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The Captain (Der Hauptmann)

In a rural section of northeast Germany, in the final weeks of the war, 19-year-old Herold abandoned his company. Struggling to evade pursuers, close to starvation, he found an abandoned car containing a trunk. Inside was the uniform of a decorated Luftwaffe captain. Donning the clothing, young Herold took his first step toward a bloody new destiny.

The Captain (Der Hauptmann)


Germany, 1945. Soldier Willi Herold, a deserter of the German army, stumbles into a uniform of Nazi captain abandoned during the last and desperate weeks of the Third Reich. Newly emboldened by the allure of a suit that he has stolen only to stay warm, Willi discovers that many Germans will follow the leader, whoever he is.

Read a tweet about this Blu-ray being available on Netflix and read up on it. Premiered at TIFF and had a healthy fest run. Music Box picked it up for the US. The film follows Willi Herold (Max Hubacher), a German army deserter who stumbles across an abandoned Nazi captain's uniform during the last, desperate weeks of the Third Reich. Willi soon becomes what he was fleeing from.

Inspired from the real story of Willi Herold, nicknamed the Executioner of Emsland, the film depicts his meteoric rise from simple private to all-powerful (albeit fake) captain during the last chaotic days of World War II, and is a chilling meditation on the corrupting influence of power, blind obedience and the influence of the Nazi regime on everyday people.

The Captain is a 2017 World War II German-language drama directed by Robert Schwentke (Red, Flightplan). Set in 1945 near the end of the Second World War, the film is based on the real story of Willi Herold, a young German deserter who assumes the identity of a Luftwaffe captain after finding an abandoned captain uniform, and gradually transforms from a cowardly nobody into a ruthless German officer.

The fellow gets away and then becomes a hunter-gatherer, with little success. He barely escapes getting shot by irate farm owners keeping a close eye on their chickens. In a little while he finds a jeep, and in it, the uniform and some of the equipment of an army captain. Complete with an imposing little monocle. These will certainly come in handy.

Few events in Imperial Germany's forty-plus years of existence have been remembered with as much pride and hilarity as the one that took place on October 16, 1906. It began shortly after noon, when a man dressed in a captain's uniform appeared on the streets in the northern part of Berlin and commandeered two small contingents of soldiers returning to their barracks from guard duty. Claiming to be acting on instructions from the kaiser himself, the man ordered the ten soldiers to accompany him to Köpenick, a small but growing city on the southeastern outskirts of Berlin. Arriving in front of city hall around 3:30 p.m., he assigned four of the men to take up positions at the three entrances of the building to ensure that no one entered or left without his permission. The remaining troops followed him inside, where he instructed two men to secure the ground floor. Heading upstairs, he encountered an off-duty constable, who, along with other police officials, was given the task of controlling the growing crowd of curious gawkers that had begun to amass in the plaza and streets outside. With these arrangements set, he barged into the offices of the mayor and other top officials, announcing their arrest on the kaiser's orders and stationing soldiers outside their doors. Within an hour, he arranged to have the mayor and city treasurer transported by carriage to the Neue Wache, the main guardhouse in central Berlin. After issuing orders for the remaining soldiers to withdraw at 6:00 p.m., the unidentified captain disappeared into the night with the contents of the city's cash box, totaling 3557 marks and 45 pfennig.

In the last moments of World War II, a young German soldier fighting for survival finds a Nazi captain's uniform. Impersonating an officer, the man quickly takes on the monstrous identity of the perpetrators he's escaping from.

Occurs in the PS of a letter, dated January 6th, 1816, to the opera singer Anna Milder-Hauptmann, who had just married. The text reads: "Ich kuesse Sie, druecke Sie an mein Herz! Ich der Hauptmann, der Hauptmann!" ["I kiss you, and close you in my heart! I'm the captain, the captain!"]. Beethoven adds: "Fort mit allen uebrigen faelschen Hauptmaennern" ["Down with all the other false captains"].The first riddle about this riddle canon is whether it is a canon or not. The notes are in two seperate chunks (1.Ich kuesse Sie and 2.Ich der Hauptmann!) and it is not clear whether they belong together. Ludwig Misch ("Beethoven Studies", p.256/8) discusses the apparent impossibility to solve this canon. Perhaps that's why this canon was recorded only as a single line in DG's 1997 Complete Edition.However, Hess (Hess Supp.V, Revisionsbericht) indicates two solutions: 1) entry of the second voice after one bar a fourth higher, and 2) entry of the second after one bar as mirror image in the prime. The second chunk ("Ich der Hauptmann") can in both solutions be inserted as free counterpoint starting in the second bar.Willem noticed that, in both cases, this second chunk can also be inserted starting in the first bar, a fourth lower, thus turning both solutions into true four part double canons.Also noteworthy is the way Beethoven treats the word "Hauptmann": he slices it in two, with a marked rest between "Haupt" and "mann", comparable to the way he treats "Amen" in the Credo of the Missa Solemnis. It is as if he decapitates his rival musically.The midi first gives the notes written by Beethoven as single line, followed by the world premieres of the two double canons.The complete letter Beethoven wrote to Anna Milder-Hauptmann reads as follows:Vienna, January 6th, 1816My most esteemed, unique Milder, my dear friend,This letter to you has been long delayed. How gladly I would contribute in person to the enthusiasm of the Berlin public evoked by your performance in 'Fidelio'. A thousand thanks on my part for your fidelity to my 'Fidelio'!If you would ask Baron de la Motte-Fouqué on my behalf to devise a great subject for an opera, and one which, at the same time, would be suitable for you, you would be rendering a great service to me and to the German stage. Also, I should wish to write such an opera exclusively for the Berlin theatre, as I shall never succeed in putting on a new opera here, because of the stingy management. Reply to me soon, with all speed, as soon as possible, with all possible speed, as speedily as possible, whether this is practicable. The conductor Weber has praised you to the skies, and he is right. Happy is the man whose lot it is to profit by your Muse, your genius, your splendid qualities and distinctions ! Not excluding myself ! Be that as it may, all those who surround you may call themselves only next men; I alone have the right to bear the venerable name of head man (1), and only quite silently at that.Your true friend and admirerBeethoven(My poor unhappy brother has died - that is the reason for my long failure to write.) As soon as you have replied to me, I shall also write to Baron de la Motte-Fouqué. I am sure that your influence in Berlin will easily make it possible for me to write a whole opera for the Berlin theatre, with special attention to your part and acceptable terms. Only, reply soon, so that I can fit this in with my other writings.(Follows music to the words:I kiss and hug, press you close to my heart !I the head man, the head man)(Away with all the other usurping head men!)[Michael Hamburger, Beethoven Letters, Journals and Conversations, p.140]WoO: 169Hess: 250Click here to help us continue bringing more Unheard Beethoven compositions to the InternetMake a DonationClick here to help us continue bringing more Unheard Beethoven compositions to the Internet by making a secure and easy donation through PayPal.SearchesSearch by Opus Number Search by WoO NumberSearch by Hess NumberSearch by Biamonti NumberSearch by Gardi NumberSearch by CategorySchoolzone 1999-2013 The Unheard Beethoven, Inc. 041b061a72


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