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An Irish priest incarcerated in Auschwitz. A Polish saint who gives up his life for a family man. Three young women: one finds herself fighting in the Warsaw ghetto, the second makes a daring escape bid to Sweden, and the third finds love in the unlikeliest of places - Auschwitz. A sympathetic SS man who meets a brutal end. A sweeping war drama with a strong spiritual leaning, already published in book form and available on Amazon and Kindle.
KOLBE ACT ONE FADE IN: INT - TRAIN - EVENING As the Polish countryside flickered by, the glass of the train threw back reflections of how this journey had started out. Beat. CUT TO: IRISH MONASTERY - SUPERIOR'S OFFICE - FLASHBACK - DAY The day had started like any other with matins. Franciscan priest ENDA PRICE was tending his vegetable plot in the gardens when his superior at the monastery had sent word to him. Enda Price is a lean, young Franciscan with a tough athletic build. His eyes are shamrock green within a bearded face. His superior, Bishop JOSEPH O'TOOLE, is thirty years his senior, and welcomes him into his office. His hair is snow white, and he is a heavy individual, with intelligent eyes. O'TOOLE Take a seat, Enda. PRICE What did I do this time, Bishop? O'TOOLE (hearty laughter) Nothing, Enda. Relax. O'Toole began pacing his office, glancing surreptitiously at the young Franciscan, whose services he would be sorry to lose. O'TOOLE (CONT'D) One of our monasteries in Europe has asked for help...they need a good man. PRICE Oh. Where? O'TOOLE (re-seating himself, and flicking through a file) In Poland. Warsaw. O'Toole laughed at the young Franciscan's face. O'TOOLE (CONT'D) You asked for a foreign posting. PRICE Yeah...but? O'TOOLE You're perfect for this one, Enda. You speak Polish. You also have German and French. And you've had some media training...they need someone with your expertise. PRICE When do I go? O'TOOLE Under the circumstances in Europe, I don't want to order you to go, Enda. Take some time. Think it over. If war breaks out...things could get dangerous over there? PRICE (fatalistic attitude) I'll go. He paused, thinking. PRICE (CONT'D) Do you think war will break out? O'TOOLE Who knows? I don't really like what I'm hearing about this new Germany though. We have people in Germany and they are very concerned. They say Germany has become very fascist. Very anti Jew. Very anti-clerical. PRICE When do you want me to leave? O'TOOLE You're sure? PRICE I'm sure. It's God's plan, not mine. O'TOOLE I like your attitude, Enda. And God knows...I'm losing a good man. But if your mind is made up, we can get you on a ferry to Britain tonight...you'll need to take another ferry to Germany, and from there a train into Poland. PRICE (standing and shaking hands with O'Toole) Thank you for the opportunity, Joseph. O'TOOLE Walk with God, my son. CUT TO: INT - TRAIN - NIGHT The platforms at Warsaw were busy. People milled about. A certain fear hung in the air. It was palpable. Price hadn't liked travelling through Germany. It looked like a nation ready to go to war - with men in uniform everywhere and red swastika flags flying high. The border crossing had also been fraught with tension. Price struggled from the train, with his case. His Franciscan habit marked him out from the crowd, and he was soon spotted by his pick-up. JOSEP HANSMAN approached him with a welcoming smile. He is distinctly Polish, with a country hat, and a battered weathered face. HANSMAN You'll be the Irish priest? PRICE (smiling slightly) Father Enda Price. HANSMAN (taking his case) I'm Josep Hansman. I was sent to collect you. PRICE Lead the way, then. HANSMAN How was your journey, Father? PRICE Very tiring. CUT TO: EXT - WARSAW - MOMENTS LATER Hansman maintained a steady conversation and gait as he whipped the horse drawn carriage into motion. Price watched the sights go by, trying to prevent his eyes closing. By the time they had reached the Polish monastery he was fast asleep. HANSMAN (shaking him awake) Father...Father Enda...we're here. PRICE I'm sorry. Did I nod off? Hansman grinned. HANSMAN You slept like a baby. PRICE I'm sorry. HANSMAN Don't be. We all need our sleep. We've reached the monastery. A MAN was approaching from one of the turrets. He was a tall Franciscan, wearing a habit with Rosary beads, and dark rimmed glasses. KOLBE I'm MAXIMILIAN KOLBE, Father Price. How was your journey? PRICE Quite daunting, Father Kolbe. KOLBE Call me Max. Everyone else does. The Polish priest glanced at Hansman. KOLBE (CONT'D) Any problems, Josep? HANSMAN None, Max. KOLBE Josep will show to your quarters. Your cell. If you need anything...he works here...and he'll see to your needs. Perhaps you'd like to have a rest for awhile, and join us for a little supper later? If you're not too tired? PRICE I'd like that, Max. Thank you. CUT TO: EXT - SHOT OF POLISH COUNTRYSIDE - ZOOM ON COTTAGE - FLASHBACK Sound of newborn crying. It is January 8th, 1894. Beat. DISSOLVE TO: INT - COTTAGE IN ZDUNSKA WOLA He hadn't been born Max; that was the religious name he had assumed when entering the Franciscans. DOCTOR It's a baby boy. EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF MOTHER MARIA'S FACE HAVING GIVING BIRTH. She takes the tiny bundle from the doctor's hands. MARIA (smiling) Look Julius...A baby boy. JULIUS, Maria's husband, steps forward, his work cap in his hands which he is clenching tightly, and smiles back at his wife. JULIUS (beaming) Yes, love...I can see him. He has a mischievous face. Don't you think? DOCTOR What will you be calling him? Maria looked at her husband, and they both smiled. Maria spoke up. MARIA He shall be called...RAYMOND. Julius nodded his agreement. JULIUS Raymond KOLBE. The doctor smiled, putting away his stethescope and other equipment and snapping his case closed. DOCTOR I wish you both luck. Raymond is a nice name. Will I be seeing you at Sunday services next week? MARIA Of course, doctor. Julius led the doctor to the door. JULIUS Thank you again, doctor. DOCTOR Be sure she gets plenty of rest, Julius. Any problems...you know where to reach me. The two men shook hands. The doctor took his leave and Julius rejoined his wife and newborn son. CUT TO: INT - SUPPER ROOM - LATER The MONKS were sitting at a large table. The Franciscans included both monks and ORDAINED PRIESTS. All eyes swung to Enda as he entered. The men greeted him smiling, and some greeted him in English. Price surprised them by speaking Polish as Kolbe introduced him to the others. KOLBE (pointing to a grinning priest) Brother ANTONI. Enda grinned back. BROTHER ANTONI You speak Polish...yes? PRICE I do. Antoni clapped his hands in delight. He took over from Kolbe and introduced the other men. Grace was said, and the soup served. Brother PIUS, a studious looking individual, gazed at him over his glasses. He motioned towards the food. PIUS Much of what we eat, we grow ourselves. Is it like that where you come from? PRICE Very much so. KOLBE You came through Germany to get here? PRICE (guessing what was coming) Yes. KOLBE And what's your opinion of things over the border? Is it as bad as we're hearing? PRICE It looks very bad. Men in uniform everywhere. Swastikas, tanks, soldiers. Very much like a country prepared for war. The words brought a sense of gloom to the table. The men ate in silence for a time. Antoni eventually broke the silence. He was a colourful character, slightly stooped, with a round face that wore a perpetual smile. BROTHER ANTONI Well...at least France and England are behind us...let's not worry anymore about it tonight, brothers. Tell me, Father Price, I hear the Irish are great singers. Can you sing us a song? Enda sang a few ballads. Beat. CUT TO: Weeks went by. Weeks in which Enda threw himself into his work, and got to know the POLISH COMMUNITY. The talk of war was never far away, but Price pushed it to the back of his mind as much as possible. He worked on a radio station that Kolbe had initiated, and found as the weeks passed, that Kolbe was becoming a friend. They often stayed up late at night talking, mostly over a friendly game of chess. One night as they were playing, Enda got curious about his playing companion. PRICE I hear stories about you, Max? KOLBE Stories? PRICE About how you decided to become a priest. KOLBE Ah! PRICE The visions...how the Blessed Mother herself appeared to you and offered you two crowns, a white one for purity in life and a red one for... KOLBE (exasperated) Martyrdom. I see Brother Antoni has been busy with his mouth again? Price said nothing. He moved his queen to a dangerous position, and watched Max with a half-smile. KOLBE (CONT'D) (frowning slightly, staring hard at the chess board) What are you up to, my man? PRICE You don't have to talk about it...if you don't wish to. Kolbe grinned as he spotted the Irishman's tactics, and he did a castling move with his king and castle to avoid checkmate. His eyes flicked to meet the Irishmans'. A serious expression was on his face. KOLBE It's true. She gave me a choice of crowns. PRICE (awe-struck) Which one did you accept? KOLBE (smiling) Both of them. Beat. A long silence followed, as the men concentrated on their game. Eventually Enda gave his companion a glance. PRICE Did people believe you? Your parents? KOLBE Yes. They believed. My mother became a nun after my father died, and my BROTHER a priest. My family were very religious. PRICE What happened your father? KOLBE (A film of pain on his face) He was hanged. PRICE Hanged? KOLBE Yes. He enlisted with Pilsudski's army, and fought against the Russians for Polish independence. The Russians called him a traitor and killed him. PRICE I didn't know that. I'm sorry. KOLBE (nodding his head) It was a long time ago. 1914. A short silence ensued, in which the men again played and battled their wits against one another. PRICE Was it cut and dried then, Max? You joining the priesthood? Kolbe laughed. KOLBE No way...I nearly joined the military. It was a real battle. Very much like this game. PRICE (surprised) The military? KOLBE (in glee) Yes. He moved his queen. KOLBE (CONT'D) You've been talking too much. Checkmate! Price studied the board, and gave a rueful grin. PRICE You got me for once. He flicked his king over with his index finger. KOLBE What else did you want to know? PRICE What did you do after ordination? KOLBE The usual things. Teaching, more studying. I was sick for a few years. Then I started working on newspapers. PRICE Newspapers? KOLBE Yes...the Knight of the Immaculate...that had a print run of 750,000 copies. PRICE (whistled) That many? KOLBE (reflective) Then, in 1927, Prince Jan Drucko Lubecki gave me some land in Teresin, near Warsaw, and I started the monastery at Niepokalanow. PRICE And Japan? KOLBE (smiling) Brother Antoni has been busy with his mouth. Again Enda didn't confirm one way or another that it was the jolly brother, Antoni, who had given him all this information. KOLBE (CONT'D) Yes...myself and a few others travelled to Japan. We founded Seibo no Kishi - a Japanese version of the Knight. And a monastery...in Nagasaki. Another Niepokalanow - you know the translation of that Polish word, don't you? PRICE Yes. The City of the Immaculata. You've had an interesting life? KOLBE (glancing at his watch and yawning) Interesting? Yes...I suppose you could say that, Enda. I'm not as young as I once was...I think I'll retire. We'll chat again...thanks for the chess game. PRICE Good night, Max. CUT TO: INT - KOLBE'S STUDY - LATER The room was in darkness, sparse, a crucifix on the wall. A small sliver of light came through the narrow window. Max slept and dreamed. Perhaps it had been the talk earlier with the Irish priest, but he dreamt of the VISION. It was so lucid, so clear in his head. He was twelve years of age and had just made his first Holy Communion. Life was a puzzle, like a giant jigsaw. He had been strolling through Pabianice, looking for mischief as boys of that age do. Beat. Religious sound. THE BLESSED MOTHER What are you up to, young man? KOLBE (shocked and fearful) Nothing, ma'am. THE BLESSED MOTHER Nothing? KOLBE (awed by the sight of this BEAUTIFUL LADY) Yes...ma'am. THE BLESSED MOTHER (amused) Up to no good, I shouldn't wonder. Like many boys of your age. Why are you not at school? KOLBE I'm off. I'm making my communion. THE BLESSED MOTHER I know. It's a wonderful time...isn't it? KOLBE Yes, ma'am. THE BLESSED MOTHER You honour my SON? KOLBE Your son, ma'am? THE BLESSED MOTHER Yes. All children of this earth are my sons and my daughters...but JESUS of NAZARETH...he is my special son. Have you heard of this man? KOLBE Yes...in school. THE BLESSED MOTHER School! I too went to school...a long time ago...a very special place. Don't you agree? KOLBE Not as special as church. THE BLESSED MOTHER (smiling) You are so right. I see you have a good heart, Raymond, or should I call you MAX? KOLBE Why Max? THE BLESSED MOTHER Later in life you will take a different name...it is written. It's short for MAXSYMILIAN. You must not expect life to be easy, Max. KOLBE (suddenly fearful) Why? What's to become of me? THE BLESSED MOTHER Are you fearful of the future, Max? KOLBE Yes...isn't everybody? THE BLESSED MOTHER People fear over all manner of things, Max...and not all of them good. I will give you a choice, young man. I have two crowns. The white one is for purity throughout your life, and the red one for martyrdom. It's your choice. Choose. Kolbe stared as the BLESSED MOTHER held out both crowns. He bowed his head. Thinking. Eventually he raised his head, and met her clear gaze. KOLBE I choose both. THE BLESSED MOTHER (smiling in surprise) So be it...let it be written. You choose great things and bad things, but I am pleased with your choice. The heart of my son sings out. Live well, Maxsymilian Kolbe. She disappeared before his gaze, in a dream-like trance, walking away, ever so natural, but with nothing beneath her feet. Flying almost. Beat. His dream continued. A harrowing image of his father...dead with a rope around his neck. Nothing beneath his feet, flying almost. The time - 1914. And still he dreamed. The year was 1907. He had just entered the Franciscan junior seminary in Lwow. His TEACHER was speaking to him from the podium, an elevated position, his feet hidden, almost as though he too were flying. Max had just explained something difficult to the man in reply to one of his many questions. TEACHER (beaming) Well done, Kolbe. You have a head for mathematics and science, my boy. Physics to be exact...an exacting challenge...don't you agree? KOLBE Yes, sir. CUT TO: ANOTHER SERIES OF DREAMS INTRUDE. