Seventeen Moments of Spring

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Seventeen Moments of Spring (Russian: Семнадцать мгновений весны) is a 1973 Soviet twelve-part television series, directed by Tatyana Lioznova and based on the novel of the same title by Yulian Semyonov. The series portrays the exploits of Maxim Isaev, a Soviet spy operating in Nazi Germany under the name SS-Standartenführer Max Otto von Stierlitz.


  • Happy girl, "about seven o'clock". The happiest people are those who can handle time freely.
  • They think if I have not failed in these twenty years, then I am omnipotent. It would be nice if I became Himmler's deputy. Or even break into the Führers. Heil Stirlitz. Am I getting a grumbler?
  • More than anybody, I love old people and children.
  • I don't like to be taken for a dummy in the old Polish Preference. I'm a player, not a dummy.


  • They are all dreamers, our bosses. They can fantasize, they do not have a specific job. And even a trained chimpanzee in a circus can give guidance.
  • I like people of few words. If a friend is silent, then this is a friend, and if an enemy, then this is an enemy. I respect them.
  • What pulled you to epithets, Eissmann? It's from fatigue? Leave the epithets to our party bosses. We detectives must express ourselves in nouns and verbs. "He met", "she said", "he transfer".
  • It is very easy to advise others: be honest. But for himself, everyone tries to turn his dishonesty with honesty.
  • Remember: in this world you can't trust anyone, sometimes not even yourself. You can trust only me.
  • Everyone is afraid of getting a thrashing from old Müller! Have I given anyone a thrashing at least once in my life, huh? I'm a good old man about whom rumors spread. Your handsome boss is a thousand times angrier than me. He just learned in his universities to smile and speak French. And I still don’t know how to eat an apple — cut it, or eat it the way it is customary at my home: the whole, with bones.
  • It's impossible to understand the logic of a layman.

Müller's monologue about future

Stierlitz. Heil Hitler!
Müller. Drop it. I have ringing in my ears already.
Stierlitz. I don't understand...
Müller. Come on. You understand everything very well. The Führer is incapable of making decisions, and the interests of Germany should not be confused with those of Adolf Hitler.
Stierlitz. Do you aware...
Müller. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! Yes! I am aware. There are no listening equipment here, and no one will believe you, if you pass on my words. Well, you wouldn't dare pass on them to anyone. But you — unless you are playing a more delicate game than the one you want to impose on me — be aware that Hitler led Germany to disaster. And I see no way out of this situation. Do you understand? I don't see. Sit down, sit down... sit down. You have still twenty minutes, and you need ten to drive, twelve at the most. What do you think, does Bormann have his own salvation plan, different from the plans of the Reichsführer? Himmler's people abroad are under a hood. He demanded results from his agents, but he didn't take care of them. But not a single person from the German-American, German-British, German-Brazilian institutions was arrested. Himmler couldn't have disappeared into this world. Bormann can. Here's what you must think about. And you explain to him — just try to do it more tactfully — when everything, and very soon, will end in failure, he will not do without professionals. Most of Himmler's deposits in foreign banks are under the Allies' hood. Bormann has a hundred time more deposits, and no one knows about it, no one. Helping Bormann to knock down his opponents now, you give yourself guarantees for the future. Himmler's gold is for a trifle game, it's a cover for Bormann's gold. Hitler was well aware that Himmler's gold ... is out of control. He understood it served close, tactical purposes. But Bormann's gold, the Party's gold, it's not for lousy agents and re-recruited ministerial drivers who take mistresses to their bosses under the lenses of Schellenberg, but for those hundreds of thousands of intellectuals who will understand over time: there is no way except National Socialism in this world. The Party's gold is a bridge to the future, it's an appeal to our children, to those who are now a month old, a year or three. Those who are now ten don't need us nor our ideas; they'll not forgive us hunger and bombing. But those who now still don't understand anything will talk about us as a legend! And the legend must be fed! It is necessary to create storytellers who will put our words in a different way, the one that humanity will live in twenty years. As soon as somewhere instead of the word "hello" they say "Heil" to someone's personal address — know: they are waiting for us there, from there we'll begin our great revival. How old will you be in 1965? Under seventy. You lucky, you will live to play your part. Seventy is the politician's heyday. And I'll be close to eighty... That's why I'm worried about the next ten years. And if you want to make your bet without being afraid of me, but, on the contrary, counting on me, remember: Müller the Gestapo is an old, tired man. He wants to live out his years in peace somewhere on a small farm with a blue pool. And for this I am ready to play some games now. And one more thing ... of course, this should not be said to Bormann, but remember yourself: in order to move from Berlin to a small tropical farm, you should not rush. Many of the Führer's mutts will run away from here very soon and get caught. But when the Russian cannonade will rumble in Berlin, and the soldiers will fight for every house — then it will be possible to leave here without slamming the door behind. To leave and carry away the secret of the Party's gold known only to Bormann and the Führer. And when the Führer goes into oblivion, you must be very useful to Bormann. He will then be the Monte Cristo of the twentieth century. So now there is a struggle of endurances, Stirlitz, and in the background there is only one essence. The same simple and understandable human essence. Now you can go. (Müller offers Stierlitz a cigarette, Stirlitz refuses) Well, what are you? Bittner will give you recorder near the car. Just don't tell me, please, that you are convinced of Hitler's victory. Don't answer, no need. Just when you go, think about my words. And be aware of how I re-recruited you up: in five minutes and without any tricks.[1]


