As WWII comes to an end, a group of Buchenwald's emaciated prisoners risk their lives for the safety of the camp's youngest inmate: a four-year-old Auschwitz-born Jewish prisoner. Is there a future for the Buchenwald boy?
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As rumors reach them that the Allied armies are advancing on their concentration camp at Buchenwald, Polish prisoners renew their feeble hope for survival and freedom. When a group of prisoners is transferred from Auschwitz, a four-year-old child is smuggled into the camp in a valise. Born at Auschwitz, he is Jewish and will be killed if discovered. A group of prisoners decide to protect the child from the searching Germans, and although the kapos cannot smuggle the boy out of Buchenwald, they manage to hide him--moving from one place to another within the camp as the Nazis comb it. Threats and torture by SS men fail to turn up the boy who becomes a symbol of the struggle between captives and captors.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wolfgang Lagerhoff, himself a former concentration camp prisoner, was first asked to direct the movie, but he could not find the time. It was then offered to Frank Beyer, who had already done two historic and unique war movies (Fünf Patronenhülsen (1960), Royal Children (1962)). See more »
East German TV version runs approx. twenty minutes longer. This version was released on DVD in 2018. See more »
This movie is about a group of men in a concentration camp that find a small Jewish boy in a suitcase and set about hiding him from the Nazis. There's a lot of movies set in concentration camps and this is surely one of the best, a great character study. The Nazis are played with a matter of fact, almost understated coldness. The men aren't potrayed as heroes, but just everyday guys trying to hold on to some humanity, no matter what the risk. A compelling film.
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