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - MORNING The DOCTOR had emerged from Kolbe's room with an anxious look on his face. The year - 1922. FRANCISCAN HEAD (concerned) What's wrong with him, Doctor? The Doctor shook his head. DOCTOR It's not too good, I fear. He has tuberculosis. FRANCISCAN HEAD Good God. What are his chances? DOCTOR These things are hard to predict...but I don't think he's in any immediate danger. With the right medication and treatment...we can control the illness. Right now he needs as much rest as possible. FRANCISCAN HEAD Of course. Beat. CUT TO: FRANCISCAN MONASTERY - EVENING The FRANCISCANS are sitting around a large table about to eat their evening meal. PAN SHOT OF 1920's FRANCISCANS (Perhaps without sandals) FRANCISCAN HEAD Let's say a prayer for Maximilian...that he recovers from this terrible affliction...that God gives him the strength to return to us. And the strength to go on. The monks all bowed their heads as one, as a prayer was muttered among the group, and then they picked up their soup spoons. DISSOLVE TO: HOSPITAL - LATER NIGHT NURSE His temperature is down. DUTY DOCTOR That's good...keep a close eye on him...somebody had him in their prayers tonight. NIGHT NURSE (making a notation on the chart) Yes, Doctor. The DUTY DOCTOR went away, as the NIGHT NURSE continued her rounds. CUT TO: MONASTERY COMMON ROOM - AFTERNOON The FRIARS are sitting around a table drinking coffee. KOLBE We should start a printing press. PIUS A press? KOLBE Yeah. A printing press...think about the possibilities...what we could achieve. PIUS But the costs, Max? KOLBE (smiling, emphatic) Leave that to me. I know people. ANTONI (glancing at his watch) Time for matins. All of the friars stood. Max drained his coffee cup. KOLBE Lead the way, Brother Antoni. The men left the coffee room, talking quietly among themselves. CUT TO: INT - BRIEF FLASHBACK - KOLBE CHATTING TO HIS BROTHER KOLBE I'm sending these sketches to be patented. FRANCISZEK What? KOLBE You heard. FRANCISZEK I know you're good at maths and astronomy, brother, but... FRANCISZEK was flabbergasted. KOLBE I've made the decision. FRANCISZEK (throwing up his hands) It's your life, Ray. I wish you luck. CUT TO: INT - LABORATORIES - DAY - WEEKS LATER TWO SCIENTISTS are discussing the merits of Kolbe's proposals. SCIENTIST 1 I have these sketches here...in some ways they show tremendous insight...but? SCIENTIST 2 There's always a but. SCIENTIST 1 The costs are astronomical. Good thinking behind the basic concepts, but I'm afraid these won't do. SCIENTIST 2 So he gets a Dear Raymond letter. Thanks, but no thanks...that brings us back to square one. SCIENTIST 1 Propulsion...how to achieve earth orbit? Let's hit the designs again, WOLTZ. CUT TO: INT - MONASTERY - EVENING Max smiled in fond remembrance. If his designs had been accepted he could now have been working as a scientist. But it wasn't to be. A faint glimmer of light coming into Kolbe's study showed the approach of the coming dawn. The monks always arose early. It was their way. As his dreams faded into the blackness of the night, Kolbe stirred and opened his eyes. It was to a morning like no other. He had been with the Franciscans for twenty plus years now. He still remembered his first day. That too was a day like no other. Beat. CUT TO: INT - POLISH MONASTERY - DAY The SPIRITUAL HEAD looked up as Raymond came through the door. He saw an intense young man with a piercing gaze. SPIRITUAL HEAD Welcome, brother. You found us okay? KOLBE No problems. The two men shook hands. The Spiritual Head waved him to a seat. SPIRITUAL HEAD A few formalities, Raymond...your name...have you considered what you'd like to be called? KOLBE Yes...Maximilian. SPIRITUAL HEAD (clapping his hands) Very well, then...from now you will be known in our community as Brother Maximilian. The spiritual head smiled to rob his next words of sting. SPIRITUAL HEAD (CONT'D) We might call you Max. Max smiled to show he didn't mind. SPIRITUAL HEAD (CONT'D) They speak very highly of you at the junior seminary at Lwow. When did you enter there? KOLBE In 1907. SPIRITUAL HEAD So you spent three years there. They tell me you excelled at mathematics and physics...where do you see your future with us? IS there a particular area you'd like to work? KOLBE I'd like to try my hands at different things. Teaching, priestly duties, writing, publishing. SPIRITUAL HEAD They tell me you have a great devotion to OUR LADY, Max...is that so? KOLBE Yes, Father. SPIRITUAL HEAD And that she appeared to you once...offering two crowns? KOLBE Yes. I accepted both. SPIRITUAL HEAD So I understand. He paused, lost in thought. SPIRITUAL HEAD (CONT'D) I've been looking over your academic record...it really speaks volumes for your enthusiasm. With us you'll get the chance to widen your study areas...philosophy and theology will form a major part of your studies. Does the thought of travelling appeal? KOLBE Travelling, Father? SPIRITUAL HEAD In a year or two. We may be able to send you to the Jesuit Gregorian College in Rome, and then to our own Collegio Serafico, which is also in Rome. How does that sound to you, Max? KOLBE (delight) Sounds terrific, Father. SPIRITUAL HEAD (clapping his hands again) Good. In the meantime let's get you settled here...introduce you around...show you your quarters. Both men stood up. CUT TO: EXT -MONASTERY - MORNING A morning like no other! Josep Hansman shouted at his ponies and whipped them as his cart came into view of the monastery. HANSMAN Giddap! KOLBE (seeing the expression on the groundman's face) What's wrong, Josep? HANSMAN (out of breath) The Germans. They've invaded. KOLBE (frowning in worry) What? When? HANSMAN This morning. It's all over the wireless. Everyone is talking about it. KOLBE I see. Well you'd best get to work, Josep. We can do nothing now, except pray. Kolbe re-entered the monastery to explain to the rest of the community what was happening. He pulled Enda aside. KOLBE (CONT'D) This might affect our broadcasting. PRICE No doubt about it, Max. What do you think England will do? KOLBE Don't know. We might try and tune into the BBC later...get some proper updates. Outside they heard a roar as German planes went by overhead. War had started. Distant explosions were heard over Warsaw. Beat. INT - NIGHT -SUPPER There was a sombre mood hanging over the monastery tonight. Kolbe decided to address it. KOLBE (CONT'D) Brothers, be not afraid. We must not be afraid. In the coming days we will be busy...people will seek us out, seeking help. We must do as the good samaritan did, and turn nobody away who comes to seek our help. Tonight I want you all to turn to the IMMACULATE and to pray for peace for Poland. Poland will survive this...I doubt many of us will. Niepokalanow...this Place which has been our home...is named after the Immaculate...let us in our hour of anguish turn to HER for our salvation. The men bowed their heads. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - DAY Kolbe was proven right. As the Germans pulverized their way through Poland, REFUGEES turned up at the monastery on a daily basis. After a few days a small cheer went up when the Irish priest gave them some information that had come over the wireless. England had declared war on Germany. But then, came news they all dreaded. Again it was Hansman who broke the tragedy to the monastery. HANSMAN (whispering) Warsaw has fallen. GROWN MEN cried. WOUNDED SOLDIER (kicked ground) What's to happen us now? KOLBE We should pray for our homeland. The people agreed with him and joined him in praying the Rosary. The scene reminded Price of home. Beat. INT - SMALL IRISH DWELLING - FLASHBACK Price was younger. His PARENTS made the CHILDREN kneel and say the Rosary. Every night after dinner. The same routine. Camera shot of children kneeling with their parents, the turf burning in the fire, a picture of the SACRED HEART on the wall. PRICE MOTHER, why do we need to do this every night? MOTHER Because it makes HOLY GOD happy. PRICE Will HE be annoyed with us if we don't do it? FATHER No, He won't be son. It's best to keep the faith though. Sometimes in life it's the only thing we have got. When you're older you'll understand. PRICE How long before I'm older? FATHER (chuckling) A few years yet, my son. Those had been the years. CUT TO: INT MONASTERY A meeting was taking place between the ELDERS of the community and the YOUNG SEMINARIANS in training. KOLBE I want you men to return to your families. The Gestapo are taking too keen an interest in this place. Go underground for a time. YOUNG SEMINARIAN Join up with the resistance, you mean? KOLBE (sharply) No. Not with the resistance. You're training for priesthood...the resistance means weapons, fighting, bloodshed. Go home until you hear from us again. Check on your families. Keep up with your studies. ANOTHER YOUNG SEMINARIAN And what about you Brother Max...and the other seniors? KOLBE We stay. We have jobs to do. YOUNG SEMINARIAN Do you think the Gestapo will arrest you? KOLBE Perhaps. Who knows? CUT TO: EXT - DAY Polish refugees were sitting around in groups. Emerging from the radio studio, Enda saw that the community were moving through the crowds and feeding them with cupfuls of hot soup. He saw Kolbe speaking with a YOUNG GIRL and caught some of the conversation as Brother Antoni handed him a soup. He sipped and listened to the one-sided conversation. She was a tall child, with long blonde hair, and crystal clear eyes, darkened by tears, her expression closed in grief. KOLBE (gentle voice) Where did it happen, girl? She pointed east. Her dark eyes were brooding and she had a comatose look on her features. KOLBE (CONT'D) She is with God now, girl. You've got to believe that...I know this is very hard for you...but in time you'll understand that it was God's will...and you'll be able to move on with life. She shook her head in disagreement. She still hadn't spoken. Max laid his hand on the girl's shoulder and straightened. He walked slowly over to Enda, catching the look of enquiry in the Irish Franciscan's eyes. KOLBE (CONT'D) (whispering) I'm very worried about some of these people. PRICE What's her problem? KOLBE She saw her sister killed in front of her eyes. They were out in the fields picking potatoes when two German planes strafed them. Her sister and several others were killed. It's only by the grace of God that she survived herself. PRICE God help her. KOLBE It's not just her either. From what I've been gathering from these PEOPLE here...a lot of Poles have been getting killed. Half the people are grief stricken. He gazed speculatively at the Irish Priest, before continuing. KOLBE (CONT'D) Enda, I know it's a lot to ask, and that you're pretty busy with the radio station, but back in Ireland...did you ever counsel people for grief and stress. PRICE I'll do what I can. KOLBE (nodding his head towards the young girl again) Try speaking with her...it might bring her out of her shell. I can't seem to get through to her. PRICE What's her name? KOLBE Her name is JANAH. PRICE Leave it with me. CUT TO: EXT - MOMENTS LATER Price approached Janah warily. PRICE Hi, Janah. My name is Enda Price. I'm a Franciscan priest. Silence greeted his opening words, the girl's stare vacant and distant. PRICE (CONT'D) I'm an Irish priest. A flicker of interest. Janah's eyes met his, open curiosity in her gaze. Her voice was soft, almost a whisper, as she spoke. JANAH Irish? My MOTHER was Irish. PRICE Was? JANAH She died...two years ago. PRICE I'm sorry, Janah. How about your FATHER? Where's he? JANAH He's missing...he's a Polish soldier. PRICE (wanting to give her some hope) Missing doesn't mean dead, Janah. I'm sure he'll turn up. Silence. PRICE (CONT'D) Where was your mother from? What part of Ireland? JANAH Glendalough... in Wicklow. Do you know it? PRICE (smiling) I should smile. The home of SAINT KEVIN...I know it well. JANAH Saint who? PRICE Saint Kevin. He founded a monastery at Glendalough...the valley of the two lakes and the seven churches. It's a wild, beautiful spot. Have you ever been there? JANAH No. PRICE (gently) Maybe some day, huh? JANAH (bitterly) Maybe...if this war ever ends. He didn't want her talking about the war. PRICE Your mother...how did she meet your father? He's Polish, yes? JANAH Yes, Polish. They met in Paris twelve years ago. PRICE The city of love. JANAH (with the first real smile he'd seen) Yes! PRICE Max was talking to you about your sister? RAHEL, wasn't that her name? JANAH (biting her lip) Yes. She glanced towards Maximilian who was chatting with a bunch of refugees fifty yards away. JANAH (CONT'D) I wouldn't speak with him...he probably thinks I'm very rude. PRICE (adamantly) No Janah...he doesn't think like that. He knows what a shock you've had. He's very concerned about you. JANAH He's a very holy man, isn't he? PRICE Yes. JANAH I hear people talking about him. They have a high regard for him. The older people think he's a living saint. PRICE Perhaps he is. He had a vision when he was younger. JANAH A vision? PRICE The BLESSED VIRGIN made her presence known to him. Janah crossed herself. Beat. JANAH The Blessed Mother. And what happened? What did she say to him? PRICE She offered him two crowns. A white one for purity through life, and a red one for martyrdom. She asked him to choose. JANAH Which one did he pick? PRICE (smiling) Both. JANAH (silently reflective) That's a nice story. I'd have chosen both as well. PRICE Perhaps you already have. JANAH How do you mean, Father? PRICE Well you've chosen to live...you came to the Franciscans here to seek help after the loss of your sister. And you suffer...suffering is one of God's greatest gifts. JANAH I hear the truth of your words, Father. But the loss...it's so personal. So tragic. PRICE All losses are, Janah. You know that yourself. Your mother's loss...then your sister...these are heavy burdens to bear. Only time will heal the pain. Time and perspective. Perhaps some day you will have children of your own...there are many reasons to want to go on. Do you hear what I am saying to you? JANAH I hear you, Father. My mother and my sister would want me to go on living. PRICE Exactly...for them you must live. Survive this war. Outlast these German fiends who bring destruction to your homeland. One day they will be gone. JANAH Do you really believe that, Father? They seem so strong, so powerful. PRICE You've only to look at history, Janah. This Herr Hitler...he thinks he can rule the world...but tyrants like him don't learn very much from history. He won't last. The west...England, France, perhaps even America will wage war against him. This invasion of Poland has won him no friends...he's now an outcast. JANAH I hope you're right, Father. Price nodded his head in affirmation and stood to go. JANAH (CONT'D) Father? PRICE Yes, my child? JANAH Thank you...your words bring me comfort. PRICE (oddly touched) I will pray for you, Janah. Beat. CUT TO: INT - POLISH MONASTERY - NIGHT Max approached Enda after supper. KOLBE How did you make out with Janah? PRICE I got her talking anyway. The other PRIESTS gathered around to compare notes. They had all been working the crowd. Brother Pius put the thoughts of everyone into words. PIUS A lot of grief-stricken people here. KOLBE Yes. They all need our help. PRICE These Germans seem a cold bunch. ANTONI Fascism has changed them. I've travelled through Germany...I've seen the changes take place. Take root. They hate the Jews. PRICE When did it all go so bad? ANTONI The situation worsened in the thirties. Most Germans admired Hitler for the way he seemed to pull their nation together after the Wall Street crash of '29. Jobs were created, autobahns built, and then Berlin hosted the Olympics in '36, but by then the fascists were beginning to gain a strong foothold in every sphere of life...and they just went from strength to strength. PRICE Sounds like you know a lot about it. KOLBE (grinning) Antoni is our political hound. He is our 'eyes' and our 'ears'. Come brothers, let us prepare for evening mass. CUT TO: INT - CHAPEL - EVENING Max concelebrated the mass, the other Franciscans lining up at the side of the altar. The refugees filled the church. Janah was there. OLD and YOUNG PEOPLE, WOUNDED SOLDIERS, and CHILDREN. The faces were vacant, empty, but their eyes filled with hope as Max raised the chalice aloft. Their faith, weakened by recent events, was still strong. Max prayed that it would remain so. Beat. CUT TO: THE PRINTING PRESS - DAY - WEEKS LATER The GESTAPO had arrived in