Kästner und der kleine Dienstag (2016) - full transcript

A biographical look on Erich Kästner and his biggest fan around the second world war.



In Berlin there is always something on

No matter if it?s day or night

Flirting and philandering
Cuddling and treating

With style that?s sure to make a bang

Man or woman
It makes no difference

A party come hell or high water.

Today, all you got?s been seized
And the waterworks are flowing

Then you slip out the back door.

You?re flat broke...

My dear friends!

You want another?
Three more, please!

Why?s your wedding ring
with your cigarettes?

You never know
what the night will bring.

My girlfriend for the evening.

That you want to get married?

Marigard wants kids.
Don?t you?

- I already have one.

Just a moment.

- Good day!
- Oh my!

- Yes.

- Yes.

The author of ?Herz auf Taille??

- Congratulations!

It?s a boy and his name is Emil.

He?s around here somewhere with you.

With me?

Children need to see the light of day,
otherwise they won?t grow.

- Ah, yes.
- Thank you!

- Splendid boy.

Emil, of course!

Dear Mr. K?stner, your book
?Emil and the Detectives? is incredible!

It is the greatest book
that I have ever read.

I really like the part where Gustav said,
?The guy with the millions on the roof...?

?... I was delivering newspapers recently
and sweeping up hair at a barber shop.

With the money I made,
I bought you some chocolate.

I just want to say again, the book was...

... stupendous!

Hans Albrecht L?hr.?

I really love writing for such readers!

Erich, I wish you
as much sunshine as your Emil!

Yes, a son on paper
is very practical:

They make money,
shortly after birth.

it?s not always the case.

Exactly. This one here, for example,
hasn?t made me a penny.

Sure, but he doesn?t interrupt you,
doesn?t want to sleep in your bed,

you don?t have to take him to school,
he doesn?t dirty any diapers...

A children?s book author
who doesn?t like kids.

You write one children?s book,
now you?re a children?s book author...

Besides, I like children.
Just not my own.

Not that again...

They?ll just be killed
in the next war anyway.

- Pessimist.
- Realist.


Are we celebrating?

UFA Studios purchased
the film rights to ?Emil.?

That?s great news!

One Billy Wilder is working on the script.

Would you like to have a glass with us?

Erich K?stner, wordsmith.

Truly a model boy.

Something the female half of Berlin
would gladly confirm.

Even the married half?

Especially them.

Good day, Mr. K?stner!

My name is Hans Albrecht L?hr.
Can you remember?


I wrote you a letter.

I was in the area
and thought I drop by and see you.

I?d like to make you an offer.

Would you like to write
for our school newspaper?

Paid, of course.

We sell 30 copies for 10 cents each.

Excuse me?

Our editor-in-chief said,
we could offer you three marks.

I actually write for adults.
Poetry and the like.

No problem.
I would take a poem.

Can you read my handwriting?

If we?d have won the war

With billowing blasts and raging storms

Then Germany?d be beyond all saving

And be akin to a looney bin

Women?d have to birth litters

A child a year - Or be put away.

The state needs children as preserves

And feasts on their blood
like raspberry juice

Start writing!

Emil is fantastic.
You always find the right words.

How do you do it?

I look for them.


What?s got you out of bed so early?

A literary donation collector...

But I doubt that my poem
will really help him.

Oh, and you pay in goods?

That?s good to know.

Well, to be precise,

a poem is not a good.

If we?d have won the war
We would truly be a proud state

And lying in our beds pressing
Our hands down onto our pant seams

All reason would be shackled
Spending hours on the hour in court

And war there?d be like operettas
If we?d have won the war

Luckily we did not win it

And he gave you that?

How neat!

What was that,
that you read aloud, L?hr?

If we?d have won the war...

Luckily, we did not win it?

Where did you get that?

That is from a friend.

That is disgusting, pacifist trash!

What?s pacifist?

I don?t think anything good.

Ms. Jacobsohn!

- Nietenf?hr. Tea please.
- Of course.

Hard at work this afternoon?
That?s how I like my authors!

Thank you.

Are you working
on a new children?s book?

I am preoccupied with other topics.

The Nazis just became
the second biggest party.

Which would not make life easier
for a Jewish publisher, would it?

So, you?ll write me
a second children?s book?

- The first one is enough trouble.

Is it true that Dolly Haas is supposed
to play the role of ?Pony H?tchen??

In my book, Pony H?tchen is ten years old.
Dolly Haas is what, in her early 20s?

But she?s an up-and-coming star
in the film world.

And you have a soft spot for film stars.

Why not cast Hans Albers as Emil
and Heinz R?hmann as Little Tuesday?

It?s going to be a talkie.

As far as I know,
children are able to speak at age two.

But not clear enough
for a microphone.

Kids talk like kids.
That?s the magic of it.

Speaking of which, do you still have
that wonderful letter from that boy?


Get me the permission to print that letter
for promotional purposes...

- Yes, if you ask, they?ll never say no.

I?ll do my part and speak to Correll
about the film cast.

Out of the question!

And then the constable came to the bank
and Emil shed light on everything.

Constable! He stole all my money
while I was sleeping on the train!

- No!

That money is mine.

You are lying!
It?s my money!

I was to bring it
to my grandmother in Berlin!

But if you don?t have any proof...

I do! I pinned the bills
to my jacket with a pin.

We should be able
to still see the holes.

Emil is right.

Now you have to run!

Stop that thief!
Stop that thief!

Why do I always have to play
that idiot Grundeis?

