The Tin Drum (1979) Script


I'll begin long before I ever existed.

When the time came for my poor mama to be born, my grandmother, Anna Bronski, who was still young and unsuspecting, sat in her four skirts at the edge of a potato field.

That was in 1899, in the heart of Kashubia.

Something was moving on the horizon, as if jumping about.


Anybody come this way?

Name of Koljaiczek?

A firebug. Short with broad shoulders.

I saw him. Running like a bat out of hell.

Which way?

I don't believe it.

He's gone. Must be in Bissau if he's not here.

Has to be one or the other. There's nowhere else.

And it's raining, besides.

All right, Koljaiczek.

My name is Joseph.

My grandfather was an arsonist.

A repeat arsonist, because in all of West Prussia, sawmills were the tinder for the blazing nationalism of the Poles.

Joseph and Anna hid with the raftsmen for almost a year.

That's how long it took the police to catch up with my grandfather.


Don't shoot him! Fire at will!

After that dive, Koljaiczek was never seen again.

Some say he drowned.

Others say he escaped to America, where, in Chicago, under the name of Joe Colchic, he became a millionaire.

They say he made his fortune in lumber, in matches, and in fire insurance.

As for my grandmother, she sat year after year in her four skirts, hawking her wares in the market.


Not too fat and not too lean!

And she grew older.

The First World War came, and instead of geese, she had only turnips to sell.


My poor mama grew older too.

She was worried about her cousin Jan.

Jan had been called to war, but he wanted to be near her.

Name? Bronski, Jan.

Year? 1898.




"No ass, no neck, to the army I'm a wreck!"

For the first time, my mother held her cousin Jan in her arms, and I doubt if they ever embraced more happily.

This young wartime romance was untroubled until the appearance of a certain Mr. Matzerath.

Alfred Matzerath, born in the Rhineland, was the favorite of all the nurses at the Silberhammer Hospital for his cheerful Rhenish ways.

What did she say?

She said you're a born cook, Mr. Matzerath.

You know how to turn feelings into soup.

The war had spent itself.

Danzig was declared a Free State.

The Poles were given their own post office, where stamp collector Jan Bronski went to work.

Alfred Matzerath also stayed in Danzig.

We Kashubians have always been here.

Long before the Poles, and, naturally, long before the Germans.

That's old news, Jan. Now we've got peace.

Germans, Poles, Kashubians -- we'll all live together in peace.

I don't know.

Well, you'll see.

The two men, so different despite their similar feelings for Mama, liked each other, and from that trinity they brought me, Oskar, into the world.

The Sun was in the sign of Virgo.

Neptune moved into the tenth house of middle life, anchoring Oskar somewhere between wonder and illusion.


Push, Agnes, push! Push hard!

It's coming!

I first saw the light of this world in the form of a 60-watt bulb.


It's a boy!

I knew it would be a boy, even if I sometimes said it would be a girl.

Not so hot.

Crying and impersonating a meat-colored baby, I listened keenly and with a critical ear to my parents' first spontaneous reactions.

He'll take over the business.

Now we know what we're slaving for.

When little Oskar is three years old, he shall have a tin drum.

Only the prospect of the tin drum prevented me from expressing more forcefully my desire to return to the womb.

Besides, my umbilical cord had been cut.

There was nothing more to be done.

And so it was that I could hardly wait till my third birthday.

Who married us Go on, tell them You tell them It was the cardinal The cardinal bird married us The cardinal bird married them The blue sky was our cathedral

What is it?

Oh, it's little Oskar.

Want some more cake? No, thank you.

Your mouth's filthy.

Another sip, Grandma? Oh, yes.

The gentle nightingale sang her song all night It's not like an apple that you give away.

We must learn to respect the human body again.

And with rolls at three pfennigs --

What do you want?

The main thing is a stable currency.

And plenty to drink!

So here's to the stable mark and the three-pfennig roll!

To youth!

And beauty!

Beautiful indeed is youth May I call you by your first name?

Then I'll call her Lina.

We won't be so young when next we meet!

The gentle nightingale sang her song all night Love, oh, love Is a power Divine The gentle nightingale Sang her song all night Love, oh, love How lovely.

Love, oh, love Is a power divine Jan, get the cards.

I'll just drop this in the laundry and rinse a few glasses.

September 12, 1927.

