Synopsis: In World War II, the sanitation engineer and family man Kurt Gerstein is assigned by SS to be the Head of the Institute for Hygiene to purify the water for the German Army in the front. Later, he is invited to participate in termination of plagues in the concentration camps and he develops the lethal gas Zyklon-B. When he witnesses that the SS is killing Jews instead, he decides to denounce the genocide to the Pope to expose to the world and save the Jewish families. The idealist Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana from an influent Italian family gives his best efforts being the liaison of Gerstein and the leaders of the Vatican.
Director(s): Costa-Gavras
Production: Kino International
  4 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min

We thus have the occasion

to discuss questions

of international magnitude,

in this year of 1936.

Consequently, we must today...


My name is Stephan Lux.

I am Jewish.

The Jews are persecuted in Germany

and the world allows it...

I see only one mean

to touch the heart of the men.

Soon, we will have England!

Go ahead.


It will be necessary to return, lieutenant Gerstein.

We fight typhus

by eliminating the parasites

and by purifying water.

You put clothing,

covers, sheets

in a place hermetically closed.

By the external openings,

you introduce crystals

of hydrocyanic acid.

Here is the formula.

Do we have to manufacture them ourselves?

No, the Institute will provide them.

All the details are here.

It is a dangerous product.

You have to respect proportions and doses.

As for water...

that intended for the troops

must be treated.

And if water is drinkable, Dr. Gerstein?

It will be even more

after the treatment.

What is drinkable for a Slav...

It is not inevitably

for a human being.

Sit down.

We must fight typhus

like our enemies, on all fronts.


Let us continue our presentation.

Did he conceive this program?

Is he in the Wehrmacht?

It was conceived thanks to his father

who is a friend.



I just returned from Vienna,

I had your message.

What has happened?

God recalled to him little Bertha.

This is all that it remains of her.

What happened?

Was she sick?

The letter says as, "Cold,

followed by pulmonary abscess ".

Why didn't they tell us anything?


doesn't make dead come back to life,

especially in times of war.

She was my niece, I could

have obtained drugs at the Institute.

My friends at the Institute praise your work

and say that you eliminate typhus.

I serve my country as best as I can.

An idealist like you

has a place in the S.S.

even if your wife disapproves.

Excuse us...

Place the flower.

- do not do that.

- Why?

And your uniform?

Dead are not accompanied

in work's costume.

Kurt is upset.

Bertha was his favourite niece.

How long does he stay?

I would like to know.

And you?

Say to him.

I hear...

thousands of case through the country.

One of my parishioners received two ash boxes

for his handicapped sister

and two official letters.

One speaks about heart failure,

the other of pneumonia.

It is a plan of the S.S.!

I don't think the S.S deal with killing children...

The S.S. deal with all.

Reverend, I disinfect the barracks

and purify water.

That is not contrary

to my conscience nor my faith.

If you discover something,

warn us.

I have nothing to do with all that.

Like Christians,

we condemn the euthanasy.

- What will you do?

- To protest.

Who will protest?

Christian authorities

must react.

Allow me?

What do they still want?

Reverend told me an atrocious thing.

Does that surprise you?

He lives in the past.

To propagate rumours in times of war is high treason.

Monseigneur von Galen?

You did not reply to my registered letter...

...I log a complain agains X...

for the assassination of

"unproductive citizens".

We have the facts,patients's names,

their families...

and their addresses.

If you do not take action,

The Catholic Church

will have to inform her faithful.

Dad has come back!


- a gift of France.

- What is it?

Open it and you will see.

How is the little one?

He kicks.

I believe that we will have

another lieutenant.

What is there?

We have a very difficult

problem of arithmetic.

I see...

Hello, Mrs. Hinze.

No, first your duties.

Read the statement.

If you do not have the solution,

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Costa-Gavras (short for Konstantinos Gavras; Κωνσταντίνος Γαβράς; born 12 February 1933) is a Greek-French film director and producer, who lives and works in France. He is known for films with overt political themes, most famously the fast-paced thriller Z (1969), but he has also made comedies. Most of his movies have been made in French; however, six were made in English: Missing (1982), Hanna K. (1983), Betrayed (1988), Music Box (1989), Mad City (1997) and Amen. (2002). He produces most of his films himself, through his production company K.G. Productions. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Amen." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 19 Aug. 2022. <>.

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