Now leave Ruth alone!
What are you doing with my rug?

Now knock it off!
Everyone go home! It?s late.


- Your Grundeis is quite the killjoy.
- That is my sister, Ruth.

My publisher would like to use the letter
you wrote me to promote ?Emil.?

We?re divorced from my father.

But you can ask my mom.

- I?m afraid not.

But maybe we can do
something else for you?

All the schools in Berlin
have received letters

because they want kids
to cast in the film.

I would love to be in it!

I can get you an audition.

But I can?t promise
that you?ll get the role.

More than 3,000 boys signed up.

Hans, Ruth! Dinner!

Mom, look who?s here,
Mr. K?stner.


Come with!
We?re having ?Blushing Girl?.

Can you eat that?


I know lots of blushing girls,
but this here is something...

... special.

And they want to use
Hans? letter as an ad?

With all those misspelled words?

That?s the best part!

Unfortunately, our editor-in-chief
didn?t want to print your poem.

Are you writing again for kids?
Or are you all out of ideas?

The real stories are out on the streets.

You just have to really look,
my dear boy.

?Nanny went begging
with her prot?g?.?

While the parents were spending
their evenings at the ball,

the young nanny took the eight-year-old
daughter to beg on the streets.

What are your thoughts, Hans?

Why are they out begging,
if the parents are so rich

that they go to balls
and have nannies?

What if the young, rich girl
wants to help out a poor friend?

That is good.

And her friend lives alone
with his sick mother, who can not work.

It has to be exciting.
Like ?Emil? is.

While the parents are out

and the nanny has snuck off to go begging,
someone breaks into the villa.

Oh yes! And her nice,
poor friend catches the intruder!

Another model child, like Emil.

Emil?s story actually happened
to him as well, didn?t it?

No, not exactly like it did in my book.

Whether or not a story really happened,
does not matter.

It just has to be true.

Thank you for getting Hans the audition.

- Well, he...
- Maybe he?ll become my father.

We have a father.

- But he is gone.
- Good night.

Good night.

Good evening.

Forth must come the bell today
Quick, now, workmen, be ye ready

Hot from forehead?s glow
Must the sweat-drops flow

Should the master praise be given
Yet the blessing comes from heaven

Thank you.
Next please!

L?hr, Hans Albrecht.

Do you know the country
where the cannons bloom?

You do not?
You will come to know it.

There the signatories
stand proud and cold

In their offices,
as if they were barracks

Beneath the ties
grow buttons on privates? coats

Invisible helmets are worn there

Faces there are, but no heads

He who goes to bed,
reproduces fast

Emil, Gustav, Mittenzwei,
Gerold and me - we are the detectives.

We?re on the trail of the thief. Everyone
else stay here and wait for orders.

- I do! Bavaria 0579!

Remember that number!

If you want to know, where
the detectives are, call Little Tuesday.

- But I?d rather come along...
- I?ll have no lip! You monitor the phone!

We need a password.

How about: Password Emil!

Password Emil!

Thank you!
Children, that was great.

Let?s take a quick break!
Then let?s do ?The Study at Dienstag?s,?

image 348.

Unexpected family connections?

May I introduce Hans,
my prized possession.

I thought you were here for me.

I thought you wanted to count
my beauty marks.

My scene is up next.
You?ll stay and watch, right?

You heard the lady,
I have some counting to do.

- He?s fast asleep.

The best part was the cafeteria!
Chocolate, gum and soda - all for free!

And you?ll really be in the movies?

In a real talkie?

Yes, but no singing.

Hip hip, hooray!


We can not forget my friends.
They all helped out.

The Professor.


Pony H?tchen.

No! This garland belongs
to Little Tuesday!

He is the biggest hero, because he had
to stay home all night on the phone.

Hip hip, hooray!


Mother, allow me to introduce Hans,
my favorite reader.

This is the most important woman
in my life, my mother.

- Good evening!
- Good evening, Hans!

- Oh my goodness, yes!

It was terribly exciting.

- I have never seen a film before.
- I noticed that.

With how hard
you squeezed my hand.

Once you become a father,
you?ll know what I was going through!

- I am the proudest mother in the world!
- I?ll take that bet!

Congratulations! All that excitement
has given me a new beauty mark!

Yes? I?ll have to take a look afterwards.
Come on!

Who would like a drink?

Hot off the press!
It?s still warm!

The night edition says good.

The illustrated Berliner night edition
says great.

The Berliner Morgenpost
says terrific.

The Filmwelt says good, too.

What a pity.
Great films are usually slammed.

Then here?s one for you:

?The political, propaganda intentions
of this film are obvious.

Working kids take heed! They?ll force you
to reconcile with the enemy!?

Slammed by the left.
And by the right?

Here. ?Pacifist poet, Erich K?stner,

slings his dreck with impunity
at German wives and warriors.

Now, his children?s book ?Emil and
the Detectives? is on the silverscreen,

which the Semite media
is praising to the skies.?

What is the ?Semite media??

That?s something young boys
wouldn?t understand.

Wake up, we?re leaving.

We?re now famous.

Hans, come!

You can hardly keep your eyes open.
Say good night.


The Semite media are simply
a bunch of intelligent papers.

They scare the Nazis.
Don?t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

It?s time for little movie stars
to go to bed.

- As is it for out-of-town mothers.

And fathers to be, as well...

Have fun celebrating!

No, please don?t go,
not all of you.

We wanted to celebrate.


She?s been in there for nine hours.

For your nerves.

- I can?t drink in here.
- Let?s go outside.

