Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 3, Episode 13 - Law & Order - full transcript

Prosecution of an elderly man accused of killing his wife, a Holocaust survivor, becomes complicated when it is learned that he may have been a Jew who worked with the Nazis in Poland during World War II.

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(narrator) In the
criminal justice system,

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups:

the police who
investigate crime,

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

I hope I did the right
thing calling you.

I don't want to make
any trouble for anybody.

You tried knockin'
on their door?

I banged on the
floor with my foot

but they don't
care what time it is.

You see? For two hours,
it's been going on like this,

right under my bedroom.

[TV playing loudly]

Knock louder.
They're old people.

Mr. and Mrs.
Steinmetz? It's the police.

Probably dozed off to Leno.

Well, I need my sleep.

I'm getting a
root canal at 8:00.

Mr. Steinmetz?

[man on TV chattering]

(man #1) Nobody
can see you up here.

(man #2) You sure?

Course I'm sure.

You stay put.

(man #2) Then why'd you do it?

(man #1) I brought you
up here for a reason.

I don't get it.

I don't see why you
wanted us to bring her

Joey, over here.

All the way into town here.

And I couldn't drive
out to the motel.

So, midnight, that's when
Mr. Steinmetz went out?

He opened the door
for me downstairs.

He always goes out walking.

Ursula said it's
because of the war.

He can't sleep.

Both of them, they're
Holocaust survivors.

So, besides the TV,

did you hear anything
else from their apartment?

Like, uh, shouts,
signs of a struggle?

No. I took a bath
and I went to bed.

Every night, they
have the TV on,

but never for more than an hour.

Oh. Thanks, Mrs. Franzel.

If we need any
more, we'll call you.

Dying alone, it's a tragedy.

[police radio chattering]

$18 in the wallet,

diamond ring on the nightstand,

nobody touched the silverware.

Old lady with MS.

She's been dead
three, maybe four hours.

These might have had
somethin' to do with it.

Two months' supply of
lullabies, half of them gone.

Dalmane, 30 milligrams,
prescribed to David Steinmetz.

Filled four days ago.

Too old to live.

Yeah, but too scared to die.

Sleeping pills supposed
to do that to your face?

Fall out of bed and
break your nose, they do.

(Steinmetz) Please,
I want to see her.



David Steinmetz?


Could we talk?

I must call Mara, my
daughter, to tell her I did this.

My Ursula, I killed her.

I killed the woman I love.

She was 70. She couldn't walk.

She was losing her sight.

She could hardly
work in the store.

She was tired of
being an old woman.

Well, she had her
grandkids, she had you.

What could I say?

She had to live in
that body, not me.

All the time now,
Ursula, she was in pain.

She begged me to help her.

So you filled the prescription?

Yes. And I brought
her the glass of water,

and I helped her take the pills.

What time was this?

I, uh, I don't remember. Late.

She fell asleep.

I couldn't watch
her die. I left.

My daughter Mara.
I must talk to her.

Well, we'll, uh... We'll call
her as soon as you're done.

Mr. Steinmetz, did your wife

discuss this with anybody else?

No, it was between
Ursula and me.

Did she leave anything behind?

You know, maybe a letter?

We didn't think...


(Briscoe) This won't
take much longer, sir.

Well, uh, he didn't
exactly pull the trigger.

But he held the gun.

Man two, assisted suicide.

Come on. You really
gonna run with this?

The guy's 70 years old.

It's not like he whacked
her for the insurance money.

Maybe he did.

With no note from her,
all we have is his word.

Well, we're gonna
talk to the daughter.

In the meantime, we charge him.

Maybe she was depressed
the past few weeks,

but physically, she was the same

she's always been for
the past couple of years.

Your father said she
was getting worse.

I didn't know how
bad things were.

And she gave no sign? No...

Nothing that could
be like a last goodbye?

She was looking forward
to Jared's bar mitzvah.

After 12 years of social work,

you'd think I'd be smart enough

to, uh, pick up on the signals.

What about from your father?

Dad's a rock.

It must've torn him apart,

but he didn't let anything show.

He knew what it was like for her

after all she's been through.

The camps.

When I was growing up,

my mother would wake
up screaming every night.

