A Woman in Berlin

Uploaded by blutfrosch on 19.06.2012

The unthinkable had occurred.
It was on April 26, 1945.
The Russian army had encircled Berlin and
was advancing on the Reichstag, street by street.
You could see the sun behind the clouds that day
and the scent of lilacs wafted over from abandoned gardens.
Where do I start?
What are the right words?
As a journalist I had travelled to 12 countries.
I lived in Moscow, Paris and London.
I enjoyed living in Paris and London.
But I came back.
I wanted to be part of it.
My name doesn't matter.
I was just one of many who believed in my country's destiny.
were for weaklings.
Warsaw, Brussels, Paris. A never-ending triumph.
Russia lacks leadership.
By the time they recover,
we'll be in Moscow.
Sorry for barging in, but we happen to be at war.
The day Gerd left,
his boots echoed through the house.
We were convinced we were right. We all breathed the same air and
it was intoxicating.
He helped me out of my coat...
The Russians have no idea what's going to hit them.
We were off to the Sorbonne, chattering away in French.
And he thought I was one of those big, blonde Swedes.
I skipped to get in step with him.
Then he stopped and said,
"Ah, une fille du Fuhrer."
And that was the end of that. A shame.
One thing! Without music...
I'd like us...
to take a moment to think of our men who are scattered across Europe
and, in doing so, include them in this evening.
Get out of here!
Come here!
Get in there!
No uniforms and no weapons, or they'll shoot us.
Felix, where are you?
Anyone see my son?
No news. No orders.
Nothing! Nobody gives a damn about us.
Where are you?
In some parts of town they're even welcoming them.
Russki swine!
They had been booksellers.
They sometimes spoke French.
And that's the pharmacist's widow.
Her husband once cured Hindenburg of a headache.
That's all over.
Now we step on the corpses of dead women
just to get at a jar of jam.
That is Frau Binder, a musician. Her husband is missing.
Can someone help me?
She can't breathe! She...
Look at me!
I'll write it all down,
Gerd, for you to read.
Like some?
She's from Silesia.
Too much to take.
Get under there!
- Mami? - Don't be afraid. I'm here.
Residents of Berlin!
Residents of this street!
All weapons must be handed over at once!
This is your last chance.
Surrender your weapons!
This is your last chance.
Go ahead! There!
Go to the top!
Move back! Careful!
This way! Hurry!
Comrade Colonel! The men have almost reached
the station.
The order was to proceed to the Reichstag.
Yes, sir, comrade Colonel!
No Reichstag? Why not? It's so close!
We're going on, damnit!
That's an order!
Secure the flanks!
You hear me?
What... what do you want?
Speak Russian?
War kaput.
Woman... come!
War kaput, woman.
No afraid. No afraid.
We won't let them bury us here.
Woman, come!
No afraid!
Come, come!
No afraid!
- Come! - Pretty girls!
Come here!
Be nice and you'll get something to eat!
Potatoes. Very good.
May l?
Who knows how this works? Hey, Ukrainian, do you know?
So here are our Soviet liberators!
Overjoyed. Obviously amazed at themselves
for getting this far.
I know them, their sandals, villages and shabby new buildings
they're so proud of.
They won't strain themselves.
Urine! Try some urine!
- That's enough! - No, seriously...
Your urine is too old.
I used urine to get my general
in Leningrad back on his feet...
Come on!
It's true!
Just what are they doing there?
Husband and two children.
Let me through!
- You don't belong here! - Let me go!
I didn't do a thing!
Most of my countrymen are now very clever when it comes to saving their own skins.
- You're endangering all of us! - The Silesian girl was an easy victim.
Go on!
Here, hurry. The attic apartment on the right.
Hurry! Go on!
Take it and go!
Go on!
Say something! You speak Russian!
You can't let them do this!
Pretty woman!
Why do you take a woman...
...who has no desire?
Willing women are dirty.
Open up!
Not here.
- Where? - We're almost there.
Stop! Come back!
- I'm looking for a commander. - What's wrong?
Are you the commander?
I... We need help.
Are you the commander?
Lots of commanders. We're all commanders.