- Yes.

It?ll help with the contractions.

- Then I?ll stay.

- Yes, I?ll shout.

Mr. K?stner.

- Hello!

Is that a crate from Mr. K?stner?

No, more like
something oozing from Mr. Ohser.

It?s been a while.

I?ve been working.

We thought you disappeared.

I think, I need to make myself clear:

I don?t want a family, I am not going
to marry and my life is very complicated.

Then I need to make
myself clear, as well:

No one wants to marry you.
Our life is also very complicated

and you are wildly unsuitable
to be a father.


You don?t know anything about kids.

- I?m a successful children?s book author.


- I?ll have a look.
- Thank you!

She said I don?t know
anything about kids.

- She?s right about that.

Have you ever seen
anything so beautiful?

Model boy.

Password Emil!

Are you here to see me?

Yes, I brought you something.

?P?nktchen and Anton??

Is this the story of the begging nanny?

You were the midwife.
I thought you?d like it?

Yes, of course.
Is it good?

My publisher doesn?t want to print it.

But I am more interested in your opinion.

- Good evening, Mr. K?stner.
- Good evening.

Look. This is the story
that we made up together.

I get to read it before it?s printed.

I don?t know anything about kids.
So an expert?s opinion won?t hurt.

K?stner wasn?t sure if it was good.

So he gave it to me first.

You are friends with K?stner?

How is it?
- Just as good as Emil.

He got the idea for Anton from me.
Because I don?t have a father.

Someone?s got a big head!

The Third Reich is now neigh
Cheers to our loss of voice

The first trick to get a rise
The wind now shifting course

A whistling wind whirling round
Greco Nordic breeze it is

With Wotan?s thunder, we now begin
The people?s movement of idiocy

I like it.

But if you want it printed,
you better hurry.

Jacobsohn?s already packed her bags.

Ready to go to Vienna if Hitler wins.

I can talk her out of it.

Mr. K?stner!

Look who it is!

Little Tuesday! I like
your gymnasium cap, and a dachshund!

His name is Piefke.
Just like in the book.

I came because I need
a couple of personal dedications.

No one in my new class believes
that I am friends with you.

- To Fritz.
- To Fritz.

He?s a class ahead.

The others are for Helmut,
Klaus, Wilhelm and Sebastian.

Wilhelm says he?ll give me
his Abdulla trading card doubles.

And Fritz says his father says
that you are a ?Red.? What does that mean?

Well, probably because I write
that giving is better than taking.

It?s about cool middle schoolers,
like you.

One of them is kidnapped
by kids from the rival school.

Can I have the book now?


Listen up, on my desk is a copy.

- But bring back the key right away.
- Got it.

Looks like someone
has taken a shine to him.

Racial Sciences.

You will like the new subject.

We are going to study
the hallmarks of the Aryan race

and carry out measurements of our own.

The German people,
thanks to its Nordic blood...

Will you give me Schmeling?
For a signed K?stner?

You and your K?stner.
He is un-German.

... to rule over inferior races...
What are you doing, L?hr?



How many penny-pinching Shylocks...

... do we have in class?

Stern, why aren?t you raising your hand?
Your father is a Jew.

But we go to church.

- And my mother is...
- I know your mother?s family.

Look, Stern:

German shepherds
are fine and beautiful animals.

Dachshunds, too, are dogs.

But it?s a shame to mix both races.

What could possibly
ever be the result, Stern?

Well, a mutt, just like you!

That?s how it would have looked.

Nice, huh?

It?s a shame I can?t publish it.

You could ask DVA to publish it.

Don?t let that vagrant from Braunau
make you to flee.

I?m not going to retire,
just to Vienna.


May I introduce Ms. Cecilie Dressler?

She will be operating
the publishing house in my stead.

I am not going to Timbuktu,
just to Vienna.

- We?ll see each other again soon.
- Just not in Berlin.

Don?t hang around too long, my dear.
Ossietzky is already locked up.

Tucholsky, Brecht, D?blin, Werfel,
Remarque, the Mann brothers are all gone.

If all the intellectuals leave,
the idiots will inherit the country.

We need another national strike.
Like we had 13 years ago.

But who?s going to call it out?
Your writer?s guild?

Things are getting bad now
for the Jews.

You drew for ?Vorw?rts? magazine.
They won?t forget that.

They see me as small potatoes.

Maybe, but every kid
knows our bold poet here.

I won?t have much to pack.

In the past eight months,
we?ve had three new elections.

- They won?t last for long.
- Yes. It won?t be that bad.

We?ll hold the fort.

Exactly, and we?ll work on something.

We need scripts for our cabaret.

But you can?t write my name
on the poster, Ms. Kirchner.

I could always say I wrote it.

- I love that so much about you...

That you are so pragmatic.


You better go home.

- ?Emil? is still there.
- Now go!

- Go!

Password Emil!

Mr. K?stner!

I am sorry, I couldn?t do a thing.

Dear fellow students,
German men and women:

The age of extreme Jewish intellectualism
is now at an end.

I surrender to the flames the words
of Karl Marx and Karl Kautsky!

Against the soul-degrading
overestimation of the sex-driven life,

for the honor of the human soul!

I surrender to the flames
the words of Sigmund Freud!

Against the literary betrayal
of soldiers in the Great War!

I surrender to the flames
the words of Erich Maria Remarque!

Against decadence and moral decay!

For culture and customs!

I surrender to the flames
the words of Heinrich Mann

and Erich K?stner!

Isn?t that K?stner?