I thought every parent
had a tattoo on his arm.

Okay, thank you.

We talked to the doctor

and Steinmetz is an insomniac.

The doctor's been givin'
him Dalmane for 10 years.

Two months at a time?

I mean, this guy didn't
get his MD yesterday.

He must have known
what was in the works.

Or he was saving
a trusted patient

a few trips to the pharmacy.

State Board may slap his
wrist, but we can't touch him.

Well, we're just left with

Steinmetz's version of history.

What, the guy
writes with an eraser?

According to the daughter,

the old lady was planning
her grandson's bar mitzvah.

Now I hear that's
a pretty big deal.

Hey, some people would
take the bus from Chicago.

Me, I'd just send a check.

Lennie, my guess is the
lady would stick around.

Maybe she got tired
of being an invalid.

And maybe he got
tired of livin' with one.

My mother'd get the flu,
my old man would go nutty.

Okay, say he killed her,

how'd he get the
pills in her stomach?

I doubt he told her
they were breath mints.

Keep it simple.
Assisted suicide.

I'll talk to Ben.

(Schiff) Read the paper, Ben,

it'll give you a
sense of proportion.

He confessed to the murder.

Mob hit is a murder.

Baby left in a
dumpster is a murder.

This, a jury will see
as an act of love.

And a C felony. We dismiss,

next week, a dozen men'll claim

they helped their wives
commit suicide with a .38.

And you'll be there to
convince a jury otherwise.

I didn't write the
statutes, Adam.

Yeah, mercy has more shadings

than can be grasped
by a state assembly.

Steinmetz isn't counting
on our goodwill, either.

He's hired Gary Lowenthal.

Plead the poor bastard out.

You want to put a
70-year-old man in prison?

What is it, Ben, payback
time for father figures?

I am bound by the laws of
the State of New York, Gary.

Mr. Stone, I've
already lost my mother.

I... I don't want to
lose my father as well.

Can you see your
way past those laws?

I can't see my way
past a confession.

There I can help.

I'm moving to
suppress the confession.

My client was denied
his right to counsel.

He asked to see his daughter.

The police refused until
they had his statement.

She's a lawyer?

She's a social worker.


I've turned the other cheek
as far as I could on this.

Mrs. Steinmetz, no matter
what her age or her condition,

had a right to
expect her husband

to enhance her life,
not to help her end it.

That's your opinion.
I prefer a judge's.

(Lowenthal) In Fare v. Michael
C., a California court held

that asking for your
probation officer

is equivalent to
asking for a lawyer.

And the Supreme
Court overturned.

What Rehnquist takes away,

the State can give
back to a defendant.

Uh, Your Honor, even if we
were to give to social workers

the same standing we give
lawyers or probation officers,

Mr. Steinmetz's relationship
to his daughter is personal,

it is not professional.

We can show that Mrs. Feder

helped her father apply for
Social Security and Medicare,

and performed any number

of professional
services on his behalf.

Mr. Steinmetz asked
for his daughter by name.

There's no way you
can expect police officers

to know her professional status.

Mr. Steinmetz, did
you tell the police

why you wanted to
see your daughter?

Yes. I told them she
was a social worker

and that she would
know what to do.

Sorry, Ben.

Mr. Steinmetz's
right to counsel,

as he understood
it, was ignored.

The police should've
been more cautious.

You have a problem,
take it up with them.

What's the problem?

Five cops heard
him say he killed her.

Uttered in a moment
of grief and confusion.

By the time Lowenthal
gets him on the stand,

Steinmetz will explain
that he meant to say

he drove his wife to suicide.

ME's report in?

We're still waitin'
for the tox exam.

I'll lean on 'em.


Paul, we know he
perjured himself once.

Before I let him walk, I would like to
find out how many other lies he's told.

(female operator)
Dr. Ellingworth, Det. Carr...

I told you on the phone,
what I have is preliminary.

You want it etched in
stone, come back in a month.

Come on, Rodgers. We
got a DA cracking the whip.

All right, as long
as you understand

my boss hasn't
signed off on this yet.

Thank you.

Yeah. "Steinmetz, Ursula."

Drug overdose, benzodiazepine.