Next year, you'll be this big, and then this big, and then this big, and then as big as me.


Fresh from the cellar. Here are the glasses.

So you won't have to drink from the bottle.

Playing, Mr. Scheffler? Heavens, no.

Go ahead. I'll just watch.

Besides, it's my bedtime.

He's always tired. You shouldn't have married a baker.

Oskar, it's been a long time since Grandma let anyone under her skirts.

Let's have a little game!

Do you understand this?

Not in the least.

Let's see where the jacks are.

Tall pines point to the stars Above the Iser's rushing tide Hey, cousin, you're out of diamonds!

Don't argue. Play.

I have two diamonds myself.

How would I know?

That day, reflecting on the grown-up world and my own future, I decided to call a halt -- to stop growing then and there and remain a three-year-old, a gnome, once and for all!

One, two, three...

My God, there he is.

What is it? What happened?

He fell down the stairs!

Do something! Don't get excited.

Why was the cellar door open?

He's bleeding.

Alfred, it's your fault! You left the cellar door open!

I was just getting beer for everyone!

Run and get the doctor.

It looks bad. You! It's your fault!

You left the cellar door open!

You pig! Stop! There's no use.

Please, Agnes. I beg you.

Please, Alfred.

Let me through!

Calm down! What's done is done!

My little Oskar.

My little boy.

How could this have happened?

Two weeks in bed and Oskar will be as good as new.

Just a slight concussion.

Plenty of cold compresses.

My fall was a complete success.

The family story was:

On his third birthday, our little Oskar fell down the cellar stairs.

He didn't break any bones, but he never grew again after that, not a fraction of an inch.

That drum again. It's so loud.

There's my little Oskar, all well again.

Have a good lunch.

This one is very valuable.

Poland's very first stamp, over 100 years old.

Lunch time! We're having mushrooms.

I have to go.

Stay, he's cooked mushrooms.

I'm on duty at the post office.

Not in the house, I said.

Besides, it's broken. You'll hurt yourself.

You staying? We're having mushrooms. Sorry. Post office time.

Let me have that.

If you hurt yourself, it will be my fault again.

See? I told you so.

Give me that drum and I'll give you some chocolate.

Let them have it. I'll get you a new one.

No! Oskar don't want!

We'll see about that.

Alfred, why must you always use force?

My drum!

And thus I discovered that my voice was capable of a scream so high-pitched that no one dared take my drum away.

Shards bring luck.

Because when my drum was taken away, I screamed, and when I screamed, valuable articles burst into bits.

Is the black cook here today?

No, no, no She will make an evil brew She will put you in her stew And then she will devour you Look, there she is

I'll get you! Watch out!

Things'll change around here!

Beat it, you freak! I'm coming down!

But no one dares to argue O glorious call of the sun

Green of birch and green of seed As if with gestures to plead Old Mother Earth has decreed Mankind her own shall be I'll take that one.

Look, if you please, at this extraordinary potato.

This tumescent, luxuriant flesh, forever conceiving new shapes... and yet so chaste.

I love the potato because it speaks to me.

Yes, spuds are bigger this year than last.

What are you doing?

Oskar learn to write.

Stop that.

You'll never learn to read and write the great classics, the eternal truths:

"Die unto life!"

Hold it. Now I've got all of you.

For you on your first day of school.

Eyes this way, please.

Good morning.

Good morning, children.

My name is Spollenhauer, and I am your teacher.

Be seated.

And now, dear children, do any of you know a song?

"All my little ducklings!" "The fox stole the goose!"

You must be little Oskar.

We've heard so much about you.

You play that so well.

Isn't our Oskar a fine drummer?

But now let's put the drum away.

It must be sleepy.

After school, you can have it back again.

You're a naughty Oskar.

I will now read you the schedule.

Monday: writing, arithmetic, reading, religion.

All together: writing.


Oskar, stop that!


Get out!


Very strange.

How old is he, did you say?

Six, Doctor.

Inge, kindly undress Oskar.

How long is it since he fell down the stairs?

Three years on September 12.

We'd better examine his spine again.

Be a good boy.

I'll give it right back.

Oskar, give me your drum. I'll hold it.

See, you can't get out of your shirt.

Oskar, if you're not good, the doctor won't make you well.

Come, child. Give me the drum.


I shall write a paper about this for one of our medical journals, if you have no objection.


Truly amazing.

