This movie isn't actually a war movie but covers the life of German conscripts on the eve of the second world war. They are in the hands of ruthless and sadistic NCOs who are constantly trying to impose harsh measures against the men. The officers on the contrary are shown much more civilized and see themselves somehow as a father-figure. The tension between the privates and their superiors forms hard bonds of friendship between them, although they come from very different social backgrounds. Private Vierbein and Gefreiter Asch are the two protagonists of this film. Vierbein is a sensible piano-player that detests the rudeness and the lack of privacy in the barracks. However he is deeply in love with Asch's sister, who is a full-propagandized Nazi-BDM-girl and demands of him to become an officer. In this tension, he attempts suicide on the shooting range but is hindered by Asch. With Vierbeins stolen ammunition and deep knowledge of the internal processes, the practical and clever Asch is able to land a brilliant coup and to get his nasty superiors all removed from the unit. The film ends with the beginning of the second world war. Many stereotypes about the different ranks were included in the film and in some cases they were played out excessively. Still many German soldiers may find similarities from some of their own experience.
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