Original title: (Abschied)
GDR, 1968, 107 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles

In August 1914, many young German men euphorically volunteered to join the army. But in Munich, Hans Gastl, the son of a militaristic state prosecutor, makes a decision: he won’t become a soldier or fight this war. This resolution signifies a turning point in his life, a farewell to his class and his family. The film tells the story of Hans’ upbringing in flashbacks: his tender love for the housemaid, which is brutally repressed by his father; his time at a boarding school for difficult youth; his friendship with a Jew and a worker’s son.


East German officials criticized this film’s cinematic style and withdrew it from wider release after its premiere. It is based on an autobiographical novel by Johannes R. Becher.


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