News Nacht

Posted in Scripts on July, 13 2003 4:56 PM

Newsnacht

 

Background:

Germany, June 1944. Nazi propaganda still peddles the message of the inevitability of German victory, a daily news & current affairs program, Newnacht, sets out to establish the truth behind these claims.

 

Scene 1 set Newsacht studio, very similar to Newsnights',

Kirsty Wark is presenter.

 

Kirsty:

I'm sure you're all familiar with the whole German media presenting the heroic actions of our Army, Navy & Air force, such claims have been a feature of German life sine 1939. Tonight we ask, is this all spin? We started out by contacting key military personnel, first the German army"

 

{ Cuts to photo of Army HQ }

Phone ringing

Receptionist in a cheery voice:

"Good morning Wermacht, Heidi speaking, how may I help you?"

Kirsty:

"Yes, can I speak to Field Marshall Rommel please?"

Receptionist:

"Certainly madam, putting you through"

Phone ringing

Gruff Male voice

"Yeah, what do you want?"

Kirsty:

"Hello, this is Kirsty Wark from Newsnacht, can I speak to Field Marshall Rommel please?"

Gruff male voice

"Hang on"

Male voice, away from phone:

"Where's Erwin?"

Unknown voice in background:

"Is it Hitler again?"

Gruff male voice:

"No it's some bird from Newsnacht"

Unknown voice

"Take a look on the movements board"

Gruff male voice, back on phone:

"Sorry love, he's on a training day"

 

{Cuts back to Kirsty in the studio}

Kirsty:

"Next we contacted the air force"

 

{cuts to photo of air force HQ }

Phone ringing

Automated voice messaging system answers (AVM):

"Thank you for calling the Luftwaffe, press 1 to report an air raid, 2 to receive an information pack, 3 to speak to our recruiting department, 4 for any other queries. Calls may be monitored for training purposes"

 

{muzak on hold….}

 

AVM:

"Your call is important to us, please hold the line. Whilst you are on hold you might want to hear about our range of long range bombers"

{ Back to Kirsty in studio }

"We found out a lot about Junkers JU-88 long range bomber, but not much else. So much for the telephone, we wrote to the Nazi party regarding the conduct of the war, here's their reply "

 

"Thank you for your letter regarding the outcome of the present war. We're sorry to hear of your concerns, despite 5 years of war, the Nazi party receive very few complaints as to the conduct of the war.

We've spoken to both our civilian & military hierarchy regarding your complaint, and can  assure you that at all times we strive to provide an excellent war. This is backed up by an ongoing armaments procurement process, backed up by extensive training for our personnel. Whilst conducting a campaign of this size there will be the occasional mishap. Please put your faith in our leadership, we're confident we can win this war.

We apologise for any bomb damage etc you may have incurred .As a sign of our goodwill please find enclosed gift voucher for 50 reich marks which can be exchanged at any DIY store in the fatherland.

 

Kindest regards

 

Angela Braun

Customer Services

National Socailist party of Germany"

 

Kirsty:

"What about ordinary Berliners? Do they believe the Government propaganda? How do they think the war will shape up? We took our cameras onto the streets of Berlin"

 

{ First interview a confused looking old woman }

Kirsty:

"How do you feel the wars going?"

1st Interviewee :

"I think Germany will win soon, with America on our side I don't see how we can lose"

Kirsty:

"I think you'll find America's not on our side, in fact they're on the other side"

1st Interviewee:

"Looks like we're knackered then"

 

{ 2nd interview , a soldier in uniform }

Kirsty:

"As a serving member of our armed forces, you must have a good insight into how well the war's going for Germany"

2nd Interviewee :

"Correct"

Kirsty:

"Well, what is it?"

2nd Interviewee:

"Fundamentally we're fighting on 2 fronts against 2 strong enemy's. On the Eastern front we have the numerically superior Soviet Union, while the allies on the Western front have the massive industrial capacity of the United States behind them. In between sits Germany, we are suffering mounting losses on the military front, meanwhile our industry and infrastructure is being whittled away by round the clock bombing"

Kirsty:

"So you don't think it's going too well for Germany?"

2nd Interviewee:

"Indeed, it is only a matter of time before we lose. On the Western front the allies will break out of their beachhead in Normandy, taking Paris around August, the Low Countries in September, finally in October German border will be crossed. On the Eastern front, Soviet led forces will sweep across Eastern Europe taking Warsaw next January, before moving on to Berlin itself roundabout April. The war in Europe should be over by May 7th 1945 "

Kirsty:

"Er, thanks for that"

 

 

{Fourth interview, a smartly dressed man}

Kirsty:

"Sir, how do you think the wars going?"

