was there.

One shot from one sniper, that was all, and he blows up the city!

Now, now, we're not the generals.

It is their business, you know, not ours.

We're here just to keep the papers moving.

And yours have arrived.


For what?

You've been promoted to lieutenant colonel.


And transferred to Paris as of this date.

Lucky fellow. Transferred, but why?

Who signed the transfer?

General Gabler, naturally.

What are you doing?

I'm going to find out where the order originated.

On whose recommendation here. Calm down. I've already checked.

General Kahlenberge. He recommended your transfer.

Did he indeed?

You must have made quite an impression last night.

It would seem so. Thank you, colonel.

It's just as well, you know.

That's a matter of opinion.

Above all, Major Grau, not too much zeal.

I have a zealous nature, sir. I can't help it.

Yes, inspector, I was in Warsaw with General Tanz.

And I resent those cheap journalists who try to make him out to be some sort of inhuman monster. He was not.


Forgive me, inspector. We hire a lot of foreigners nowadays.

We can't get Germans any more, not for real work.

I've seen General Tanz in the field, with the wounded, the dying.

He was extraordinary.

Compassionate, gentle.

Do you know that after Leningrad, Hitler ordered the general not to expose himself to enemy fire.

Of course, he found this a great hardship. He was only happy in battle.



Ah, gracias. Gracias.

I'm also learning Spanish.

Well, soon everything will be automated.

Except the manager, of course.

And then in July 1944, we were transferred to Paris.

The Allies were in Normandy by then and Hitler ordered us to stop them in front of Paris.

We nearly did too, except that the army was betrayed, as usual.

But we mustn't talk politics. It's bad for business, isn't it?

You asked me about Paris.

It was a paradise to us, particularly after Russia.

I remember that summer as though it were yesterday.

The empty streets, the heat, the quiet.

Everything cheap.

By the way, I was in Paris last summer, and my God, the prices.

When they gave me my hotel bill, I couldn't believe it.

But in July '44, Paris was still our city.

I suppose that's a tactless thing to say, but we did love Paris.

In any case, General Tanz and I were due to arrive on July 20th.

But at the last moment, the general decided to come a few days early.

So I sent a messenger to 7th Corps headquarters at Versailles to say that we would be in Paris on the 17th.

I think you know why I'm giving you the exact dates.

As it turned out, it was a good thing we arrived when we did.

However, there were those who were not at all pleased to learn of our early arrival.

Thank you, that will be all.

Heil Hitler. Heil Hitler.

Oh, I shall be with General Gabler in the War Room.

What about my pass? Is it all right?

For God's sake, relax!

Operation Hartmann, phase one, will begin tomorrow, 18 July, at 0915 when the lance corporal reports to the railway station.

With a car.

With a car duly requisitioned from the motor pool.

Phase two, the lance corporal will then meet the secret consignment from Berlin.

Then? Then phase three.

A 24-hour pass for the lance corporal will begin tomorrow at noon.

You've got it? Here.

A corporal and a general's daughter.

You know, you really are asking for trouble.

But it's your funeral, not mine!

The British second army has been advancing towards the left, trying to cut off two of our panzer divisions from our main supply route.

During the last 48 hours, the enemy has succeeded in crossing the Ohm River, here and here.

However, we were able to stop them here, with help from the 12th SS Panzer Division, which is counterattacking at the moment.


Now what do we do? To be precise, what do you do?

We. You're in this too. General Gabler.

The field marshal will see you at 4:00. Thank you, major.

I admit that it's inconvenient for you.

It's a good deal more than that. Why?

Just why is General Tanz arriving three days earlier than was planned?

You suspect something odd? He comes straight from Hitler.

Isn't that odd enough?

I want to hear this.

The American 1st Army occupied the town of Saint-Claude.

Our troops are withdrawing to new positions south and southeast.

General Gabler, General Kahlenberge.

I never had the opportunity to thank you for my promotion.

I'm sorry. Grau, Intelligence, Warsaw 1942.

Oh, yes, yes. Good to see you again, colonel.

You once had the vision to transfer me to Paris.

We do our best to give pleasure, colonel. Good day.

I understand we're soon to be joined by General Tanz.

Quite like old times.

Excuse me. I just wanted to greet you.


Tiresome fellow. Strange, isn't it?

Everybody seems to be aware that Tanz is coming here.

I don't like it.

I don't like it at all. Obviously not.

It's always disagreeable when the cat gets back to find the mice have been playing.

We could, of course, distract the cat by suggesting that he take a few days off to play a little too.

Particularly after all...

After all that you've been through, my dear general, these past few months in Russia, I know it must have been perfect hell for you.

I want 4,000 men by the end of the week.

And you shall have them.

Your Colonel Sandauer has been working closely with General Kahlenberge.

We are scraping the sides of the barrel, but you'll have 4,000.

Meanwhile, why don't you take a few days off?

Rest a bit, see the sights of Paris. It's your first visit.

I want only combat troops, no decaying old men or children.

Yes, sir. We are making good progress, General Kahlenberge and I.

After all, it may be your last chance to see Paris.

It may be anyone's last chance. Such a pity.

A necessity.

But of course. Of course it's necessary.

Stern measures, the only thing people respect.

All I'm suggesting is that you leave everything to us.

A commander does not... And your excellent Colonel Sandauer.

We've arranged a suite for you at the... Kahlenberge?

At your hotel. At the Excelsior.

You'll have a car, a driver and whatever else strikes your fancy.

One must relax occasionally, general. I can't afford to.

You give me no alternative but to compel you to enjoy yourself.

Must I order you?

Because if I must, I'm afraid I shall have to.

Yes, sir.

Evidently, you are not ready for me.

Very well.

I shall devote one day to seeing the city.

I shall return to headquarters at 0800 hours on the morning of the 19th.

Heil, Hitler.

Heil Hitler.

Well, that wasn't so bad. You now have one day's grace.