Found 900 milligrams
in her stomach.

Is that enough to kill her?

Hmm, yeah. That's not counting
what she'd already digested.

Yeah, respiratory
failure, 900 would do it.

Wait a minute, somebody
screwed up here.

How's that?

Let me, uh, run these
numbers by the lab again.

Hold it. We don't
have time for that.

Tell us now. What's it say?

[sighing] Well,
according to the labs,

the amount of Dalmane
found in her liver

indicates a level of absorption

insufficient to cause
a respiratory failure.

Well, she's an old lady with MS.

I mean, did she absorb enough
to give her a heart attack?

No, if you believe this,

she didn't digest
enough pills to kill her.

So if she stopped breathing,

maybe it's because
somebody choked her.

Yeah, somebody
broke her nose, too.

Might not be the only
tracks he left behind.

Thank you.

The night she OD'd,
they had a big argument,

right out here in the hall,

just before he went to his walk.

And what time was this?

10:30. The door
closed, and he left.

You sure about the time?

Mmm-hmm. I was just
getting ready to go to work.

11:00 to 8:00 shift at
the phone company.

"Operator 842.
What city, please?"

(Logan) Lennie.

Thank you.

She says Steinmetz
left at 10:30,

upstairs said midnight.

He came back, and I
think I know what for.

Yeah? Watch this.

I open the door,
I turn on the light,

I find this.

It matches the armchair.

That's blood, and it's recent.

I got $10 says it's
Mrs. Steinmetz's.

Now look, whether he
force-fed those pills to her or not,

he came back
expecting her to be dead.

She wasn't. Finishes
the job with the pillow.

And bloodies her
nose in the process.

Takes his lap around the city,

and I guess we're
supposed to feel sorry for him.

Well, even if it was
her idea to take the pills,

he had to finish
her off with a pillow?

He couldn't wait for the
pill to do the job for him?

Do you know how many
sleeping pills is a lethal dose?

I don't, and I bet
Steinmetz doesn't either.

Well, then why didn't he
tell us about the pillow?

Because he knew
how it would look.

Yeah, like he wanted her dead.

All I know is if I found
my wife lying on the floor,

I would do everything
I could to save her,

and the hell with suicide.

Any way you slice or dice it,

this guy had no right

to wrap a pillow
around his wife's face.

Let's not forget the
neighbors heard them arguing.

Hey, you spend 24
hours a day together,

I don't care if you're
Joseph and Mary,

you're gonna get on
each other's nerves.

Wait a minute,
they work together?

Steinmetz has a tailor
shop on 30th Street.

All right. Let's assume
that they're too old

to argue about sex, so
that leaves what? Money?

People treat you like
dirt in this business.

Not Mr. Steinmetz.

He has respect for the
people who work for him.

How so?

The man's been there,
you know what I mean?

Back in Poland, he
was a slave for the Nazis.

They had him workin' in
some ghetto over there,

the Lodz Ghetto,
makin' uniforms for them.

You got people out sick today?

Yeah, they got recession-itis.

Hard times, that'll
press a marriage, huh?

No, not these two.

They've seen worse, you know?

In the eight years
I've been here,

the only time they
raised their voice

was about somethin'
in the paper.

What, politics?

Yeah. Polish politics.

Once a week, Mrs.
Steinmetz would send me

to the newsstand on 34th

to get this Polish paper.

And about three weeks ago,

she got real upset
with Mr. Steinmetz

over some article she read.

This paper got a name?


"Warsaw Arts Council
Presents Merit Awards."

What else?

"National Tribunal
Convicts Nazi War Criminal."

Hold it. Give us the highlights.

"Horst Hilsman, German
officer at Chelmno,

"sentenced to death.

"Other war criminals
tried in absentia.

"Jacub Skulman,
a Jewish policeman

"in the Lodz Ghetto
during the war.

Peter Angermeier, staff
sergeant in Birkenau..."

Wait a minute.

Lodz Ghetto.

Now, wasn't Steinmetz from Lodz?

Maybe he knew Skulman.

So what? His wife
didn't like his friends?

That's something
he'd kill her for?

I'd think Mr. Stone would
have better things to do

than to hound a sad old man.