4th Interviewee

"Oh very well thank you, things look to be going very well for us"

Kirsty:

"Do you back Hitler in the way he's conducted the war?"

4th interviewee:

"Certainly not, I'm British"

 

{Cut back to the studio}

Kirsty:

"Well the German public seem to be on board with Nazi assurances of Victory, but is their confidence misplaced? The Government makes great play of the superiority of German weaponry, but we've uncovered worrying facts as to the efficiency of key armaments"

 

{Cut to picture of Panzer tank}

Kirsty :

"The celebrated Panzer tank was four years late in production, cost over twice the budgeted cost and suffers from engine problems. Nearly Panzers were lost in one engagement at the battle of Kursk last July"

{Cut to picture of submarine }

Kirsty:

"The new Messerschmitt 109 was supposed to offer all weather capability, in fact the Luftwaffe refuse to use the plane in combat, so far the aircrafts main use has been as venue for corporate hospitality where it can be hired for 100 rich marks an hour"

{ Cut to picture of enigma machine }

"Perhaps most worrying of all, we believe there are problems at the heart of German command and control systems. The German military rely on enigma machines to encrypt sensitive messages. Newsnacht has obtained one of these machines, we passed it to a hacker in Hamburg. Within days he'd cracked the code and was receiving top level military communications"

Here are some examples

"From 22nd Air defence unit, Pas de Calais, France

Losses for last month. Suffered loss of 14 Me109's 9 crew missing, American P44 fighter planes have more accurate and faster firing machine guns than any reich aircraft"

"From 102 Field Battalion, North Africa

Supplies running low due to accurate & sustained bombing by RAF. Request supplies & re-inforcements as soon as possible"

"From 36th Army Group, Lithuania  to Army HQ, Berlin

Taken delivery of 200 Panzer tanks, can you send us the keys please"

 

{ Cut to Kirsty }

Kirsty:

"What is the true picture of the war? Unbiased information seems impossible to obtain, everybody wants to put their own spin on events. Through contacts in at the heart of the Nazi party we've obtained access to a top official in Goebbels Propaganda ministry. For obvious reasons the official wishes to remain anonymous, our contact is simply known as Franz"

 

{ Cut to Franz, in dark silhouette to conceal his identity }

Kistry:

"Franz, can you explain to our viewers your position within the propaganda ministry"

Franz:

"Actually Kirsty, it's not the propaganda ministry, it's the Reich Ministry for People's Enlightenment and Propaganda"

Kirsty:

"OK smarty pants, what's your position within the Reich ministry for peoples enlightenment and propaganda then?"

Franz:

"For reasons of my own safety I cannot go into details, suffice to say I'm in daily contact with senior officials, including Dr Gobbles himself"

Kristy:

"From your perspective can you give me an assessment of how you think the war situation is?"

Franz:

"Well early on we had great success, we took the Sudetenland, Poland, France, Belgium, Norway etc with ease. The turning point seem to come in Mid 1940 when we opened up two fronts with Britain and Russia. Since then the situation has worsened rapidly"

Kirsty:

"Who do you feel is responsible for this situation?"

Franz:

"Undoubtedly it's the Fuhrer himself, Hitler's often rode roughshod over his Generals"

Kirsty:

"Do you think defeat is inevitable, or can a compromise be reached with the Allies?"

Franz:

"While Hitler is in charge, I see no prospect of peace. On the one hand, Hitler wont climb down and sue for peace, on the other hand the Allies won't leave Hitler in power"

Kirsty:

"Herr Muller, Are there elements ready to depose Hitler?"

Franz:

"Can you cut that bit out before transmission, you just used my real name"

Kirsty:

"Sorry, it's a live transmission. Franz, are there elements ready to depose Hitler"

Franz:

"Yes there are indeed, I wouldn't rule out an assassination"

Kirsty:

"Are there schisms within your own ministry, the ministry of enlightenment or whatever you call it?"

Franz:

"There are deep divisions within all Government departments and at all levels. Within my own ministry somebody was recently removed from their position after suggesting that last September when Italy surrerendered was a good day to bury bad news"

Kirsty:

"Do you think the leadership at the highest level are in touch with events on the ground?"

Franz:

"They certainly know what's going on, in fact they know in great detail. However on another level they wash their hands at critical times. For instance on February 2nd last year, our troops in Stalingrad were facing imminent defeat, that day Hitler decided to play golf"

Kirsty:

"You say the leadership have knowledge of Germany's predicament, yet they won't surrender - surely they're not suicidal"

Franz:

"I wouldn't put it past some of them. Seriously though, most of the leadership are planning, or already have, boltholes for themselves"

Kirsty

"Whereabouts"

Franz:

"Mainly South America. Brazil, Argentina etc. seem to be favourite"

Kirsty:

"Most of the leadership are from humble backgrounds, and are on ministerial salaries - how on earth can they afford foreign homes?"