We need two, until the 20th.

Come and have dinner with me and Eleanore tomorrow.

Ulrike's arriving. This is bad luck.

Naturally, she forgot to say which train she'd be on.

I assume you are with us now. In spirit, of course, but...

You'll have to make up your mind. Soon.

Making up one's mind is one thing, speaking it is another.

You worry too much.

Patience is one of the few virtues that I possess.

At ease.

Sergeant, get me the military governor's office on the telephone.

Corporal? Sir.

I have an assignment for you.

Come in.

Get me the military governor's office.

For General Kahlenberge.

You're to stay with him every minute of the day.

24-hour call, do you understand? Yes, sir.

He may want to go out at night.

Do you know anything which might interest General Tanz?

Nightclubs or girls, that sort of thing.

A few, sir.

But I don't really know what the general's taste is, sir.

Let us hope that whatever it is, it is not you, corporal.

However, if it should be, remember that you're serving the fatherland.

I'll try to remember, sir.

Should he ask you to take him to his headquarters, you are to telephone me.

Either here or at my hotel. Yes, sir.

You'll report to Colonel Sandauer for specific instructions.


What is it, corporal?

I'm sorry, but I was supposed to have a 24-hour leave starting tomorrow.

That's impossible.

Could I have one hour free in the morning, sir?



Hartmann? Sir?

This is important.

All right. Now, where were we?

Oh, yes. Childhood diseases?


I can't remember. Nothing serious, I think.



No, sir. Fear of the dark?

No, not particularly.

Venereal disease?

No, sir. Good.

Now, what about books? Books?

Do you read books? Yes, sir, I read books.

What? War and Peace.

Nietzsche, The Decline of the West.

Books on psychology, pathology?

No, not much.

Show me your hands.

All right. Now, you'll have a room assigned to you in the general's hotel.

He'll want to see the principal sights of Paris.

You will prepare an itinerary and submit it to me.

When not in the field, the general goes to bed at 11:45.

He seldom drinks or smokes, so you will probably have an early evening.

Now, this is my private number, in case you should need me.

Need you, sir?

If anything out of the ordinary should happen, ring me immediately.

Is that understood? Yes, sir.

Good luck.

Thank you, sir.

Incidentally, avoid all cemeteries, tombs, any mention of death.

Yes, sir.


Inspector Morand, please. Third floor, room 158.

Who shall I say is here? Thank you. I can find my own way.


Welcome, Colonel Grau, to the spider's web.

How did you know it was me?

What other German colonel would enter unannounced?

Almost any SS colonel would.

Actually, I saw you reflected in the window.

Impossible, it's too dirty.

I hope you're not allergic to dust. Old crimes, colonel.

They generate a good deal of dust.

Unsolved crimes.

The dust has settled.

We can always unsettle it.

Is that why you came? Do sit down, colonel.

I must apologize for the heat, but it's nearly August, when most Parisians leave Paris.

Let's hope Germans have the good sense to do the same.

Saint-Lo fell to the Allies this morning.


Coffee? No, thank you.

You have dossiers on everyone, don't you?

On everyone interesting. German as well as French?

At the specific request of German Intelligence, we keep an occasional eye on interesting Germans.

Like me?

I have always found you interesting. Thank you.

What about German generals?

Well, what about them?

Generals are interesting?

Then, to the degree that they are interesting, we keep an eye on them too.

Good. Here are the names of three generals. I want to know everything about them.

Everything may be too much.

What specifically are you looking for?

One of them is a murderer.

Only one?

But murder is the occupation of generals.

Let's say what is admirable on the large scale is monstrous on the small.

Since we must give medals to mass murderers, let us try to give justice to the small entrepreneur.

Nicely put. I shall be glad to help you if I can.

I realize that nothing is free in this world, even between colleagues.

Especially between colleagues.

In exchange for your information, I shall arrange for the release from prison of three French resistance.

Thank you.

Have you a favorite suspect? Not really, no.

You see, on the night of the murder, each general had something to conceal.

The night of the murder was?

December the 12th, 1942, Warsaw.

And just as I started my investigation, I was transferred to Paris.

By the murderer? Possibly.

For two years, I've wanted to reopen the case.

Now I can. As of today, all three are in Paris.

General Gabler.

He's partial to the sort of girl who was killed.

Oh, a girl. A crime of passion, as we say.

Passion, yes, but only in the sense of your distinguished Marquis de Sade.

Oh, a sex crime, I see. Is that why this case excites you?

The girl was also a German agent.

She may have been killed because of something she knew.

That's why Kahlenberge intrigues me the most.

He seems to have no private life and yet he disappears from time to time.

No one knows where or why.

And General Tanz?

A perfect maniac.

I saw him destroy an entire quarter of Warsaw for the sheer pleasure of it.

On the Eastern front, he was known as The Butcher.

He lost most of his division in Russia.

He revels in death. Which is why, in a curious way, I don't think he's the man I'm looking for.

Anyone who has the power to destroy a city whenever he chooses does not need such minor sport as killing a girl.

I could be wrong, of course.

Hartmann? Yes.

I'm Sergeant Kopatski, the general's orderly.

For the time being, that is.

I forgot to take his laces out before cleaning his shoes this morning.

For God's sake, where are your gloves?

You'll get finger marks on it. I haven't got gloves.

They never told me. Take mine.

These are the general's holiday rations.

One bottle of cognac, one Thermos of coffee at 40 degrees centigrade, two hundred cigarettes.

Does the general drink?

Like a sponge, only he never shows it.

Put the briefcase on the back seat.

On the right side.

Whenever he leaves the car, clean out the ashtrays.

He smokes like a chimney.

Clean everything in sight.

Clean everything out of sight, including the engine.

If you don't, he'll tear your head off.

It's now one second to 9:00.

Here he comes.

I've given him full instructions, sir.

Name? Hartmann, Kurt, lance corporal, sir.

