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Der Hauptmann von Köpenick, a classic

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Here is a great Klassiker by Carl Zuckmayer, the main rôle played by  Heinz Rühmann, Berlin-Köpenick, 1905. From the novel based on the true story of Wilhelm Voigt, a shoemaker with a record as a petty criminal. How Voigt put on a Guards officer uniform (Hauptmann), stopped a small troop from the Garde-Füsilier-Regiment and ordered them to fall in, stopped a further detachment from the 4. Garde-Regiment, and marched off to the station, boarded a train and got off at Köpenick, marched to the Town Hall  and occupied it,  setting  up posts without and within and demanded payment of the contents of the safe, whilst arresting the Mayor. In the end, when the authorities had realised what happened, he was arrested and imprisoned. He was also allowed to keep his uniform, which he had paid for, legally his "property". The Kaiser remarked with a hearty laugh, "In Preußen ist Recht und Ordnung. Das gibt's nur bei uns. Kein Volk dieser Erde macht uns das nach!"

When His Majesty the Kaiser got to hear of this and heartily laughed, Voigt was immediately pardoned and released and given his papers, which he had always been longing for. He became the famed "Hauptmann von Köpenick". The lesson was, that people respect and obey the uniform and the authority behind it without limit. Production year, 1956:


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Text updated with an important and remarkable comment by the Kaiser!

Scenes from the film

Der Hauptmann von Koepenick 1956 - video dailymotion

Wilhelm Voigt and his partner plan to break into a police station to steal and forge documents

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (Heinz Rühmann) | Gesamtkatalog | Alive Shop


Schuster Wilhelm Voigt is arrested while breaking into a police station


Instruction hour in jail

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick

After being released from jail, the shoemaker is allowed to stay for a while with his sister and her husband.

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick Film (1956) · Trailer · Kritik · KINO.de

The Bürgermeister of Köpenick, also a Reserve Officer, about to depart for the Kaisermanöver.

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (Heinz Rühmann) | Gesamtkatalog | Alive Shop

The original source of the uniform: Militair-Ausstatter Wörmser, Potsdam


Released from jail, the "Hauptmann" buys himself a used uniform from a rag dealer from Böhmen


The "Hauptmann" encounters and halts a small troop on the march and orders them to fall in and follow him...



Now as the "Hauptmann von Köpenick" entering the Town Hall of Köpenick to arrest the mayor and demand the surrender of the Town Treasury.


Der Hauptmann announces his presence and that the Mayor is now under arrest...


The Mayor tries to telephone but is not permitted...

The Captain from Köpenick (1956)

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick - Inhaltsangabe / Zusammenfassung

You don't get paid for sleeping!  Who is in charge here?


Hauptmann von Köpenick: Wie Wilhelm Voigt die preußische Armee blamierte -  DER SPIEGEL

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (Heinz Rühmann) | Gesamtkatalog | Alive Shop

Happy end, the Kaiser intervenes: "Kein Volk dieser Erde macht uns das nach!" (Majestät haben gelacht), and the shoemaker is pardoned and released from prison

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  • 1 month later...

Film has disappeared again. Here is the trailer, which I hope is a more permanent link. A film really worth seeing, which is an accurate if humoristic portrait of the military in the pre-war Kaisers days. Click on the button on lower left to see the clip on youtube...


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  • 3 months later...

Köpenick today, the town hall with bronze statue...



The grave of the "false Hauptmann" (+1922)  in Luxembourg

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Cast and many new photos added!

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