Children, Mother, and the General
Laslo Benedek interrupted his thriving Hollywood career to return to Europe as director of the German Kinder, Mutter und ein General (Children, Mother and the General). The film is set in Berlin during the last days of WW II. Desperate for manpower, Hitler has ordered that all able-bodied teenaged boys --some as young as 15 -- be drafted into the army. Frau Asmussen (Hilde Krahl) is one of five mothers who learn to their horror that their boys have been slated to be cannon fodder on behalf of the Third Reich. Asmussen and the other mothers head directly to the front to plead with the German generals for the lives of their sons. Not directly an indictment of Germany's involvement in (or incitement of) the recent war, Kinder, Mutter und ein General stresses the futility and heartbreak of all wars everywhere.