- I saw it.

- I told you to go home!

Do they not like the book
because P?nktchen?s father is a Jew?

- Because he has so much money.

Fritz says all Jews are rich and
it?s their fault for the woe in Germany.

Fritz is an idiot, got it?

Just like the people that burn books.

Then why didn?t anyone say anything?

I didn?t say anything either.

Where have you been?

Thank you.

Get in here,
I was so worried about you.

It wasn?t Goebbels or the military
that organized it,

it was the students.

- Our academic elite.
- The Aryan vestiges.

You know what the worst part was?

We?re all standing next to it
and don?t know how to act.

A couple of them lit the fire
and everyone else is just watching.

That?s how it will happen.


The Thousand-Year Reich.

Is this the Erich K?stner residence?

- I am supposed to deliver something.

- Those are books.

Here, there?s a note from the publisher.

Wait a second, there?s more!

- Hello Hans.
- You weren?t at the Caf?.

How many more are there?

There are 15 boxes each with 50 books.


... 750.


?Dear Mr. K?stner, due to a decree,
we are sending you the inventory...?

Wait a second...

?... the inventory of the titles listed
below to absolve us of all liability,

as the Ministry of Propaganda
interdicts their distribution

because of national and cultural...?

Will you sell your books
from your apartment?

No, I am not allowed to.

But I can burn them in the oven
to spare some coal.

So it has been printed!


But the illustrator?s name, Walter Trier,
can no longer be on the cover,

because he is Jewish.
Isn?t that wrong?

It?s yours.
Wait, let me inscribe it.

You?d better don?t show it around.

Wolfi?s father is Jewish.

They are harassing Wolfi at school.

Mr. M?ller says Jews are subhuman.

Do you know Wolfi?s father?

- Yes.

Completely normal.

You see?

You have to think for yourself, ok?

A good friend like you
is now very important for Wolfi.

- Yes, please.

In chapter seven,

when Uli?s classmates pull him up
to the ceiling in a waste basket,

then everyone is punished.

They have to write five times,

?For all nonsense that happens, it?s
not only the fault of the perpetrators...?

?... but also of those
that do not stop it.? Yes.

But what should
Uli?s friend Matz have done?

There were too many of them.

You can not always protect
your friend Wolfi.

But it is still good to want to stop it.

I think that my father is also a Jew.

Because mother never talks about him.

I think she never talks about him
for completely different reasons, ok?

You could marry my mother
and adopt me.

- Yes!

Then I would have a real father.
An Aryan.

I suffer from the incurable disease
called ?never ever getting married.?

It wouldn?t change a thing for the Nazis.
And you already have a real father.

Even if he is no longer married
to your mother.

- No.

I think...

... that only parents of twins
should be allowed to divorce.

Then each parent gets a child
and they can swap them as well.

The parents may not even notice!

- You could get into a lot of mischief.
- A lot of mischief!

Are you writing this down?

We?ll see.

First I should write down
how they are treating books.

And your friend Wolfi.

You really need to write that down.

That?s very important.

?For my friend, Little Tuesday.

There is no good, unless you do good.?

That is a very talented boy.

But he can?t go to the conservatory.
It?s illegal.

I understand.

Do you know him well?

His father, a lawyer, is not allowed
to work. They just sold their piano.

I let him play here a bit.
Does it bother you?

Quite the opposite.

Are you now an Egyptologist?

That is Gabelsberger shorthand.
I like to write in private.

I understand.

Oh, Nietenf?hr!

Any new jokes?

Two doctors at a looney bin:

One says ?Hail Hitler!?

The other says,
?Hail me a cab outta here!?

Young Woman?s Achievement Badge,
awarded by the National Youth Leader.

What do you have to do?

First, there is an athletic test.
That was easy.

Long jump, swimming, 8k run.

I was the fastest in the 60m dash.

But did you tell them that your
little brother is still reading K?stner?

Right, Hans?

I don?t read children?s books anymore.

Since when has K?stner
only written children?s books?

I know, that was cowardly...

Are we still friends?

What is K?stner doing now?

Twiddling his thumbs.

Good thing your father is a barber.
He?s still allowed to work.

Hair is always growing.

And he received an Honor Cross
in the last war.

Not even the Nazis can forget that.

We?re also going to be divorced soon.
Just like you.

Father wants mother to divorce him,
so that she can keep the shop.

And so that she?s not shunned.

But my mother doesn?t want to.

She says we?d better leave.

Where to?

K?stner says the Nazis
aren?t going to last.

God, let?s hope so!

Ah, crap!

We need a repair kit.

Ohser has a summerhouse around here.

Can?t hurt to try.


I?m going to take off.
I need to start cooking the fish.

I?ll tell your mother
you?ll be a bit late.

Because of the sign?

- But you?re not even a real Jew.
- But I?m half.

I can?t go inside with just half of me.
See you tomorrow!

I was a bit more fortunate.

At least the Nazis burned my work for me.

- Not that! That?s mine.

Give that to me.

That is as dangerous as my drawings.

They?ll send you
to a concentration camp for that.

I?ll be careful.
But I am collecting.

We?re going to see all of this blow over.

I will write the book
that those who left could not write.

We should leave as well.

Why are we staying here?

Your drawings will be understood
in every language!

To leave we need money.

Gerik at the publishing house said
he could get my work ban lifted

if I draw less politically.

The ?Berliner Illustrierte?
needs new picture stories.

Erich, if you need money,
I can help you out.

And how?

I?m still receiving my royalties.