two black sedans, backed up by a truckload of WEHRMACHT TROOPS. They smashed the doors down, their jackboots crunching the wooden floor. Beat. KOLBE (annoyed) What are you men doing here? How dare you burst in like that. GESTAPO AGENT (oily voice) You are all under arrest. KOLBE For what? GESTAPO AGENT Subversion. Off Shot. GESTAPO AGENT (CONT'D) Take them away, men. KOLBE Where are you taking us? The Gestapo agent smiled coldly. GESTAPO AGENT Pawiak prison. Max didn't like the sound of that...he had heard stories about Pawiak...none of them good. It was a place of torture and beatings and suffering. Pawiak had been in use since the nineteenth century, and it had always been a rotten place. The Germans had made good use of Pawiak after Warsaw fell. KOLBE I protest strongly. GESTAPO AGENT Protest all you want, but you are all under arrest. PRICE (to Max, in low tones) Where are they taking us? KOLBE (equally low tone) Keep your chin up, Enda. All's not lost yet. PRICE Where's Pawiak? KOLBE It's a prison in Warsaw. The Wehrmacht troops began huddling them out. Beat. CUT TO: INT - PAWIAK PRISON Pawiak was certainly a grim place. It was policed by the SS. A high building it housed many JEWS, and POLITICAL PRISONERS, and occasionally men were singled out for further interrogation at Gestapo Headquarters at Aleja Szucha 25. Price found himself there one morning. The GESTAPO AGENT questioning him had a brutish, cold face. GESTAPO AGENT You're not Polish? PRICE No. I'm Irish. GESTAPO AGENT What are you doing in Poland? Perhaps you are a British spy? Spies are shot. PRICE No. I'm a priest. Nothing more. GESTAPO AGENT Lies...lies. You won't leave here unless you tell me the truth. PRICE I have told nothing but the truth. Price was beaten by several AGENTS, but he stuck to his story, and eventually they moved him back to Pawiak. Kolbe greeted him in concern as he was flung back into the cell. KOLBE You're hurt, Enda. PRICE They thought I was a British spy. Another PRISONER hears the exchange of words. He speaks up. PRISONER (starkly, as though he has seen too much) If they believed that, you'd be dead. They'd have put you in front of a firing squad. KOLBE He's right. These people are merciless...they're even rounding up people in lapankas. PRICE Lapankas? PRISONER General round-ups...nobody is safe. A silence fell among the CELL PRISONERS. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - MORNING The men had been allowed into a guarded courtyard. Armed SENTRIES strolled around. A cold-faced SS MAN spots Kolbe's clerical garb - the Franciscan habit. The man approaches. His cigarette dangles from his lips. There is a cold smile in his pale grey eyes. SS MAN Hey you? Kolbe glances up. KOLBE Speaking to me? SS MAN Ja. You. You are a religious, yes? KOLBE (cautiously) Yes. SS MAN You believe in Jesus Christ, no? KOLBE (smiling) Yes, I believe with all my heart. The SS man's face contorted. The blow was a heavy one, totally unexpected, delivered cruelly. SS MAN Fool. Now do you believe? KOLBE Yes, I believe in Jesus. SS MAN (raging, continuing to beat the priest) Fool. You fool. Price started forward. He found his way blocked by the prisoner who had spoken to them last night. This man hissed a warning to the Irish priest. PRISONER Don't interfere. They'll shoot you dead. I've seen the work of that animal before. Reluctantly Price held off, and eventually the SS man tired of his game and wandered away. The prisoner and one or two of the other men helped Price carry the comatose Polish priest back to their cell barracks. They hadn't broken his spirit. THINGS WENT ON IN THE SAME VEIN FOR A FEW MONTHS, BUT APPROACHING CHRISTMAS, THE GERMANS RELEASED MANY OF THE RELIGIOUS - FROM PAWIAK AND FROM GERMANY WHERE SOME HAD BEEN TAKEN. ACT TWO CUT TO: EXT - MONASTERY - DAY Kolbe was grinning as he surveyed his home at Niepokalanow. KOLBE They let us out so we can create more mischief. BROTHER ANTONI (shrewd insight) Or enough rope to hang ourselves. KOLBE They're not going to stop me. I'm getting the printing presses going again. Maybe even a studio motion picture house? BROTHER ANTONI They won't like it. KOLBE My mind is made up. From now on I intend to be a constant thorn in their side. I want all of you with me on this...from now on we extend every courtesy to our guests, and particularly to Jews and others fleeing persecution by the Nazis. Is that clear? BROTHER ANTONI We're all with you, Max. We are brothers of the same cloth...the same habit...but, have you thought of the consequences? KOLBE I've thought of nothing else since our release. I'm determined to help anybody who comes to our door seeking solace from these people. If anybody can't stomach that, then they know where the door is. BROTHER ANTONI Enough said, Max. You know we are all with you...I wasn't speaking out of concern for myself...I can handle things for myself...but I was thinking of the wider community. KOLBE (clapping Antoni on the shoulder) I realize that, Antoni. And you are right to point out the obvious dangers. But we must do what we can to fight this evil in our own peaceful way...and our printing presses and our aid to those who need it most will shout our defiance from the rooftops for all of Poland to see. BROTHER ANTONI (dourly) And all of Germany too. KOLBE (with humour) Antoni, you're too pessimistic. BROTHER ANTONI (mumbling) With good reason. CUT TO: INT - CHRISTMAS 1939 Christmas carols were being sung on the grounds of the monastery. For a few hours, perhaps days, the war could be forgotten. A phoney stalemate had set in between England and Germany, though undercurrents hung to the very air. The Franciscans were always busy at Christmas. Confessions occupied a lot of their time, and even Price found himself doing this when he wasn't busy with the printing presses. The confessions this year were different. Many spoke of grief...soldiers of killing on the battlefields. One SOLDIER opened up to Max in the confessional. SOLDIER Father, I've killed. KOLBE Killed? SOLDIER Wehrmacht troops, Father. Before Warsaw fell. KOLBE And how did that make you feel? SOLDIER A little sick at first, Father...but then I liked it. Is that wrong? KOLBE It's not wrong to fight for your country, but it is wrong to like the killing. You must learn to control that hate. SOLDIER But I didn't ask them to come to our country, Father. They came and they took. Our land...our homes. What are we to do? KOLBE There are no easy answers, my son. We live in difficult, tumultuous times, but perhaps in that lies the greatest challenge...the challenge to truly witness God and the power of forgiveness. SOLDIER Are you saying we should forgive the Germans, Father? KOLBE I'm saying you need to look deep into your soul...pray harder...ask the ALMIGHTY and the HOLY SPIRIT for true guidance in these difficult days. SOLDIER And for penance, Father? A thousand Hail Mary's, I suppose? KOLBE No, my son. Whatever you are comfortable with. Perhaps a decade of the Rosary...and when you pray contemplate deeply the source of that hate you find within yourself...and ask God for the grace to show forgiveness to your enemies. SOLDIER For Germans, Father? KOLBE They are not all bad, my son. There have to be some good men among them. Pray that they too might be given the power to overcome evil within their ranks. SOLDIER (his conscience eased) Thank you, Father. I will. CUT TO: INT - ANOTHER CONFESSIONAL Across the chapel, Price was also hearing confessions. The young woman whose face was veiled sounded angry, and gave her name as MINKA. The veil masked an oval face with cold blue eyes. MINKA Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. PRICE Sinned how, my child? MINKA I have helped kill Germans. PRICE With the resistance. MINKA Yes. The Armia Krajowa. PRICE Is it for love of your country? MINKA Partly...but also because they killed Dorek. PRICE Dorek? MINKA My husband. PRICE He was killed by the Germans? MINKA Yes, Father. In the first days of war. He was a soldier. PRICE For penance, Minka, you must learn to temper your hate. MINKA Give up the resistance movement, Father? PRICE I leave that to you. You must decide after examining your conscience...it's entirely your choice. MINKA I will ponder your words, Father. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - MONASTERY - DAY The GERMANS came in force. As Brother Antoni had feared, they had allowed Max to bring out another edition of his Knight, and they had scrutinised the edition for traces of subversion against the Nazi State. Men, women, and children were rounded up and herded onto lorries. Priests were also arrested. The same Gestapo officer was back, with his oily voice. GESTAPO AGENT (to the men in his charge) Everyone is under arrest. Take them all. KOLBE Where are you taking us? GESTAPO AGENT Gestapo Headquarters. Pawiak. And then we have a special surprise for you. KOLBE What's that? GESTAPO AGENT (with menace) You'll see soon enough, Jew lover. KOLBE (indicating Price as two soldiers led him away) That man is an Irish priest...he shouldn't be arrested with us. GESTAPO AGENT I have my orders. Everyone goes! Beat. CUT TO: INT - DAY They were imprisoned again at Pawiak. Max was singled out for brutal treatment. He wasn't alone. Beatings took place regularly. The cell door was opened suddenly, and a woman was thrown in. The SS MEN laughed at her. SS MAN Enjoy your last night, Minka. You'll be shot at first light. Beat. Price approached her, picking her up from the floor. He put a question to her. PRICE Minka, what's happening? What did he mean...that you're being shot at first light? MINKA (pale-faced, sobbing) They found out I was linked with the resistance. An informer told them. They beat me, and beat me. I told them nothing. Then they said I would be shot tomorrow at dawn. What am I to do? PRICE I'll speak with them. MINKA Will you hear my confession, Father? A quiet spot was found in the corner, and Price listened to her confession. It was obvious that despite his offer of interjecting on her behalf, she considered herself lost. She tossed and turned all night...her half attempts at sleep punctuated by nightmares. Price shrugged helplessly towards Max. Beat. Dawn came slowly. The SS MEN returned and motioned for Minka to follow them. PRICE (very sharply in German) One moment! They looked at him warily. PRICE (CONT'D) Where are you taking that woman? SS MAN She is to be shot. PRICE I protest strongly. I'm a priest and this woman is harmless. SS MAN Protest all you want. PRICE Get me your commanding officer. SS MAN (suddenly unsure, and indicating to his companion to get the commanding officer) You're very sure of yourself, Father. Beat. CUT TO: INT - MOMENTS LATER The SS COMMANDER stormed down the hall, his jackboots loud and noisy. He took in the scene in one glance - the rigid tension in the Irish priest, his own man hobbling from foot to foot, the panic-stricken look of Minka, the staring faces of the other prisoners. SS COMMANDER What's going on here, HEINZ? HEINZ This priest is objecting over the woman. SS COMMANDER What's the objection? PRICE (speaking German) Commander, I know this woman. She's a harmless soul. SS COMMANDER She has been linked to the resistance...that carries the death penalty. Be careful, you don't follow her priest. PRICE (flawless German) Is that a threat? SS COMMANDER Read it how you like. PRICE (smiled coldly) I'm an Irish citizen. Kill me and you'll have a major diplomatic row on your hands. Do you think your superiors will approve of your actions? SS COMMANDER If you're Irish...how come you were arrested with these Poles and Jews? PRICE Fate. SS COMMANDER (thinking fast, his superiors could be an unpredictable lot) Okay, Father. I take your point, but this woman is our enemy and will be shot. PRICE No. SS COMMANDER No? PRICE Look commander, let's be reasonable here, huh. I know this woman...she lost her husband in the opening days of the war...she might have known some resistance people...but she had no hand in the fighting. You have my word on that. SS COMMANDER Your word? PRICE (conspiratorial whisper) I've heard her confession...yes, my word. The SS Commander was silent for a long moment. Then he looked at Heinz. SS COMMANDER Release her. HEINZ But, sir... The SS commander whirled, giving his underling a scathing look. SS COMMANDER Are you questioning my orders, soldier? HEINZ (hastily) No, sir. SS COMMANDER Then release her at once. The firing squad is waiting, and we have more important fish to fry. Snap to it, man. MINKA (cried out in relief as Heinz loosened his grip on her) Oh, thank you. SS COMMANDER (indicating Price, and staring at him with grudging respect) Don't thank me...thank him. The door slammed shut. Max let out the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding, and approached Enda. KOLBE Enda, are you trying to give me heart failure? Well done, man. Well done. MINKA (unable to believe the last few moments and kissing Price's hand) Thank you, Father Enda. Thank you...thank you... PRICE (uneasy with the attention) Go away the lot of you. KOLBE When you save one life, Enda, you save a thousand. PRICE (grinning) Confucius? KOLBE (grinning back, but the grins fading when the sound of gunfire reached the cell) Don't know...read it somewhere. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - PAWIAK PRISON - MORNING There was a bustle of activity as cells were emptied, and PEOPLE were moved en masse to the local train station. The SS marched the prisoners in columns with no possibility of escape. PRICE (to Kolbe) Looks like they are moving us. KOLBE I heard somebody saying Oswiecim. PRICE Auschwitz? KOLBE Yeah. PRICE What do you know about that place? KOLBE Not much. It's a huge concentration camp near the town of Oswiecim. There have been some disturbing rumours though... PRICE Death camps? KOLBE (shrugging) I don't pay too much attention to gossip and rumour. It's probably just some wives' tale. PRICE What if it isn't? KOLBE (bleakly) Then I guess we'll find out soon enough. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - TRAIN - DAY There was bedlam at the train station. Harsh German shouts, German Shepherd dogs straining at their leashes. Horses, people, soldiers, police units. The prisoners found themselves herded into cattle carriages, jammed tightly in with little air or water. Doors were bolted, guards stationed, and the train began to move. Price looked at Max. PRICE This is desperate. KOLBE Desperate is not the word. An anguished cry went up from those near enough to see out. Price and the other Franciscans stiffened as they heard the cries: POLISH SOLDIER My God, they're getting rid of the BABIES. WOMEN screamed. PRICE (sharply) They're what? POLISH SOLDIER (turning toward Price with a sick expression on his face, as though he were about to vomit and whispering in stunned disbelief) They're throwing babies from the train. Price squeezed his eyes tightly shut. He could feel the tears welling. Max had his hand on his shoulder, but his face bore the same expression of horror. KOLBE Easy, Enda. Easy. PIUS May God show them mercy. Nobody asked whether he meant the babies - the innocents - or those with blood on their hands. The shock permeated throughout the whole carriage. A stunned silence, broken here and there by low whimpers and sobs. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - COUNTRYSIDE SWEEPING BY - DAY The train was now making good speed through the Polish countryside. Conditions for the prisoners were appalling. Prisoners fainted, but didn't fall, their bodies propped up by fellow companions. There were no toilet facilities, no food and no water. It was with relief that the train came to Oswiecim, but the relief was short-lived. Those who had a view of the outside, through cracks in the wood, saw the crude sign above the gates. A MAN turned to his WIFE and said: MAN What does it say? WIFE Arbecht macht frei. PRICE (catching the couple's words) Work makes free! They had arrived at Auschwitz. CUT TO: EXT - AUSCHWITZ - AFTERNOON It was a scene from hell. Lines of people were made to queue in front of MEDICAL ORDERLIES. A nauseating stench clung to the place, and it took Price a few moments before he identified the source. High chimney stacks were billowing smoke. A queue of OLD PEOPLE, SICK PEOPLE, the INFIRM, and CHILDREN were being marched off in that direction. PRICE (glancing at Max) Where are they being taken? Max didn't know. A capo hearing the question, hissed a low warning to Price. CAPO Keep your questions to yourself, you'll live longer. They're going to the delousing blocks. PRICE The delousing blocks? CAPO What do you think all that smoke is? The look of horror on Price's face showed his understanding. CAPO (CONT'D) (seriously) Makes you think, doesn't it? Beat. CUT TO: EXT - AUSCHWITZ - AFTERNOON Price could see that men were being separated from women, and women from children. He spotted Janah and moved closer to her. He pressed a small photograph into her shaking hand. JANAH What's this, Father? PRICE (giving her a wink) Some protection - a tiny picture of Saint Kevin. Pray for his protection. She gave him a fearful look. JANAH What is this place, Father? PRICE Lie about your age, Janah. Tell them you're older...fourteen maybe. Tell them you're a good worker. An SS WOMAN approached, her Aryan face hard, and shoved Price. SS WOMAN You're in the wrong queue, priest. Move. The woman gave Janah a cold appraising glance. SS WOMAN (CONT'D) How old are you, girl? JANAH Fifteen. I'm a good worker. The SS woman paused for a long beat. SS WOMAN (coldly) You'll get the chance to prove that. Move to that other queue. Janah heaved a sigh of relief as the SS woman moved to somebody else. She had just been moved from a death queue to a worker's queue. Price had just saved her life. Her hand tightened on the picture of SAINT KEVIN - he hadn't been long in making his presence felt. CUT TO: EXT - MOMENTS LATER Price's eyes tightened as he saw Josep Hansman in a death queue. As their eyes met the old labourer gave him a grim smile. Price's brain raced. How to save the old man? A sudden insight hit him, remembering something a capo had said moments before. PRICE (speaking in German and calling out to Hansman) Tell them you're skilled. HANSMAN (catching on fast and also speaking German) Don't worry. I'll see you later. An SS UNDERLING heard the exchange, and turned towards Josep. SS UNDERLING You? You speak German? HANSMAN Ja. SS UNDERLING We need people with language skills. You're in the wrong line, move to that other queue. Max had caught the exchange. He moved closer to Price. KOLBE When you save a life! You've done it again. PRICE Confucius? This time Kolbe remembered where he had heard the quote. KOLBE No. A Jewish saying. Save one life and you save a thousand. God walks with you, Enda Price. PRICE (smiling slightly) And with you. CUT TO: EXT - WOMEN'S CAMP - MORNING The newcomers to the camp, including Minka and Janah, and the hundreds of other women who had arrived the previous night at the camp, listened with growing horror and revulsion as those who had been here longer filled them in on conditions at Auschwitz. One inmate, who had deliberately scarred her beautiful face, to avoid the unwanted attentions of SS men, warned them of what to expect. Her name was TAMAR. TAMAR Some of you witnessed what's been happening on the death trains coming here. The deaths of babies...throwing innocents from fast moving trains. They're killing Jews on a large scale here. Shootings, hangings, by gas. A NEW INMATE showed her shock at Tamar's words. NEW INMATE But what of my child? She went with her grandparents to the showers. TAMAR (pity in her eyes) They're dead. NEW INMATE Dead? TAMAR There are no showers. They are just told that to avoid mass panic. Some of the men have told us. They've been detailed to do that kind of work...what happens is that they are stripped and led into shower rooms. The showers don't have water coming from them, but a deadly gas. NEW INMATE (stifling a scream) I don't believe you. TAMAR Don't you? Believe me...why would I lie to you? MINKA What happens then? To the bodies, I mean? TAMAR They shove them into ovens. You've all seen the chimney stacks. JANAH (horror on her features) You mean all that smoke...that's from people? TAMAR Yes. JANAH What kind of monsters are we dealing with here? What if some of the women are pregnant? Tamar was deadly quiet. Her words when they came created a chill in every woman's heart. TAMAR They want us for work...nothing else. Some of the pretty ones, well you can guess their fate from the state of my face. Self inflicted...I'd rather die than submit myself that way for them. Babies are a no-no...you saw the selections when you arrived. They'll kill them. These people...they're indoctrinated...they just don't care. They're evil. CUT TO: EXT - WORK QUARRIES - DAY The prisoners were forced to do hard labour daily. Max was constantly picked upon. One of the guards seemed to have developed a fixation on making things as difficult as possible for the Franciscan. Price asked about the guard one day, speaking with a fellow prisoner. The man was another who regularly fell foul of the guard's attentions - a JESUIT PRIEST. PRICE (speaking from the corner of his mouth) Who is that monster? The SS guard was forcing very heavy planks onto Max's shoulders, and forcing him to run with his burden. JESUIT (speaking warily) That's KROTT. A very evil individual. PRICE It would appear so. JESUIT He has helped to kill many of our men. He hates religious. PRICE Have there been many Jesuit deaths, then? JESUIT Hundreds. It was a sobering thought. Enda turned back to his work, his heart heavy. CUT TO: EXT - QUARRY - AFTERNOON Max felt the weight of the planks on his shoulders and back and collapsed under the weight. Krott was enraged. KROTT (kicking the prone Franciscan) Get up priest. Come on, get up. Max lay unmoving, as Krott used his boots on the Franciscan. Eventually the German tired of kicking the prone priest, and Enda moved towards the prone figure. He didn't care if they shot him, he was determined to help his friend. The Jesuit priest also came forward. JESUIT I'll help you. PRICE We'll take him to the infirmary. They carried the unconscious Franciscan to the infirmary. A MALE NURSE came forward. MALE NURSE What happened him? PRICE He was kicked half-to-death. JESUIT Krott! MALE NURSE Him again? He examined Kolbe and ordered the two men to carry him into a ward. MALE NURSE (CONT'D) Don't worry...he'll live. His heartbeat is strong. PRICE Thanks...I'll drop by later to check on him. CUT TO: EXT - OUTSIDE INFIRMARY - EVENING Enda approached the infirmary to check his friend, and stopped astonished as he neared. Were those hymns he could hear? The sight inside was more incredulous. Max was up and about and was leading the patients in a clandestine mass ceremony. PRICE (astonished) Max...what? KOLBE (shot him a cheerful grin) Join us! PRICE You shouldn't be up. KOLBE I'm fine. The other PATIENTS grinned. CUT TO: INT - IRISH MONASTERY - DAY Father Joseph O'Toole was frustrated by the delays in getting information on the situation on the ground within Poland. He had watched the events unfold in Europe with horror. Contact with Enda had been lost, indeed contact with the whole Polish Franciscan organisation. It was as if the earth had swallowed them whole. Reports from the Polish underground seemed to indicate that things were badly amiss for religious organisations in Europe, and particularly Poland. O'Toole couldn't understand the reluctance of the Vatican to get involved. His telephone conversation with a SECRETARY at the Vatican was tense. O'TOOLE And these underground people are telling you that all the Franciscans at Niepokalanow were arrested? Is that the position? VATICAN SECRETARY (v/o) That's the information we have. O'TOOLE This is an intolerable situation. What's the HOLY FATHER doing about it? VATICAN SECRETARY The Pope is very aware of the situation. He has despatched emissaries to Berlin, but it is very delicate...the Germans are saying it is a matter for their internal security bureaus. O'TOOLE Meaning the Gestapo. VATICAN SECRETARY Whatever. O'TOOLE I'm not happy about this, Monsignor. I'm not one bit happy. VATICAN SECRETARY I understand how you feel...but we have a number of pressing matters...perhaps you could reach out to the German people in Dublin. O'TOOLE Apply pressure on this end? VATICAN SECRETARY Yes. O'TOOLE I'll try, but it won't be easy. I don't want Rome sweeping this problem under the carpet. VATICAN SECRETARY Rome is doing all it can, Bishop O'Toole. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - MORNING The blast of a siren warned that all was not well. The Germans were agitated, running here and there, and an immediate roll-call was announced. One man was missing from Block 14A and two others from a neighbouring block. FRITSCH You know the drill. Pick ten men for the bunker. Selections of those to die were picked at random. One a Polish soldier, FRANCISZEK GAJOWNICZEK cried out in anguish. GAJOWNICZEK "Oh, my poor wife, my poor children. I shall never see them again." KOLBE (stepping forward) I'll take his place. FRITSCH Who are you? KOLBE I'm a Catholic priest. That man has a family...please allow me take his place. I'm old and weary...he's young and has a family. FRITZSCH (astounded, virtually speechless) You know what you're asking? You'll die. KOLBE We all die. It's just a question of when? There was a pregnant pause. Those watching thought that Fritzsch would order both to the bunker, but he nodded slowly in agreement. FRITZSCH Away with you then. A curt order was given, and Gajowniczek found himself deselected. He couldn't believe it. A stranger had given his life for his. He held his breath, afraid to even breathe, lest Fritzsch change his mind. He shot a look at his rescuer, and thanked him with his gaze. Kolbe had joined the MEN condemned. He spoke to them in whispers. Beat. KOLBE Keep your spirits high, men. They were marched into the underground starvation bunker. When the doors had slammed behind them, they looked at one another. PRISONER ONE We're doomed! KOLBE You never know? They might find the escapees and let us go. PRISONER ONE You...you took the place of somebody else. Why? Are you mad? PRISONER TWO The man's a priest. KOLBE (lightly) Can anybody sing? PRISONER ONE Sing? KOLBE If we're doomed, we should pray together, sing some hymns. How about it? PRISONER TWO We're with you, Father. The condemned prisoners prayed and sang together, their voices carrying to other cells, where others joined in. It was a spiritually uplifting scene, and the starvation bunkers lost some of their grimness, and became, instead, little icons of prayer - small chapels - which moved to tears even those who were forced to clean out the cells on a daily basis. Even the SS men were moved by the scene. Beat. CUT TO: Two SS men were chatting. OTTO GUNTER was speaking with HANS SCHAARSCHMIDT. Both men were related, and could trust one another. They were cousins. SCHAARSCHMIDT Fine fellow that priest. It's a pity he's in that bunker. GUNTER (glancing around nervously) Keep that talk to yourself, Hans. If Fritzsch heard you... SCHAARSCHMIDT He's a cold blooded animal, Otto. GUNTER Agreed, but we have our orders. There's nothing we can do about this situation. SCHAARSCHMIDT Do you know what this war is about anymore, Otto? Why all of these people are being killed? Day in and day out. Germany used to be a place of culture...now look at us. GUNTER Keep those opinions to yourself, Hans. If Fritzsch should hear...you may find yourself on the Eastern Front. SCHAARSCHMIDT I wonder sometimes would that not be a better option. At least there we knew we were fighting a common enemy. Fighting real soldiers. Not defenceless men, women and children. GUNTER Hans, please...? CUT TO: EXT - DAY Max and the others had been moved to the bunker the day before. If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, Enda wouldn't have believed that one man could have made such an unselfish sacrifice. He brooded about his friend. Gajowniczek approached him. GAJOWNICZEK I'm Franciszek Gajowniczek. PRICE I know who you are. What's on your mind, Franciszek? GAJOWNICZEK (nodding his head towards the bunker) I understand he was your friend? PRICE Yes. GAJOWNICZEK I don't know what to say...I'm so sorry. PRICE It's the way he wanted it, Franciszek. He was always that kind of man...that kind of priest...reaching out to others less fortunate. He chose to die a martyr. GAJOWNICZEK Still? PRICE (realizing the man was heartbroken, he placed his hand on his shoulder) Honour his memory. Live to survive...to get back to your family...to make his sacrifice worthwhile. GAJOWNICZEK That I can promise. But sometimes I wonder if any of us will get out of this horrible place alive. Do you ever feel that? PRICE All the time, Franciszek. All of the time. GAJOWNICZEK (hesitantly) You're not Polish? PRICE No. I'm Irish. GAJOWNICZEK But Ireland is neutral...how did you get mixed up in this mess? PRICE That's a long story. I was sent to Poland to help Max with his media enterprises...an area I had some expertise in. GAJOWNICZEK Are you sorry now? PRICE That I came to Poland. No. I've met incredible people here. A religious has to go where he's sent...it is God's will...not mine. That being said I did volunteer for this posting...I'm happy to be where I am needed. GAJOWNICZEK You have strong faith. PRICE Without it, we are lost. Never forget that, Franciszek. GAJOWNICZEK (turning to go) I won't, Father. CUT TO: INT - FRITZSCH'S OFFICE - DAY The Germans were getting impatient. Most of the men within the starvation bunker were dying away, weakened by no food and water, and ill from drinking urine. Gunter had just made his daily report to the camp commandant. Fritzsch put down his pen and looked at his underling coldly. FRITZSCH So only the Franciscan is still alive? GUNTER Yes. He's very strong. FRITZSCH Well, what are we to do? We need that bunker. GUNTER (neutral tone) We couldn't let him go? FRITZSCH How would that look? They'd think we were getting soft. He paused, thinking. The Franciscan's sacrifice had staggered him at the time, had staggered the whole camp, including his own men. His lips thinned in a decisive line. FRITZSCH (CONT'D) Finish him off. Pick a capo if you don't want to do it yourself. I don't want to hear anymore about this problem. Understood? GUNTER (clicking his heels) Sir. Gunter turned to leave the office. He had promised Schaarschmidt to put a word in for the Franciscan, but Fritzsch wasn't having any of it. The Franciscan was doomed. CUT TO: INT - STARVATION BUNKER - DAY Max knew this was the end. His companions were all dead. He recognized the criminal who entered the bunker, BOCK, the camp executioner, and saw the deadly syringe in his hands. He held his arm up to his executioner. KOLBE Do it. Bock injected a fatal injection of carbolic acid into the Franciscan's vein. Max's eyelids grew heavy, and he slumped back against the wall. Then he was still. His martyrdom was complete. The crowns had been accepted in full. Beat. CUT