Fatherland (film)

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Fatherland (film), is a 1994 TV movie about Nazi Germany in an alternate 1964, where an SS major and an American journalist discover the truth about the Holocaust.

Directed by Chrstopher Menaul. Written by Gideon Amir, Ilene Kahn, Frederick Muller, and Leo Zisman, based on a novel written by Robert Harris.
It's 1964. What if Hitler had won the war? (taglines)
It has been 20 years since the Second World War ended with the failure of the Allied invasion in Normandy. A triumphant Hitler declared victory over Europe and the British Empire.
"We put them in cattle cars and shipped them East. Always East."
"To the Ukraine, you mean... to the resettlement camps?"
"Ja, to resettle them... in the air."
Nobody, in a new Berlin, dares to ask awkward questions.
After the war, I believed what everybody else believed. No reason not to. I am a loyal son of the Fatherland. I served murderers all my life. How do I explain that to my son? ~ Xavier March

Paul "Pili" March

  • [opening narration] It has been 20 years since the Second World War ended with the failure of the Allied invasion in Normandy. A triumphant Hitler declared victory over Europe and the British Empire. The United States withdrew from the conflict, listening to those like Charles Lindbergh, who had argued against a war with Germany. In the East, only the Russians fought on in a bitter guerrilla war. American efforts turned to retribution for Pearl Harbor. That came in the summer of 1945, with victory over Japan. By then, American General Eisenhower returned to the United States and a humiliating retirement. In 1947, King Edward and Queen Wallis assumed the British throne. Winston Churchill, who had barely escaped with his life after Normandy, died in exile in Canada in May 1953. In the years after the war, country after country of the old Europe had become part of the vast empire of Germania. The Fuhrer's architect, Albert Speer, built a monument to the Thousand-Year Reich. Germania's capital, Berlin, became a Nazi showplace. The SS became a peacetime police force, patrolling clean, orderly streets. As the '50s came to a close, Hitler was able to put a more civilized face on the Greater Reich, but news continued to be tightly controlled. The '60s began with the war with the Soviet Union still dragging on. Hitler desperately needed to conclude a formal peace with the United States and forge an alliance against the Russians, still led by the 85-year-old Joseph Stalin. Hitler saw signs of hope in late 1960 with the election of a new President of the United States. The Fuhrer believed with President Joseph Kennedy Sr. in office, at last there would be someone with whom a deal can be struck. Now in 1964, for the first time in 20 years, Germania's borders are being opened to the Americans. The world press is being invited to cover the Fuhrer's birthday celebration on April 20. There are rumors that President Kennedy will attend a Germanian-American summit conference. An alliance with America would ensure Germania's invulnerability... but there are other more persistent rumors that could threaten Hitler's plans. There were stories that something terrible happened in Germany during the war. That the official Nazi story that Jews and other minorities were relocated to the East, wasn't true. There are also rumors that in the Greater Reich, terrible things are still happening. Television, radio, and newspapers are all controlled by the powerful Ministry of Information. Nobody, in a new Berlin, dares to ask awkward questions.
  • [closing narration] I used to wonder why she never got out while she had the chance. But she and my father the first to see those images of horror. The first to know, and that somehow linked them forever with each other and the victims. So she sat on until the Gestapo came for her. Everything has changed. Without the American alliance, Hitler's Reich collapsed. Of course, there are some who say it never happened. Those who look and do not see. The years since have been difficult ones, but my father would be proud to know that no longer are we all living in the house of the blind.


Xavier March: Let me tell you a story about a clockmaker. He was over a hundred years old. Wrinkled face, his hair was white as snow. He'd worked all his life, hunched over clocks like this. So, he was a hunchback. People thought he was ugly, people of the village, and they used to call him names. So, he lived on top of the mountain with all his clocks. And he worked day and night. While he was working all the time, he didn't notice that the hunch on his back started to grow. Bigger and bigger. And one day, when he went out for a walk, his nose almost touched the ground. That's how big it was. And that same night he was working, working away with little clocks, and they suddenly stopped ticking and he looked up. And he saw, in the mirror, two little feathers coming out of his coat and he started growing. And he looked in the mirror and he saw that he had these two big wings. And all the clocks starting singing. And he opened the window, looked at the stars, and flew up in the sky.
Pili March: Then what happened to him?
Xavier: He became an Angel.
Pili: Will that happen to him?
Xavier: Well. We can't kill angels can we?