It?s not about the money.

The question is, how long
are they going to leave us alone?

And how much more can we stand?


I really like this one.

- It?ll put you in danger.

You?re right.


Little Tuesday on a Sunday.

Good day.
I have a hole in the tire.

Do you have a repair kit
and a screwdriver I could use?

Sure thing.

- Of course!

Dear God, take out my eyes,
I want to see Goebbels? Aryan traits.

That?s a good one,
but be careful with it.

I already have trouble with Dr. M?ller,
because I?m not in the National Youths.

- Oh yeah.

Hans, come here.

This is my submission
for the picture story.

- That looks like father and son.
- Exactly.

But the father?s hair
have slid down beneath his nose.

Astutely observed.

Why don?t the Nazis like
Mr. Ohser?s drawings?

The Nazis don?t like anything
that?s intelligent or funny.

If you aren?t allowed to work anymore,
are you going to leave as well?

Were you eavesdropping?

I?m staying.
I have to write about what?s going on.

You know what?
Stupidity can not reign forever.

At some point,
reason will resurface for some air.

Hans! Get out of here!


Mr. K?stner!


Please come with me,
we need to talk.

Nothing?s going to happen
to Mr. K?stner.

He?s a grown man
and can fend for himself.

But you are a young boy.

Your admiration for him
is getting us into trouble.

But he?s my friend.

Your friend will be going abroad,
but we?ll be staying here.

Give me the books he gave you.

I don?t have them anymore.

You don?t have them anymore?

I gave them to...

... to Martin Rosenberg
right before he left.

Otherwise, Ruth would have tattled on me
to the League of German Girls

that we have forbidden books.

Ruth wouldn?t tattle.

Mr. K?stner, you live in Prague.

Excuse me?

You attempted to bring
foreign currencies to Czechoslovakia.

I am quite certain that I am in Berlin.
As I was yesterday, as well.

Don?t plays us for fools.

You live in Prague, where you write poetry
critical of the Fuhrer and Fatherland.

I fear that you are mistaken.

You could have reached me at any time
using my Berlin phone number.

And how do you explain this?

That was published in Prague.

?You are keeping up with stupidity

If you?ve nothing to lose,
you can come along?

Yes, I wrote that,
but it was published years ago.

But I did not write those final lines.
The verse is clunky.

No, that?s not mine.
I?m sorry.


Shall I fetch you the original
so you can compare the two?

I?m glad to help shed light
on the matter.

I am happy to hear
that you?re glad to help.

There?s an easy solution for you
to show your patriotism.

As you know, I am not allowed to work.

I will have to keep
my patriotism to myself.

I could put in a word
at the Reich Literature Chamber,

so that you could publish a paper.

In Switzerland.

A paper against German emigrants.

As you are seemingly up to date
on my current financial status,

you surely know that I do not have
the means to publish a paper.

The Ministry of Propaganda
would finance you.

Secretly of course.

That is incredibly generous
of the Ministry of Propaganda,

but I am good friends
with many emigrants.

No one would believe me.

Would you?

Password Emil!

I was so afraid
that you were thrown in...!

Hans! You need to stop coming here.

You?ll only get into trouble.

Listen to me!

Promise me
that you will not come here again.

Are you leaving?


I am going abroad.

How will you write about the Nazis then?

No one cares about
what I have to say about them.

- I do!
- But I am not only writing for you!

I am really sorry,
but I wish my readers were older.



- I got it!

The job for the picture story!

You smoke too much.

I can finally draw again.

But non-political and under a pseudonym.

But I could convince Marigard
to stay here for the time being.

And Gerik pulled a fast one on Goebbels.

He showed him my Father & Son drawings
and didn?t tell him they were by me.

He waited until he took the bait
to tell him.

Quite the bold ploy, huh?

How do you feel about ?E.O. Plauen??

E-rich O-hser from Plauen.
That?s my pseudonym.

What?s going on?

Aren?t you happy for me?

- I spent half the night with the Gestapo.

Everyone that is associated with me
is now in danger.

I just broke Hans? heart.

Isn?t that ironic?

Because my books mean so much to him,
I had to get rid of him.

The last of the little guys
that believed in me.

Listen here, I still believe in you!

How did it go?

In spite of death
and a thousand devils

As long as one person
believes in you

You have no right to doubt yourself
It?s simply not allowed

You wrote that.

To father and son.

Aren?t you supposed
to be in the caf? with Mr. K?

He?s afraid of the Nazis
and is going abroad.

The coward.

Anyone can be a coward.

I?d like a trim, please!


Don?t you want to read?

Is there something bothering you?

Why did we have to try on
gas masks in school today?

Because emigrants
like your Mr. K?stner

have been engaging
in warmongering abroad.

He?d never do such a thing.
He?s a pacifist!

Besides, he?s not ?my? Mr. K?stner!

Don?t worry about the gas masks.
It?s just a precaution.

There?s not going to be a war.

The Fuhrer just struck
a friendship pact with Poland

and a navels agreement
with England.

This war nonsense is surely coming
from Wolfi?s Jew relatives.

You have no clue.
You?re just a sheep!

Stubborn mule!

Do you always have to argue?

It?s hard enough for me
to make ends meet for the three of us.

And what about
your ?Three Men in the Snow??

Not allowed to be published in Germany.

Go inside.
They are waiting for you.

Your Father & Son book
is selling like hot cakes!

Tell me, are you
still carrying Erich K?stner?

K?stner? God, no!
No one is.

- How quickly we are forgotten.
- If you?re banned.

