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Hitler's Madman

(1943 b 84')

En: 5 Ed: 6

Czech resistance assassinates the German Protector Heydrich and suffers a devastating revenge.

German soldiers occupy the old Czech town of Lidice. Karel (Alan Curtis) returns and learns that his parents were sent to a concentration camp and the German mayor is living in his house. Karel finds Jarmilla Hanka (Patricia Morison) and kisses her. The hermit Nepomuk (Edgar Kennedy) takes a sandwich from Karel and gives him a rifle. Germans arrest Anton Bartonek at home for sabotage. Nepomuk tells people to meet with Karel at his cave. Karel urges them to fight with sabotage, but Jan Hanka (Ralph Morgan) persuades the men they would be killed. His daughter Jarmilla supports Karel.

German mayor Herman Bauer (Ludwig Stossel) refuses to help the Czechs. Protector Reinhardt Heydrich (John Carradine) decides to go after the organizers of sabotage and attends a lecture by a philosopher. Heydrich asks for labor volunteers, but he gets none and takes the young women. One woman jumps out the window. After Anton's death, men change their minds and join Karel's resistance. They blow up the mine while no one is in it. Jan and Jarmilla argue. Heydrich stops a religious procession, and the priest is shot. Bauer and his wife learn that their sons are dead. Jan tells Karel and Jarmilla that he will kill Heydrich. Jarmilla rides a bicycle to slow down his car, and Karel and Jan shoot Heydrich. Jan says goodbye to Karel and Jarmilla.

Nazis plan reprisals and take hostages. Czechs put Jan in jail. Germans take Bauer to Prague under arrest. In the hills two German soldiers arrive and wound Jarmilla. Karel kills both but is wounded. Jarmilla dies, and Karel buries her body. Heinrich Himmler (Howard Freeman) visits dying Heydrich and lies to Hitler on the phone about Heydrich's final loyalty. Himmler orders the town of Lidice destroyed. Soldiers grab people. All men over 16 are to be killed, and others will go to concentration camps. Men sing before they are shot, and the town is burned on June 10, 1942.

This dramatization of a true story is a powerful testimony of Nazi oppression and the desperate struggle that opposed them.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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