Show the general your hands.

Well, don't stand there like a fool. Put your gloves on.

He seems to know Paris.

He's prepared an itinerary of the sights of the city. I have endorsed it.

I shall see you tomorrow morning at headquarters.

Yes, general.

Sergeant Kopatski is relieved as my orderly.

This morning he smeared polish on my shoelaces.

Fourteen days confined to barracks. Yes, general.

We've just passed the Place Vendome, sir.

The column is 142 feet high and was erected in 1810.

It's made of bronze from 1200 cannon captured at Austerlitz.

There's a statue of Napoleon on the top.

In front of us, sir, the Tuileries Gardens.

The Tuileries Palace used to be in the middle of the gardens.

In 1792, at the time of the French Revolution, the Paris mob attacked the palace, forcing the king and queen to escape.

It was burnt down in... in 1871.

We are now coming into Place de la Concorde.

One of the most beautiful squares in Paris.

It was here, in the middle of the square that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded during the revolution.

The guillotine was there, in the centre, where the obelisk is now.

Keep your eye on the road, corporal.

Yes, sir.

Fraulein Gabler? Yes.

I'm Sergeant Kopke from your father's headquarters.

How did they know which train I was on?

They didn't.

May I?

You see, I'm Hartmann's cousin.

We got no secrets, Hartmann and me. More like brothers, really.

He's all right, isn't he? All right? Never better.

No, it's just at the last moment he was assigned to drive General Tanz.

Only for today. That's why he couldn't meet you.

Well, how are things in the fatherland?

Any cities left after all the bombing?

A few, yes, here and there.

There's one good thing about Paris. It's an open city, no bombs.

I hate bombs.

This way, Fraulein Gabler. I have a car for you just outside.

I'll take you to your father's hotel.

Hartmann's staying there too.

With General Tanz, just for tonight.

So I suppose you'll run into him sooner or later, in the lobby or something.

The gallery is shut to the public, sir.

But special permission has been granted for you to see the paintings.

Most of them have been confiscated and assembled here before being sent to Germany.

General Tanz. You've been notified.

Yes, corporal. Here's all the information.

On your right, sir, paintings by Boucher, the 18th-century French master.

All these paintings have been selected for Reichsmarschall Goering.

What's in there?

Paintings requisitioned from private collections by the reichsmarshcall.

What kind of paintings?

Modern, sir, and some impressionists.


I suppose so, sir.


Toulouse-Lautrec, Le Divan.

Renoir, Nude, painted in 1910.

Gauguin, On the Beach, from his Tahitian period.

Another Nude by Renoir.

Soutine, Le Garcon d'etage.

Degas, The Tub, painted in 1886.

Van Gogh, Vincent, Self-Portrait.

Sometimes called Vincent in Flames, painted while in an insane asylum during the last years of his life.

Here, sir, a painting by Cezanne.

How dare you touch me?

Excuse me, sir, but...

Never do that again!

I thought that General Gabler was going to join us for lunch.

Nowadays, General Gabler does not eat lunch.

Really? That could prove injurious to his health.

Yes. Yes, I've told him.

However, once...

Once the exercise is completed, he will join us at every meal.

He may not be invited then.

Shall we go to the garden?

We've had particularly good luck with the roses this season.

It's a very beautiful place you have here.

Thank you, general. We have spent two delightful summers here.

I shall regret leaving it.

Hitler is now at his headquarters in Rastenburg.

If all goes well, the day after tomorrow at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, he will be dead.

If I may say so, we hope he will be dead.

Look at that! These damn beetles. They're everywhere.

Sir, how do we know that Hitler won't change his plans at the last minute?

Twice this month we were ready for him, but he was not ready for us.

What if something goes wrong, sir?

You'll all be executed, colonel.

I imagine the Gestapo have most of our names already.

This is our last chance. This is also our last chance militarily.

The Allies will be across the Rhine before winter. It is now or never.

Fortunately, we are not as alone as we once were.

We have the support of the greatest soldier in Germany.

Field Marshal Rommel. Rommel?

This will make all the difference to the army.

Rommel is getting even more popular than Hitler.

Rommel is even almost a better general.

It is our plan to make him president of the German Republic.

At the moment, Field Marshal Rommel is touring the Western front, but when we need him, he will join us here.

Try to hold this position one more day.

That is, assuming the reinforcements arrive in time.

Excuse me, sir.

An urgent dispatch for you.

The enemy has broken the line in the vicinity of Coutance.

Do what you can.

Be careful on the roads, field marshal.

The enemy has complete command of the air.

General von Eisenbeck is on his way to Rastenburg to report to the Fuhrer.

Tell the Fuhrer the SS would rather die than fail him.

I shall tell him, general.

I'll stop overnight in Livarot. Tomorrow I'll be at headquarters.

And after that, sir? Where can you be reached?

Who knows?

On the 20th, I may be in Paris.

You shouldn't have mentioned the date.

The date means nothing. Yet.

I still think you should wait before you commit yourself.

I am committed.

You realize that if they fail, you'll be shot as a traitor.

But I am a traitor, a traitor to a madman.

Who is still the supreme commander you once obeyed and admired.

When a commander goes mad, he forfeits his right to supremacy.

We have little choice. If we don't remove him now, we shall be thought of as traitors to the fatherland.

If we do remove him now, history may one day call us patriots, heroes.

No matter what happens, I'm afraid we shall be misjudged.

You're probably right. But at least I hope you'll be cautious.

It's too late for caution. The war's lost. We must surrender.

But if he survives? He'll never surrender.

His kind of madman never does.

He wants the bodies of every German man, woman and child to feed on the funeral pyre on which he himself will eventually die in Wagnerian glory.

I intend to deny him that glory.

I intend...

Enemy planes on our left, field marshal. They've seen us.

Take cover! Drive off the road, quick!

I'm sorry, madam, I was delayed. What's happened?

