The Silent Village (1943) - full transcript

The true story of the massacre of a small Czech village by the Nazis is retold as if it happened in Wales.

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(♪ Orchestral Intro)

(♪ Choir singing:
"Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer")

(Metallic clanging)

(Steam engine huffing)

(Speaks Welsh)

(Children respond in Welsh)

(Birds chirping, dogs barking)

(Speaks Welsh)

(Man) Don't forget to meet at my place!
(Man #2) Aye!

(Men singing)

(Whistling)



(Man singing in Welsh)

(Speaks Welsh)

(♪ Choir sings "Men Of Harlech")

(Laughter)

(Duck quacking)

(Indistinct chatter)

A pint, please!

(Speaks Welsh)

(Chatting in Welsh)

(Speaks Welsh)

This is a special meeting called

to discuss the increase in incidents
of silicosis in this area.

Recently, our secretary Chris
attended a delegate conference

at which this matter was discussed.



I will now call upon Chris
to give his report. Chris...

Comrade chairman and comrades,
I attended a conference last week

where the Inspector of Mines
outlined a scheme

of arresting dust at the point of make,
that is the coal face.

(♪ Male choir singing)

(♪ Military march blaring)

(Man on loudspeaker) Achtung!
Achtung! (Speaks German)

Attention! Attention!
To the population of Cwmgiedd!

As from today, the districts
of Southern and Western Wales

stand under the protection
of the Greater German Reich.

Under a proclamation issued today,

the newly appointed
Deputy Reich Protector,

SS Obergruppenführer Heydrich,

calls upon all classes of the people
to give their loyal cooperation

in the rebirth of your homeland.

Continue calmly with your work,

and put your trust in the Führer.

(♪ Military march plays)

(Car passes playing music)

Achtung! Achtung!

In order to counteract any incidents
of an extraordinary nature,

the Deputy Reich Protector is entitled
to proclaim a civil state of emergency.

For the preservation of public order,

it is permissible
to set aside existing laws.

In such cases, the courts martial can
pass three alternative sentences.

One: the confiscation of property.

Two: handing over
to the Secret State Police.

Three: the death sentence.

These powers will be exercised

at the sole discretion
of the Deputy Reich Protector.

Continue your work calmly
and put your trust in the Führer.

- (Man) Morning.
- Morning, Mr Lewis.

I've received this morning
our clear instructions.

Here, you'd better read it.

Hmm...
"You are therefore instructed

"that henceforth no discussions
are to take place

"between yourself and the men
or their representatives."

I don't know what
my committee will say to that.

"The miners' lodges
and other similar organisations

"are in fact no longer necessary
in a National Socialist state."

What are you going to do about it,
Mr Lewis?

- Well, what can we do about it?
- I know what my men will do about it.

No longer will we have price lists
to base our wages on.

No longer will you be able to meet
as you are meeting this afternoon.

As the chairman remarked,

the committee have discussed
this matter

and have come forward
with a recommendation.

The recommendation is...that we strike!

(Cheering)

On the recommendation
of the committee, can I get a motion?

- I move to strike!
- I second it!

Any against?

If not, all in favour please show.

Thank you, comrades.

(Speaking Welsh)

(Barking)

(Loudspeaker) Achtung! Achtung!

In the course of the last few days,
certain events have shown

that in spite of the magnanimity
proved by the Reich time and again,

there are still individuals
who persist in disturbing public order,

security and the labour peace.

(Chickens clucking)

Here's Chris coming.

- Hello, Chris. How are you?
- All right.

I think we can start the meeting now,
boys. The others can come later.

(Loudspeaker) And in the present
gigantic struggle for liberation

waged by the Greater German Reich,

trades unionists and agents
of the Jewish-Bolshevik plutocrats

and all those who give shelter
to such individuals

will be considered enemies of the state
and treated accordingly.

There is only one alternative.
To go with the Reich or against it.

Those who work against the Reich
will be destroyed.

(Gunshots)

(Machineguns firing)

(Firing ceases)

(Crows cawing)

(Man speaks Welsh)

(Speaking Welsh)

(Speaks Welsh)

(Speaks Welsh)

(♪ Choir singing)

(Singing in Welsh)

(Congregation) Amen.

(Wind howling)

Children, I have just had a letter
to inform me

that there is no more Welsh
to be spoken in this school.

All of our hymns, our beautiful songs,
our poems are to be heard no more.

But, children, I want you
to promise me one thing.

Do not forget your Welsh.

Speak Welsh at home, on
the roadside, at your play, everywhere.

Will you promise me
not to forget your Welsh language?

Yes, Miss Daniel.

(♪ Harp music)

(♪ Trumpet fanfare)

(Music over dialogue)

(Man reads in Welsh)

"The Nazi beasts have descended
upon our pretty village

"in a molesting spirit
like a plague of locusts."

- Where did you get this?
- Somebody put it underneath the door.

(Man reads in Welsh)

(Narrator) What is to be done?

Go back to the mine. Work slow.