[Xavier March researches at the Reichsarchiv about all men seen in a picture he had, with help of a close friend working at the office. They study a printout about the men]
Xavier March: [sees something in the paper] What? They're all dead.
Anna: [sees another fact in the paper and face changes, looks at March] I want nothing more to do with this. Please, go.

[Charlie Maguire rendezvous with Franz Luther at the train that just left Humboldthain station]
Charlie Maguire: What do you want from me?
Franz Luther: I want - [sees SS guard pass by] I want to defect. You will arrange this through the American Embassy.
Maguire: Why should I do that?
Luther: I have a story that will make you famous. The biggest secret of the war. Thousands have been killed to protect it.
Maguire: So what is it?
Luther: A terrible crime was committed. Since then, everyone with direct knowledge of it has been quietly killed by the Gestapo. Only I am left. I have proof of what happened, documents, papers, photographs, signed orders. They are the price of my mission to the States. You'll get your embassy to arrange transportation out of the country for two people. You will need this to prepare our travel papers. [slips her an envelope.] Nothing will because I'm here. Not for you or anybody.

[Xavier March flags down a friend in the Kripo Sexual Crimes Unit and tries to ask a favour.]
Walther Fiebes: You're not a friend to have right now. Get out of the car.
Xavier March: I was thinking of asking Internal Affairs to audit the records of the Sexual Crimes Unit. I understand they will find a lot missing. Photographs, magazines, films, very interesting material...[for emphasis] including child pornography.
Fiebes: [flustered] Whose file do you want?
March: Franz Luther.
Fiebes: Luther?! For God's sakes, Xavi-
March: Get it!
Fiebes: I'll get it for you tomorrow.

[Charlie Maguire seeks a trove of papers from Franz Luther's partner, Anna von Hagen, who is hopeful of coming back to America to restart her film career]
Charlie Maguire: We'll send a car for you in a couple of hours.
Anna von Hagen: [gives files] America! Franz says you still have them in America. You didn't do anything about them? All that may change of course, now you have a president who thinks like the Führer does ... It was a real problem for me, making a career in Hollywood.
Maguire: Why?
Von Hagen: Jews. They controlled all the studios, you know - they even tried to keep me out of Broadway. The public wanted me, you see ... and then "they" started the war. Ah, Berlin was beautiful before the war. The only thing that spoiled it was the Jews. I have no career left, but I would like to go to America just to upset the Jews! So what do you think, you think you can finally do something with your Jews just like what we did with ours?
Maguire: What did you do?
Von Hagen: We put them in cattle cars and shipped them East. Always East.
Maguire: To the Ukraine, you mean, to the... the resettlement camps?
Von Hagen: Ja, to resettle them ... [twirls index finger] in the air.

[Having seen Charlie Maguire distraught upon learning the truth about the Jewish "resettlement," March follows her to a park]
Charlie Maguire: They killed all the Jews.
Xavier March: No, we didn't. We resettled them. We gave them their own piece of land. [offered some pictures]
Maguire: Xavi, look at these.
March: These are forgeries.
Maguire: Forgeries?
March: They must be.
Maguire: So, Luther, Stuckart, and Buhler...they were killed for forgeries?
March: Do you want this to be true? Do you think it's a good story?
Maguire: It is true. [pause; points to pictures] LOOK AT THEM! [softer voice] You agreed to follow my lead wherever it took us. It's brought us here. We can't go back.
March: [stands] My God..
Maguire: You knew...
March: I was at sea during the war.
Maguire: What does "necessity of removing the biological basis for Judaism once and for all" mean? What's "Final Solution" mean?
March: I don't know.
Maguire: [pores over papers] It's a rail timetable, one train a day, 60 persons per car, 60 cars per train...that's 25,000 people a week. What happened at Auschwitz and Belsen?
March: I can't believe this.
Maguire: What was Zyklon B?
March: I don't know, Charlie!
Maguire: It's gas. Kill them with gas.
March: Gas...
Maguire: You took everything they own. You gave them as gifts to your troops. Jewelry, fountain pens, watches...
March: [sits down in shock] After the war, I believed what everybody else believed. No reason not to. I am a loyal son of the Fatherland. I served murderers all my life. How do I explain that to my son?


  • It's 1964. What if Hitler had won the war?


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