"The destructive force of this local phenomenon is such as to suggest an anomalous formation of the lower larynx in little Oskar Matzerath.

Nor can we exclude the hypothesis of a concomitant development of the vocal cords."

Did you hear that? In a medical journal.

Does the doctor say why he won't grow?

You'll have to ask him that.

What? Why he won't grow!

Cut it out.

He's yours as much as mine.

If not more.

Who left the cellar door open, you or me?

A, B, C, D, E, I'm a little headachy.

F, G, H, I, J, K, what will the doctor say?

L, M, N, O, I'm ready to go.

P, Q, R, S, T, feeling quite feisty.

U, V, W, X, troubles will be axed.

Y and Z, I'm off easy!

You're not listening, Oskar!


Oskar read!

This isn't for you.


Rashu, Rashu, Rapupin.




Orgy! Oskar read!

"All within me, said Rasputin, is pure light which will cleanse your sins.

Not surprisingly, the ladies of the Court flung themselves at the prophet."

Is he making progress?

What? You're reading Rasputin?

There's no danger he'll understand?

I'm trying hard but he learns nothing.

Where are you up to?

"The Gorokhova St. drawing room."

There of all places!

"Rasputin was alone with Irina and the Grand Duchess, who smiled faintly.

A holy man is in our midst, she whispered, staring dreamily...

They were drawn into loving caresses.

He ignited their kisses.

The prophet's burning eyes bewitched them all.

Soon they collapsed upon his chest."

Have mercy!

"His black beard grazed her breasts.

Voluptuous bodies sprawled over the holy man..."

You might wonder: to what shoddy background did this young man owe his upbringing?

But while my poor mama and Gretchen Scheffler couldn't get enough of Rasputin, I discovered Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

Elective Affinities.

And thus I grew, not in size but in spirit, torn between Rasputin and Goethe to the point of merging the two books, following demonic passages with more enlightened ones, just like in real life.

Uncle Heilandt, come spit in the soup.

Look what I found in the pond! Two frogs!

What are you doing, Tom Thumb?

They're still alive!

Make Oskar taste the soup!

Now it's your turn.

You'll love it.

A treat.

Open your mouth.

Good, huh?

Just a little more.

Labesweg and its backyards hemmed me in.

I longed for space and took every opportunity to escape the persecution by the soup cooks by going into town alone or with Mama.

Your drum's busted?

Want me to mend it?

No, he's getting a new one.

My respects.

Hello, Uncle Jan.

I must leave you now.

I have a few errands to run.

Good-bye, Agnes.

This is for your drum, Oskar.

Is that enough?

Good-bye, cousin.

Good day, Mr. Markus.

Who do we have here? Oh, Mrs. Matzerath.

And little Oskar. Here for a new drum?

Yes, Mr. Markus. Again.

He's always at it.

I never know what day it is -- I mean, what day of the week -- except when you come in.

Then something tells me it must be Thursday again.

You have such beautiful hands.

Worth their weight in gold.

Oskar, see that box? Hand it to me.

Look here, Mrs. Matzerath. Beautiful silk stockings.

Pure silk.

Fine quality.

One, two, three pairs for you.

They'll suit you fine. It's a bargain.

Much too expensive for me.

They're worth it. Maybe another time.

I'll let them go for half a gulden.

That cheap?

No, Markus, that would be like giving them away.

Take them, and don't ask questions.

And now, Oskar, what can I do for the little prince?

Oh, is it a new drum we need?

Just choose one. You know where they are!

See, Oskar?

He's so happy.

Mr. Markus, could little Oskar stay with you for half an hour?

I have some important business.

Ah, yes. I'll watch him like the apple of my eye.

See to your important business, and don't worry.

The little prince will stay with me while you take care of your important business, just like every Thursday.

We'll close off the street.

Danzig is and always has been German.

The Corridor is and always has been German.

All these territories owe their cultural development exclusively to the German people.

If not for the German people, these eastern territories would have succumbed to barbarism.

Danzig was cut off from us, the Corridor annexed by Poland.


Have a nice stroll?

I guess not.

Everyone can hear the Führer but us!

Help me!

What's wrong with you?

I suffer from an illness.

What is it?

I've gone birdbrained!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the smallest of the small:

Bebra and his midgets!

My word!

Now it's three-year-olds who choose to stop growing.

My name is Bebra.