- Alexander.

- Good morning!
- Morning, Hans. Wolfi is inside.

Is your name Severing now?

That is my mother?s maiden name.

We?re divorced now,
so that she can keep the shop open.

And your father?

He?s still cutting hair.

Bad weeds grow tall.
And hair will always grow.

We?re Aryanized now,
but they?re still terrorizing us.

Maybe you should leave.
Like K?stner.

- I don?t think he ended up leaving.

Here, the Emigrant Paper.

A friend of my father?s smuggled it in.

?Erich K?stner dead...
Poet Erich K?stner died in Berlin.?

I don?t understand.

I thought he left.




Yes, Piefke!

And Little Tuesday.

Or should I say Big Wednesday?

- The paper says that you?re dead.

Let?s go inside.

So now, I am dead.

As I am culpably naive,
I will believe just about anything,

especially when it?s in the paper.

Nevertheless, I have doubts

of my own demise.

- Yes.

If you?re interested in hearing
an uplifting speech by the Fuhrer.

Thank you.

- It?s ok.

How are things at school?

Do you still have those
great creative writing topics?

Yes: ?Which trait in the character
of the Fuhrer do you like the most??

?What significance does the
Autobahn have for our fatherland??

How is your friend Wolfi?

Is he still your friend?

Of course.

He?s not letting it get to him.

Whenever we have to salute,
he says, ?Howl Hitler!?

You?ve gotten big.

It?s getting late. Excuse me, I told Ohser
that I would play St. Nick tonight.

Wanna join me?

The heavenly hosts have arrived!

Look who?s here.

- Hans!

You?ve outgrown
those children?s books, right?

What am I to do with you?

Very good.

Put this on.
Then you go through as an angel.

Put that on your head.


It?s going to be great,
he?s going to be so happy!

Maybe go a bit slow,
he?s still really small, ok?

And Erich...

Yes, we got this.

Come on!

Our neighbor is Block Warden.
My mother is afraid of him.

That?s why I?m in the Hitler Youth.
But don?t worry.

I am not one of them.

It?s for your mother.
No one understands that better than I.

Hello, Uncle Erich!


Wait, let me give it a push.

Can it actually pull anything?

Let it go there.

Don?t worry about the uniform.

He?s still himself.

How are you making ends meet?

I am in the film industry,
writing funny things under a pseudonym.

For Heinz R?hmann.

- I was never planning to.


That was a lie of necessity.

To protect you.

To protect me?


You could have left at any time.

Why are you still here?

20% spite, 20% cowardice,
20% laziness, 10% stupidity

and 5% heroism.

And 100% because it would have
broken my mother?s heart.

That?s a total of 175%.

Yeah, that should be enough.

- Yes, thank you.

Hans, it has not gotten
any less dangerous to meet with me.


But I am now an adult.

Good night.

Let?s be honest,
living is always life-threatening.

- Aerial defense exercises.

Get the flame-retardant paint.
We?re going to paint the attic.

Great that you?re helping out, Hans.

But Piefke is just getting in our way.

I can tie him up in the back.

- Nothing.


- Just some old letters.

It?s my father?s handwriting.

I don?t know why my mother
keeps them here.

Probably because there is
all sorts of smut in there

that you kids don?t need to read.

I said don?t read it!
Hear me?

That was way too close.

Tearing the pages out of the books
to burn them.

It?s not about the books.

It?s about K?stner?s inscriptions.

- They mean something to me!
- Don?t cry for some books!

I?ll find another hiding place until...

- ... until the Third Reich is over!

You?ll be waiting for a thousand years!

The neighbors already think that I have
a flourishing secret bookshop here.

A couple more aren?t going
to make a difference.

What if I start selling your books?

On the quiet?

You are overestimating
the demand for my books.

And if you ask
if you can start working again?

Ohser is allowed to again.
Why can?t you as well?

?The depraved man of letters
may not write under any circumstances.

K?stner is the prototypical
cultural Bolshevik.

I am shocked that
a national-socialist attorney attempted

to downplay the literary activities
of Dr. K?stner before 1933

and list it as harmless.

There is probably nothing more sinister
written in the German language

than K?stner?s poems.

He can count himself lucky
that they forgot

to lock him away for years
in a concentration camp.

He has forfeited his right to ever
be permitted to write in German again.

This decision is final.?

Maybe you should leave Germany.

I?m glad you are here.

-A while ago.

But since he?s stopped working,
it?s gotten worse.

Hey, papa bear?

Did you crawl back into your den?

But you are not fat enough
to hibernate, my dear...

I can?t be funny anymore.

I just can?t.
I am disgusted with myself.

I am not made to be a court jester.

And I am or what?

How long will you be writing
your ?funny man books? for UFA Studios?

It?s important that we stay clean.

You can?t stay clean amongst the pigs.

The Schmeling and Joe Louis fight!

Louis keeps working
with his long left hand,

and has been landing shots
on Schmeling?s face.

Max is keeping his distance, because
the nigger is still hitting too hard.

Max?s left eye is slightly puffed up.

Louis is dazed. Max is dominating.
Louis is on the mat!

Louis was on the mat,
but he?s back on his feet.

Max knocked him down. Bravo Max!
He is utterly destroying him...

Don?t tell my mother.
This is my first beer.

Who?d have thought it?

The dominant brown bomber
who can?t land a punch anymore,

who?s being used like a schoolboy
in the ninth round.

With all those
boxing instincts of his race

he?s going into close-combat,
but he?s making lots of mistakes

so that Max is able
to penetrate with his right.