Field Marshal Rommel has been wounded.

Oh, no. How serious is it?

He's in coma. They don't think he'll live through the night.

This is terrible. How did it happen?

Normally. That is to say, his car was strafed by Allied aircraft.

In that case, this is the end. I don't agree.

Are you mad? There are other generals.

Yes, of course. It isn't the end, not by any means.

But a definite setback, you must admit that.

Madam, I can't stay. You must forgive me.

Ulrike, welcome to Paris.

It's always good to see the good general.

Good night, general.

This thing can't work. You don't have Rommel.

You do have Tanz returning to duty tomorrow.

Only a miracle can help you now. Then help with the miracle.

Keep Tanz away from headquarters tomorrow.

I shall do my best, of course.

But remember, if things do go wrong, you will all need a friend.

Someone who is uncontaminated.

That's why I think it best for everybody if I appear neutral and bide my time.

Don't force me to break my neck by jumping the fence, when I can stay usefully alive by sitting on it.

You see what I mean?

Yes, I see what you mean.

An adequate restaurant.

Very clean.

Shall I drive you back to your hotel, sir?


I thought you might be tired.


Tell me, corporal, are the sights of Paris confined to those which stimulate the intellect and stomach?

By no means, sir. Then we must be thorough.

You will report to me here in precisely 30 minutes.

Oh, and, corporal. Yes, sir.

You will wear civilian clothes.

You will get them from the hall porter.

I am thirsty.

When a man is silent, it's because he's shy or because he has suffered.

You are too good-looking to need to be shy.

If you have suffered...

I can help you forget your suffering.

Evidently, you have not suffered enough.

At 7:30, you are to wake me.

Bath water, 31 degrees.

Breakfast to consist of four raw eggs, two slices of toast, coffee, one ounce of brandy.

Yes, sir. Good night, corporal.

Hello, could I speak to Fraulein...? Kurt.

Remember me? Yes, the queen of Poland.

Mm-hm. Back from exile.

I thought of this so often.

Is it how you thought it would be?


But, sir, I...

Yes, sir. Right away, sir.

Damn! General Tanz?

Colonel Sandauer. He wants me to sleep downstairs in Tanz's suite.


No, I won't.

You're the same. Am I?

Mm. Except I'm not really the same.

Why? What's different?

I don't know exactly.

You tell me, all right? I think you're the only one who can.

Yes, I'll tell you.

You have to go?

Mm. Or be shot.

Don't be shot, ever.

You mustn't worry. I'll see you tomorrow.

Who knows where we'll be tomorrow.

I'm sorry. Where do we meet?

Look, go to this place at 7:00.

If I'm not there, ask for Raymonde. It's quite safe.

Can you wait until 7:00?


Neither can I.

Go quickly.


We don't have very good luck, do we?

That's why it's got to get better.

Good night.

Good night.

Who is it?

Corporal Hartmann, sir. What?

Colonel Sandauer phoned, sir. He said I was to sleep here.


Who is it? It's me, sir.


With your breakfast, sir.

My coffee black, two thirds of a cup, no sugar.

Yes, sir.

The bath water was 32 degrees, one degree too hot.

I'm sorry, sir.

I've put out your uniform, sir.


Yes, sir?

Anything to tell me?

No, sir. Nothing, sir.

All is well, then? Yes, sir.

I insist on absolute frankness, corporal.

Yes, sir.


Well, I hope the general had a good time last night.

After all, we're in Paris, and the general is on leave.

That has nothing to do with you! No, sir.

Your job is to carry out orders, nothing else matters.

Yes, sir. What was your profession?

Music. I studied piano, sir.

There are some booklets over there. I don't know how they came here.

Probably the hall porter brought them up for me.

I should like to see those paintings today.

I want you to arrange it for me, Hartmann.

But, sir, I... Yes?

Forgive me, sir, but you did say you were returning to duty this morning.

I shall take another day of rest. Yes, sir.

The whole business disgusts me, but even I must relax once in a while.

It's like the natural functions.

Revolting but inevitable.

Whatever you say, sir.

You'll be happy to know General Tanz is not returning to duty until tomorrow.

Oh, really? Miracles do happen from time to time.

Come in.

Excuse me, general, sir. Yes.

The office of the military governor just rang, sir. They want you to report to headquarters immediately.

Thank you.

What is that about?

Can't you guess?

What's in there?

The modern paintings.

You remember, sir. The ones you wanted to see.

Decadent art?

Well, yes, sir.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Le Divan.

Renoir, Nude, painted in 1910.


Colonel Grau? Yes.


Colonel Grau.

A private room?

It's been a long time since I've seen indecent luxury in the middle of the day.

Nothing is too good for us, colonel.


We must give the red wine a chance to breathe.


Don't worry about the maitre d'hotel. He's one of my men.

I think the wine waiter's one of ours.

Let's hope the cook's neutral.

A little white wine? Thank you.

All we need is two ballet girls to complete the decor.

Sex and great cuisine do not mix. Either one or the other.

Today, it is the other. Tomorrow...

I'll find you the girls.

Now, what have you found for me?

Something extraordinary.


There will be another murder, and it involves one of your generals.

Which one? Kahlenberge.

Go on.

I shouldn't tell you this.

Why not?

Because as a Frenchman, I approve, in a way, of what he's doing.

You approve?

Of murder?

Of this murder.

He is part of a plot to kill Hitler.

My dear friend, there have been a dozen plots to kill Hitler since the war began.

Not on this scale. Half the generals in Paris are involved.

I know. You know? How?

The same way that I know your code name in the French Resistance is "Abelard."

More wine? Please.


Mm, admirable. If the plot succeeds, I should be able to confess that I've always preferred Burgundy to Rhine wine.


Did you find anything else, you know, of a private nature?


I tell you about a plot to...


I tell you about a plot, and you show no interest.

But if I can help you solve the murder of a whore, you are delighted.