Which one do you want?
We need your help.
All our men are healthy.
Frau Hitler!
Our country is in ruins.
Gerd, remember your first words?
You said, "Thirty minutes."
"Give me thirty minutes, and you'll never leave me."
God help us!
The back hallway.
The widow offered me a place to stay.
She led the way...
to an apartment that was surprisingly intact.
I accepted.
And here...
You can stay here for the time being.
The move was easy. A few steps up to my studio.
A blouse, a few books and some notes.
- You can stay if you like. - Thanks.
I'd like that.
Take care.
I should have looked around a little.
But we never see everything.
And the story took its course.
This was a nice place.
...did you find me?
I searched every cellar.
How often?
The riverbanks are dressed in green.
The trees breathe lightly, deepiy.
We go on fighting courageously.
In the last battle of this war.
It was a long way to this May.
It cost a lot of strength and courage.
But now we're free again.
And we proudly stand guard!
Hello, May!
Our soldiers and υS weapons...
They'd be gone!
Yesterday at the pump,
it was my turn, and somebody came up
with two Iron Crosses and one German Cross in gold.
And he took my bucket gallantly.
I said, "What an honour. I'm not used to this." He said,
"You have to be strong, ma'am."
"Because if the Russians do just a fraction of what we did
to them during the last four years..."
and he said...
...then presently no German would be left alive.
"Presently"? Nobody says that any more.
I have a question.
How do I say: Excuse me, do you have a dictionary?
He doesn't need one for what he wants.
Come with us!
Go with them?
Where to?
Our house was stormed for the next few days.
Day and night.
One woman hung herself.
Another was shot and killed. Nobody
was spared.
Every feeling is dead.
- What's that? - A map.
Where are you going? Come over here!
Over there!
"Stand up, wretched of the earth who are forced to starve."
"Reason thunders in its volcano. This is the eruption of the end."
Go away!
I love you!
Please don't!
My lovely!
I come back.
My lovely.
I'm a young man.
You startled me.
We'll survive.
At all costs.
Where to?
We're here!
Where are they now? Our rescuers? The great armies?
War and dying used to be men's business. That's all over.
Damn Russians!
Officer, General, Commander. I go for the highest rank.
Starting now, I decide who gets me.
No, no, no.
Out of there! It's still my bed!
You can protect us on the couch. Look it up: "protect".
Like this. You don't have to sleep in my bed.
Did you understand me?
- Where's the major? - Wait.
Fraulein! Who are you looking for?
Hey, blondie! Why so glum?
How about scrubbing my back with soap?
Who would you like to talk to?
May I sit down?
Our building was stormed yesterday
and many women raped.
I know nothing of it.
It is your duty to help.
Help who?
My people or yours?
What do those few minutes matter?
It's pointless.
You speak Russian?
What you look for?
Look for officer?
All with their women. But I am here.
Lieutenant, may I speak to you?
Several balconies in our house are booby-trapped.
Can you help us?
Too bad.
You and me, tonight?
Me Anatol.
You and me...
It's that simple.
It was then I swore that nobody
would touch me, unless I let them. No matter what.
Come in! Follow us!
Time to go to your friends.
That is my husband!
Don't you understand?
My husband!
You must understand.
All people are bad.
I don't understand him. He won't leave.
What are you doing? This is mahogany!
Calm down! Go to the kitchen!
Me Charkov!
He comes from Charkov.
Me industrial clerk.
No! Me accountant!
You accountant!
We accountant!
Everything good!
That is life. Understand?
You, lovely!
These Russians are great. So full of life!
It's about time
all this shit was over.
Right. When I get back to Charkov,
I'll get married and build a house,
have kids, work on a kolkhoz and he'll be my accountant.
- Are you a professional soldier? - No.
Me... dairy!
- Milk! - Dairy?
- That's interesting. - No interesting! Milk
and milk...
All shit! Look at this!
My trophies!
That's nothing! Here!
- This is a trophy! - That's no trophy!
Here! Look at this!
This is a real trophy.
My present to the ladies! For them to kiss!
Where toilet?
- Toilet in hallway. - Thank you.