Hey, he squeaks, we go running.

Make it easy on us,
will you, Mrs. Feder?

[sighing] They'd argue,

yes, about the war,
about the Holocaust.

It was the defining
moment of their lives.

Did they ever talk about

people they knew
in the Lodz Ghetto?

My mother's from Warsaw.

My father's from Lodz,

but he rarely talks
about it with me.

He says he has
nightmares enough,

he doesn't need to give me any.

Your mother ever mention
the name Jacub Skulman?

No. Who's he?

He's wanted for
war crimes in Poland.

[dog barking]

No, she'd never talk
about anybody like that.

My mother was a very broken...

She found it very hard
to shut out the memories,

like my father.

I sent her to a therapist
three years ago,

a rabbi who worked
with survivors.

She was seeing a therapist,
and nobody told us?

She stopped going
four months ago.

She wouldn't tell me why.

Much as I'd like to help,

any communication I had with
Mrs. Steinmetz is privileged.

I have to consider the
feelings of her family.

Oh, which family member
are you protecting?

The husband?

Let's, uh, try a little
softball here, Rabbi.

The reason that Mrs.
Steinmetz stopped coming here,

could it have anything to do

with the reason she
committed suicide?

Well, I... I can't discuss
what she told me

but I can say the group sessions

can awaken powerful memories.

A name? Jacub Skulman?

Skulman. Oh, yes.

The group discussed
his case at length.

Did you discuss
it before or after

Mrs. Steinmetz stopped coming?


One of my clients, Mrs. Liebman,

apparently she knew Skulman.

I don't know, I feel like
we're chasing a ghost here.

This guy Skulman's
probably dead.

The rabbi wasn't playing
catch just to be nice.

He practically said
Skulman's name

sent Mrs. Steinmetz running.

So what? I mean,
we're digging up stuff

that happened 50 years ago.

What the hell, it's
ancient history, Lennie.

Hey, my old man was
a GI in World War II.

First regiment into Buchenwald.

And he never forgot how he
felt when he saw those people.

I mean, he wasn't religious,
but he said after that day

he believed in the devil.

This stuff never
went away, Mike.

I knew Jacub Skulman in Lodz

when I was a young girl.

He was an apprentice tailor

before he joined
the Ordnungsdienst.

The ghetto police.

The Germans formed
a... a Jewish government.

Puppets to rule the ghetto.

Yeah, you let the
Jews police themselves,

maybe they'll
work harder for you.

Maybe they thought
they will let them live.

And believing that
makes you a war criminal?

Of course we believed.

Anything to make it stop.

But Skulman took
it a step further.


In the sweatshop where
we made uniforms for the SS,

Skulman was a brute.

He beat us if we
didn't make the quota.

What happened to Skulman?

When the Germans
cleared the ghetto in 1944,

him being so... so

he finished like everyone else,

on a train to Auschwitz.

Ursula Steinmetz,
do you know her?

She was in Rabbi
Dworkin's group.

Yes, she, too, asked me
about Skulman, his family.

She thought she knew him.

I only told her what I remember.

Skulman's spotty, most of
the records are still in Poland.

You know, it's quite
historic in a way.

Poland has never before

prosecuted a Jew for war crimes.

Well, I don't understand
why a guy like Skulman

would line himself
up with the Nazis.

And slit his own throat?

He wasn't the only
one who was deceived.

You see, the elders of
the ghetto reasoned that

if the Jews could prove their
economic value to the Reich,

their lives would be spared.

So each uniform you made
added a day to your life.

Does anybody know for sure

that Skulman walked
out of Auschwitz?

The Polish government
has eyewitnesses.

I guess the virtues that
allowed him to survive in Lodz

carried him through Auschwitz.

He'd be an old man by now.

His birth date was 1922,
so he's 70 years old.

There's a photograph
in the archives.

We'll take it.

Same age as Steinmetz.

Same job, same camp.

Sorry about the quality.

Jacub Skulman, class of '42.

Coincidences add
up to probability.

Yeah, and what spooked the wife.

The ultimate evil.

Convince the slaves
to run the plantation.

Yeah, hats off to
German ingenuity.

If Steinmetz is Skulman,
and his wife found out,

he'd want to keep her quiet.

