This made-for-television docudrama details the 1942 meeting in Berlin among sixteen Nazis to determine the final fate of the Jews. It is 1942 and the United States has entered World War II, seemingly thwarting Germany's attempt for world domination. Adolf Eichmann prepares a lavish mansion in the Berlin suburbs for a secret meeting called by Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler's Head of Security Police and Security Service, to discuss "The Jewish Question" -- that is, how to eradicate Jews from Europe. The small group of Nazis and S.S. Gestapo begin arriving at the mansion by car, anxiously awaiting Heydrich's late arrival. In the meantime, the men amuse themselves with wine and cigars. Heydrich arrives and with great reverence the men fall in place around a large table. Eichmann locks the room up, leaving only the sixteen men and a loyal stenographer in it. Heydrich has everyone introduce themselves, before immediately tackling the question of what to do with all the captured Jews. One suggestion is to have them do construction jobs in the East. Eventually more radical ideas are considered including sterilization and ultimately, killing the Jews. Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart quickly notes that the Nuremberg Laws for protocol -- which he helped devise -- must be followed. Discussion at the table turns to the categories of Jews, and whether or not everyone with any Jewish blood in their system -- even if they are mostly German -- will be treated as Jewish. Several men rise and note that they have already begun shooting many of the Jews at their concentration camps, and offer this as a way to "evacuate" them from Europe. Next, the men debate the differences between killing and sterilizing the Jews.

The question is raised of what to do with "decent" Jews -- those rare Jews that these men have inevitably befriended over the years. Methods for sterilization are debated with x-raying the Jew's reproductive organs being the decided choice. Heydrich, though, feels that death is the most effective form of sterilization. Stuckart angrily breaks in to the debate, ranting that Jews are incredibly clever and intelligent and not the inferior race that everyone at the table is making them out to be; he hates them, nevertheless, because of their superiority and arrogance. He adds that to kill them would be to make them into martyrs. The men break for a buffet lunch, during which Heydrich privately talks with Stuckart about his outburst. When the meeting resumes, Heydrich reminds the men that it is not their duty to pursue their own ideas, but rather to further the goals of the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. Next, the method of killing the Jews is debated. Gas chambers are the favored choice, until Eichmann informs everyone that the carbon monoxide currently used in the chambers turns the bodies pink and disgusting. The group breaks again, during which time many of the men begin grumbling that they are tired of listening to Heydrich; they are here to serve Hitler. The logistics of killing such a large number of Jews and then removing the corpses in a quick and efficient manner are debated. It does not seem feasible that any method will work, until Eichmann informs the group of the newest technology in gas chambers, one able to kill 6,000 men per hour. The meeting ends with Heydrich reminding the men of the secrecy of the meeting. He tells them that they are to memorize their notes and then destroy them, to never speak of the meeting to any one. After the mansion has cleared out, Heydrich and Eichmann talk over a drink, with Heydrich relating his belief that hate for the Jews should not fill their lives completely. The movie ends with graphics detailing the final demise of each man in attendance.


  • DATE: May 19, 2001 Saturday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:35:45
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:65362
  • GENRE: Drama, historical
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Anti-Semitism
  • SERIES RUN: HBO - TV, 2001


    • Peter Zinner … Executive Producer
    • Frank Doelger … Executive Producer
    • David M. Thompson … Executive Producer
    • Frank Pierson … Executive Producer, Director
    • Nick Gillot … Producer
    • Cory McCrum-Abdo … Associate Producer
    • Loring Mandel … Writer
    • Claire Bullus … Cast, Maid
    • Stanley Tucci … Cast, Adolf Eichmann
    • Simon Markey … Cast, Stenographer
    • David Glover … Cast, Orderly 1
    • Tom Hiddleston … Cast, Phone Operator
    • David Spinx … Cast, Cook
    • Dirk Martens … Cast, NCO
    • Barnaby Kay … Cast, Rudolph Lange
    • Peter Sullivan … Cast, Eberhard (Karl) Schongarth
    • Ben Daniels … Cast, Dr. Joseph Buhler
    • Andres Guenther … Cast, NCO2
    • Ewan Stewart … Cast, Dr. Georg Leibbrandt
    • Brian Pettifer … Cast, Dr. Alfred Meyer
    • Kevin McNally … Cast, Martin Luther
    • Florian Panzner … Cast, Luther's Driver
    • Ross O'Hennessey … Cast, Adjutant 1
    • Kenneth Branagh … Cast, Reinhard Heydrich
    • Colin Firth … Cast, Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart
    • Nicholas Woodeson … Cast, Otto Hoffmann
    • Jonathan Coy … Cast, Dr. Erich Neumann
    • David Threlfall … Cast, Dr. Wilhelm Kritzinger
    • Hinnerk Schonemann … Cast, Stuckart's Driver
    • Ian McNeice … Cast, Dr. Gerhard Klopfer
    • Owen Teale … Cast, Dr. Roland Freisler
    • Brendan Coyle … Cast, Heinrich Muller
    • Sebastian Jacob … Cast, Maid's Boyfriend