6 user 2 critic

Stars (1959)

Sterne (original title)
The tragic love of the Jewish girl and the Nazi officer is presented as a symbol of human purity defeated by fascism and racial prejudice.


Konrad Wolf
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Sasha Krusharska Sasha Krusharska ... Ruth (as Sascia Krusciarska)
Jürgen Frohriep Jürgen Frohriep ... Walter
Erik S. Klein Erik S. Klein ... Kurt
Stefan Pejchev ... Bai Petko
Georgi Naumov Georgi Naumov ... Blashe
Ivan Kondov Ivan Kondov ... Ruth's father
Milka Tuykova Milka Tuykova ... Partisan
Shtilyan Kunev Shtilyan Kunev ... Doctor
Naicho Petrov Naicho Petrov ... Police Govenor
Elena Hranova Elena Hranova ... Starata evreyka
Leo Conforti Leo Conforti ... Nervous jewish man
Grigor Vachkov Grigor Vachkov ... Montyor v rabotilnitzata
Yuriy Yakovlev Yuriy Yakovlev ... German officer
Itschak Fintzi ... Jewish Man (as Itzhak Finzi)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Georgi Banchev Georgi Banchev ... Woodman (as Georgi Bantschew)


Stationed in a remote and quiet Bulgarian village in 1943, the sensitive artist and Wehrmacht officer, Walter, finds himself pleasingly away from the horrors of the battlefield. With his brigade channelling entire populations of captured Greek-Jews to the hellish concentration camp, Auschwitz, Walter will see his world turn upside down when the young Grecian prisoner, Ruth, summons up the courage and turns to him for a pregnant woman. Against the backdrop of a dangerously volatile situation, little by little, conflicting emotions take over the unlikely couple, as, more and more, Walter falls for Ruth. Can there be a future for the doomed lovers? Written by Nick Riganas

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War | Drama


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Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

User Reviews

beautiful yet empty film
30 October 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

This East German film by Konrad Wolf did not reach the West until after the Cold War, and is rarely seen today. It concerns the story of a corporal, named 'Walter' (although his real name is never known) and played by Jürgen Frohriep with quiet complexity, and his relationship with interred German Jewess Ruth (played by the beautiful and powerful Sasha Krusharska) against the background of Nazism in Bulgaria, populated by inhuman oafs like Kurt (a repellent character played well by Erik S. Klein), and freedom fighters like Petko (Stefan Pejchev) and Blashe (Georgi Naumov).

The film was made in 1959, centering on events in 1943, when the Jews were rounded up, held prisoner, and eventually shipped to the death camp at Auschwitz. It does not flinch from their predicament, denied medicine, herded together like cattle, huddled quietly and hopelessly in congested rooms. The music score uses Jewish songs to pinpoint the action and underline scenes which are otherwise silent - panning along the faces of the refugees in their dignified acceptance of their situation, or following the death transports as the men, women, and children are packed into carriages and sent away from Bulgaria like animals going to the slaughter.

The power of this film is in its matter-of-fact treatment of what the Germans did to their Jewish countrymen and compatriots, in the name of racial purity, and how out of this one human relationship between - on the surface of it - enemies could grow and flourish. This concentration on Walter and Ruth makes the ending (also the beginning of the film, before the flashback) all the more poignant and touching.

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East Germany | Bulgaria


Bulgarian | German | Greek | Ladino

Release Date:

23 March 1959 (Bulgaria) See more »

Also Known As:

Stars See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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