Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
By 1941, Adolf Hitler had taken personal command of the German military apparatus. His initial successes made this seem like a good idea at the time, but by 1944, after an unparalleled series of military defeats that Hitler refused even to acknowledge, a group of high-ranking military and political figures in Germany decided to assassinate him and take over the government. Unfortunately for them, their assassination attempt failed, and the knives were out to find all the people involved in the attempt. The most wanted person in the coup was Carl Goerdeler (Dieter Schaad), a respected figure in German public life for many decades. Twenty years earlier, a girl by the name of Helene Schwärzel (Katherina Thalbach) met Goerdeler. After the coup attempt, during the nationwide manhunt, Helene recognized him and notified the authorities. In addition to receiving a huge reward, she became the focus of a nationwide propaganda campaign, and was widely resented for her "success." When the Allies won the war, they prosecuted her under a "crimes against humanity" statute, and she spent six years in prison. A basically clueless, apolitical person, she seems to have been puzzled by the whole affair, and she never spent her reward money. This historical drama tells the about her involvement in this significant story.