Directly descended from Prince Eugene... whose father was Louis XIV, and not some Savoyard, as has been claimed.

On my tenth birthday, I stopped my growth.

Better late than never.

Tell me, my dear Oskar, you must be 14 or 15 now.

Twelve and a half.


And how old do you think I am?



I was 35 once.

I shall be 53 in August.

I could be your grandfather.

Are you an artist too?

Not really. Although...

As you see, I can lay claim to a certain artistry.

You must join us. You must!

You know, Mr. Bebra...

to tell the truth, I prefer to be a member of the audience and let my little art flower in secret.

My dear Oskar, trust an experienced colleague.

Our kind must never sit in the audience.

Our kind must perform and run the show, or it's the others that will run us.

And the others are coming.

They will take over the fairgrounds.

They will stage torchlight parades.

They will build platforms and fill them, and from those platforms preach our destruction.

They're looking for you, dear friend. But we will meet again.

We're too little to lose each other.

They are coming!

Now you can open them.

A radio!

Good morning, Oskar.

Thank you, Uncle Jan.

Good morning. A pleasant Sunday to you all.

These damn leggings keep falling down!

Morning, cousin.

I need boots.

You know they cost way too much.

Or leather gaiters at least.

How do I look?

Going to the demonstration? Yes, at the fairground.

A mass rally.

How are you?

Gauleiter Löbsack is speaking.

And what a speaker he is.

I tell you, these are historic days.

A man can't stand aside. Gotta join in.

You should read the Danzig Sentinel.

Your siding with Poland is crazy.

I've told you a thousand times.

I am a Pole.

Think it over.

Take your umbrella. It looks like rain.

An umbrella? With this uniform?

The stew is on. Stir it now and then.

It'll be done in 20 minutes. Want a bite to eat before you go?

No time.

Duty is duty, and schnapps is schnapps.


Blue your eyes!

Oskar too.

The Bronski family blue eyes!

We share them, both of us...

Jan, stop!

I can no longer bear that he doesn't know.

My dear fellow countrymen and countrywomen from Danzig and Langfuhr, from Ohra, Schiedlitz and Praust, from the hills and from the lowlands, I know that you all cherish but one wish.

It has been our heartfelt wish ever since the shameful Versailles Diktat separated us from our beloved German fatherland.

And that wish is to go home to the Reich!

What is the meaning of this Free State that was so generously foisted on us?

It means that our waterfront is crawling with Polacks.

And in the middle of our beloved Old City, they've stuck a Polish post office -- a present we can do without!

We Germans had post offices before the Poles even thought of writing letters!

We taught them the alphabet!

And now, dear party comrades, let us welcome our guest from the Reich whom the Führer sent to greet us.

Party comrade Albert Forster has just arrived on the field!

I've got sand in my shoe.

Hey, can you catch them with a clothesline?

Sure you can.

Real fish, or just old shoes?

Suppose we take a look.

Maybe something's there.

Get the sack.

You call that fat?

You should have seen them after the battle of Jutland, when we and the English --

"Proudly flies the Banner Black-White-Red..."

See what I mean?

After the battle...

they were this thick, the eels.

He wanted 1.50, but I gave him a gulden.

Don't expect me to touch your eels.

Don't put on airs.

I'll never eat fish again. Certainly not eels.

You've always eaten them and you knew where they came from.


Stop that drumming once and for all.

Leave the child alone! And sit down!

Who was to blame? Who left the cellar door open?

That's old news. Sit down.

See if they're not delicious.

Come on. Dig in.

Fresh eel with dill sauce, bay leaf and a twist of lemon peel.

Don't make her eat if she doesn't want to.

Keep out of this.

Leave her alone. She'll only vomit.

I paid good money for these eels.

Just try them.

They've been well cleaned and washed.

No gall. Light, healthy liver.

And so fresh!

All the disgusting parts are gone.

Oskar, sit down.

I slaved over the stove for hours.

Some people would be very happy to eat my eels.

I don't know what to do!

Alfred, calm down.

I can't talk to her. And the fish is getting cold.

Women are more sensitive.

You talk to her. If only she'd calm down.

Shouldn't I warm them up at least?

No, don't do it with Bronski.

He joined the wrong side when he went with the Polish post office.

Don't bet on the Poles.

If you must bet, bet on the Germans.

Sooner or later, they'll take over.