TO: INT - DUBLIN HOTEL - DAY O'Toole had a meeting with a member of de Valera's government. The DAIL MINISTER was a little late arriving, but O'Toole was happy that the man had showed up in the end. The men ordered a pint of Guinness each and got down to serious discussion. O'TOOLE Thanks for coming, Minister. I'm at my wits end over this whole affair. MINISTER No problem...the name is FRANK by the way. Frank DAY. The Minister sipped his pint thoughtfully, a big man with a bonhomie face, and a heavy chin. MINISTER (CONT'D) So the Vatican hasn't been much help? O'TOOLE (frustrated tone) Devil the bit of it. It's really annoying, but it's like running up against a brick wall. MINISTER (with an understanding grin) Diplomats, eh? O'TOOLE (thin smile) Yeah, present company excluded. MINISTER What we can do from our end is apply pressure to the German embassy in Dublin. O'TOOLE You mentioned something when I spoke to you earlier by telephone...about the prisoners in the Curragh. MINISTER We're holding a lot of German prisoners in the Curragh camp. Prisoners-of-war. Luftwaffe men, mostly. A few sailors. Abwehr spies. It might just be possible to run a deal by the Germans...one of theirs for one of ours. O'TOOLE Do you think they'll go for it...has it been done before? MINISTER (glancing around and speaking in a low tone) Not with the Germans. None of them have been released. But we've sent back some RAF fliers to the British side...just allowed them to slip back over the border. It's an arrangement that suits us and them...'Top Secret' of course. O'TOOLE Of course. I'm only interested in getting Enda back. I've no intention of breaking any confidence. MINISTER That's good to know, Bishop. We'll run it by them, and see if they go for it. O'TOOLE (indicating the near empty glasses) That's about all I can ask, Frank. Would you like one for the road? MINISTER (glancing at his watch) Go on then...one more won't kill us. We'll toast to our success. CUT TO: EXT - AUSCHWITZ - DAY A few months had gone by since Max's ultimate sacrifice. A supreme irony had occurred after his death - the escaper hadn't escaped at all, but had been found drowned in the camp latrines. Curiously enough, an attitude change had come over some of the Germans, and beatings seemed less severe. Even Fritzsch had mellowed somewhat. The killings continued however. Price felt Max's death keenly, but he knew in his heart that the Polish Franciscan was now with God. He spoke to Pius and Antoni about it one day. PRICE It's hard not to miss Max. ANTONI He was a man apart. God bless him. PIUS A true SAINT! ANTONI Do you notice something about this place, brothers? The Germans...they actually single out Catholic religious. They've killed a number of Jesuits and priests of all nationalities. Even a few German priests. PRICE That's why we need to be very careful, men. Keep the masses clandestine...be alert all the time for informers. PIUS We cannot deny our faith. ANTONI That's not what Enda means, Brother Pius. He just means we need to be extra cautious. Nobody is saying we should deny our faith. PIUS Why are they so consumed by hatred though, brothers? They're killing millions here. Do they plan to kill us all? PRICE I fear they do. I really do fear that. ANTONI But what's to be done, brothers? Even if we all revolted, how can we fight against guns and all the terror the Germans can unleash? PRICE (thoughtfully choosing his words with care) A revolt won't do it, brothers. If I thought it would, I'd lead it myself. PIUS So there are no answers? PRICE We need to get word out...to those outside the camps. Let other nations know what's happening...places like Denmark, Holland, Hungary. Any place where they are shipping Jews and other prisoners from...the revolt must take place from the outside. ANTONI And the allies. Don't forget them. PRICE Especially the allies. London and Washington must learn what's happening in these places...at the very least they could threaten war crime trials when it's all over. PIUS If they win? PRICE I've no doubts about the eventual outcome. I think Germany's greatest mistake came when she invaded Russia. At the very least it might make some of these SS thugs think twice. PIUS So we have a plan? PRICE We have a plan. Talk to those linked with the resistance movements...an escape is more likely to come from their ranks. ANTONI It will be very dangerous. PRICE Talk only to those you'd trust with your life. If we're caught...well, we're going to die anyway. We might as well go out with our heads held high - like Max. PIUS Amen to that. ANTONI Indeed. CUT TO: INT - SS BUILDINGS - DAY It was a few days later. The BISHOP was from Poland, and his name was JEDRUS. He had disappeared from his parish when the lapankas had started, and everyone had assumed he was merely another Gestapo victim, until a month later when he appeared in Rome seeking an audience with POPE PIUS X11. The Pope, annoyed that the man hadn't stood by his flock, had refused the audience and had sent him packing back to Poland. He had returned chastened, but his thinking had gone from pro-Catholic to pro-Nazi. Since his arrival in camp he had kept the Gestapo in the picture about rumours floating around the camp. He was speaking now, his reedy voice nervous as it always was around these people, but eager to please. Beat. JEDRUS There has been talk. GESTAPO MAN Talk? JEDRUS About getting word out...about what's happening here in these camps. GESTAPO MAN Who's talking out of turn? JEDRUS I don't know. GESTAPO MAN (anger in his tone) That's not good enough, Jedrus. If there's talk we want names. We can't do anything without names...you know how we operate. I hope you're telling us the truth when you say you don't know...we have ways of making you talk. JEDRUS (in sudden fright) They're priests. GESTAPO MAN Then it should be easy for you to find out, Bishop, shouldn't it? Find their names, or we'll find you...do we understand one another? JEDRUS Perfectly, Herr BAADER. GESTAPO MAN (knowing the man's weakness for drink and hiding his distaste) Find out for us...and we'll give you a bottle of cognac. JEDRUS (eyes gleaming) Ja. I find out...I find out fast. GESTAPO MAN Good. Then get the hell out of my office...I'm busy here. CUT TO: INT - MOMENTS LATER A second Gestapo man came into Baader's office. His name was FLEISCHER, a big, brute of a man with flesh hanging off him. He nodded towards the door. The Gestapo had a pet name for their chief informant. FLEISCHER Was that Gottschalk in here? BAADER (pinched face) God's servant indeed. FLEISCHER Anything useful for us? BAADER (explaining the situation) We should know in a few days. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - APPEL AUSCHWITZ SQUARE - MORNING Roll counts occurred every morning. It was a time when nobody was safe, as selections could be made for the gas chambers. This particular morning the Germans seemed to have a serious buzz up their ass, as numerous PRIESTS and KNOWN RESISTANCE LINKS were singled out for attention. A day had passed since Jedrus had met with the German agents. The Gestapo, unusually, were at the roll-call selection and had helped the camp personnel pick out known troublemakers. FRITZSCH (staring at the condemned) What method? Gas chambers? FLEISCHER Whatever you prefer, but make sure it's done properly. No survivors. FRITZSCH (to his capos) Take them to the stairs. The Stairs of Death! At the stairs, a series of concrete steps hewn into a cliff face, heavy rocks were lifted by the prisoners as they were forced to run up the long flight of steep steps. Many fell, severely injuring those following behind. The SS finished these prisoners off, casting bets among each other about who'd make it to the top. Those fit enough to reach the top were then forced off the cliff-tops. By mid-morning it was over, and a number of religious and resistance people lay dead. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - PENAL COLONY - DAY Price discussed his suspicions with Antoni and Pius. PRICE Somebody must have informed. ANTONI Yeah, but who? PIUS I only spoke to religious. PRICE We can't rule anybody out. ANTONI (to Pius) Did you mention anything to Jedrus? PIUS No, not directly. Some of the others may have mentioned the matter to him. Why? Is there something about Jedrus we should know? ANTONI I don't know. Some in the camp have their suspicions about him. They say he's not to be trusted. PIUS Why would he collaborate with the Nazis? He is one of us...a fellow Pole. A fellow religious. PRICE Fear, perhaps. I have the feeling that he is the type to always look out for Number One. PIUS God help him, if it is him? He's taking a devilish chance. ANTONI If it's proven, he faces excommunication from Rome. PRICE That's if the resistance people don't kill him first. ANTONI Or the drink! CUT TO: INT - DAIL EIREANN - DAY O'Toole had been summoned to Irish government buildings. Minister FRANK DAY met the Bishop on the steps, a broad smile spread across his face. MINISTER They've agreed to an exchange. We're in business. O'TOOLE Brilliant...that's wonderful news. MINISTER Let's go inside and talk. O'TOOLE (settled in the Dail bar over coffee) Was it difficult to arrange? MINISTER Not from our end...but I gather the German delegation in Dublin had tremendous difficulties in locating your boy. They eventually found him imprisoned in a place called Auschwitz. O'TOOLE Where's that? MINISTER I gather it's near a town called Oswiecim. The Germans didn't say much about the place, but they seemed very uneasy talking about it. CUT TO: INT - GESTAPO OFFICE - DAY Jedrus waited in the outer office, his palms damp with sweat. Eventually he was shown in. BAADER I hope you have some positive news for us, Jedrus. JEDRUS It hasn't been easy...they suspect some one...but I have come up with a name. BAADER Who? JEDRUS A Franciscan. His name is Antoni. They say he was a friend of Max Kolbe, the Franciscan who... BAADER Kolbe's dead. We know who he was. We'll have a talk with this Antoni, and if you have anything further for us, let us know immediately. Dismissed. Jedrus hesitated. BAADER (CONT'D) Well? JEDRUS You said there might be a bottle? BAADER (nodding in remembrance and grimacing in distaste) See Fleischer about that. He'll sort you out. Beat. CUT TO: INT - GESTAPO TORTURE ROOMS - DAY The interrogation went on around the clock - night and day. A room with harsh lighting. The Germans used every means at their disposal, kindness initially, then cajoling, then outright cruelty and torture. BAADER So you won't talk. That's a pity, but my associates have ways of making you talk...I'm afraid their methods are rather crude and unpleasant. ANTONI I've nothing to say to you people. BAADER (ringing a bell on his desk) That remains to be seen, doesn't it? ANTONI (swallowing hard, but defiant) I'll tell you nothing. Beat. CUT TO: INT - CAMP HUT - EVENING A clandestine mass had been organised by Price. It was attended by Franciscans and other prisoners who needed the solace only their faith could bring. During the homily, Price offered prayers for the deliverance of Brother Antoni back to their ranks. As he lifted the chalice celebrating the resurrection, his thought were not very far from their imprisoned brother. After the mass the FRANCISCANS went into a huddle. PAN SHOT OF DIFFERENT FRANCISCANS PIUS We're sunk. PRICE Antoni will never talk. ANOTHER FRANCISCAN The Germans have ways. PRICE (adamant) He won't talk. CUT TO: INT - WOMEN'S CAMP - NIGHT A secret meeting was taking place in one of the huts. A few select WOMEN attended it, the numbers deliberately kept low to avoid the attentions of informers. PAN SHOT OF WOMEN PRISONERS JANAH I've had more contact from the men's encampment. TAMAR What are they saying? JANAH They want to get word to the outside world. They think it's our best shot. An informer has compromised their break-out attempt...they're still going to try but they want a back-up plan should that fail. TAMAR They want some of us to try and escape too? JANAH Yes...they think two women should try together. TAMAR I'm willing. Anyone else? MINKA I'll go with you. Is everyone else happy with that? JANAH It's okay with us...we just have to hope that the Germans won't pick on the rest of us if you manage the escape. Any idea how you'll go out. MINKA I might know a way. I've found a blind spot in the wire. TAMAR Don't forget there are sub-camps all around. You get out of here, and you may find yourself simply stuck in another. MINKA That's a chance we'll have to take. CUT TO: EXT - CAMP WIRE - SEARCHLIGHTS - NIGHT They had waited for the first moonless night. It was also so cold that they hoped the German guards wouldn't be standing around. The delay afforded them time to prepare false documents, and as the night of their break-out approached everyone grew increasingly nervous. The tension hung in the air. JANAH (looking at the two women) All set? TAMAR Pray for us, Janah. If we're caught...? She shuddered. JANAH Luck to both of you. The women embraced warmly. Janah would miss her friends. She watched as they prepared to leave the hut. She raised her hand in a final farewell and then they were gone. CUT TO: EXT - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT Tamar and Minka kept to the shadows, their dark clothing blending with their surroundings. Tamar held the wire cutters, and Minka held a small bag containing heir forged papers. The searchlights passed. TAMAR (hissing) Now. The women raced for the wire. Within minutes they were through the wire. It was the SS compound. They skirted around its edge, every sense alert. Beat. CUT TO: SS COMPOUND - MOMENTS LATER The SS GUARD approached his colleague patrolling the far side of the compound. SS GUARD Dogs are a little restless, this evening. SS GUARD 2 They're probably as bored as us, HEINI. Let's see if we rustle up some schnapps. It will keep this bitter chill out of the air. This is as cold as a Russian winter. CUT TO: EXT - MOMENTS LATER The two escapees watched as the SS guards strolled towards a hut, and let out their breaths. They hadn't moved a muscle when they became aware of the dogs. The way clear, they now moved with some speed towards the wire surrounding the SS compound, and again cut their way through. They were out. They moved cross-country, using their map and compass, skirting the town of Oswiecim completely. Contact had been with the Polish resistance earlier. A few miles from the camp their contacts waited. CUT TO: INT - ABANDONED SHACK - LATER The RESISTANCE PEOPLE were waiting at the shack. Two men and two women. They spoke quietly among themselves. KALEENA (her eyes cold as she fingered her bren sub machine gun with her heavily gloved hands) They're late. RESISTANCE LEADER Give them time. They'll be here. ARON Unless they were caught? RESISTANCE LEADER We'll give them another hour. WIRA I agree with TOLEK. I know Minka from old. She'll get here. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - LATER Tolek had left the abandoned shack in the capable hands of his three comrades and had gone patrolling. His gloved hand tightened on his handgun as he heard a rustle in the undergrowth. He was a big man with broad shoulders, and he moved like a cat as the two women emerged from the shelter of trees. TOLEK Minka? Tamar? The two women whirled at the sound of his voice. Minka laid a hand on her companion. MINKA It's us. TOLEK You got here. Any problems? MINKA None. TOLEK Let's go to the others...we've got to move fast. This place will be crawling with Germans when they discover the break. They moved to the shack. WIRA greeted her old friend, Minka, with a kiss on each cheek, concern in her dark eyes. WIRA You've lost a lot of weight, Minka. TAMAR (answering for her friend,by way of explanation) Starvation diets. TOLEK We've got to move. I'm splitting you up. Minka...you come with me and Wira. Tamar...you're going with ARON and KALEENA. Strike north towards the Baltic ports. TAMAR A ship? ARON It's the best way to try and get you out, Tamar. A ship to neutral Sweden. Say your goodbyes now. TAMAR (accepting her papers from Minka and her embrace) Take it easy, sister. MINKA And you, Tamar. The two women were bundled separately into waiting cars and driven away into the night. Beat. CUT TO: INT - GESTAPO BUILDING - DAY Antoni had just died. Baader stared at his underlings with dismay. BAADER Did he talk? FLEISCHER Nein...no, he didn't. BAADER (furious) I told you to keep him alive until he talked. FLEISCHER (spreading his hands) The men went too far. Baader slammed his fists on the table. Eventually he glanced at Fleischer. BAADER Get Jedrus in here again. CUT TO: INT - CAMP HUT - DAY The Franciscans were huddled in conversation. They had just learnt of the death of Antoni. They prayed for their fellow friar. An SS MAN came to the door, causing a hurried break-up. Price felt a shiver of fear as his name was called out. SS MAN Herr Price? PRICE That's me. SS MAN Come with me. PIUS (whispering) I told you...Antoni must have talked. PRICE Never. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - DAY Price was surprised when he wasn't steered towards the Gestapo buildings, but was instead lead towards a car with two WEHRMACHT MEN men standing by. He said nothing as handcuffs were placed on his wrists, and he was bundled into the back. They wanted no witnesses he thought, his mind grim, sure that he would be shot in the nearby woods. As the car sped from the confines of Auschwitz, he glanced back at the sign over the gate. PRICE (muttering) Arbecht macht frei. WEHRMACHT OFFICER What's that? PRICE Nothing. He was silent for a moment, and then he asked the officer a question. PRICE (CONT'D) Where's it to be? WEHRMACHT OFFICER Where's what to be? PRICE The shooting...where will I be shot? The WEHRMACHT OFFICER gave a glance to his DRIVER, and turned in his seat to eye Price. WEHRMACHT OFFICER You think we're going to shoot you? PRICE Aren't you? WEHRMACHT OFFICER (shaking his head) You're free. You must have very powerful friends...you're going home. PRICE Home? WEHRMACHT OFFICER Irlande...ja? Price was speechless. He nodded dumbly. Beat. CUT TO: INT - FRITZSCH'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON Baader was far from speechless, he was livid. He stared at Fritzsch in anger. BAADER What do you mean, he's gone? FRITZSCH The orders came from Berlin, Herr Baader. They were very specific. The Irish Franciscan, Price, was to be released into Wehrmacht custody immediately. He left this morning. BAADER I want him back. FRITZSCH There's nothing I can do about that, Herr Baader. Berlin were adamant he be released. If Jedrus had come to us sooner, then perhaps... BAADER He did come to us sooner, but he only came up with this new name at lunchtime. FRITZSCH Then it is too late. BAADER Call Berlin...get them to rescind the order. FRITZSCH (smiling coldly) That I will not do, Herr Baader. Call Berlin yourself...do your own dirty work. BAADER (storming towards the door) I will. The door slammed behind him. CUT TO: INT - GESTAPO BUILDINGS - LATER Fleischer had rarely seen his superior in such foul humour. He guessed things hadn't gone well with Fritzsch. FLEISCHER What's happening, Baader? BAADER (ignoring the question) Get Berlin on the line for me. Fleischer listened to the one-sided conversation that ensued. Baader seemed to get more agitated as the call went on. BAADER (CONT'D) But...he knows things...about the camp here. Fleischer guessed that the reply was short. One word: So? BAADER (CONT'D) (explosive) He's a danger to the Reich. Another tense silence as Baader listened to the voice on the other end of the telephone line. BAADER (CONT'D) I would have acted sooner, but the information only came to me. An argument ensued for several moments, before Baader slammed the receiver down. He gazed at Fleischer, and shook his head. FLEISCHER No luck? BAADER They won't listen. They want this flyer back...said it's more important for the Deutschland. Can you believe it? They want a propaganda coup. That buffoon Goebbels is rubbing his hands in glee in Berlin. He shook his head. BAADER (CONT'D) (shaking his head in disbelief) This war is lost for Germany. Mark my words. FLEISCHER Did you say anything to them about Fritzsch? BAADER (cold smile) You know me too well, Fleischer. I suggested to them that they needed somebody more efficient here. Fritzsch hasn't been the same since they put that Franciscan to death back in '41. What was his name again? FLEISCHER Maximilian Kolbe? BAADER Yeah. Him. FLEISCHER And? BAADER (tersely) I think they got the message. Beat. CUT TO: INT - IRISH MONASTERY - DAY O'Toole came forward with a worried expression in his eyes as Enda entered his office. The two men shook hands warmly. O'Toole held the younger man by his shoulders. O'TOOLE Let me get a good look at you, Enda. Enda was aware of how he looked. The skeletal frame, the shocked faces of people in Dublin whom he had seen since his return, especially on those who had known him back in the thirties. O'TOOLE (CONT'D) (highly critical) They didn't feed you much, did they? PRICE The real battle was staying alive. O'TOOLE Want to tell it now...or later? Price told him, and when he had gone O'Toole sat staring out of the window for a long time. The horrors of what he had heard were mind-boggling. Slowly he reached for his pen and began writing. He wrote for a good hour. Eventually he rang the bell on his desk. A YOUNG FRANCISCAN came through the door. YOUNG FRANCISCAN You summoned me, Bishop? O'TOOLE Yes, DOMINICK. Take this letter, and send it as a priority despatch to the Holy Father in Rome. CUT TO: EXT - NAVAL DOCKYARD - DANZIG - NIGHT Aron and Kaleena came through the misty night and spoke in low tones to Tamar. KALEENA We've prepared a new legend for you, and bribed some of the workers here. They'll be watching for you. Your new name is HEIDI SCHMIDT, and you're a German woman travelling to see your sick sister in Sweden. ARON Return tickets...it looks better that way. You're from Frankfurt am-Main, and if they ask you're travelling for two weeks - max. You're employed at an arms factory in your home town. Got it? TAMAR I can't thank you people enough. They shook hands and embraced. ARON Get your message out there, Tamar. That's all the thanks we need. CUT TO: EXT - DANZIG NAVAL DOCKYARD - SENTRY POST The GERMAN SOLDIERS eyed her as she approached. Her scar was hidden behind her scarf, making her voice muffled, and masking the cold. Beat. SENTRY Your papers, fraulein. TAMAR (in flawless German) Certainly! SENTRY Why are you travelling to Sweden? TAMAR To visit my sister. She's ill. SENTRY Returning when? TAMAR In two weeks. I have to be back in work in two weeks. SENTRY Your sister...she's German? TAMAR Ja. SENTRY (snapping papers closed and returning her documents to her) I hope she's better soon, Heidi. Have a safe voyage. TAMAR Danke. She dropped her bag, and documents spilled out onto the ground. The sentry moved to help her. TAMAR (CONT'D) (hoping he wouldn't notice the duplicate forms) It's okay. I've got them. SENTRY Nonsense, fraulein. A puzzled look crossed his face. SENTRY (CONT'D) Are they more documents? TAMAR (lightly, giving him a smile) Just more of the same. The sentry smiled back at her. SENTRY Bureaucracy...huh? TAMAR Ja. Everything is papers...papers. He watched her go with a smile on his face. Tamar boarded the ship, and a CREWMAN approached her. CREWMAN Heidi? TAMAR (cautiously) Ja. CREWMAN (winking at her) Aron told me to watch for you. Any problems? TAMAR No problems. CREWMAN I'll show you to your quarters. CUT TO: INT - WARSAW APARTMENT - DAY Minka had arrived in Warsaw and had immediately begun working with the Polish resistance. She worked feverishly, as though her very life depended on it. Night after night her broadcasts went out. Her news was always clipped, terse; but effective enough to cause the Germans to send in more cross-triangulation teams to track down the source of her broadcasts. Newsletters were another way of circulating her message, and she worked night and day to ensure her message got out there. The world was learning about Auschwitz. As preparations for the Warsaw Uprising intensified, Minka became heavily involved. The Germans were none too pleased. Beat. CUT TO: INT - BERLIN OFFICE - GESTAPO HEADQUARTERS - DAY The interrogation with ex-commandant Fritzsch had been going on for some time. The Gestapo Chief, HEINRICH MULLER, was present, along with some of his top HENCHMEN. MULLER Things are not going well in Poland. FRITZSCH Poland? MULLER Warsaw...to be exact. FRITZSCH Why's that? MULLER Because of your incompetency, Herr Fritzsch. Have you ever heard of Minka Frobisher? FRITZSCH No. Who is she? MULLER Until 1943, she was a prisoner in your care. FRITZSCH Was? So she's dead, then? MULLER No. She is not dead. She escaped Auschwitz, and she is very much alive in Warsaw. She escaped with another prisoner named Tamar, and our agents abroad tell us she's also alive and spilling the beans in neutral Sweden where we can't touch her. FRITZSCH Why are they so dangerous? HENCHMAN Minka is broadcasting every night on the Warsaw radio airwaves, and Tamar, well, the British are listening closely to what she has to say. FRITZSCH I see. MULLER And there's the matter of this Irish Franciscan? FRITZSCH (on the defensive) Berlin ordered that. His release. MULLER The question of his release should never have arose...you had him since '39. He should have been liquidated. FRITZSCH It was a question of having the means...the manpower...there were bound to be those who survived the rigours of the camps. MULLER Do you know who is asking questions now...demanding answers to some very searching probes? He paused, eying the commandant with contempt. MULLER (CONT'D) No? Then I'll tell you...the Vatican, that's who. How would you explain that, Herr Fritzsch? FRITZSCH The Franciscan? MULLER (clapping his hands, his eyes meeting those of his henchmen) Now, he gets it. HENCHMAN What will we do with him? MULLER (disgusted) Get him out of my sight. I never want to see him again. CUT TO: EXT - WARSAW LEFT BANK - EVENING The Polish Underground State and its military wing the Armia Krajowa had decided to fight back. After a hard day's battle, in which the Germans had thrown everything they had at the Polish defences, Minka lay badly wounded. A young Polish fighter watched her with worried eyes. His name was JAN WARSKI. He was a thin, blond-haired individual, with a boyish, charming face. JAN Take it easy, Minka. You fought very bravely. MINKA (ragged breathing) Jan, if you get taken... JAN (matter-of-fact) If I'm taken I'll be shot. MINKA Get word to my friend in Auschwitz...her name is Janah...that we did all we could. Tell her we had to separate, and that Tamar tried to get out through the northern ports to Sweden. JAN You can tell her that yourself. MINKA No. I...I'm never going back. Tell her... Minka's head slipped sideways, and she was still. One of the FIGHTERS hurried over, a trained medic. Jan caught his eye. The man shook his head. FIGHTER (feeling for a pulse) She's gone, Jan. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - WARSAW - DAY Another week had passed, in which all hope that the Russians would enter Warsaw and relieve the fighters had evaporated. Jan knew all was lost. He had been caught up in the war for a few years now, and although he wasn't Jewish, he had participated in the Jewish ghetto Uprising of 1943. He was one of the few to have escaped the ghetto massacres, and he had continued the fight with the Polish resistance. Unlucky to have become separated from his companions, he found himself trapped at the end of the week. He contemplated shooting his way out, but there were too many Germans surrounding him and reluctantly he dropped his rifle. A GERMAN SOLDIER kept him covered. GERMAN SOLDIER Hande Hoch! JAN (raising his hands) What now? GERMAN SOLDIER For you, the war is over, my friend. JAN (sullenly defiant) I'm not your friend. GERMAN SOLDIER (pointing with his bayonet rifle) Move. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - AUSCHWITZ - WEEKS LATER Jan had been held in a prison camp with thousands of other Warsaw veterans, before finally finding himself shipped to Auschwitz. He'd heard plenty of stories about this place, and had helped Minka broadcast stories on underground wireless sets, prior to the mobilisation of Warsaw's fighters. The long rows of huts, barbed wire, SS units, selection procedures as soon as they had disembarked from the train hadn't come as a surprise. Jan was a big man, very athletic looking, loose limbed and he wasn't surprised when he was immediately attached to a work detail. He wondered if Minka's friend was still at the encampment, or whether she had already perished. Either way he'd find out. He had links all over Auschwitz. A few nights later, a POLISH UNDERGROUND MAN had some news for him. POLISH UNDERGROUND MAN We've found her...she's in the women's camp. Block A. JAN Can you set up a meet? POLISH UNDERGROUND MAN It's dangerous...but we can do it. She'll want to know who you are? JAN Tell her. Tell her too, I bring news of a mutual friend. Beat. CUT TO: EXT - NEAR THE WIRE - NIGHT Jan liked Janah immediately. The feeling was mutual, though a wary expression clung to Janah's eyes, as though she were a woman who'd seen too many horrors. JANAH I was told you brought word about a mutual friend. Who might that be? JAN Minka. JANAH (eyes widening) So she made it...we wondered. He had gone quiet, and she sensed it. JANAH (CONT'D) She's dead, isn't she? JAN I'm sorry, yes. She was killed during the Warsaw Uprising. She told me to tell you she got the message out, and that Tamar had made a break for neutral Sweden. JANAH And did she make it? JAN We don't know. There was a silence as Janah digested this new news. Eventually she looked back up into his eyes. JANAH What's happening on the outside...we heard the Warsaw Uprising had failed? JAN It had some success, but the Russians didn't arrive as expected, and for some unknown reason they refused to let allied supply planes land at their airfields...if we had access to those supplies we'd have held out much longer. We suspect the Russians held off because the Polish government in exile, in London, called for an enquiry into Katyn. JANAH You fought in Warsaw with Minka? JAN Yes. JANAH You seem so young...to have fought, I mean? JAN War makes you grow up fast. I've been fighting two years now. How about you...what's your story? How long have you... JANAH Been here? JAN Yes. JANAH Too long. I'm seventeen now...I've been here since the age of twelve. The Germans think I'm older...if I hadn't lied to them about my age...then I'd be dead now. JAN Smart thinking. Lying like that. JANAH If it hadn't been for Enda...Enda Price. It was his idea. JAN (feeling a twinge of jealousy) Who's he? She sensed his mood, and grinned at him. JANAH Pull in your horns. You have no competition there...he's an Irish priest who helped me when I was younger. A dear friend. JAN Oh...what makes you think I'm afraid of competition? JANAH Aren't you? Woman's instinct, I guess. Perhaps I'm wrong? JAN