Max is fighting now like never before.
He?s fighting until he drops.

He is absolutely pounding the nigger.
The nigger is retreating.

Wobbling. He can?t go on. He?s dazed.
Schmeling has knocked him down.

He can?t get up. He is shaking his head.
He knows it?s over.

It?s over. It?s over!
He?s won! He?s won!

Schmeling?s victory
was a German victory!

That nigger may have been
a fighting machine,

but he met his match in our Max.

Niggers, of course, possess
physical strength, just like animals.

But just remember this:

the will to win of an Aryan member
of the master race

makes the difference.

And you, L?hr?

You need to get
a proper German haircut.

Is that what people wear
in your ?acting milieu??

I think M?ller knows that I keep
getting my hair cut in your shop.

Who would have told him?

One of our aspiring Hitler Youths.
Bender or Goette.

I bet they also ratted on Heinzmann.
He was arrested.

- Yes.

For ?subversive comments in class.?

He supposedly said
that Hitler implemented two new holidays,

Maria Denunciation
and Maria House-Search.

That?s what that
upperclassman Fischer said.

You want to go over there?

Forget it. That is
incitement to race desecration.

Are you circumcised?

Don?t you start now, too.

I am Protestant, just like you.

- Heil Hitler!
- Heil Hitler, Dr. M?ller!


Bender and Goette,
take the spare desk to the custodian.

Your mixed classmates will be
instructed privately in the future.

The air is fresher already.

And our Mr. Stern is no longer able
to pay his tuition.

I guess business isn?t going well.

L?hr, see what happens
if people like you

don?t get their hair cut
often enough.

Good evening!

I could have given you the money!

- I still have my film salary saved.
- There is no point.

M?ller won?t let me pass this year
no matter what grades I get.

I?ll take a trim, please!

Hans, you know
I am always happy to see you.

But this is only getting us into trouble.

That stubborn boy! He thinks
his haircut will annoy Hitler himself.

Stop it.

I?m sorry.

Hans, it?s better
if you exit through the back!


What did you get?

Mr. K?stner!
Come with me!

- Wolfi!
- Stay here!


We can?t do that!

Let go of me!

- I should have helped him!
- No, they?ll beat you up!

I don?t care!

What do you think happens
if they catch me with that?

?It?s not only the perpetrators? fault,
but also of those that do not stop it.?

Who wrote that again?

The Flying Classroom, chapter 7!

You?re an adult, behave like one.

That?s what you hated
about the adults in your books.

Resistance can be idiotic.

To endanger yourself
while helping others is not heroic.

It?s pathetic.

- Mr. K?stner.
- Good day, Ms. L?hr.

- Come inside please.


I thought you hadn?t seen him
in a long time.

This is Walter Trier?s address in London.

Maybe he can help the Sterns
get to England.

They should refer to me.

And after what I?ve heard,
they better hurry.

Wolfi Stern?

I thought you hadn?t
been seeing him either.

I know what I am doing.

Thanks a lot.


They conscripted me when I was 17.

Half of my class had already been killed.
I swore to never do it again.

Let?s wait for the physical first.

I?m such an idiot.
I could have left at any time.

Now it?s desertion.

Erich, don?t make the same mistake.
Get out of here while you still can.

I just got some work
at Zeichenfilm Ltd.

Hitler is apparently
infatuated in cartoons.

He?s said to watch
Mickey Mouse in secret.

Now it?s too late.

Weak heart.

Unfit for war.
I?m sorry.

That?s unfortunate.

I understand that you are disappointed.

Finally, my terrible ears
have done some good.

It has begun.

In Poland.

We won?t be able to leave the country
where the cannons bloom.

You have a most envious future
in front of you.

You will serve in the best army
the world has ever seen!

I hope the war lasts long enough!

The Poles will fold faster
than they can train us.

You, too, could one day
have the chance to become heroes

and fall honorably in the field.

I agree with Schiller:

?He can stare death in the face,

the soldier alone is a free man.?

Father and I will be taken
to Theresienstadt, into the Ghetto.

And England?

Forget it.

There?s no visa in times of war.

My mother is being
incredibly hard on herself.

She thinks if she were still married
the Nazis wouldn?t find us.

And if I hide you in the attic?

I am bigger than your K?stner box.

I can?t let my father go alone.

What is going on?


The phone rings at Egon?s.
Wrong connection.

Excuse me, I made a mistake.
Egon says, ?haven?t we all??

So. Anything else?

- Big Tuesday!
- Good evening.

The book?

No. That is a script
about M?nchhausen, the Baron of lies.

With Hans Albers in the starring role.

Since all the writers
are sent abroad

they have to turn
to disorderly vermin like me.

But not under my name, of course.

What?s wrong?

They took Wolfi.


They?re coming for me, too.

They?re conscripting me
to the armored infantry.

To Eberswalde first...

... and then to the eastern front.


Right after Christmas.

I don?t want to go to war.

Of course,
you don?t want to go to war.

What if I leave?

Hans, you have to be careful!

That is desertion. You get sent to a
concentration camp just for saying it.

- I am going to Switzerland.
- Hans, it?s war.

The borders are closed,
trains are inspected.

You can?t just leave.

No one knows how long it?ll last.

Sign up for every special training
and try to stay in Eberswalde.

It?s best to become a medic.
Or a radio operator.

Maybe I know someone
who can help you.

So I need to come to terms
with becoming cannon fodder?

You taught me to hate war.

I did live through one, so...