By killing his wife? This guy?

I don't know.

War criminals click their heels.

They don't have numbers
tattooed on their forearms.

Arrest him.

(man on police radio)
Highway 128, 16...

(Logan) How far can a
70-year-old man walk?

(man on police radio) 1290
Sixth Avenue. 1290 Sixth...

(Briscoe) That looks like him.

Pull over.

Mr. Steinmetz.

(Steinmetz) Yes?

David Steinmetz,
you're under arrest

for the murder of
Ursula Steinmetz.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do
say can and will be

used against you
in a court of law.

You can't make a C felony,
so you shoot the moon

and charge him with an A.

Your client shot the moon
when he refused a man two plea.

Now he's looking at murder.

My mother took her
own life, Mr. Stone.

That doesn't make
me proud or happy,

but I respect her memory.

She didn't want this.
She wanted peace.

Did she tell you that?


My father told me.

Did he also tell you that he
smothered her with a pillow?

You have no idea. My father...

The neighbors are...
are paying his bail.

They-they're helping to pay
for Mr. Lowenthal's services.

Which means people
who know him, believe him.

They haven't seen the evidence.

There's none to see.

Turn up the flame
as high as you want,

this one's not gonna boil.

You stir in motive...

You mean speculation?

It's all sound and fury, Ben,

and you know what that gets you.

If I'm right and he
is Jacub Skulman,

and he did murder his
wife to cover up his secret,

what it gets him is 25-to-life.

What if you're wrong, Mr. Stone?

Look at his arm. He's
been branded once.

But what you're doing...

Those same people
who are helping us

will turn around and
spit in our faces forever.

It'd better be
important, Mr. Robinette.

45-year-old files,

I'll be living on
antihistamines for a month.

You found something?

Yes and no.

David Steinmetz
went eyeball-to-eyeball

with Miss Liberty, May of '47.

What about Jacub Skulman?

That's the no.

If he's eating
burgers and apple pie,

we don't have a record of it.

When Steinmetz
filed immigration,

did he show any ID?

Hey, if this poor slob
had a shirt on his back,

he was lucky.

"Identifying mark: numbers
tattooed on his forearm."

What were the numbers?


In five years, about
150,000 camp survivors

joined the melting pot.

Who had the time
to get specific?

The good news, the Nazis were
methodical, bordering on anal.

They kept specific
records of everything.

The bad news is they
were almost as methodical

at destroying the records.




Here it is.


Right here. "August 21, 1944,

"131 men arrived from the
Lodz Ghetto at Auschwitz.

"The numbers that were
tattooed on their arms

"ranged from 7566

to 7696, inclusive."

Do you have names
corresponding to the numbers?

I can't help you with
that. But we do know that

Jacub Skulman arrived
on that same day.

I'm offering your client a
chance to prove his innocence.

And when he does, what?

You tattoo a capital
"I" on his forehead?

That number is a symbol
of unimaginable suffering.

And if it's not one
of 131 numbers,

we'll know for sure
he's not Jacub Skulman.

Don't you even see
what you're asking, Ben?

Demanding that
he use that number

to prove his innocence
is an obscenity.

Uh, no, Gary.

The obscenity is a
man killing his wife

to save his own skin.

We'll let a judge decide.

I don't understand,
Mr. Lowenthal.

If your client isn't this
character, Skulman,

why not disclose the number

in the privacy of
Mr. Stone's office,

and put the matter to bed?

Because it won't stay
in Mr. Stone's office.

What happened to
the Fifth Amendment?

If nothing else, Mr. Stone

is asking for possible

The Supreme Court ruled
that the Fifth Amendment

only applies to
testimonial evidence.

This is no different
from using fingerprints

or an identification
in a police line-up.

Look, can we put the
law aside for a minute?

We all know that if
these numbers are close,

he doesn't stand a chance.

The jury will convict him
for the wrong reasons.

Something he may have
done in another lifetime.

An elderly woman who
couldn't walk is dead

because that man wanted
the world to forget what he did.

I'm not talking
melodrama here, Ben.

I'm talking tragedy.

Your Honor, it's prejudicial.