No. You're not wrong. They smiled at each other foolishly, both wishing they were elsewhere. JANAH Do you think this war will ever end? It seems so endless. JAN (knowing she needed hope) Yes, it will end. The Germans were already panicking before Warsaw. Their divisions have been decimated in the east, and the allies have broken out of Normandy. I give it another year. JANAH That's like a lifetime in this place. JAN You've come so far, Janah. Don't give up now...meet with me again in a few nights. I can keep you abreast of any news...I've plenty of contacts among the resistance here in the camp. How about it? JANAH Okay. A thought occurred to him. JAN What happened to that priest anyway? Is he still alive? JANAH I believe they let him out. JAN That's unusual. JANAH Highly unusual...but then his country was always neutral in this thing. From what I could gather they arranged his release by giving the Germans back one of their top flier aces. He was working here with Max. JAN Max? JANAH Maxsymilian Kolbe. He was murdered here back in '41. JAN I've heard of him. Didn't he give up his life to save a Polish soldier? JANAH Yes...he was a very holy man. JAN Sounds like you knew him? JANAH He helped me when my sister was killed at the start of the war. JAN I'm sorry, Janah. I didn't know that. JANAH (reflective for a moment) Are you a Catholic, Jan? JAN Yes. You are too, I take it? JANAH Yes. JAN (preparing to go) Till later in the week. Stay alive, Janah. JANAH And you, Jan. CUT TO: EXT - PENAL COLONYS - AUSCHWITZ - DAY Several weeks had gone by, weeks which proved that the allies were gaining the upper hand. The Germans were no longer cocky, though they were often bad-tempered and took their anger out on the prisoners. During his limited confinement, Jan had seen first hand, what the Germans were up to in these camps, and he was appalled. How could Janah have survived five years of this hell? He started as he realised a FELLOW PRISONER was addressing him. FELLOW PRISONER Keep working. If they see you idling you're a dead man. JAN (who hadn't realised he was idling, glanced around quickly, and turned his thoughts back to his work) Thanks for the warning, my friend. Janah had been on his mind for a few weeks now. They saw a lot of one another, whenever they could arrange it. Such meetings were fraught with peril for both of them, but it had become their only lifeline to escape the horrors of this brutal place. CUT TO: EXT - AUSCHWITZ WALL OF DEATH - MORNING Tolek and Wira had also been heavily involved in the Warsaw Uprising. They had been captured together with a bunch of other POLISH FIGHTERS when their ammunition ran out after a particularly nasty battle in which GERMAN SOLDIERS were sprawled dead over the courtyard. The Germans had noted their names carefully. Several weeks later Tolek, Wira and the others captured from their unit that day were led to the wall within Auschwitz reserved for firing squads. There was little or no ceremony. The GERMAN EXECUTIONERS set up some heavy machine guns and prepared to fire. Tolek looked up at the bright blue sky and took Wira's hand in his own. TOLEK (raising his fist towards the sky) For Poland...we die for Pol... The heavy machine-guns opened up, a scathing round of fire that cut down the resistance fighters. Silence fell. An OFFICER approached the fallen with a pistol in his hand. CUT TO: EXT - AUSCHWITZ WIRE - NIGHT That night he met with her again. Jan, who had seen men cold-bloodedly gunned down earlier, asked her how she had survived so long. JAN They are complete animals in here...how you survived so long is beyond me? JANAH It was the same at Ravensbruck. JAN They seem to have a lot of death camps. Scattered all over the Reich...there must be millions dead? JANAH It's very depressing, Jan. Can we not talk about something else? JAN What do you want to talk about? JANAH Anything...everything. What will you do after the war? JAN I hope to teach. JANAH Teaching is a very noble profession, Jan. What do you hope to teach? JAN History, perhaps. And languages. If I ever survive this thing? JANAH (reaching for his hand) You will, Jan. I've got a feeling you will. JAN And how about you, Janah. What are your plans? JANAH What every sane woman wants, Jan. A good husband, and a family to share the good times with. He was silent. She was giving him a message. She was saying she was the type of woman who wanted one good man to share her life with, and that she wanted children. He wondered where he fitted in her plans? JANAH (CONT'D) You're very silent. JAN I've been thinking, Janah. What if I could get you of here...out of that hell-hole you're in. JANAH How do you mean? JAN They're looking for workers in one of the sub-camps. Both sexes, men and women. JANAH (fearful) What if it is just a front? For something else? JAN (sensing her fear and putting his arms around her) It's not like that, Janah. It's nothing to do with the gas chambers. It's regular work, helping to build a new power plant, and the food is better. Some of the work is a little dangerous...helping to clear unexploded ordinance, but the men do most of that. How about it? JANAH I don't know, Jan. JAN (convincingly) It's a chance we've got to take, Janah. I can set it up through contacts, but it has to be better than being stuck where you are. If you stay there, I fear I'll lose you...if not to the Germans then to typhus or something. Please say you'll do it. JANAH Would you really fear losing me, Jan? JAN More than life itself. If you agree we'll also be able to see a lot more of each other. Well? JANAH Very well, Jan. I hope you know what you're doing, though? JAN (giving her a reassuring hug) I do, my love. I do. CUT TO: INT - SWEDISH BRITISH CONSULATE OFFICE - MORNING The WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR was shaking his head as he listened to Tamar's story. He wore a British uniform, but he explained to Tamar that before the war he had been a lawyer, and that he had been assigned to this position recently because of his legal background. He demanded specifics. Who shot who? Names, dates, circumstances. Who gave the orders? Who pulled the triggers? Who made the selections? He seemed intrigued when Tamar told him about Kolbe. WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR He gave his life for a fellow Pole? That took courage. TAMAR Yes. WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR And nine other men died with him? TAMAR Yes. They selected ten. WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR And Fritzsch ordered this? TAMAR Yes. He was the camp commandant. The questioning went on in a similar vein for several hours, with the investigator taking copious notes, and until it was obvious that Tamar was exhausted. The investigator snapped his notebook shut and stood to end the meeting. WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR You've been very helpful, Tamar. If there's anything we can do for you...let us know. TAMAR What will happen to them? To Fritzsch, and the other SS? WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR They'll be tried. TAMAR And then? WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR If they are guilty, they'll either hang or be imprisoned. How about you...will you ever return to Poland? A long silence ensued. TAMAR Perhaps some day. When this war is long forgotten. I like it here...I like Sweden. WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR (catching the inflexion in her voice) Is there a man in the equation? TAMAR (blushing slightly) His name is ERICH...I met him recently. He's helping me to forget the horrors. He didn't want me to meet you? WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR (smiling in understanding) He cares for you? He doesn't want you dredging up the past. TAMAR Yes. WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR Then why come forward? TAMAR It was a promise I made. To Janah, and my other friends in the camp. To those Franciscans who wanted to get the word out to the world. And it was for the victims. Especially for them. She felt tears welling in her eyes, and he felt a wave of pity for her. Despite the scar she was still pretty, and he realised Erich was a very lucky man. There was sudden defiance in her gaze. TAMAR (CONT'D) I hope it was worth it. WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATOR That's one thing I can promise you, Tamar. CUT TO: INT - OUTER OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER The war crimes investigator spotted the strapping Swede with the worried eyes and he nodded briefly as he swept past. Erich only had eyes for Tamar. He came forward and wrapped his big arms around her. ERICH How did it go? TAMAR I'm glad it's over, Erich. He said I might have to testify in a few months...but it went okay. Thanks for waiting for me. ERICH Least I could do. Where will you have to testify...Germany? TAMAR When it's all over. ERICH If you're determined to do that, you won't go alone. I'll be with you every step of the way. TAMAR (embracing him tightly, wanting to hold him forever, tears in her eyes) Oh...Erich. ERICH Let's go home, Tamar. CUT TO: INT - AUSCHWITZ POWER PLANT - NIGHT The move to the sub camp had proved a good move for Jan and Janah. Their relationship had deepened, and they found love in the unlikely confines of the camp. Though they still had to endure slave labour, their hearts were uplifted by the news of how the war was progressing. In October of 1944, the Germans had ceased using the gas chambers, and they were now frantically trying to conceal their crimes. Jan and Janah had approached the PRIEST with trepidation, the priest himself had been incarcerated since the summer, and the bonus was that he was a Pole like them. He removed his glasses and stared at them as they put their request to him. PRIEST You wish to be married? Here...in this hell-hole? JAN (Janah nodding her head in unison) Yes, Father. In case anything happens to either of us. PRIEST (after a long silence) You've thought this through carefully? If the Germans get wind of such a ceremony...? JANAH We're willing to take that risk, Father. Are you? PRIEST (shaking his head) It's not my own safety that concerns me...the wearing of the cloth makes me a marked man anyway...it's a risk that comes with the job. But you two...you're young...your whole lives are ahead of you...are you sure you want to make this leap. You're both of the faith, yes? JANAH We're sure, Father. The priest met Jan's eyes, and saw the grim determination in his eyes. He smiled. His words lit up the young couple's hearts. PRIEST If God ordains it, who am I to stand in his way? When do you want to do this? JAN The sooner the better, Father. When suits you? PRIEST Some night this week, when we've finished working in the power plant. Friday perhaps? The priest mirrored their smiles. It felt good to be practising his duties again, no matter the clandestine nature of the ceremony. JANAH Friday's great. JAN Friday's great. CUT TO: INT - CAMP BUNKER - NIGHT The ceremony was underway. Lookouts had been placed on the doors and windows to keep watch for Germans. They married in their blue and whites, though some of the ROMANTICS among the women had prepared a special shroud for Janah to wear. She stood now alongside Jan as FATHER CIBOR went through the time honoured tradition. CIBOR Do you Jan Warski take Janah as your lawfully wedded wife, in sickness and in health, until death do you part. JAN I do! CIBOR Do you, Janah PRIBORSKY, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, until death do you part. JANAH With all my heart! I Do! CIBOR (smiling paternally) I now declare you man and wife. He motioned to Jan. CIBOR (CONT'D) You may kiss the bride. A muted applause broke out as Jan took Janah into his arms and kissed her tenderly on her lips. She melted into him. Some had made an effort to cheer up the night. Food, always in scarce demand, was produced. Dried biscuits, bread rolls, even some Dutch cheese. One MAN produced a few bottles of schnapps. He grinned apologetically at his fellow PRISONERS. MAN Had to bribe some of the Germans to get hold of these. It wasn't manna from heaven, but it was close. Some of the other prisoners double bunked and even slept on the floor to allow the couple some privacy in a corner of the bunk house. Discreet curtains were in place to shield them as they prepared to consummate their wedding. Cibor had already retired, the extra schnapps he had been given had knocked him for six, and he was already asleep. Jan and Janah looked at their fellow prisoners. JAN I don't know how to thank you people. Janah went one better. With no bouquet to throw, she removed her shroud and threw it over her shoulder. A SINGLE GIRL caught it, and smiled as she was ribbed by the others. Jan lifted his wife and carried her behind the curtain. Alone they smiled at one another. JAN (CONT'D) (whispering) It was good, wasn't it? Are you happy? JANAH (also whispering) As happy as I can be...they were great, weren't they? They really helped us make a night of it. JAN They're good people. When this war is over, I'll take you to Rome. We'll get a blessing from the Pope and celebrate in real style. JANAH (coyly) And until then? He reached for her, undoing the buttons on her top and cupping his hand around her breast. They moved slowly, fearful of making too much noise. They slid beneath the rough blankets, their hands busy discovering one another's bodies. She murmured as he entered her, thrusting hard, her neck arched like a graceful swan as he buried his head alongside her neck. JANAH (CONT'D) (barely audible) Oh...Jan. Her fingernails dug into his back as she stifled a cry. CUT TO: EXT - JANUARY 1945 - DAY Wild jubilation greeted the Russians. Schaarschmidt had deserted his companions when they decided to quit the camp and flee back towards Germany. They had taken all able bodied prisoners with them, on a forced death march. Schaarschmidt had seen enough. He wanted to help those still alive, and he was still mourning the death of his cousin, Otto Gunter, killed in a heavy bombing of Hamburg a few months before. A fire-trap. In many ways it was unfortunate that he had decided to remain. The freed prisoners made no distinctions when they saw the hated black uniform and neither did the Russian troops. Schaarschmidt found himself cut off from those he had helped and hauled roughly away to the edge of camp. SCHAARSCHMIDT Wait. What are you men doing? RUSSIAN SOLDIER It's payback time. SCHAARSCHMIDT But... RUSSIAN SOLDIER (pushing the SS man towards the prisoners) He's all yours. An EMBITTERED PRISONER, a skeletal frame of a man with sad eyes and dressed in the blue and white of the camp's dress, limps forward and grins coldly at the SS man. He gives Schaarschmidt a violent push. EMBITTERED PRISONER How does it feel, SS man? To be on the receiving end? Schaarschmidt glances around the sea of faces. There is no sympathy. Cold eyes stare back at him. He realises that it is all over. Suddenly they are upon him. Attacking him from all sides, punching him, kicking him. SCHAARSCHMIDT (in pain) You...you don't understand... His words are cut off by a violent kick. The attack goes on. Suddenly an OLD MAN arrives, his eyes bloodshot, his voice hoarse as he cries out in anguish. OLD MAN (sharp voice) What are you doing? EMBITTERED PRISONER (sweating from the exertion) We're giving them back some of what they gave us. OLD MAN Stop it...stop...stop. Stop this madness, at once. The men stopped at the sudden plea. EMBITTERED PRISONER (mocking) What's the matter,Jacob? Don't