Like something else to eat?
Want my cock? Does not matter who!
Cock is cock!
Why Russia?
What's wrong with you people?
Why Russia?
This is Major...
I'm afraid I've forgotten his name.
He's the battalion commander. They don't have a commandant.
Did you know
German is the first foreign language they learn?
It takes a war for us to discover that.
Can I do anything for you?
Hey, Mongolian!
Did you come here from Moscow to get water for a German?
Or is our major bathing in essence of roses?
A German product.
I'm responsible for the major.
Go on. I'll be there shortly. Go on!
Get moving, Mongolian!
Get moving! Go!
Run, Mongolian!
Then a bomb landed in the neighbour's yard
and turned the whole house into kindling.
And their pig was blown to pieces!
And no longer edible.
Let go, Masha!
Please excuse
- my behaviour. - Dismissed.
Berlin is ours!
I told them all to leave.
May I sit down?
Come over here.
As you wish.
The raping continues.
They are everywhere, in every home.
We are Russians now. At their service.
And we women will have to keep silent.
Or no man will ever want to touch us again.
Poor Germany.
Take me with you.
Nineteen soldiers.
Four! Four women!
Berlin is one big whorehouse!
Look at this! They have everything!
They have jewels! Money! Houses! And they make war! Bastards!
What do I think about them?
Sometimes I feel I could put up with anything.
As long as it comes from without
and doesn't ambush me from within my heart.
I'm doing fine.
And my Russian
is getting better.
- Was someone here? - No.
What a greeting!
Madame, I've brought you a suitor.
is a Gypsy.
Comes and goes as he pleases.
No protector.
My sunshine.
Do you think...
... think the Fuhrer will abandon us?
Is that all?
My head aches.
Where are you going?
To get you something to eat, if it's the last thing I do.
Why the Reichstag? Fuck him! And fuck the Reichstag!
Then he grabbed me and threw me on the bed,
and suddenly he became very boring
like a little puppy.
And afterwards he made me a compliment.
He said,
"Ukrainians like this."
"And you like this."
he had such bad breath.
- Oh, it's you! - Good morning.
We're bringing you breakfast.
The next morning, a few blocks away the war was raging,
the major came with all his men.
- Good morning. - Morning.
The widow who could be had for a scrap of bacon
buzzed around like a bee.
And Herr Eckart, our Volkssturm man, was ready to surrender.
This way!
Russian horse.
What's this?
Sugar! We have sugar!
And bacon and salami...
What a delight!
But not for everyone.
Then came the cavalry,
coats flying, swords raised, horses panting.
When a horse charges,
it has incredible strength.
And the whole avalanche charged
the tanks, the artillery, the machine guns.
Destroyed them all!
Your soldiers outnumbered us, but they dropped their guns
and ran away. German soldiers.
- Soldiers, officers, everyone! Afraid! - Don't be so rude.
- We didn't start the war. - Sit down!
- And stop insulting our hosts. - Enough!
Me the Caucasus Mountains. Understand?
Caucasus Mountains big, so beautiful.
Sun, mountains, blue sky!
Beautiful dances and women!
As sweet as grapes.
And Pushkin was there in exile.
I don't care about Pushkin. I want to go home.
Home, understand?
To my wife and kids.
You see? And you say Pushkin?
I want my wife.
My wife.
What do you know about fascism?
It comes from fascio.
It means "bundle of reeds". Very old. Roman.
To our hostess!
- Right! - A woman
who is obviously smart!
Just like you! Very smart!
I'm no woman!
To German-
Russian friendship!
Search every apartment!
You bastard! You scum!
You know Stalin's decree!
Just stop!
What if I don't? Will you shoot me?
If I have to, I'll shoot you.
He's acting on my orders.
A young German stole some food.
He's armed.
Who lives up there?
Who lives there?
Does anyone live there?
You're lying! You're a lying bitch!
I spit on Germany and Berlin!
We defeated them!
I spit on them!
Out of my way!
I'll kill you, you bastard!
in possession of a weapon or who hides someone
in possession of a weapon will be shot at once!
And the house will be razed!