Imagine when the Germans come and you're stuck with Bronski, that meshugganah Pole.

You'll be in trouble then.

Why not bet on Matzerath?

Or, if you'd do me the great honor, bet on me, Sigismund Markus, who was just baptized.

No, Markus. Please!

We could go to London like everybody else, before the Germans come.

Look. There he is.

We'll take him with us to London.

He'll live like a prince.

Thank you, Markus, but it's impossible, and not because of Bronski.

I'm glad to hear that. I had a feeling it wasn't because of him.

Steer clear of Bronski, and stick to Matzerath.

Come on.


One two, one two...

You can't or you won't?


'Cause you can do everything else.

I have sinned in thought, word and deed.

Alone or with others?

With someone else.

When and where?

Thursdays, on the Tischlergasse.

But, child, that same filthy neighborhood?

I can't help it, Father.

I try, but I can't.

But, my dear Mrs. Matzerath, the consequences.

They're already here, Father.

They're already here.

What do you think you're doing?

Little brat.

Father, what will I do with the child?

I love my little Oskar, but he's already 14.

He's always in trouble, and now this! Oh, Father --

Pray, Mrs. Matzerath, pray.

Oskar, stop it.


What did I tell you? Fish again.

She doesn't eat. She gulps it down.

And she's surprised it doesn't stay down.

God, how can this be?

This has been going on for three weeks.

First it was kippers and sardines.

Now it's pickled herring.

I've tried everything.

I'm at the end of my rope.

Why didn't you call me sooner?

Agnes, tell me what's wrong.

You know fish doesn't agree with you!

Take it from me.

A single communist joining the party makes the Führer happier than ten conservatives who just join out of fear, not grasping that a new era has begun.

Yes, a new era!

She doesn't want to live, she doesn't want to die.

I don't know.

It's too much of everything, and it keeps piling up.

I used to say that too, but I made it.

Think it was easy when Koljaiczek, your father, disappeared under the timber and never came back?

But at least he was gone! Away, you say. The man's away.

How can you talk like that when you do it with two men and never get enough?

That'll do, Mother!

You're pregnant! So what?

There's plenty of room here.

When will it be?

Never! It'll never be!

I had no way of knowing!

Help her.

Why don't you want the child?

It doesn't matter whose it is.

No trumpet playing here.

Go and blow that thing with your Brown Shirts.

Soon your blowing will all be over.

Nazi swine!

Red pig!

What are you doing here?

You got no business here!

Wanna know what you are?

A kike. That's what you are.

Ah, it's little Oskar.

See what they're doing to Markus, who was baptized just like them?

Is your drum broken?

Come see me. You'll have a new drum.

A beautiful day!

She's gone to the place where everything's so cheap.

Habemus dominum.

Yes, it's a beautiful day.

An unforgettable day.

I, too, have seen the Lord.

You've seen the Lord?

A beautiful day.

The Lord has passed.

He was in a hurry.

Once upon a time, there was a drummer.

His name was Oskar.

He lost his poor mama, who had eaten too much fish.

Once upon a time, there was a gullible people who believed in Santa Claus.

But Santa Claus was really the gas man!

Once upon a time, there was a toy merchant.

His name was Sigismund Markus,

and he sold tin drums lacquered red and white.

Once upon a time, there was a drummer.

His name was Oskar.

Once upon a time, there was a toy merchant whose name was Markus... and he took all the toys in the world away with him.

German Danzig Sentinel!

September 1, 1939.

You know the date, I assume.

That was when I committed my second crime.

For I, Oskar the drummer, not only drummed my poor mama into her grave.

I also dragged my poor uncle, and presumably my father, Jan Bronski, to the Polish post office, so causing his death.

Halt. You can't go through. Why not? I work here.

Off limits. Nobody's allowed in.

We only want to see Kobyella.

He's a Pole! Stop him!

It's high time.

Quick, they're issuing weapons.

You're always the last one. Take this rifle.


The ammunition's over there.

What are you doing here?

Kobyella. Repair drum!

Impossible. He has no time for you now.

Bronski, are you crazy? Get this boy out of the way.

Go and hide somewhere, Oskar.

I have to stay here. Go on, hurry.

On September 1st, German territory was violated.

Last night, for the first time, Poles opened fire on German regulars on German soil.

Since 5:45 this morning their fire has been returned.