you like the sight of SS blood? OLD MAN But that's Schaarschmidt...Hans Schaarschmidt. He's a righteous one...he stayed to help us when most of the SS left. What have you done? Jacob bent down over the prone figure of the SS man. The men shifted on their feet uneasily. None would meet his eyes. Eventually one SHAME-FACED PRISONER did. He spoke in a quiet tone, almost a whisper. SHAME-FACED PRISONER How is he? OLD MAN He's dead. The mob broke up, grumbling. Slow Beat. CUT TO: EXT - AUSCHWITZ - DAY They treated Jedrus like a woman collaborator. His guilt had not been proven beyond doubt, which was probably why they left him alive, but there was also the fact that no matter his sins he was still a religious and that fact carried weight. They all knew Jedrus was dying anyway, his liver damaged by alcohol. They shaved his head, and paraded him in front of the camp. Jedrus stumbled like a man lost. He had lost his dignity, and his faith. JEDRUS (mumbling miserably) When will this charade end? EMBITTERED PRISONER Just keep moving, Jedrus. The CROWD was curiously silent. It was humbling to see a man of the cloth so humbled. Most turned away. CUT TO: EXT - WALKING COLUMN - DEATH MARCH - EVENING Jan held Janah's hand tightly as they stumbled along. They had been walking for two days, pushed along by jittery SS men, who had hurriedly evacuated Auschwitz and its sub camps before the Russians arrived. It was a cruel march, and those weakened by it were shot on the spot. All those able to walk had been forced to leave Auschwitz, hundreds too ill to make the walk had been gunned down, and thousands had been left behind. Jan turned a concerned look at his wife. JANAH Where are they taking us, Jan? JAN Back towards Germany...don't show any kind of weakness, Janah. All's not lost yet. These fiends are on the run. JANAH Do you think we have a chance? He gripped her hand tighter. JAN (determined tone) We'll make it. They gasped as Father Cibor stumbled and fell. Jan let his wife's hand drop, as he moved to help the priest who had married them. He was too late. An SS man levelled his pistol at Cibor and squeezed off two shots. Janah stifled a scream. Jan muttered angrily and memorised the SS man's face. Some day in court, he thought. PAN SHOT OF LONG LINE OF REFUGEES AND PRISONERS WITH JAN AND JANAH STARING BACK AT THE FALLEN PRIEST. CUT TO: EXT - DEATH MARCH - NIGHT Aron and Kaleena led the attack. Jan had been fore-warned by some of his friends. Those in the know were bunched together, waiting for their chance. ARON (to the prisoners) Get down. Kaleena and OTHERS opened up. The SS panicked, thinking the Russians had caught up. It was the chance Jan had been praying for. A seasoned fighter, he waited for the lull in the firing, saw how disorganised the SS were, and acted. JAN (to Janah) Let's go. Jan shielded his wife's body, as he ran towards the resistance people. His example was followed by other members of the resistance. They were away from the murderous SS. Free at last. Jan was gratified to see the SS man who had murdered Cibor swept off his feet by a wave of bullets. They retreated, firing steadily to discourage pursuit. CUT TO: EXT - MORNING RUSSIAN TROOPS linked up with the resistance fighters mid morning. Jan held his wife close to him, a look of relief on his face. JAN It's over, Janah. We're safe now. THEY CELEBRATED WITH THE RUSSIAN FORCES. ACT THREE INT - IRISH MONASTERY - DAY The war had been over seven years. Enda had settled back into Irish life, trying to put the horrors of the past behind him. He was busy working one day when the three people came to see him - a couple and their baby daughter. One of the YOUNGER FRANCISCANS answered their knocking. YOUNG FRANCISCAN Yes? THE YOUNG LADY Does Father Enda Price live here? YOUNG FRANCISCAN Yes, but he left strict orders not to be disturbed. THE YOUNG LADY Will he see us? YOUNG FRANCISCAN (brusquely) That's out of the question...he's a very busy man. THE YOUNG LADY Perhaps you can give him this. When he sees it, I think he will admit us. The young Franciscan's face was puzzled as he stared at the tiny photograph of Saint Kevin thrust into his hand by the girl. YOUNG FRANCISCAN Who shall I say is looking for him? THE YOUNG LADY He'll know when he sees the picture. YOUNG FRANCISCAN Wait here please. The Franciscan disappeared into the monastic gloom. Beat. CUT TO: INT - PRICE'S STUDY - MOMENTS LATER Price was busy writing when the young Franciscan knocked timidly on his door. PRICE (impatiently) Yes? YOUNG FRANCISCAN I'm sorry, Father. I know you don't want to be disturbed. A young couple are looking to speak to you at the gate. PRICE Who are they? What are their names? What do they want? YOUNG FRANCISCAN They wouldn't give their names. They didn't say what they wanted...they have a young child with them...a baby. Perhaps they are looking for marriage counselling. PRICE Bah! Send them away. Can't you see I'm busy, man. Tell them to go to their parish priest. YOUNG FRANCISCAN Okay, Father. By the way, the girl gave me this. The young Franciscan turned to go as he gave Price the tiny photograph of Saint Kevin. PRICE (funny expression on his face) One moment, young man. The young Franciscan paused and turned, surprised by his superior's sudden tearful look. YOUNG FRANCISCAN Father? Price was curiously silent, staring at the tiny photograph. YOUNG FRANCISCAN (CONT'D) Father, are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost? PRICE (very soft voice) Perhaps I have. YOUNG FRANCISCAN Sir? PRICE Show them to my quarters. YOUNG FRANCISCAN (puzzled look) Show them...? PRICE Yes, man. Immediately. Don't just stand there with your mouth open. Show them in at once. CUT TO: INT - CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER The young Franciscan was leading the trio through a long corridor, with holy paintings and crucifixes on the walls. Their footsteps echoed off the marble floors. YOUNG FRANCISCAN (speaking as he moved) He doesn't normally see visitors...it's strange that he agreed to see you? Price was waiting for them at his door. An expression of sheer delight lit up his face as he spotted his visitors. The girl rushed forward, and to the young Franciscan's sheer amazement, Price embraced her. He hugged her tightly. Then he let her go, and looked into her eyes. She couldn't contain a sob. PRICE You've grown, Janah. I thought you were dead. JANAH Did you try to find me? PRICE When the war was over, I returned. But it was impossible...millions were missing...all over Europe. JANAH (pointing to the smiling Polish man with her) This is my husband JAN. PRICE (shaking hands and smiling) Nice to meet you, Jan. JAN And you, Father. I've heard a lot about you. PRICE Good tidings, I hope. Jan grinned, and watched as his wife brought the Franciscan to the tiny bundle in her husband arm. JANAH And our daughter ... You said one day I'd have children...our first. Her name is RAHEL. PRICE And named after your sister. The young Franciscan had been watching this with an expression of amazement. Price now caught his eye. PRICE (CONT'D) TOMMY, perhaps you'd be good enough to arrange some refreshments for our guests. YOUNG FRANCISCAN Certainly, Father. PRICE (steering his guests) We have much to catch up on...let's retire to the gardens. CUT TO: EXT - GARDENS - MOMENTS LATER Price relaxed with his guests in the greenery that surrounded the interior courtyard of the Franciscan buildings. Hot coffee, cold drinks, and salad sandwiches had been served by the young Franciscan before he had retired to let them discuss things. PRICE (to Janah) So you survived the camps? JANAH (shuddering) With great difficulty, Father. They were horrible places. PRICE Truly horrible. Much worse than I had ever expected. Max and all the others died in them. Which one did you end up in? JANAH Ravensbruck. And then later...Auschwitz. PRICE When were you moved to Oswiecim? JANAH Late 1943. You were gone by then, weren't you? PRICE (rocking the baby in his arms) Yes. I was very lucky. They released me in early '43...I had friends here who were very concerned. They kept up the pressure on the German delegation in Dublin...I suppose the Dublin government got something right in what they called the Emergency. JAN The Emergency? PRICE (trace of bitterness) Yes. That's how they regarded the war raging all over the world. Men, women and children dying everywhere and they called it the Emergency. Can you believe that? JAN At least they got you home, Father. PRICE (reflectively) Yes. A short silence ensued. Beat. PRICE (CONT'D) (glancing down at sleeping baby) She's very beautiful. Where did you two meet up? JANAH In the camps. Jan fought in the Warsaw Uprising, and was taken prisoner. He was one of the lucky ones...an administrative slip up...one of the few not to have been shot for taking part. PRICE And you, Janah? JANAH (bowed her head, and wouldn't meet his eye) I got involved with the 'Mury'. It was my only way of fighting back. PRICE The 'Walls'? JANAH Yes, Father. The 'Mury' or the 'Walls' the Polish girl's scouting movement. PRICE (deadpan voice) Which was linked with the Resistance movement. JANAH Do you disapprove, Father? PRICE Max might have done, but not me. My feelings changed towards the Germans when I saw what they were up to. Racial hatred, genocide...call it what you want...but they were brutal oppressors and when I realized that they had a schematic plan to rid the world of Jewry and others whom they found undesirable in that Third Reich of theirs...my own feelings underwent a metaphoric change, and may god forgive me but I... JAN (with shrewd insight, and no little sympathy) Hated them? PRICE Succinctly put, Jan. But yes, you are right. I hated them with a passion. A blinding hating passion. I suppose you find those words hard to believe...coming from a man of the cloth. JAN (in unison with Janah) No, Father. Janah reached out to him. JANAH We understand how you can feel that way, Father. There's no shame in it. A short silence ensued. PRICE So what now for you? When are you returning to Poland? JANAH We've decided to make a break with the past. Try for a fresh start, away from the horrors of the past. JAN We've bought a cottage here. JANAH (with a smile) In Glendalough. PRICE Your mother would have liked that, Janah. He paused, his smile widening by the second. PRICE (CONT'D) That's great news. Can I come and visit? JANAH (Jan nodding in agreement) The door will always be open to you, Father Enda. You should come next month...I'm having visitors from Sweden. PRICE Sweden? JANAH Tamar and her Swedish husband, Erich. Do you remember Tamar? PRICE Wasn't she the one who escaped with Minka? JANAH Thanks to you. It was your idea, wasn't it? That two women make a break. PRICE Yeah. He paused, lost in thought. Then he looked up: a question in his eyes. Jan shook his head with sorrow. JAN Minka didn't make it, Father. She died in the Warsaw Uprising. I was with her in the end. Price's face fell. It hardly seemed fair. He had saved her life early in the war, but the war had claimed her in the end. He sighed deeply, a silent prayer running through his mind as he asked Max to look out for her. He thought of all the dead. Hansman too hadn't survived the rigours of the war. When he spoke, his voice still held a trace of bitter sadness. PRICE A pity...a great pity. JANAH At least she died a free woman, Enda. PRICE Yes. And Tamar made it to Sweden? How did you track her down? JANAH The British had news of her. One of their war crime investigator's was able to give me her address. He walks them to the gate of the monastery, and he shakes hands with Jan. Janah leans forward and kisses him lightly on both cheeks. CUT TO: EXT - VATICAN SQUARE - DAY - 10TH OCTOBER 1982 (Perhaps real footage) Pope JOHN PAUL 11, a Polish Pope was bestowing one of the greatest honours on a fellow countryman - a Polish hero and a Franciscan who had lit an extraordinary flame of hope for those imprisoned within the terrible confines of Auschwitz concentration camp. His supreme sacrifice had shone like a lighthouse out to sea for a beleaguered ship, cutting through the darkness of the Nazism dreadnought, and offering hope where none had existed. Beat. A man in a wheelchair looked on with tears in his eyes. He too was a Polish man. He gripped a walking cane tightly. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE HAD JUST BEEN ENROLLED AS A POLISH SAINT, AND HAD BEEN CANONIZED. THE MAN IN THE WHEELCHAIR, EX-SERGEANT FRANCISZEK GAJOWNICZEK WAS ECSTATIC. FADE TO BLACK. IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS TEXT OVER BLACK Sombre beat. The legend appears below: Thirteen Polish bishops were incarcerated in concentration camps during World War 11. Six bishops died including; Auxiliary Bishop Leon Wetmanski of Plock on May 10th 1941, and Archbishop Antoni Nowowiejski of Plock on June 20th 1941 in Soldau (Dzialdowo) Auxiliary Bishop Michal Kozal of Wlocalwek on January 26th 1943 in Dachau. 798 members of the clergy lost their lives in this one camp. Other sources put the figure lost here at 947, with Polish clergy accounting for 866 deaths. 167 clergy perished in Auschwitz, 90 in Dzialdowo, 85 in Sachsenhausen, 71 in Gusen, 40 in Stutthof, and the remainder in other camps like Buchenwald, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen, Majdanek, Bojanowo, and other camps. Auxiliary Bishop Wladyslaw Goral of Lublin, in 1945 in a hospital bunker in Berlin. The Polish clergy were heavily targeted by the Nazis and among the Jseuits who lost their lives were: Barkholt, Werner Died in 1942 in Dachau Bednarski, Stanislaw Died in 1942 in Dachau Benninghaus, Augustin Died in 1942 in Dachau Binkowski, Jan Died in 1941 in Dachau Biot, Fernand Died in 1945 in Neuengamme Bukowski, Stanislaw Died in 1942 in Dachau Collart, Gerard Died in 1945 in Gross-Rosen Cyrek, Josef Died in 1940 in Auschwitz Czudek, Jozef Died in 1941 in Dachau Czyzycki, Julian Died in 1942 in Dachau Dembrowski, Kazimierz Died in 1942 in Dachau Dillard, Victor Died in 1945 Dachau Felczak, Stanislaw Died in 1942 in Dachau Frossard, Jean Died in 1945 in Neuengamme Gladysz, Bronislaw Died in 1942 in Dachau Jabrun, Louis de Died in 1943 in Buchenwald Kaluza, Franciscek Died in 1941 in Dachau Komar, Stanislaw Died in 1942 in Dachau Letkowski, Julian Died in 1941 in Auschwitz Magnee, Jacques Died in 1942 in Dachau Malinowski, Michal Died in 1942 in Dachau Maring, Albert Died in 1943 in Dachau Mayet, Joseph Died in 1945 in Bergen-Belsen Morawski, Marian J.W. Died in 1940 in Auschwitz Musial, Jerzy Died in 1945 in Dachau Nierowisz, Bernard Died in 1942 in Auschwitz Oostayen, Henri van Died in 1945 in Bergen-Belsen Podolenski, Stanislaw Died in 1945 in Dachau Przystas, Roman Died in 1942 in Dachau Racinski, Wladyslaw Died in 1941 in Mauthausen Regout, Robert H.W. Died in 1942 in Dachau Sejbuk, Czeslaw Died in 1943 in Dachau Sewillo, Stanislaw Died in 1943 in Dachau Szakola, Stefan Died in 1942 in Dachau Szopinski, Boleslaw Died in 191941 in Dachau Szulc, Wladyslaw Died in 1941 in Dachau Trela, Henryk Died in 1942 in Mauthausen Waszkielis, Leon Died in 1942 in Dachau Weglinski, Gabriel Died in 1940 in Mauthausen Wielgosz, Bronislaw Died in 1942 in Dachau Zajac, Jan Died in 1945 in Dachau Zelezniak, Eugeniusz Died in 1942 in Dachau Zwaans, Henrik Died in 1942 in Dachau It has been estimated that out of a total figure of 18,000 Polish priests and monks, 2,800 lost their lives in camps. More than 1,100 nuns were similarly incarcerated and 289 were killed. FADE OUT. CREDITS ROLL. THE END (CONT'D) (CONT'D) (CONT'D)