Although what Mr. Stone
is asking disgusts me,

my intestinal
tract is still intact.

Mr. Steinmetz will
appear in Mr. Stone's office

no later than 3:00
this afternoon.

Ben, you are walking
through history.

God help us if you fall down.


And we now know that the man

calling himself David Steinmetz,

arrived at Auschwitz the
same day as Jacub Skulman.

I was hoping.

Yeah, so was I.

[phone ringing]



Someone from the Justice
Department is in your office.

I'm giving you a break.

I'll take Steinmetz or Skulman

or whoever he
is, off your hands.

And extradite him to Poland?

Why not? We've had a
treaty in effect since 1936.

I have an obligation

to the people of the
State of New York.

Ursula Steinmetz was
one of those people.

Poland can have him
when we're through with him.

One person dies, it's a tragedy.

Millions, it's a
statistic, right?

That is not what I'm saying.

Good. Stalin said
it 50 years ago.

Look, if you convict
the son of a bitch,

he can't be extradited until
he serves out his sentence.

Which, for a 70-year-old
man, means never.

On behalf of the Polish
government we're commencing

an extradition
proceeding next week.

[phone ringing]

Last month, my daughter was
reading Diary of Anne Frank,

and she thought it was fiction.

So I'm running in
circles with this case.

If I win,

Steinmetz or Skulman

goes to prison for
murdering his wife,

but the world will
never really know

the extent of his
original crimes.

And if I lose, the
verdict goes a long way

to bolster Steinmetz's claim

that Poland is trying to
extradite the wrong man.

Either way,

I'm helping a mass
murderer cover up his crimes.


Ben, a woman was
murdered in our jurisdiction.

And that's our only priority.

So we shield him?

Poland is not entitled

to punish him for
the greater evil?

Greater evil?

Since when did you
get so philosophical?

This office doesn't care
about Poles or Nazis

or any more than it does
about Serbs or Croats.

We're not in the evil business,

we're in the crime business.

Adam, I may be wrong but
I thought that, of all people,

you would want...

The man killed his wife.

Try him, convict
him. That's all I want.

United States Supreme
Court, Your Honor,

in Younger v. Harris determined

that a Federal court
may not interfere

with an ongoing State
criminal proceeding

unless the prosecution was

brought in bad faith
or as harassment.

The Younger case specified
the interference proscribed

was injunctive or
declaratory relief, Your Honor.

And the principle is
the same, Your Honor.

The State's interest
in prosecuting a felon

outweigh the Federal interest.

We're not talking
about Federal interests.

We're talking about
international treaties.

We are talking
about historical debt.

We're talking about a man
who brutally murdered his wife.

He aided and abetted

in the extermination of
scores of innocent Jews.

The bottom line:

If the State continues
with this prosecution,

Mr. Steinmetz will die in prison

and never be tried for
crimes against humanity.

And we must allow a
suspected murderer to go untried.

He will be tried
for the greater evil.

Gentlemen, it appears that
whichever way I roll the dice,

it comes up snake eyes.

Your Honor...

Mr. Stone, has the
defendant been indicted?

He has, Your Honor.

[sighing] So, as I see it,

the State has
sufficient evidence

to make its prima facie case.

In as much as the burden
for granting a restraining order,

is the likelihood
of success at trial,

I am obligated to grant
Mr. Stone's motion.

The extradition
hearing will be delayed

until the State is through
with Mr. Steinmetz.

[gavel banging]

I'm glad I'm not in your
9-and-a-half Ds, counselor.

Several months ago,
at half past midnight,

someone killed Ursula Steinmetz.

He held a pillow to the face

of this 70-year-old grandmother

until she could no
longer gasp for air.

I will show you that pillow
and the bloodstains on it

from her fractured nose.

So there can be little
doubt as to how she died.

The issue of this trial is why,

and once we understand
why, the who is undeniable.

The Steinmetz residence
was not burglarized.

So the motive wasn't
greed, and it wasn't envy,

and it wasn't revenge.

It was history.

And Mr. David Steinmetz,
Ursula's husband,

was well aware that
history can only be written

by the survivors.

And Mr. Steinmetz,

he didn't want his personal
history written at all.

If only history was so clear.