From now on, bomb will be answered with bomb.

Where is Uncle Jan?


The drum! Jan, the drum!

Get down!

The drum! Take cover! Go hide.

You can't stay here, Oskar.

Take cover! Fire!

Hey, Kobyella, don't give up.

I'll fasten you down. Then you won't tip over.



And this too.

And this too.

Is it my turn?

With one play, two contras, three schneiders, four times clubs.

That makes 48, or 12 pfennigs.

Hey, don't be a spoilsport.

I can't play by myself.

Pull yourself together.

Kobyella, what's wrong?


Kobyella, I beg you!

I've got a Grand Hand.

Look, a Grand Hand.


She's dead.

We surrender!

Don't shoot!

Hold your fire!

Freeze! Hands up!

Line up! Move out!

You gonna move, or what?

You too!

They filmed us for a newsreel that was shown in all the movie houses, because Oskar's experience at the Polish post office in Danzig went down in history as the first battle of World War ll.

The Hanseatic Free City of Danzig celebrated the union of its brick Gothic with the greater German Reich.

This is a big moment in your life.

Keep your eyes open. You'll have stories to tell.

I think I'll faint if he looks at me!

Here he comes!

I have seen the Lord.

Come with me.

I'll show you something.

Requiescat in pace...

What? They shot Jan Bronski?

Over there.

They gathered up all the cartridge cases.

All but one.

They always forget one.

This is Maria. She wants to work for you.

You said you needed somebody for the customers.

Things can't go on like this.

And for Oskar here.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us poor sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Lord, give us --


And take me up to heaven.

Have you gone to the bathroom?

Another tune?

"Mary, My Adoration."

Maria, I love you With all my heart Forever and ever We never will part

Go away!

Disregarding my anonymous infatuations, Maria was my first love.

How old are you?

Just turned 16.

Me too.

I can't believe it.

Love cannot be sinful Even if it were I wouldn't care

Maria smelled of vanilla.

I wondered why.

Did she rub herself with some root?

Was it some cheap perfume that she sprayed herself with?

Oskar resolved to find out.

What are you doing?

Hey, stop it!

You little rascal.

You dive in, not knowing a thing.

As I predicted:

France in five weeks. Our boys reach the Channel and from there, a stone's throw away.

One can spit at London.

As for me: promoted to cell leader.

Let's drink to that!

Where is that thing?

Gonna be late? Could be.

Too many victories to celebrate.

Here's your candy.

You're all set.

You can sleep with Maria.

There's plenty of room in my bed for Oskar.

He's just a shrimp.

Quick, Oskar, into the hay.

Come up here!

Look. He's so happy.

It's a quarter to.

A little more. Just a little.

But be careful.

Don't worry.

Almost. Almost.

Just a little more. But be careful!

I am!

Go away!

Alfred, stop it!

Is it the kid's fault you're not careful?

Me? Who kept asking for more?

I said, "Be careful. It's coming soon." But it never came at all.

Never enough. You're all the same.

In, out, finished. That's your idea of love.

Well, go look for somebody else.

Think I'm some kind of electric bell?

And you never take precautions!

Stop bawling. I'm fed up.

Then go back to your comrades, you jerk.

I need a change, that's for sure.


They're all a bunch of quick squirters. Beat it!

Get yourself a POW if you're in heat.

Maybe the frog that brings the beer.

Maybe he'll satisfy you!

I see love as something more than smuttiness.

Next time I'll play cards. Then I'll know what to expect.

You nasty little dwarf!

You crazy midget!

You belong in the loony bin, you scumbag!

Oskar, I didn't mean it.

Now you'll have your own room.

He'll soon be 17.

They're doing fine in the east.

Leningrad will fall any day.

Kiev's more important because of the oil.

That was fast! Much faster than in '15, when I was in the army.

Moscow's the main thing.

Alfred, you carve.

What would we do without Grandma?

Yes, the Kashubians are still good for something.

Oh, if I could only be out there!

But I'm needed on the home front.

Moscow must be wiped out, or we'll have to feed all those people.

The Führer knows that.

They've sent my Herbert to the front.

To make him fight.

Disciplinary battalion.

Starve 'em! Starve all our enemies!

That'll end the war.

Breast or drumstick?

I'd like a drumstick.

It's nice and juicy.

The nations of Europe are all on our side.

The stalwart Finns.