I've no sense of proportion. It's been pointed out to me before.

Colonel Grau, if...

Excuse me.

If the generals kill Hitler, the war will end.

You have more faith in them than I do.

When things were going well, the generals enjoyed the war quite as much as Hitler.

Now that we're losing, they want to save their own skins.

That's natural, but...

Inspector, I'm interested in just one general who killed a girl and thought, because he was a general, he could play God in bed as well as in battle.

Well, I'm going to demonstrate to him that he is not God.

And that you are?

My madness is on a smaller, more secular scale.

I simply want to see justice done.

Now, what have you found for me about the other generals?

You are astonishing.

Do you really think so? I always thought we were rather alike.

Yes, only I am cautious.

There is not much to go on.

Tanz seems to have no human interests.

Takes to the bottle from time to time. Bit of a voyeur, I should say.

Gabler is something of a sexual athlete.

He picks up girls in the Bois de Boulogne, but as far as we know, he hasn't tried to kill one.

Kahlenberge has been too busy with the plot, as I said.

All relevant details are here.

Not much to go on.

But here, the release of your three Frenchmen.

Thank you.

Colonel, if I can ever help you in any way...

Information? Of course, but I meant...

Well, the Allies will be here soon.

Paris will be French again. You may need help.

Thank you.

I appreciate that.

Oh, come in, general.


Is there any news? Nothing yet.

We are expecting some at any moment.

The military governor of France.

I am sorry to call you here at such short notice.

Some of you are strangers to one another.

However, consider yourselves introduced.

We are all in this together, and we must proceed quickly.

First, then.

Tomorrow, at approximately 1300 hours, if all goes well, we shall receive from Berlin the code word "Valkyrie."

That one word, Valkyrie, will mean that Hitler is dead and that there is a new government.

We shall then proceed to the arrest of every SS and Gestapo officer in the greater Paris area.

You, general, will be responsible for the arrest of all SS officers.

Yes, sir.

What are the orders, sir, in case of resistance?

In case of resistance, shoot to kill.

You will also see to the Gestapo.

Colonel. Sir?

You will take charge of all telephone communications.


You will see to the military radio.

All news programs will be monitored by us.

General Kahlenberge, you will arrange for the disarming of the Nibelungen Division at Cormet and for the arrest of General Tanz.


Yes, sir? Would you care for a cognac?

But I'm on duty, sir. You may still sit.

Thank you, sir.

My bill. Anything you want?

I'll take a Vichy water, sir. Vichy!

You've been a satisfactory orderly and companion.

Thank you, sir. Except for the bath water this morning.

I'm sorry, sir.

Have you telephoned Colonel Sandauer yet?

No, sir, I haven't.

Any conclusions you may have drawn from my behavior are false and dangerous.

Define the term "decadent art."

Well, sir, it's a matter of interpretation.

Technically speaking, to be decadent is to be weak, diminished in energy, sterile.

I don't personally think the paintings we saw are decadent.

But then, I don't really know what decadence is, not officially anyway.

I do think that, as art, those paintings go deep.

They tell us things we don't know about ourselves.

They act as a mirror, I suppose, to things we don't normally see reflected.

Do you have a girl?

Yes, sir. Sit down.

Do you have a picture of her?

No, sir.

This is my first leave for years, Hartmann.

And I was ordered to take it. Ordered. What do you think of that?

It must have been an agreeable order, sir.

Not altogether, Hartmann, but orders are to be obeyed.

That goes for generals as well as lance corporals.

Yes, sir.

Tell me, when it comes to the final choice, who is more important, you or I?

A general is more important than a corporal, sir.

Of course. Never forget that, no matter what happens.

Give me your wallet, corporal.

I shall take a short walk.

You have good taste.

Pay the bill and leave an adequate tip.

When I return, I may wish to study further details of Parisian nightlife.

Yes, sir.


And a large cognac.


Is Raymonde...?


Excuse me, I'm looking for Monsieur Raymonde.

Raymonde is a girl's name. To be precise, it's mine.

I'm sorry, Corporal Hartmann didn't have time to explain.

Oh, you must be Ulrike. Yes.

He told me about you. Come.

Sit down.

Here, that's his table in the corner.


I think I should warn you, Germans don't come here very often.

Not welcome? What do you think?

Yes, not welcome. I'm sorry.

But Hartmann comes. He's different.

One day, I shall probably be shot by the resistance for liking him.

But people are people.

Well, you must know him quite well.

I would have known him well if he hadn't met you first.

Don't worry, I don't anymore.

Well, you've come back, huh?

Changed your mind, probably?

Anything you say.



Papers, please. Quick! Come on!

That's all we need.

Stay where you are! All of you! Quick! Over there! Get them!

All exits to be blocked!

Halt! Halt!

Everybody is under arrest. Get them all out of here.

This place is to be closed until further order.

Yes, sir.

Come on.

Come on, let's go.


Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.

There is a girl inside at the bar, a blond, speaking to the barman.

You will ask her to come with you.

Yes, sir.

Excuse me. Yes?

It's been a long time since I've met someone with a chauffeur.

Well, finally.

Tell him where you live.

Rue Leandre, near Sacre Coeur. You know where it is?



Take your time. Whenever you want.

Over there, the house on the corner, on your left.

Park on the other side of the street.

On which floor do you live? Second, in the front.

You know, he's awfully sweet. Can't he come too?

Three's company, as they say.

No, I suppose not. Well, I'll go ahead.

Keep your eye on the window. I may need you.

Yes, sir.

All right, Fraulein Gabler, go ahead.


Come up here.

Yes, sir?

Come in.

Look in there.



You are a sensitive young man.

You're mad.

On the contrary, I'm in full command of my reason.

Relaxed, alert, ready for duty.

Ready to be arrested for murder!

Are you going to kill me too?

I hope I shan't have to.

