The Beginning of the End
EXT. THE EASTERN FRONT - DAY
Hitler’s army in snowbound Russia has been reduced to rags and starvation. War-weary, frost-bitten German soldiers surrender, at the point of Russian rifles, by the droves.
HIMMLER (V.O.): February 2, 1943... The war in the East delivers us our first crushing blow. Sad to say, it appears that history has repeated itself in the most disastrous way imaginable. Just as Napoleon’s army before it, having also succumbed to the relentless Russian winter, our own beloved army, in sheer defiance to the stout command of our Supreme Leader, has surrendered after a most despicable defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad.
INT. HITLER’S WOLF’S LAIR - NIGHT
Himmler, Goering, Goebbels, and Ribbentrop all sit very still in the presence of a fuming, rabid, pacing Adolf Hitler.
HIMMLER (V.O.): From this time forward, the war effort grows worse, day by day, as do Hitler’s outrageous temper tantrums.
Hitler glares at the group. With seething eyes, he spews his venomous decree through clenched teeth.
HITLER: All our failures in the East are due to one thing and one thing alone: Treachery! My staff has betrayed me! My generals conspire against me! My soldiers have surrendered! Treachery! Everywhere I look: Treachery!
Story Continues Below
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Story Continues From Above
GOERING: My Supreme Leader, what are your orders now?
Hitler stares back defiantly.
RIBBENTROP: There is still a chance that we can achieve something in a diplomatic way. But now is the time to act.
HITLER: Diplomacy? The time for diplomacy is long gone. Politics disgust me! A sick game played by a bunch of Jewish lawyers! I’ll have no more of it!
Hitler waves off Ribbentrop with a swipe of his hand, and heads for the door.
HITLER (CONT'D): When I'm dead and buried, then you'll have plenty of time for politics!
The entire group exchanges a nervous look amongst themselves.
INT. HIMMLER’S ZHITOMAR HEADQUARTERS - DAY
Himmler is looking particularly pale amidst his icy surroundings as Kersten methodically massages his pathetic patient.
HIMMLER: If the truth be told: I suspect all of my officers of one form of betrayal or another.
KERSTEN: Is that all?
HIMMLER: Isn’t that reason enough? They are all plotting some bid for power, somewhere, somehow. Even while our great nation is struggling for such a valiant cause. They are all simpletons.
KERSTEN: So they are to blame then?
HIMMLER (growing irritated): What are you going on about?
KERSTEN: Tell me what’s really going on inside that head of yours. How do you feel about the disaster at Stalingrad, for instance? How do you feel about the invasion of Sicily? Hitler’s death sentence? Not to mention the direction the entire war effort seems to be taking?
HIMMLER: Enough already! Get to the point!
KERSTEN: Commander, how can I help you if you won’t confront the real problem underlying your illness?
Himmler lets out a lamentable sigh.
HIMMLER: I am so sorry, my dear Kersten. You must think I am the most suspicious man alive. I am afraid it is so much a part of my job, I do not always recognize when someone like you really does have my best interest in mind.
KERSTEN: I understand. I’m not offended. Just lie back and relax. Let me do what I do best.
HIMMLER: Thank you, Doctor. You really do care about me, don’t you?
HIMMLER: What on Earth would I ever do without you?
KERSTEN: Try not to worry about that right now, sir.
The distraught S.S. chief just stares up at the ceiling.