The Nazis have just invaded and are now occupying another Western European town in an Allied country, the Nazi District Commadant being Major Erich von Keller. Like other such occupied towns, the Nazis are keeping it a supposed free city in return for citizen cooperation. Some of the town's leading citizens, such as Mayor Henry Manville and the railway station master George Lambert, encourage that citizen cooperation outwardly to maintain peace, while such persons are able to profit individually in being in von Keller's proverbial back pocket. Paul Martin, a railway switch man and George's best friend, has gone even further by befriending occupying German soldiers. On the other side, the school head master, well-respected Professor Sorel, and young schoolteacher Louise Martin, Paul's sister and George's fiancée, openly but quietly resist although do not totally defy Nazi orders. Louise's fellow schoolteacher, middle-aged Albert Lory, is a timid man, his self-admitted cowardice ...
"I DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYONE, Even the man I love! (Print Ad- Vancover Sun, ((Vancouver, BC)) 3 July 1943)
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Did You Know?
The singing of "Die Lorelei" by the German soldiers was a subtle dig at the anti-semitic regime of the Nazis, since the words were written by banned Jewish poet Heinrich Heine
. Many of his books, considered "un-German," were burned in the book-burning episode at Opernplatz, Berlin, Germany, on 10 May 1933. However, his works were so popular that they were still published, but "author unknown" was the listed writer. In his 1821 play "Almansor," Heine also prophetically wrote "Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." ("Where they burned books, they will in the end in burn people.") See more
The German tanks seen at the beginning are actually American M1917 tanks which are based on the French Renault FT-17 light tanks from World War I. The Germans captured from the French in 1940 and used them for security and airfield roles. See more
I'm afraid this is my last class. I don't know how much time I have. If this must be a short lesson, I think I've found the best book. It was given to me by Professor Sorel. The only reason it wasn't burned with the others is because I hid it away in my bedroom. I'm going to read you something that was written by great men. Written in a night of enthusiasm a long time ago. 150 years ago. These men came from all classes, rich people, poor people, businessmen, men of religion. And they didn't ...
Opening credits prologue: "Somewhere in Europe"- See more
Music by Friedrich Silcher (1838)
Poem by Heinrich Heine
Played on accordion by Kent Smith
and sung by the German soldiers See more