No goose without sage!

The Magyars, the Rumanians. Oskar, what a splendid feast.

We're advancing on the oceans too.

For we're sailing No goose, Greff?

You know I don't eat meat.

A youthful nation rises ready for the storm Raise the banner higher

Now you've got a little brother, Oskar.

You'll soon be able to play with him.

The butcher's son was killed.

He got the Iron Cross first class.

Second class!

In any case, he's dead.

Kurt, my son.

You are definitely my son.

When you're three, I'll give you a drum, and if you don't want to grow up, I'll show you how it's done.

Come on in.

You'll freeze out there.

Want to come in for a while?

Come in.

Come a little closer, Oskar.

Come under the covers where it's warm.

It's dreadfully cold.

Greff doesn't give us enough heat.

Come in!


Go ahead.

Greff wants to harden his body.

He loves youth and hard bodies, but he likes boys more than girls.

Victory through strength and joy

My feet are frozen.

A scout is never cold.


An autograph, please. Pardon me.

May I have your autograph?

May I make the same request?

Very kind of you. I loved your show.

My dear Oskar!

How glad I am to see you again!

Didn't I tell you?

We're too little to lose each other.

Splendid, splendid! You haven't grown an inch.


Permit me to introduce Oskar, an old friend who sings glass to bits.

The great somnambulist.

The joy of our soldiers on every front, and of my old age.

You're surprised to see me in this uniform, but the Propaganda Ministry approached us and asked us to appear before the country's top leaders.

Filthy politics!

And now we entertain the troops.

A present from Oskar.

You are very talented.

Why don't you join us? What's to keep you here?

Yes, join us, young man.

Play your drum, sing champagne glasses and lightbulbs to bits.

The German army of occupation in fair France, in gay Paris, will thank you.

Have you been to Paris?

You see?

Dear tin soldiers of Paris, Bebra's Front Line Theater will play for you, sing for you, and help you win the war!

One night only in Paris! Only once on the Boulevard!

What are you thinking about?

My grandmother's skirts.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in France, a newcomer to our program, the man with the secret weapon we have heard so much about:

Oskar the drummer!

Oskar the glass killer!

Mazel tov.

And now, Signorina Raguna, could you tell us, as well as the ladies and gentlemen present tonight, the exact date of birth of Lieutenant Herzog?

April 11...

1915, in Bremen.

That's right.

And the place too.

Applause for Signorina Raguna, the great somnambulist!

I see they're bringing him champagne.

But you'll never drink it.

I'm sorry. Why not?

All together!

Is the black cook here today? No, no, no

Don't be afraid.

Nothing will happen.

My little man.

One corporal, five men, nothing to report.

Thank you. At ease, Corporal.

You see? Nothing to report.

It's been this way for years.

There's always the tide, nature's contribution.

That's what keeps our men busy.

That's why we go on building bunkers.

You have faith in concrete?

We haven't much faith in anything.

Am I right, Corporal? Right, sir.

But still you mix and pour.

Oskar, look how beautiful the ocean is.

Embrace, children.

Today, we play on concrete.

Tomorrow it will make your teeth grind and spoil your kisses.

Is the black cook here today? No, no, no She will make an evil brew She will put you in her stew And then she will devour you Is the black cook here today? Yes, yes, yes Look, there she is

Goody! A picnic in the open air!

Nature whets our appetite!

Real Hungarian salami. Wonderful!

And chocolate from Holland!

And now, dive in.

Dig in, my friends.

Where do we begin?

Ah, caviar.

Rescued from Stalingrad.

Ah, may it soothe our souls!

Tell me, Corporal Lankes.

Over there I see... five black spots on the beach.

These are the nuns from Lisieux. They come at low tide to pick up mussels and shrimp.

Dora 7, Corporal Lankes speaking.

Corporal, I see movement up front! Are you blind?

They're nuns, Lieutenant.

What if they were a fifth column?

Yes, Lieutenant.

Clear the beach! It's off limits!

They're just looking for shellfish.

I know them.

That's an order!

Yes, Lieutenant.

Come in.

Children! Quick!

What's the matter?

The Americans are coming.

Children! Quick!

Quick, Oskar!

Oskar, I must have coffee!

I can't go without coffee. Roswitha, we're leaving.

A cup of coffee, please.


A youthful nation rises ready for the storm Raise the banner higher Roswitha, I don't know how old you were.

