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Fritz

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!

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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.

 

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