They'll never forgive you!
Can I have something to drink?
You have to leave.
What are you doing here?
I'm not going to Siberia.
I'm not going.
The next few days the major came and went.
It meant protection for everyone.
He brought candles, cigars and lots of presents
which the widow quickly stowed away in her cupboard.
In a way,
a new era was beginning.
A lot of Russian men like to play Santa Claus.
Why should we women stop them?
That's way too much!
The major speaks eloquent Russian
and he told me more than I wanted to know.
I know his bank account, his parents'
and his brothers' names.
You're our guest today.
Now sit down.
You are so old-fashioned.
I love to touch him.
Let's go!
The war raged on.
While our men were being sent to Siberia,
many women sought protectors
and became taboo for the rest.
Careful! It's a Singer.
Not much further. Hold it up!
In and out, in and out! It's like a train station in here.
Mussolini is dead! They hung him upside down!
Andrei had scarcely left
when Anatol showed up.
I was scared to death the two alpha males would meet
with me in the middle.
I can't really say the major rapes me.
I am at his disposal.
A whore?
I only met a whore once in my life.
People said not to talk to her, that she was bad.
What does that mean anyway? Bad.
Young lady!
Well, well...
Along she comes as if everything were fine.
How often?
Four times. You?
Come on!
- I never thought I'd see you again! - You look good!
You do!
Here, quince jam.
A real Bordeaux! Take it!
How classy! You're spoiled!
That's one way of putting it.
I'm so happy you're here.
Elke's visit cheered us all up.
The major's guards protect us
as we drink his tea in peace. It does us the world of good.
- Where are you going? - What's it to you?
- You can't go in. - Who's there?
So I said, "Young man,
that rifle on your shoulder could accidentally go off."
And me? I was going upstairs,
and somebody on the 2nd floor fired a shot from inside
and grabbed me by the hair and said, "You syphilis."
I was terrified and said,
"No, not me!"
What an idiot.
How's your husband?
He was with me the first time and is still a bit disturbed.
- What do you think of our cavaliers? - Not impressed.
They have no imagination.
At home they may have the latest planned economy,
but when it comes to eroticism, they're like Adam and Eve.
- That's what I told my husband. - With our scanty rations,
your good old husband isn't worth much either.
I guess for a good love life you need regular meals.
My focal point is my belly.
No food, no fun.
Romance, pain, love, lust...
- To us! - Cheers!
Who knows when we'll meet again!
It's hot!
- Apple pie! - Yes, with crumble.
It's singing to me.
You, you, you're in my heart
You, you, you're on my mind
You, you cause me such pain
- You don't know just how good I am - Oh, yes...
You don't know just how good I am
Our men aren't what they used to be, either. They're so weak
it's hard just to look at them.
The weaker sex.
Have you heard from Gerd?
I have a question about syphilis.
Oh, God!
How do you notice it?
Itching, stinging.
And little boils.
They show up later.
I read it in an encyclopedia.
An encyclopedia!
Here, an American gave me this.
Chew it!
Cool, huh?
They all look like actors.
Handsome, like from the movies.
I'm going.
Tell her
I'll be back!
Hear me?
What is it?
A mission.
Can we count on you?
When the day comes.
I'll be here.
Where will you go... later?
Where I'm needed.
A special evening with the major.
A good conversation.
He said I was marvellous.
Nothing else mattered to him.
Contrary to German men, Russian men appreciated educated women.
the war wasn't over yet.
Excuse me.
Do you have a moment?
We need your help.
Come on, kids. Leave the room.
We'll finish building your tower.
It's him.
You Russian?
In my village, German soldiers...
...killed all the children.
They took them...
...stabbed them.
They grabbed them by the feet...
Go on!
...threw them...
...against the walls and...
...smashed their skulls.
Or did you see it?
I saw it.
Hey, what's the hurry?
Did you forget your underwear?
You speak Russian! Tell him I have a family!
Tell him to leave me alone!
You speak Russian!
Where are you going?
I was waiting for you.
What's wrong?
Comrade Major.
Old Germany is finished.
Keep your hands off him!
He comes to me.
