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Ghetto (2005)

Vilniaus getas (original title)
In 1942, in Vilnius, the Nazi annihilate 55,000 Jews and squeeze the 15,000 survivors in a seven blocks ghetto. The twenty-two year old sadistic commander Kittel is assigned to administrate... See full summary »


Audrius Juzenas


Joshua Sobol (play), Joshua Sobol (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Heino Ferch ... Gens
Sebastian Hülk ... Kittel
Erika Marozsán ... Haya
Andrius Zebrauskas Andrius Zebrauskas ... Srulik
Vytautas Sapranauskas Vytautas Sapranauskas ... Weiskopf
Margarita Ziemelyte Margarita Ziemelyte ... Lina
Alvydas Slepikas Alvydas Slepikas ... Kruk
Jörg Lamprecht Jörg Lamprecht ... Dessler (as Jörk Lamprecht)
Adrija Cepaite-Palsauskiene Adrija Cepaite-Palsauskiene ... Uma (as Adrija Cepaite)
Darius Meskauskas Darius Meskauskas ... Arntgen
Jurgis Domasevicius Jurgis Domasevicius ... Timan (as Jurgis Damasevicius)
Eimutis Kvosciauskas Eimutis Kvosciauskas ... Tana
Kristina Mauruseviciute Kristina Mauruseviciute ... Judith
Sigitas Rackys ... Kalman
Vilma Raubaite Vilma Raubaite ... Liuba (as Vilma Raubaité)


In 1942, in Vilnius, the Nazi annihilate 55,000 Jews and squeeze the 15,000 survivors in a seven blocks ghetto. The twenty-two year old sadistic commander Kittel is assigned to administrate the ghetto in the capital of Lithuania, becoming the master of life or death. When he finds the gorgeous Hayyah sneaking with one kilo of beans stolen from the German army, he sentences her to death; but when he is informed that she was a former successful singer, he decides to activate the old theater and promote shows in the ghetto. The Jewish Chief of Police, Gens, uses the theater and a sewing factory to save as much lives as he can; in his ambiguous position, he kills Jews to save lives of others. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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History | War


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Germany | Lithuania


English | German

Release Date:

8 June 2006 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghetto See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The New York production of "Ghetto" by Joshua Sobol opened at the Circle in the Square Theater in New York on April 30, 1989 and ran for 33 performances. See more »


Bruno Kittel is wearing a Wehrmacht (army) uniform, while in fact he worked for the Gestapo. See more »


3rd Quartet
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Performed by Chordos Quartet (Ieva Sipaityte, Egle Jurasunaite, Robertas Bliskevicius and Mindaugas Backus)
See more »

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User Reviews

Strong and thought-provoking film about Lithuanian holocaust with cruel deeds and terrible images
15 February 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is an emotionally tale and very decent drama about the terrifying existence in Vilna ghetto including suffering , grisly executions , theatrical happenings , starvation and other grisly events until a terrible ending . Based on Joseph Sobol's play ¨Ghetto¨ recounts the last days of the Vilna Ghetto Theatre company . German troops entered Vilnius on 26 June 1941, followed by units of the Einsatzgruppe or death squads . Germans rule over Vilna and close Jews at a ghetto . It is commanded by the twenty-two year old nasty officer Kittel (Sebastian Hulk) in charge of the ghetto in the capital of Lithuania . When he finds the gorgeous Hayyah (Erika Marozsan) taking some beans from the German army, he condemns her to death; but when he is informed that she was a previous successful singer, he decides to activate the old theater and promote spectacles . The Jew Chief of Police named Gens (Heino Ferch) uses the theater to save people and makes a sewing factory . Unlike in other ghettos, the resistance movement in the Vilna Ghetto was not run by ghetto officials . Jacob Gens, appointed head of the ghetto by the Nazis but originally chief of police, ostensibly cooperated with German officials in stopping armed struggle.

This is a portentous drama about Jews suffering in the Lithuanian holocaust . Very good performances from main cast as Heino Ferch as Jew chief police who save as much lives as he can and Sebastian Hulk as sadistic Nazi who kills relentlessly and a gorgeous Erika Marozsan as Jew singer suffering the anger from villain commandant. Filmmaker Audrius Juzenas correctly directs a spellbinding portrait about the holocaust based on true facts .

Adding more details over largely described on the movie referred 'the Vilna ghetto ', the events happened on the following manner : Vilna Ghetto was called "Yerushalayim of the Ghettos" because it was known for its intellectual and cultural spirit. Before the war, Vilnius had been known as "Yerushalayim d'Lita¨ (Yiddish: Jerusalem of Lithuania) for the same reason. The center of cultural life in the ghetto was the Mefitze Haskole Library which was called the "House of Culture". It contained a library holding 45,000 volumes . Jewish groups organized events commemorating Yiddish and Hebrew authors and put on plays in these languages . The Vilna Ghetto was well-known for its theatrical productions during World War II. Jacob Gens (Heino Ferch), the head of Jewish police and the ruler of the Vilna ghetto, was given the responsibility for the starting of this theatre.Performances included poetry by Jewish Authors, dramatizations of short stories, and new work by the young ghetto people. The Ghetto Theatre was a great source of revenue and had a calming effect on the public. A total of 111 performances had been given by January 10th, 1943 and a total of 34,804 tickets were sold. The theatre was renovated to accommodate a bigger audience and create a better-looking theatre for the public eye. This theatre permitted the non-Aryan race to display their power through plays and songs .The last theatrical production, The Flood, was produced by the Swedish dramatist Henning Berger and opened in the summer of 1943, in the last week of this Ghetto's existence. This play, set in an American saloon during a flood, featured a group of people who banded together during a time of danger and need. In early 1943, the Germans caught a member of the Communist underground who revealed some contacts under torture and the Judenrat, in response to German threats, tried to turn Yitzhak Wittenberg, the head of the FPO, over to the Gestapo. The FPO The Fareynikte Partizaner Organizatsye (United Partisan Organization) was able to rescue him after he was seized in the apartment of Jacob Gens in a fight with Jewish ghetto police. Gens brought in heavies, the leaders of the work brigades, and effectively turned the majority of the population against the resistance members, claiming they were provoking the Nazis and asking rhetorically whether it was worth sacrificing tens of thousands for the sake of one man. Ghetto prisoners assembled and demanded the FPO give Wittenberg up. Ultimately Wittenberg himself made the decision to submit to the Nazi demands. He was taken to Gestapo headquarters in Vilnius and was reportedly found dead in his cell the next morning. Most people believed he had committed suicide. The rumour had it that Gens had slipped him a cyanide pill in their final meeting.During roughly two years of its existence, starvation, disease, street executions, maltreatment and deportations to concentration camps and extermination camps reduced the population of the ghetto from an estimated 40,000 to zero. Only several hundred people managed to survive, mostly by hiding in the forests surrounding the town, joining the Soviet partisans, or finding shelter among sympathetic locals.

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