Today, I asked you who was more important, a general or a corporal, and you answered, "general." Of course, I agreed with you.

But when the general should be hanged for a filthy, bloody murder...

Then the corporal must hang in his place.

But I can prove... What?

What can you prove, corporal?

That you picked her up in a nightclub? Because I didn't.

Why should anyone think I did it?

That your fingerprints are on a brandy glass.

Because mine aren't.

That your identity disk was found in her room.

Because mine won't be.

You must have planned all this from the beginning.

You're not going to prove anything, corporal.

You're going to disappear.

I shall say nothing till tomorrow morning, when you fail to report for duty, and are listed as a deserter. What if I refuse?

I shall kill you.

Then I shall tell the police that you stole the car, that I followed you, you came here and killed the girl.

Do you think anyone's gonna believe you?

Naturally. I'm a general.

I'm assuming, of course, a dead body like this will attract a certain amount of attention, quite unjustifiably, in my view. After all, who was she?

A whore.

At the end of her life, she did serve a certain purpose.

We've spent two interesting and enjoyable days together.

I don't want to blow your handsome head to pieces.

Get away from here, Hartmann, as far as possible.

Go to ground somewhere.

Here's money, and you can take the car.

You're in civilian clothes. And you have nearly the whole night ahead of you.

Now go quickly. Leave Paris.




Must you have an explanation?

It happened, that's all.

I've no doubt there are many reasons, but it was the war that...

Is your experience of death really so limited?

Our age has witnessed millions of deaths more terrible than hers.

They're natural phenomena beyond our control.

Now, either you make a run for it, or I kill you.

Are you mad enough to think you'll get away with this?

I already have.

You're the one whose life is in jeopardy.



Yes? Yes.

Who wants to speak to her? Give me the telephone, Mother.

I'm sorry. If you won't give me your name, you cannot speak to my daughter.

You shouldn't have done that, Mother.

Obviously one of your nightclub acquaintances.

You should've let me speak to him!

He'll call back in the morning if he's a gentleman.

Which I doubt, knowing your habits.

You've become a savage!

What else? I'm your daughter.

So much the worse for me.

At least I'm alive again.

Oh, Kahlenberge. Yes.

I shall be gone all day. Gone where?

To the country. Barbizon. I promised Eleanore. A lovely place.

There's a splendid restaurant there. You should try it sometime.

I won't be back until evening. By which time, it will all be over.

One way or another, yes.

Don't look so glum.

Anyway, the, um...

The exercise has already begun, hasn't it?


About this time, our man should be approaching the third checkpoint at Rastenburg. He's carrying a briefcase containing 4 pounds of dynamite and an automatic triggering device.

Around 1:00, Hitler will meet with the generals and with our man.

The cement walls of the bunker will intensify the explosion.

Nobody in that room will survive.

Ah, Von Stauffenberg.

You here for the 1:00 meeting? Yes, sir. Just arrived from Berlin.

I was about to report, but...

Slight change in plan. We're meeting in the hut, at 12:30.

Oh, good. This way.

Berlin, you lucky devil. This place is like a monastery at Lent.

It's perfect hell.

Over there.


It was found in the bedroom.

"Hartmann, Kurt. Corporal."

I don't believe it. I mean, it's too obvious, too convenient.

What else? We have found fingerprints... on a piece of brandy glass, as well as on the doorknob.

We are checking on them. Who was the woman?

Monique Demours, professional prostitute.

Left a bar called Le Paradis at about 11:30 with a young German in civilian clothes.

She's been dead since midnight at least...

Company B.

Seventh Corps headquarters.

That's General Gabler's command. I'll phone you later, inspector.

Colonel. Yes?

Don't go there. Not today, of all days.

Any day's a good day to catch a murderer.

Even doomsday? Particularly doomsday.

Our strategic withdrawal from Saint-Lo has made it possible, my Fuhrer, for us to drive a wedge into the enemy front right here, in the vicinity of Mortain.

If we succeed... It's all right, thank you.

We shall be in a position to break through here, to Avranches, and to cut off the American 3rd Army from their 1st Army and from the British.

Two of our panzer elite divisions, The 12th SS Panzer Divisions, and the 21st Panzer Division, as well as the 346th Infantry Division are moving west to reinforce our positions here.

As per your orders, my Fuhrer, the 5th Parachute Division...

I'm expecting a telephone call from Berlin, urgent. Be right back.

Now, according to dispatches just received from the Eastern front our troops had to retreat from their positions.

The enemy is attacking on the whole front here between Lublin and Brest-Litovsk.

Further south, the Romanian 3rd Army is facing 90 enemy infantry divisions.

As soon as I know anything, I'll call you.

Yes, of course I will.

What? It's...


It's a bit early.


General, last night, there was another murder.

You and your damn murders.

Can't you understand there are more important things in the world than murdered whores? Yes, of course, sir, but one of your men, Lance Corporal Hartmann, is missing.

Do you know anything about him?

Yes? Oh, yes, sir.

No, I've heard nothing, sir.

Of course. As soon as I hear, I'll call you.

Thank you, sir.

I shall be brief, sir, Lance Corporal Hartmann...

Is missing. Yes, I know.

He wasn't a wholehearted soldier. I imagine he has deserted.

What time is it?

12:42, sir. 12:42.



Here, the enemy is driving with strong forces west of...

Colonel von Stauffenberg is next. He'll be back in a minute.

Nobody could live through that. Back to Berlin.


Rastenburg calling Berlin. Rastenburg calling Berlin.

I haven't seen Hartmann since I assigned him as driver to General Tanz two days ago.

Was he with General Tanz last night? Yes, of course he was.

And in fact, it was Tanz who reported his desertion.

General Tanz.

Kahlenberge! Valkyrie. Repeat, Valkyrie.

I have just received a message.

Valkyrie. My God.

It is official, Hitler is dead. There is a new government in Berlin.

We shall now proceed according to plan.