If only we had a witness
to what had happened,

then we could all just go
home and be done with it.

Unfortunately, there
isn't such a witness.

And although Mr. Stone's

telling of the story
is reasonable,

it's just as
reasonable to presume

that after swallowing a
lethal dose of sedatives,

Ursula Steinmetz fell from
her bed and broke her nose.

Mr. Stone wants to know why.

If anything, history tells us

that the search for explanations

for unimaginable tragedy
creates scapegoats.

Why was Germany in the
'20s trapped in a depression?

Unthinkable. Blame
it on the Jews.

Why were six million
Jews massacred?


They must have been
somehow to blame.

Ursula Steinmetz
took her own life?


Her husband must
have been involved.

David Steinmetz survived
a lifetime of torment.

For what?

Don't blame him for something
you might not understand.

From records compiled
by the Polish government,

we know that Jacub Skulman
resided in the Lodz Ghetto.

He was transported to Auschwitz

on August 21, 1944.

The same day that

Mr. Steinmetz
supposedly arrived.

Uh, Mr. Green, can
you please identify

People's Exhibit Number 6?

Yes. Uh, this is a determination

of the Polish War Crimes Court

in the matter of Jacub Skulman.

Objection, Your Honor.

Uh, Your Honor, this
court can take judicial notice

of the findings of another court

of competent jurisdiction.

Not when those findings
are completely irrelevant

and unduly prejudicial.

The verdict of that trial

is relevant to establishing
motive, Your Honor.

So, then I will take
notice of the verdict alone.

Uh, what was the
outcome of the trial, sir?

The court found Mr. Skulman

guilty of crimes
against humanity.

Thank you.

In the Polish war crimes
trial of which you spoke,

was Mr. Skulman permitted
to present a defense?

He was tried in absentia, but
there were defense attorneys.

Was there any evidence presented

indicating that Jacub
Skulman and David Steinmetz

were in fact the same person?


But there was evidence presented

that Skulman was a Jew?

Relevance, Your Honor?

Mr. Stone offered the
verdict into evidence.

I should be permitted

to question the
competency of that verdict.

Answer the question.


Now, tell me, sir.

Would your center consider
Jacub Skulman a war criminal?


You have to understand that, uh,

that men like Mr. Skulman,

were victims before
they were criminals.

Please answer the question.

No, I... I couldn't say,
unless I saw all of the facts.

But Poland could.

Is that because Jacub
Skulman is a Jew?

Objection, Your Honor.


I was only 16 years old,

and to put food on the table,

my sister and I had
to work 15 hours a day

making Nazi uniforms.

We got no water, we got no rest.

Our shop was forced to
produce 25 uniforms a week.

What happened if you
fell behind schedule?

Jacub Skulman beat us.

He beat everyone
who was not productive.

Mrs. Liebman,
please tell the court

what happened to your sister.


Anja was rheumatic.
She collapsed.

Skulman put her on a train.

Anyone unable to
work, he put on a train.

To where?

To Auschwitz.

Mrs. Liebman, what happened when

you spoke of Jacub
Skulman to Mrs. Steinmetz?

She asked questions
about his father's profession.

About his brother's name.

And if his brother,
Chaim, died from polio.

And when I told her that

his mama played
a beautiful flute,

Ursula got pale.

Thank you.

You said that the workers
who were not productive

were sent to the
camps. Is that correct?

He decided who.

And they were replaced
by other workers?


And if those workers
were productive,

they avoided deportation?


So it's true then that
Skulman saved the majority

by sacrificing the minority?

Look at the defendant,
Mrs. Liebman.

Can you say without
any reasonable doubt

that he is Jacub Skulman?

Thank you.

We're walking up
the down escalator.

Every time we get
close to the top,

Lowenthal turns up the velocity.

(Schiff) What'd you expect?

Trying to reconstruct a reality,

that's worse than any nightmare.

Which gives Lowenthal a
truckload of reasonable doubt.

As to Steinmetz's true identity,

what's relevant is
what his wife thought.

What's relevant is what
he thought she was thinking.

And he's not talking, and she
kept her thoughts to herself.

Did she?

The rabbi?

If Mrs. Steinmetz talked
to him, it's privileged.