  • The spy eighter surrenders immediately, or doesn't surrender at all, except in rare cases, after the use of special methods by Müller's thugs.
  • Truly: if you smoke American cigarettes, they will say that you have sold your homeland.


  • People whom I unconditionally trust speak openly to each other about the tragedy of the situation, about the stupidity of our military, the cretinism of Ribbentrop, about the blockheaded Göring, and about the terrible thing that awaits us all if the Russians break into Berlin. But Stierlitz replies: 'Nonsense, everything is fine. Things are progressing well.' Love for the motherland and the Führer is not about blindly lying to friends at work. I asked myself, maybe, he's a blockhead? After all, we've a lot of duds who mindlessly repeat Göbbels' abracadabra. No, he isn't a blockhead. Then why is he not sincere? He either doesn't trust anyone, or he's afraid of something, or he's up to something and wants to be crystal pure.

Wehrmacht General in the train

  • You can expect anything from the Reds. You can expect the same from the Americans, too. I've been fighting them for a year. These idiots will be destroyed by their own technology. They think that a war can be won by bombing alone. They will build up their technical power and drown in it. It will rot them like rust. They will decide that they can do anything. The Reds think so because they are wild and poor people. The Americans think so because they are too rich. That is why wars are necessary.
  • States are like people. They hate a static. Borders choke them. They need movement, this is an axiom. A movement is a war.
  • I bequeathed to my children: damn any democracy in our Reich. Every democracy in our country is fraught with only one thing: the dictatorship of petty shopkeepers. The more freedoms we have, the sooner we want the SS, the secret police, concentration camps, total fear. Only then do we feel at peace. There is no need to defend your point of view on the fate of the motherland. No responsibility. Just raise your hand in honor of the one who does this for you, just shout: 'Heil Hitler!' - and everything will immediately become clear. No worries.
  • Dying is scary when you're alone. En masse — it's nothing. You can even joke.

Agent Klaus

  • You can't be free among slaves. So isn't it better to be the freest among slaves?


  • Everyone wants to keep his hands clean, but want me do abominations.


(Himmler and Schellenberg watch Soviet newsreels about the Yalta Conference.)
Himmler. He has aged.
Schellenberg. Who?
Himmler. Stalin.

Stierlitz. Then tell me my fortune.
Frau Saurich. What do you want to know?
Stierlitz. For example, when the war will end.
Frau Saurich. It's already over.
Stierlitz. Yes?
Frau Saurich. In a certain sense, yes. If we understood this earlier, it would be better for all of us.