I don't go to him.
Go away!
You people hung his wife.
Residents of Berlin!
On 30 April, 1945
the Fuhrer killed himself,
and betrayed all those who
swore allegiance to him.
The Fuhrer's orders were for you
to defend Berlin.
But the lack of heavy artillery and ammunition
and the entire situation make any further fighting
Every hour you go on fighting
prolongs the dreadful suffering of Berlin's civilian population
and of our wounded.
All those who now die in the battle for Berlin
are sacrificing themselves for nothing.
In agreement with the Supreme Command of the Soviet Army, I order you
to immediately cease
all combat operations.
General of the Artillery
and Commander of the Defence Area
of Berlin.
Comrade soldiers and officers of the 8th Red Army,
this morning, the Berlin Garrison
is defeated.
I'm going back to my people.
To Siberia?
What about us?
Talk to me, Friedrich!
Talk to me!
I waited for you!
I prayed.
And I hoped.
I prayed and hoped.
And now I want you
to at least try
to stand by me.
To victory!
Berlin is defeated!
To the homeland!
Long live the Red Army!
Long live Stalin!
Just a moment!
What do we have here?
Two halibuts!
- Unbelievable! - Hitler,
Goebbels... kaput!
Great! Let's drink!
At long last.
The war is over!
How we women longed for that.
But now?
A very bitter defeat.
More and more people are talking about horrific things.
I sense an eerie something in the air.
Evil and menacing.
I don't want to think about it now.
It's all over.
I don't know.
I fear that misfortune has a greater imagination.
They are drinking and smoking like men.
The Russian Army has one million women.
They come from everywhere.
We have no uniforms.
The boots are too large. Shirts and jackets... a disaster.
One of the girls came to me. I think her name was Luba.
She said,
"Major, I believe I will be killed today."
"I want fresh clothes." I said, "No!"
"You've been with us for a long time. The bullets avoid you."
She came back two hours later. And again and again.
So I said, "Yes."
She got a new shirt
with ribbons here.
As white as snow.
It was full of blood.
Every female soldier is afraid of not being pretty when they die.
Are you a Fascist?
Where are you going? They're all taken!
The battalion commander?
That's what I like about you Mongolians.
Not a word too many.
1,678 days
I've been at war.
And now...
And she...
She's a whore, right?
The whole place is a whorehouse.
You come with me!
A gun, huh? Peace, huh?
War kaput!
Get there, I said!
Everybody downstairs!
Everybody downstairs!
Let's go!
Where's the gun from?
Whose apartment is it?
Is this hers?
It's hers.
This is a violation of Red Army regulations!
Long live the Fuhrer!
Liquidate her!
I hope you all die!
Did you know about the gun?
Go back to your apartments.
- Shoot them all! - Go on!
- Halt! - They're all liars!
Shoot them!
Forget the woman!
- She's a Nazi! - Did you understand me?
You will be questioned first.
- Did you understand me? - What are you doing?
She hid an armed soldier! That's grounds for execution!
I'll have to report this.
Torch them!
How could you risk that? You jeopardised us all!
Got the Nazi monster in its own burrow.
The garrison of the German capital
has capitulated.
Me go all Berlin!
Hotel Adlon, Wedding, Kaiserdamm!
Everywhere red flags!
Red flags!
Nice flags, good quality.
What's wrong?
Stop staring! Go on!
What's wrong?
To our victory, Commander! To Stalin!
To Stalin! Wait! Stay with your people!
The war is over!
I've got them.
Just you look. Ljuba, Marina, Olga, Thekla.
And they all love me. All of them.
Everything good?
Want something to eat?
Here! What's better? Tell me!
His prick or my bike?
Get out before I shoot your balls off!
We're celebrating. Everybody, come!
The whole house! It's an order!
Your Hitler is no human!
He is stinking filth.
No human!
Lenchen, they're yelling upstairs!
Everybody! Come up!
It's an order!
Fill it up.
Why are you standing around? We have guests.
Why afraid?
Look down there. You see...?
Russians! Beasts!
Or animals, as you say.
That's right.
Not one of us would hesitate a second
to shoot a German.
