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The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler

The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler(1943)


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In his office one day, minor Viennese city official Franz Huber does an imitation of Adolf Hitler for a co-worker, Graub. Later, after an evening's entertainment with his family and their friend, Swiss diplomat Herman Marbach, two Gestapo officials enter the Huber home and arrest Franz. He is then taken to Gestapo headquarters in Berlin and questioned by Major Mampe and Colonel Von Zechwitz, who inform him that he has been charged with treason. Franz pleads his innocence, then performs an imitation of Von Zechwitz to show his true nature. Although he is assured of his imminent release, Franz is knocked out and carried to a secret hospital, where doctors perform plastic surgery on him, giving him the facial features of Hitler. In the meantime, Franz's wife Anna and Marbach are informed that Franz has been executed as a traitor. A few days later, doctors remove Franz's facial bandages, and the Austrian discovers his terrible plight. When he tries to fight his abductors, he is warned that both he and his family will be executed if he does not cooperate fully. The Nazi officials then inform Franz that he is to become Hitler's double. As months go by, the Huber children, Hansl and Viki, once ostracized by the other school children for their father's "crime," join the Hitler Youth movement and disavow Franz. After her neighbor, Frau Reitler, attempts suicide after being raped by German soldiers on furlough, Anna is visited by three soldiers from the war front and ordered to billet them in her home. When she injures one of the soldiers who is attempting to molest her, Anna is tried in a Nazi court and told by the judge that it is her patriotic duty to have carnal relations with German soldiers. Marbach comes to her aid, however, stating that they are engaged. The two then immediately marry, saving her from further military demands. Later, while Hitler meets with his generals to discuss the Russian campaign, Franz is sent to Vienna to meet with Duchess Eugenie. After getting his guests drunk, he sneaks back to his old home, where his children, mistaking him for a German officer, tell him about Anna's marriage to Marbach. He then meets with Marbach, and the two plot to kill the real Hitler upon his return to Vienna. Anna, in turn, has her own plot to kill Hitler, as she blames him for the emotional loss of her children. As Hitler, Franz delivers a speech in the park and is approached by Anna, who begs for the return of her children. Franz orders his guards to take Anna back to his hotel, where the real Hitler awaits. At the same time, Marbach informs Bauer, a city hall employee who is now part of the underground movement, of Franz's assassination plot, and the two plan the double's escape. Their plot is foiled, however, when Anna confronts her husband and kills him before he can identify himself. Anna, in turn, is gunned down by Franz's Gestapo guards. Learning of the shootings, the German general staff celebrates the death of "the little colonel," only to have the real Hitler arrive at their meeting and arrest the entire group. As the German leader prepares to address the crowd, Marbach tells Bauer what a pity it is that the real Hitler was not killed, but is told by the underground leader that there will be no peace until all of Hitler's men are killed.