You, colonel, will begin the disarming of the Nibelungen Division.

Yes, sir. There may be resistance.

We're ready.

The divisional barracks must be sealed off by 1400 hours.

Yes, sir.

You, major, will now break communication between divisional headquarters and the outside. Yes, sir.

At precisely 1430 hours, you will arrest General Tanz.

Here's a warrant for his arrest, signed by the military governor.

The charge is treason. Yes, general.

Proceed carefully, General Tanz is... I know what he is, general.

Good luck.

Good luck.

Headquarters of the Nibelungen Division at Cormet.

Yes, sir. Make it fast.

Yes, sir.

Mueller, get Colonel Hinkel on the radio.

Third and 4th Battalions are to be moved to Cormet.

Rendezvous at 1345 hours. Yes, sir.

Come with me.

Urgent message to all members of the Wehrmacht.

The military governor of France has confirmed the death of the Fuhrer at Rastenburg.

Officers of the SS are now being detained in the interest of national security.


Colonel Grau to see General Tanz. Urgent.

Your papers, sir.

Thank you, colonel. Heil Hitler.


Your papers, please. Here.

Thank you, sir. Go ahead.

We repeat the message from the office of the military governor of France.

Adolf Hitler is dead. Members of his staff are under arrest.

The new government at Berlin will shortly make an announcement.

Meanwhile, those of us in sector three will carry out our appointed tasks.

Hello. Hello, operator?


Sergeant, what's happened to the direct line?

The line's been cut.

What? Sandauer!

Sir? Where's my call to Berlin?

The line has been cut, sir, according to the colonel.

Then use the radio. Put it through to my office.

Yes, sir. Sergeant, get me Berlin on the radio and put it through to the general's office.

General Tanz. Yes.

In Warsaw, two years ago, I wanted to question you about the murder of Maria Kupiecka, remember?

Who cut the telephone wires?

There's a new government in Berlin, and you're to be arrested in exactly 15 minutes for treason.

But I'm here to arrest you for murder.

Sandauer! Sir?

Are we through to Berlin? Not yet, sir.

Last night...

Last night, as you know, there was another murder.

In the Rue Leandre. It was identical to the Warsaw murder.

Corporal Hartmann, your driver...

This is Berlin. We are transmitting the following most important message from the Fuhrer's headquarters at Rastenburg.

Today at 1240 hours, an attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer was made by a group of vicious traitors! The Fuhrer is alive!

The assassin's bomb hardly touched him.

It wounded, however, a number of members of the Fuhrer's staff.

The circle of conspirators is... Sandauer!

Sir? Switch the broadcast to loudspeakers in the courtyard. Yes, sir!

And above all, nothing in common with Germans.

Now, colonel, which of us has committed treason?

I'm not interested in treason, general.

I'm interested in murder.

Today, someone attempted to murder the Fuhrer.

That should be your sole concern at this moment.

Where were you last night, general, between 11 and 2 a.m.?

Seig Heil! Seig Heil! Seig Heil!

He came here to arrest me for treason.


Yes, sir? Take him away.

All combat units to proceed immediately to headquarters of the military governor of France. Yes, sir.

You are to arrest the entire headquarters staff.

Yes, general.

I myself will arrest the governor.

For treason.

Good morning. This way, please. This way.

General Kahlenberge?

Yes? I'm Inspector Morand with Interpol.

How do you do? May I come with you, please?

Arriving from Dusseldorf, Lufthansa flight 761, gate number 8.

I left Paris on July the 20th, somewhat hurriedly, as you might imagine, and surrendered to the Americans. Porter.

And General Gabler?

General Gabler survived, as always. Two cases, both grey.

Pan American? In about five minutes, sir.

I seem to spend more time waiting for baggage than travelling.

I've been on the move a lot this year. Since May the 12th, to be exact.

Yes. General, the morning of...

If you don't mind, nowadays I prefer my civilian title.

The morning of July the 20th, 1944, a Colonel Grau came to see you.

Colonel Grau?

Oh, yes! I remember!

Amazing. It's those murders, isn't it?

I'll never forget, when the whole world was tumbling about our ears, there was Colonel Grau, mad as a hatter, trying to solve his little murders.

Colonel Grau was my friend. When I was in the French Resistance, he was helpful.

And now you want to solve the murders for him.

You are perceptive. Isn't it a little late in the day?

Colonel Grau always felt that any day is a good day to catch a murderer.

The last time I saw him, he was on his way to your headquarters.

Yes, that's right. He wanted to know about one of my men.

A Corporal Hartmann. Then you do recall the case?

Yes, vividly. Corporal Hartmann disappeared on the 20th.

He'd been assigned as General Tanz's driver for two days, and during that...

General Tanz's driver? Yes.

Your baggage is here. Thank you, general.

Sorry, Herr Kahlenberge. Thank you very much.

"Schussnigg, Willi, 48, plasterer, born in Hamburg.

Convicted of four separate sexual misdemeanors involving prostitutes.

On parole since January 1965."

On the night of May the 12th, where were you?

Here, sir, in Hamburg.



Did you know this girl?

I say, did you know this girl?

Yes, sir. That's Erika Mueller.

Do you know where she is now?

She's dead, sir.

I read it in the papers. Last week.

How did she die?

Well, they said... The papers said she was found in a hotel room... cut to pieces. She was killed.

By a man who picked her up in the Blue Harbor Bar.

Were you in the Blue Harbor Bar that night?

No, sir. I wasn't, sir. Yes, he was! I saw you!

You talked to her. You talked to Erika at the bar!

Didn't he? Yes, I saw him too!

That's a lie!

I never spoke to her! Did you speak to her, yes or no?

Well, maybe, sir.

I offered her a drink, but that's all.

You see, I talk to everybody.

He's the one who left with her! He killed her! He's the one!

I didn't go with her! I didn't kill her!

I didn't! I didn't! I didn't!

