I Was Nineteen
April 1945: Gregor Hecker returns to Germany as a soldier in the Red Army. Born in Cologne, he grew up in Moscow after his parents were forced to flee the Nazi dictatorship. He is now nineteen and already an officer. One of his most important responsibilities in the last weeks of the war is to call on the German soldiers to capitulate instead of continuing their useless fight on the front lines.
Gregor is made town commander of Bernau near Berlin. When he has to set up quarters for his staff, he comes across a German military unit that is not even aware of the Red Army′s arrival. He is present when the Sachsenhausen concentration camp is liberated and meets an intellectual who seeks to play down German fascism as a harmless historical fact. He is ordered off to the citadel in Spandau on a special mission as an interpreter at the negotiations leading to the German capitulation. The German officers present there do not agree to a surrender until the very last minute and some continue to exhort the others to "hold on" and demand that the emissaries be shot. Later, he takes part in a Red Army celebration to which liberated German prisoners have been invited. Two days later, Gregor′s efforts to persuade German soldiers to surrender appear to bear fruit for the first time.
Source: German films Service & Marketing GmbH