Stierlitz. How do you think to give birth, baby?
Kath. It seems that a new method has not yet been invented.
Stierlitz. ... You see, women scream during childbirth.
Kath. I thought they were singing songs.
Stierlitz. ... They shout in their native language. So you will shout "Mommy!" in Ryazan style.
Kath. ... I will shout in German.
Stierlitz. Well, you can add a bit Russian swearing, but always with a Berlin accent.

Bormann. I've definitely seen you somewhere.
Stierlitz. When you decorated me with the Iron Cross, you said that I had the face of a mathematics professor, not a spy.
Bormann. Hmmm... Well, now you have the face of a spy, not a professor.

Old Kripo detective. Well, you have a memory.
Müller. Are you complaining about your one?
Detective. I drink iodine.
Müller. I drink vodka.
Detective. You are a General, you can drink vodka. Where can we get money?
Müller. Take bribes.
Detective. And then your bone-breakers will catch me. I'd rather drink iodine.
Müller. And I would gladly exchange my vodka for your iodine.
Detective. What, a lot of work?
Müller. For now, yes. And soon it won't be there at all.

Scholz. Stirlitz is walking down the corridor.
Müller. (listens to English radio) What?
Scholz. Stirlitz is walking down the corridor.
Müller. Which corridor?
Scholz. Along our corridor.
Müller. Where is he going?
Scholz. I don't know. ("Stirlitz is walking down the corridor" is a catchphrase meaning "some serious events are coming")

Wehrmacht General. Are you German?
Stierlitz. Alas.
Wehrmacht General. Why "alas"?
Stierlitz. Because they don't bring me a second cup of coffee. And real coffee here is only served to those with foreign passport.

Jokes inspired

  • During a secret meeting, an unknown SD officer silently enters Hitler's bunker, photographs the maps on the table, rummages through Keitel's briefcase, hides operational plans in his pocket, etc. "Who is this?!" — Hitler shouts. "This is Stirlitz, the Russian spy" — Müller answers tiredly. — "So arrest him! Are you Gestapo or kindergarten?!" — "No sense, mein Führer. He can always justify himself with his impeccable logic."

  • "Stirlitz, are you a Jew?" — Müller asked unexpectedly. "No, no, Gruppenführer, I'm Russian!" — Stirlitz did not lose his head.
  • A strong black man in the SS Standartenführer uniform looked at Stirlitz from the mirror. "Netflix remake!" — Stirlitz guessed.


  1. Vyacheslav Tikhonov — Max Otto von Stierlitz
  2. Yevgeniy Yevstigneyev — Professor Pleischner
  3. Lev Durov — Klaus
  4. Svetlana Svetlichnaya — Gabi Nabel
  5. Nikolai Volkov — Erwin Kinn
  6. Yekaterina Gradova — Katherin Kinn
  7. Oleg TabakovWalter Schellenberg
  8. Leonid BronevoyHeinrich Müller
  9. Mikhail ZharkovskyErnst Kaltenbrunner
  10. Emilia Milton — Mrs Saurich
  11. Otto Mellies — Helmut Kolder
  12. Olga Soshnikova — Barbara Krein
  13. Nikolai ProkopovichHeinrich Himmler
  14. Yevgeniy KuznetsovKrüger
  15. Rostislav Plyatt — Pastor Fritz Schlag
  16. Yuri VizborMartin Bormann
  17. Nikolai Gritsenko — General in the train
  18. Leonid Kuravlyov — Kurt Eismann
  19. Fritz DiezAdolf Hitler
  20. Vasily LanovoyKarl Wolff
  21. Valentin GaftGaevernitz
  22. Vladimir Kenigson — Krause
  23. Eleonora Shashkova — Isaev's wife
  24. Alexei Safonov — Jürgen Rolf
  25. Konstantin Zheldin — Wilhelm Holthoff
  26. Lavrentiy Masokha — Scholz
  27. Andro KobaladzeJoseph Stalin
  28. Wilhelm Burmeier — Hermann Göring
  29. Vyacheslav ShalevichAllen Dulles