Students in uniform

The principle takes his modest dinner
Distressed in the room

Class brother Kern is dead
He was the first

We sat in the park until nightfall
And thought long

Kurt Kern, fallen near Langemark
Sat between us and spoke

Principle Jobst was a theologist
For God and Fatherland

Giving everyone shipped off to war
The hand before

Kern?s mother paid him a visit
Torn up by grief

She cried into her handkerchief
In front of the faculty

Rochlitz died in the sickbay
And we buried him then

There hung a board in the classroom
With the names of the fallen

We sat often in the park along the fence
We never joked again

Now young Braun has fallen
And Ko?mann was gassed

The principle thanked God
after every victory

The teacher drills us on Latin
We trembled in fear of this war

And then they drug us in

We were scared and hoping
Someone said halt

We were then 18 years old
Hardly an age that?s old

We recalled Rochlitz, Braun and Kern
The principle wished us luck

And stayed with God and the other men
Composed back in the homeland.

And you really think
I am one of the ?other men,?

that will just wish you luck
and remain in the homeland?

You?re needed...
... urgently on the phone!

If I understood correctly,
the young man is planning on deserting.

Where is the fuse box?

No need to worry!
The power?s just out.

Do you have a lighter?
Could you give me a hand?

Someone alerted the Gestapo.

You have to go!

Listen, letters from the field
are being censored.

To tell your mom you?re doing well
you write ?I am doing very well.?

When you?re not well
you just write ?I am doing well.?

- I will.

I have heard of atrocities against
civilians and Jews behind the lines

If there?s any truth to it,
I will write ?Say hi to Mr. K.?

You need to write it all down.

You have to stay alive, understood?

I promise.

Password Emil!

Password Emil.

Do you have a nicer shirt for me?

Your shirt is perfect.

It?s a normal showing, nothing special.

Shouldn?t they invite you
to the premier under your pseudonym?

I am happy
that I was able to write at all.

I?m happy that Marigard and Christian
are out of the city.

- We should get out of here, too.

I am a forbidden author
and won?t get a travel permit.


We are sitting ducks.

I am...

Forget it.

Where are they?

Are the Tommies doing alright?

- That was a real warning.
- The real warning was before ?33.

I?m coming.

Wait a minute!

We know that Mr. Knauf is present.

- You are both arrested!

We didn?t do anything wrong.

Defeatist and
troop-demoralizing statements.

I work for the paper ?Das Reich?!

My drawings are labelled as
?important to the war!?


I just found out.

I didn?t know, where you were.
It all happened so fast.

I just got back to Berlin
the day before yesterday.

Have you spoken to Erich?

But Eberhardt tried to get
character witnesses from UFA.

- Nothing.

Heinz R?hmann?
- No.

It?s an unannounced trial.
That?s a good sign.

They won?t sentence
the creator of ?Father & Son? to death.

He is too famous,
they won?t be so bold.

There?s Knauf.

The proceedings for treason
against the accused, Erich Knauf,

will be postponed for one hour.

The accused, Erich Ohser,

provided a comprehensive confession
last night in custody.

Then he avoided his sentencing

through the cowardly act of suicide.

What a bunch of rubbish.

He was a good man, big Erich.

He just always had a big mouth.

That?s what got him in trouble.

I heard that he tried to save Knauf?s life
in his farewell letter.

Yeah, but they still executed Knauf.

Our circle of friends
keeps getting smaller.

Good that you are leaving.

There are rumors swirling

that the SS is planning a bloody
farewell party before the Russians come.

How are you going to leave?

My friends snuck my name
onto the crew list for a film project.

Excuse me?
Goebbels is still authorizing films?

What can he do?

He can not admit that the final victory
may not take place after all.

You?re making a film on the final victory?

We aren?t filming anything.
There is no script.

There are just sixty people
that have to get out of Berlin.

Pretty clever.

Well then.

Do you still remember Little Tuesday?

The boy you saved from the Gestapo.

He sat here with his draft order.

If Hans ever shows up looking for me.

This is the address where he can find me.

- So.
- Yes.

- Stay safe.
- Yes.

You too.

A couple of canisters of phosphor
on the roof and everything?s gone.

This is my second book burning.

But these survived.


- I will save them for him.

He is in Staraya Russa, near Demjansk.

He writes he?s doing well,
but that?s not true.

It means he?s not doing well.

That?s how we sneak past the censors.

You mean a lot to him.

He also told me to tell you hi.

He underlined it three times.

I am going to my relatives in Hesse.

Ruth is already there.

I hope we are safe there.

Mr. K?stner?

The life boat is here.


It can?t be much longer now.

- I hope so for our sake.

Even the dumbest Nazi will notice
that we don?t have any film material.

What is the official title?

?The Lost Face.?


Erich K?stner?

The Erich K?stner?

The only one in this car.

Password Emil!
Move along!

Nothing better than loyal readers.

Mail from Berlin!

Quickly, quickly, quickly!


And go!

Camera 1.
Scene 249, take 3.

Welcome to Hollywood!

The war is over!



?Little Tuesday
is an unforgettable memory.

With this single,
senseless loss,

I can gauge the million-fold blood
on Hitler?s hands.?

K?stner never wrote his novel
about the Third Reich.

Password Emil!
Here Mittenzwei...

It?s begun!


... begun.

- Password Emil!
- Password Emil!

Only two of the children cast in ?Emil and
the Detectives? survived the war.

Hans is buried in the
Korpowo German War Cemetery,

along with 27,761
other fallen soldiers.