Organise sabotage.

Put sand in the machine.

Pour water in the oil.

(♪ Male choir singing in Welsh)

(Gunshot)

The conquest of Wales
was a very slow process.

It started in the reign of William I.

Having conquered all England,
he turned his attention to Wales,

and as Wales was
a very mountainous country...

(♪ Bugle fanfare)

(♪ Sombre classical music)

(Man) This morning, at 10:32,

a murderous attempt was made on
the life of the Deputy Reich Protector

SS Obergruppenführer Heydrich.

(Radio) Achtung! Achtung!

Important announcement
from State Police Headquarters.

Further details are now available
to help in the identification

of the two assailants
of the Deputy Reich Protector.

The assailant who escaped on foot

left near the scene of the crime
a lady's bicycle.

Serial number: 40363.

I repeat. 40363.

The lady's bicycle had black spokes
with red stripes, 9mm wide.

Frame, painted red and ivory.
Red and black etched handlebars.

Reddish-brown, well-preserved saddle
with springs.

Achtung! Achtung! Registration duty!

All persons over 15 years of age
residing in the Protectorate

must report for registration at their
local State Police Headquarters.

Any unregistered persons found
in the Protectorate after tomorrow

will be shot.

All persons harbouring unregistered
individuals will also be shot.

German subjects are exempt
from the obligation to register...

(Man) W H Morgan. 40. Teacher.

Gwen Jones. 47. Housewife.

L T Jones. 50. Collier.

David Alexander. 55. Collier.

Myfanwy Alexander. 49. Housewife.

(Loudspeaker) Who can give
information about the assailants?

What persons were behaving
suspiciously after the crime?

Where is there
a lady's bicycle missing?

Who knows persons who were seen

without their lady's bicycles
after the attempt?

Councillor Owen Alexander.
52. Milkman.

Edith Williams. 22. Home duties.

H C Williams. 24. Collier.

Margaret Daniel. 40. Teacher.

Gryff Thomas-Lewis. 36.
Collier/Blacksmith.

(Radio) Achtung! Achtung!
Important announcement!

By decision of a court martial,

the following were today
sentenced to death by shooting:

David Davies, born 1901.

Hannah Davies, born 1903.

Dai-Alec Davies, born 1922.

Megan Davies, born 1924.

Glynnyth Davies, born 1925.

The condemned publicly approved
of the attempt on the life

of the Deputy Reich Protector.

People of South Wales,

show your solidarity with the Reich
and your readiness for sacrifice

by giving generously
to the German Red Cross.

But she wasn't doing anything.
She only just laughed at them.

Yes, that's what it was, I suppose.

(Speaks Welsh)

Heil Hitler!

Heil Hitler!

Heil Hitler... (Welsh)

(♪ Drum roll)

(Radio) Official announcement.

The Deputy Reich Protector
of Southern and Western Wales,

Head of the Secret Police,

SS Obergruppenführer
and General of Police,

Reinhard Heydrich,

this morning succumbed to
the serious injuries which he suffered

as a result of the attempt on his life.

(♪ Sombre orchestral music)

The Deputy Reich Protector
had grown fond of this country

and held the Welsh working man
in high esteem.

He was their friend,
and in spite of his military strictness,

he allowed his heart to speak.

Although our heart is aching,

we will not slacken in our work

Or in our faith in a victory
Of German aims

with the Fuehrer for a new Europe,

with the Reich for a new future.

(♪ Trumpet fanfare ends)

By decision of a court martial,

the following were today
sentenced to death by shooting:

Ianto Evans, born 1884...

(Loudspeaker) Achtung! Achtung!

To the population of Cwmgiedd,

irrefutable indication
has been established

that you have aided and abetted
the circle of suspects in question.

The incriminating evidence has been
furnished without your assistance.

You will produce the assassins

into the hands
of the Secret State Police

by 12:00 midnight.

Heil Hitler!

(Silence descends)

(Clock ticking)

(♪ Choir singing)

(Footsteps marching)

(Man shouts in German)

Halt!

(Singing in Welsh)

(Man shouts in German)

(Guns cocked)

(Man barks orders in German)

(Man) Fire!

(Volley of gunfire)

(Radio announcement in German)

(♪ Choir singing)

"All the male adults of the village
have been shot.

"The woman have been sent
to a concentration camp,

"and the children have been handed
over to the appropriate authorities."

"The buildings of the localities
have been levelled to the ground.

"The name of the community
has been obliterated."

No, comrades.

The Nazis are wrong.

The name of the community
has not been obliterated.

The name of the community
has been immortalised.

It lives in the hearts of miners
the world over.

The Nazis only want slave labour!

And the miners refused
to become slaves.

That is why they murdered
our comrades in Lidice.

That is why we stand in the forefront
of the struggle today,

because we have the power
and the knowledge

and the understanding
to hasten the coming of victory!

To liberate oppressed humanity.

To make certain
there shall be no more Lidices.

And then the men of Lidice
will not have died in vain.

(♪ Choir singing)