But her executor can waive that.

That's the daughter, right?

He's my father, Mr. Stone.
He would never lie to me.

And if my mother suspected
anything, I would have known.

Maybe she was
trying to protect you.


There's a chance she
talked to your rabbi.


Whatever you want.

But you'll see. You are wrong.

When Ursula heard

Mrs. Liebman's
description of Skulman,

she was convinced.

There were too
many similarities.

After her husband denied
everything, she came to me.

And how did you counsel her?

I told her to go
to the authorities.

But she refused?

She was filled with too
much guilt, with shame.

She worried what it
would do to her family.

Thank you.

You counsel many
survivors, isn't that true?

I conduct weekly meetings, yes.

And is it true that
many survivors

live with enormous
guilt over the past?

They feel guilty about
surviving when so many died.

As a therapist,

would you call
this guilt irrational?

No. Ursula Steinmetz
wasn't like that.

That's right. She
didn't blame herself.

She blamed her husband.

When she got sick, he
did everything for her.

He carried her to the
bathroom, up the stairs.

On Sundays, he would
wheel her through the park

no matter how tired he got.

(Lowenthal) Not the
picture of a murderer.



What, if any,
indications did you have

that your mother committed
suicide, Mrs. Feder?

Over the past five months,
her condition deteriorated.

She didn't want to
burden us anymore.


A few days before she
died, I... I went to visit her

and she showed me
where she kept her will.

She told me that she wanted
to have all her things in order.

No more questions.

She never talked about
the will in her deposition.

She's lying.

Recess, Your Honor?

Early lunch. Be
back in two hours.

If you're telling the truth,

why did you wait until now
to mention your mother's will?

You heard the rabbi.

It's clear he
killed your mother.

Knowing what your father did,

how can you live with
yourself if you help him go free?

How could I live
with myself if I don't?

'Cause you're losing, doesn't
mean you can change the rules.

This is called tampering.

I'm not tampering
with a witness.

I am now talking to a defendant.

Mrs. Feder, you
committed perjury.

As such, you are an
accomplice after the fact.

You cannot turn Mara against me.

Things haven't changed
much, have they, sir?

50 years ago, you
protected yourself

at the expense of others.

Your wife is now dead,

and your daughter's gonna
go to prison so you can go free.

[sobbing] Papa.

Against my better
judgment, my client will deal

if you drop the charges
against his daughter.

We've traveled a long way to
come back to where we started.

(Mara) There's one
other condition, Mr. Stone.

The record on my father's
trial must be sealed.

Murder two. He serves the max.

25 years. Come on, Ben.

Had he walked the
streets for another hour,

nobody would have ever
heard of David Steinmetz.

Mr. Steinmetz.

Sir, you really didn't know

how many pills
your wife had taken?

She could not live with this.

When I came home,
she was on the floor.

And if you confessed
to assisted suicide,

nobody would ask any questions.

It'd be one year
instead of 25. Right?

Heinrich, an SS officer,
he came to our home.

He gave us cake.
We barely had bread.

He told me that if I could

convince my
neighbors to cooperate,

none of us would be harmed.

I was 19. If I didn't do it,
somebody else would have.

People lived a
few months, weeks,

days longer. That's
what it was about.

People who were not there,

they could never understand.

Your wife was there, sir.

She understood
very well what you did.

And that's why you killed her.


(male reporter) What
happens now, Mr. Stone?

Mr. Steinmetz has confessed
to murdering his wife

and he will spend
the rest of his life

in the State Correctional
Facility at Dannemora,

commencing immediately.

(male reporter) Is Mr. Steinmetz
in fact Jacub Skulman?

The District Attorney's
office has insufficient evidence

to make such a determination.

(female announcer) Sources
inside the State Department

indicate that any further
extradition proceedings

have been undermined
by today's developments.

Mr. Steinmetz's...

They beat you. They starve you.

Makes me wonder
what I would have done.

There's no Supreme
Court of Ethics, my friend.

Sometimes the only yardstick is

can you look yourself in
the mirror the day after?

What about Mara?

By insisting we seal the file,

she was still
protecting her father.

She wasn't
protecting her father.

She was protecting her son.