I only know that you smelled of cinnamon and nutmeg.

You could see into the hearts of men, but not into your own heart.

Ah, dear Oskar, we dwarfs and fools shouldn't dance on concrete that was poured for giants.

Come on. We have to move out.

Well, Oskar, good-bye. Good luck.

And keep your chin up.

A youthful nation rises ready for the storm Raise the banner higher

It's little Oskar!

Hey, Kurt, Oskar's come back for your birthday.

Your little brother just turned three.

I brought you a present.

Are you allowed to wear that uniform?

Where have you been?

We looked all over for you. The police looked high and low.

We had to swear we hadn't bumped you off.

Well, now you're here.

I'll prepare something to eat.

You must be starving.

I'll draw you a bath.

You've caused nothing but trouble.

They wanted to put you in a clinic.

You deserve it, running away as you did.

The Gestapo... Hide!

No news, gentlemen.

We're desperate.

The abnormal child has been sighted.

Here in Langfuhr?

You should have reported it, not a neighbor.

As we had agreed.

The child needs treatment.

He can't be seen on the street anymore.

That may be, but...

As a Party member, you should share the Führer's concern for racial purity.

Here's the warrant to put the kid in the clinic at Kohlhammer.

I won't let him be put away!

Mr. Matzerath, just sign here.


I promised my wife on her deathbed.

I'm his father, not the race bureau!

I've agreed with everything, but this, never!

It's going too far.

I won't do it.

My own son...

They all say it should be done.

Obviously they don't have children.

Calm down.

You'll wake up the kid.

You think this means nothing to me?

But they all say that's how it's done now.

Many have left, nobody has ever come back.

Agnes would have never put up with this.

Yes, but she was his mother, and hoped he would get better.

You can see...

that he hasn't.

He can neither live nor die.

No way!

Beethoven. Now there was a genius.

What have they done with us?

Turn it off. It's all over.

Final victory!

Alfred, get rid of your party pin. The Russkis will be here any minute.

Bury it under the potatoes.

Hands up!

Hands up!

Good morning to you.

Excuse me.

Is this the Matzerath grocery store?

And you are Mrs. Matzerath?

Ljuba, look at the scale!

A real decimal scale!

A fuel tank, a sausage spear...

And the cash register!

I'm Mr. Fajngold, from Lemberg, and this is my wife Ljuba and my six children.

Berek, Lev, Jakov, Mendel, Leo... and Sonia, the apple of my eye.

Here are the documents.

Proving we can take over the shop.

If you'd like, I could hire you as salesgirl.

You could stay with your children.

There is enough room.

Is that the cellar down there?

Can we go down?

If you don't mind.

Honey, soap.

Palmolive! It still exists.

Even flour.

Mr. Matzerath stocked up, like a good shopkeeper.

Mr. Matzerath?

He was my husband.

He too was alive once.

My wife and children, they too were lying there.

Before disappearing into the ovens at Treblinka.

Only I...

survived, spraying the dead with bleach, chlorine, Lysol.

I was a disinfector in the camp.

Ljuba, help Mrs. Matzerath wash the body.


All right, I'll do it.

Hurry! I've still got shoes to sole.

Oh, my! His hand!

It won't hurt him now.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.

Kurt, stop throwing stones!

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Should I or shouldn't I?

You're 21.


Should you or shouldn't you?

You're an orphan.

I should, I must, I will grow!

Kurt, now what have you done?

Oh, my. No!

He's growing!

Look! See how he's growing!

I have seen the Lord!

The Lord!

See how he's growing! The Lord!

Little Oskar!

Just like a Kashubian.

Our heads were made for hard knocks.

And now you're going west, where things are better.

Only Grandma will stay here, because you can't move Kashubians around like that.

They have to stay so other people can bash them on the head.

We're not Polish enough or German enough, and they always want everything just right.

Would you... marry me, Maria?

You wouldn't have to leave, with the children.

It isn't possible.

Nothing works here.

It's all over.

Take this for the journey.

It's margarine and artificial honey.

And some Lysol.

It's always useful.

We're going to the Rhineland, to my sister's.

I understand. Maybe it's better... in the West.

Does it hurt?

I hope it's not water on the brain.

When he was three, he fell down the stairs and stopped growing.

Now he's fallen into a grave and wants to grow again.