All right. At what time did you...?

I'm sorry, Inspector Hauser, but I must see you at once. It's urgent.

Continue the interrogation. Yes, sir.

At what time did you leave the bar?

I don't know. Between 10, 11.

The girl's positive that he's the one who left with Erika Mueller.

He may have left with her, but he didn't kill her.

You still believe that the man who killed Erika is the same one who killed that girl in Paris over 20 years ago?

And the one in Warsaw too.

The murderer's signature is unmistakable.

The state of the bodies, the absence of clues.

But who was in Hamburg a few days ago, who was also in Paris 22 years ago and in Warsaw in 1942?


Maybe Corporal Hartmann? Who no longer exists.

Or... General Tanz, who does?

General Tanz? He's in prison, isn't he? A war criminal.

According to my information, he was in prison until last March, when he was released. Could you check on that?

And if it's true, on his recent movements?

You understand this is most confidential.

Of course. Now...

Now we must find Corporal Hartmann.

That is, if he's still alive. He is the key to what happened.

But how are you going to find him? You know we've tried everything.

His parents are dead.

You saw his cousin Otto, who won't talk about him.

So who else is there? Who else would know where he is?

Inspector Morand?

What can I do for you?

Excuse me, madam. I would like to see your daughter.

My daughter? But why do you want to see my daughter?

To ask her some questions about someone I believe she knew in Paris, during the war.


Excuse me. Chief Inspector Morand from Paris.

My husband.

Always happy to meet one of our French allies.

Thank you. He wants to talk to Ulrike.

You see me at my labors. I'm writing my memoirs.

They should be most rewarding. General, if...

You are kind.

But then, I've always felt that even in war, gentlemen, though they may be on opposing sides, still have much in common.

It was everyone's misfortune that Hitler was not a gentleman.


Yes, I suppose not. And now... And now, General, I...

He wants to talk to Ulrike. Yes.

My daughter lives in the country.

She never comes here. No, thank you.

Young people are so different nowadays, aren't they?

Yes. But where does she...? Not like us.

Our generation believed in being happy, didn't we?

Oh, yes, yes. Happy.

I do wish we could help you, but... well, how can we?

She's not here.

So nice to have met you.

Good day, inspector.

I'll show you out.

At present, I'm describing the July plot to kill Hitler.

So difficult to tell what really happened.


Lately there's been a tendency to make excuses for Hitler, which means I shall have to be somewhat cautious.

We don't want to open old wounds, do we?

Of course not.

Particularly now that so many of the war criminals are at liberty.

Like General Tanz?


A 20-year sentence is a bit much for a soldier who simply obeyed orders, like the rest of us, but politically, he was inclined to be rather extreme.

If you know what I mean. Yes, I do.

Fortunately, he seems to be leading a quiet life.

Oh, quite the contrary. Next week will be the 25th anniversary of the Nibelungen Division.

Tanz is coming out of retirement to be their guest of honor and spokesman.

Like our government, I take a most dim view of that.

This way, please.

You must have noticed, my daughter and my wife are not on good terms.

In fact, they haven't spoken to one another since the war.

That's sad.

I myself only see my daughter once or twice a year.

And very briefly at that. She lives on a farm near Munich.

We meet in a railway station, with her child.

It's the only way I can get to see my grandson.

Your daughter is married? Yes.

To a farmer named Luckner.

She was never the same after the war, poor girl.

Something happened to her, I don't know what.

It's hard to help children, isn't it?

Particularly if one's wife...

Well, it was impossible after Paris.

Anyway, that's all I see of her. But why do you wish to see her?

In Paris, many years ago, she knew a young man.

I told you, I haven't seen Hartmann since the war.

Mrs. Luckner, you are the only person who can tell us.

I don't know if Hartmann is still alive, but if he is, for his sake, for everyone's sake, I implore you, help me.

I'm sorry, I don't know where he is.

Too bad. Particularly for Hartmann.

Goodbye, madam.

Monsieur Morand! Wait a moment.

It's good to see you here, general. This way, please.

Officers! Ladies. Quiet, please, quiet.

Of course, it's only natural for all of us to be happy to see General Tanz.

Free again!

And to know that our leader in war is with us again on this... On this wonderful occasion!

Now, let me welcome you all to this reunion.

An occasion for us all to think back to those extraordinary years, when we were young and had a cause to live for!

And if necessary, to die for!

Now, before continuing, I'm sure you all remember our old marching song.

Excuse me, sir.

On the night of May the 12th, someone left the Blue Harbor Bar in Hamburg with Erika Mueller, a prostitute.

At 11:45, he took her to the St. Pauli Hotel, where he murdered her.


Inspector Hauser, Hamburg Police.

While Chief Inspector Morand is with Interpol.

On the night of December the 12th, 1942, in Warsaw, the same man murdered another prostitute, Maria Kupiecka.

Evidence of his guilt was first assembled by Colonel Grau.

Does the name ring a bell?

A remarkable man.

He was obsessed with a strange craving for absolute justice.

I am unable to share your enthusiasm.

He was a traitor. Is that why you shot him?

You are wasting my time. On the night of July 19, 1944 in Paris, I was involved in the investigation of the murder of a prostitute.

In the Rue Leandre. What has any of this to do with me?

Warsaw, Paris, Hamburg.

You were in all three places. Need I say more?

No, you've said quite enough.

These are theories, and theories are not evidence.

I agree with you there.

Nothing I have said so far is capable of proof.

Precisely. Except that in Paris, there was a witness. Bring in Luckner!

Bring in Luckner! Luckner!

You should have killed me, general.

This man will testify at your trial. A public trial.

I'm sure you know what that means, Tanz.

I should think that even your most devoted admirers will be quite shocked.

Give me your gun.

Twenty-five years ago, our division was created as Thor's hammer, to strike the enemies of the Reich and the youngest of Germany's generals was chosen to lead us.