On the train... coming here... we were in the same car.
I saw you. You were reading and you fell asleep. Oh, I didn't dare look at you, you were so beautiful. It was scary. Afterwards, I couldn't stop thinking about you. It made me smile. And then I thought of all the men who would get to hold you, who would make you laugh... how lucky they were. And now I'm the one lying next to you.
I've been such a fool, Vassili. Man will always be man. There is no new man. We worked so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there's always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.
On this day, September 20th 1942, a young shepherd boy from the Urals arrived in the city of Stalingrad on the banks of the Volga. His name is Vassilij Zaitzev. Like thousands before him he came to answer comrade Stalin's call. Armed only with a rifle, he quickly made the fascist invader realise that from now on he would be punished for every step he took in the motherland, that from here on the only way was back.
Red Army General :
I carried out my orders. I sent in all of my boys. But the Germans engulfed us. They have, artillery, aircraft, tanks. And me! What did I have?!
A sacred duty to resist! I have to report to the Boss. [puts a pistol on the table] Perhaps you'd prefer to avoid the red tape.
[Khrushchev walks out of the room to address political officers. There is a gunshot, then he begins.]
My name... is Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev. I've come to takes things in hand here. This city, is not Kursk, nor is it Kiev, nor Minsk. This city, is Stalingrad. Stalin-grad! The city bears the name of the Boss. It's more than a city, it's a symbol. If the Germans, capture this city, the entire country will collapse. Now, I want our boys to raise their heads. I want them to act like they have BALLS! I want them to stop SHITTING THEIR PANTS! [briefly pauses] That's your job. As political officers, I'm counting on you. You, what's your suggestion?
Shoot all the other generals who have retreated. And their chiefs of staff, too.
[Khruschev looks at another.]
M-make s-some examples. D-d-d-d-d-de-port the families of the d-d-deserters.
[bored] Yes, yes, that's all been done.
Give them hope!
[Kruschev walks over and looks at the officer standing in the front, who motions with his eyes toward Danilov.]
Here the men's only choice is between German bullets and ours. But there's another way, the way of courage, the way of love of the Motherland. We must publish the army newspaper again. We must tell magnificent stories, stories that extol sacrifice, bravery. We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight. We must make them believe in the victory. Yes, we need to make examples; but examples to follow. What we need... are heroes.
[looks around, wryly] Do you know any heroes around here?
Yes, comrade. I know one.
[Erwin König arrives at General Paulus' headquarters and meets him]
I was expecting someone else. Certainly not someone so prestigious. I imagine you have your reasons for getting yourself involved in this hellish situation. My army is not designed for this kind of fighting. Yesterday, yet again, I had to promote 25 sergeants to replace the officers shot down by their sharpshooters. Those snipers are demoralizing my people. [shows König a photo of the city] This city is no more than a heap of ruins. But the Führer's persisting. He has made it a personal matter between Stalin and himself. We should trust the Führer's instinct. He always managed to lead us to victory. We shall be back home for Christmas. [indicating Zaytsev] How are you going to go about finding this young Russian?
I'll fix it so that he's the one who finds me.
[Vassili Zaitsev tries to write a letter to a a group of coal miners who wanted to dedicate their mine in his honor]
Shouldn't we try and make the point that I'm not the only one fighting?
[dictates thoughts for Vassili to write] That's an excellent idea. We can take it even further though. Your battle for the production of coal is as worthy as mine. There's no 'k' in coal. Just one 'l'. Tell me if I'm going too fast.
No, you're not going too fast. Is there any other improvements?
Why don't you get some rest? These letters can wait until tomorrow.
We should carry on. We're not tired. Thank you, Mrs Filipov. These people took the trouble to write to us. Tomorrow we might not be around to write back.
You have to leave now, Mrs. Filipov- Stalingrad may fall! The last of the boats are leaving, the boats will be here any moment!
He's brought you a pass. You have to gather your things and then we'll help you carry them to the landing.
I'm not leaving. This is my home. This is my Sacha's home. I can't leave!
I have to tell you something, Mrs. Filipov... something very difficult to understand. It's about Sacha.
[Tania and Danilov both hesitate, trying to find an explanation- Sacha has been hung by Koenig.]
Sacha has gone over to the Germans. He's betrayed his country. He's with the enemy now; he won't be coming back.
Oh, my God. Oh, my God. He's become a traitor! What has he done? So he's going to stay over there?
Yes. He's going to stay over there.
[Shortly after, the three are making their way to the landing; it is crowded with refugees and under heavy artillery fire]
I shouldn't be saying this, Comrade Commissar, but maybe it's for the best! If the Germans have won, he'll be safe! I know it's wrong, but- perhaps he's made the right choice!
[After reaching the boats, Mrs. Filipov goes back to a wooden sign with many hand-written letters nailed to it. She leaves one, hoping Sacha will find it when the Germans take the landing]
[On the note] I am in good health. They are evacuating me to the other bank. Keep well my Sacha.
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