Your blood is on our uniforms, and that's good.
None of them wanted to go to war.
Most of them didn't even know what it was...
And now come with me.
What is going on here?
Careful! It's mahogany!
Let me go!
- You dance! - Are you crazy?
This is my living room and not a dance hall.
- You understand? - Fantastic!
Not a dance hall!
Drink schnapps.
Vodka, schnapps good.
He wants me to sing. I'm not going to sing.
- What does he want? - What do you think?
- No. - What do you mean "no"?
No, no, no...
This is Europe! Europe!
Why not? I look at you.
And you? Nothing!
Next time!
To you!
Me Anatol.
- I know. - Barbel.
My heart calls out:
I play the violin. The violin.
- Fiddle. - You play the piano?
In an orchestra, but not any more. My violin is gone.
That's good. I want to play the piano, too.
Why don't you go upstairs?
Should l?
Why not?
We all should.
- Will you come, too? - Later.
- Really? - Sure.
It's good to have you here.
I want to embrace you.
For the rest of my life.
Me here, you in Moscow.
Nobody has arms that long.
The major asked me to call him Andrei.
"Why not," I said. "The war is over."
He gazed at me for a long time.
"Every newborn child yells for war,"
he said. And that nothing,
no person or nation, could stop that cycle.
Except death.
Not fast enough! Faster!
And now the song...
I Am So In Love With You.
Come on!
We're no longer a people. We're a population.
I mean individuals who come together in a democracy
and work hard for prosperity.
We shouldn't see it within a small framework.
European countries will overcome their borders and grow together.
Like Napoleon, the victorious powers
will get rid of countries and nations.
And we'll become a Soviet republic with planned economy nonsense!
Thank you. l...
Herr Hoch, feeling better?
We have to be practical. Things will get better.
Not so fast!
Drink! Drink!
The Soviet Union has just started to develop.
The future will tell.
You love your country.
Just as I love mine.
My mother once said
I would marry a man who plays the piano.
Everyone always wondered what this day would be like.
Not me.
I didn't want to experience it.
Why not?
If you don't tell me,
then I'll tell you, Andrei.
changes our words.
is no longer what it once was.
And still...
I still want...
my husband to find the woman...
he left behind.
Don't go!
We women have been branded for life.
But for the time being,
at this very moment,
I feel just fine.
I'll get us tea. Ilse has some.
Morning, Lenchen.
Is anybody up yet?
Where's Vanya?
At work.
And Mama?
Ilse, come on, get up!
Gerd, do you remember? It was a Tuesday.
Let's go and see Felix.
We could smell the pine resin.
Want to?
We were engulfed in a cloud of butterflies.
And you knew each one by name.
Common blue, Brimstone,
Firebird, Swallowtail and so many more.
One was sunning itself on the path, velvet brown, yellow and blue trim.
You said it was a Mourning Cloak.
I've had so many things in my life, an over-abundance.
The major lost everything.
Damn Russian idealist!
He sees himself the way he wants the world to be.
A Soviet true believer!
But I like him.
The less he wants from me, the more I like him.
Very much.
Andrei is no longer here.
Where to?
Who knows?
"The birds are silent. The bells are hushed."
Isn't that how it goes?
Sit down.
The studio?
Is it gone?
- I don't live here alone. - I know.
Ukrainians like this...
Here, for you.
You're all shameless.
Don't you realise that?
It's disgusting just to look at you!
I want to thank you.
What for?
Being allowed to know you.
Take care of yourself.
How do we go on living?
That's what they call it.
An honourable transfer.
To Siberia.
Who knows?
my beloved Gerd.
What do we do now?
Turn back the hands of time?
Back to the first words you said.
You said, "30 minutes."
"Just give me 30 minutes and you'll never leave me."
No answer.
Two days later he was gone.
I don't know if he'll be back.
I'm surprised it doesn't hurt any more.
But I have so much to do.
I have to find a flint stone.
Mop up the puddles in the studio and scavenge for greens.
I found some lilacs yesterday.
Does Gerd ever think of me?
Who knows? Maybe his heart will speak again and I'll see him...