Franz:

"Lets say they aren't averse to making a bit on the side. Brown envelopes at a service station on the autobahn is the usual, all sorts of people need to buy influence these days, the polite word is lobbying"

Kirsty:

"There has been some criticism regarding the quality of our armaments, is this correct"

Franz:

"The personnel in our forces are fine people, but there equipment isn't always up to scratch. This is due to the widespread destruction of German industry, and resultant shortages"

Kirsty:

"The leadership have put a great deal of spin on the new so called vengeance weapons, just how good are they?"

Franz:

"The V1 rocket is actually quite poor, we've fired nearly 10,000 at London, less than 2,500 have reached their target."

Kirsty:

"You mean to say, the latest high tech weaponry is unable to hit a target the size of London"

Franz:

"Most don't even hit Britain, a decent pilot or anti-aircraft gunner can bring one down"

Kirsty:

"You don't sound very hopeful, what do you think the future holds for both you and Germany?"

Franz:

"For Germany, defeat in around a year. For the German people including myself, who knows?"

Kirsty:

"So there we have it, according to well placed sources, our military are losing ground on every front, our leadership is inept and divided, our newest weapons are crap. Over to Jeremy"

Jeremy:

" As we've seen from our report the initial optimism of the high command now looks somewhat misplaced and for the first time there is talk, no matter how muted, of the prospect of defeat. To discuss the issues raised by our report we're joined by the Fuhrer, Good evening Herr Hitler"

Hitler:

"Good evening Jeremy"

Jeremy:

"Stalingrad, El Aliment and now reports of allied troops landing in Normandy. We're going to lose aren't we?"

Hitler:

"No Jeremy, we are not. Sometimes in war, as in politics, it is necessary to encounter set backs to enable you to go through a period of re-evaluation"

Jeremy:

"Surely you are not seriously suggesting "

Hitler interrupts:

"Please Jeremy, let me finish my point. I am saying that it is sometimes necessary to suffer some setbacks to puncture ones arrogance, to allow you time to learn from your mistakes and then emerge even stronger from the experience and then march onward to ultimate victory"

Jeremy:

"Yeees, this is all very beguiling Furher, but on that proviso, if we suffer any more setbacks on the scale of Stalingrad we will win the whole shooting match in a couple of months time"

Hitler:

"Very amusing Jeremy, I know you see yourself as an entertainer as well as a political pundit, but to be serious for a minute"

Jeremy interrupts:

"I thought I was"

Hitler:

"Quite so, but trust me, in military terms, we will emerge even stronger than before."

Jeremy:

"Yes but how can you give us any concrete examples?"

Hitler:

"Well we have an extensive research program working on a variety of secret weapons"

Jeremy:

"Such as?"

Hitler:

"I can't tell you, they're secret of course"

Jeremy:

"There's no secret about allied firepower, Berlin has recently suffered massive air raids"

Hitler:

"You must have faith in our military engineers"

Jeremy:

"Yes but if we look at other so called secret weapons, we don't exactly see shining examples of unmitigated success do we."

Hitler:

"For example?"

Jeremy:

"The V1 rocket, an interesting piece of pyrotechnic wizardry it may be, but all they seemed to achieve was to blow a few holes in fields in Kent and throw a number of Luftwaffe pilots on the dole. That's not going to bring Great Britain to its knees is it?"

Hitler:

"Don't believe all the tittle tattle you hear in the media, all I can say is - watch this space"

Jeremy:

"We're fighting this war on 2 fronts, is this wise?"

Hitler:

"Indeed we're fighting on 2 fronts, and we're winning on 2 fronts. The German war machine is invincible"

Jeremy:

"Surely Furher, it's not just as simple as that, other factors such as access to raw materials and industrial production play a significant part. For example the Boeing factory in Seattle has an output greater than that of the entire German aerospace industry"

Hitler gulps then composes himself:

"Bloody hell….. As you say war is a multi-faceted issue, and we Germans are rather good at it"

Jeremy:

"In the Great War, or World War 1 as it's now become known. We fought more or less the same countries - and lost - why should it be different this time?"

Hitler:

"I'm glad you asked that question. I'd like to answer in two parts, firstly I see World War 1 as a practise for this war - a bit of sparring if you like. Secondly World War 1 was fought under entirely different circumstances, we didn't have the Nazi party back then"

Hitler then adds:

"Oh and we've got Japan on our side this time"

Jeremy:

"In our report earlier, reference was made to divisions with the leadership. Would you like to comment on these reports"

Hitler:

"Certainly, we have a strong team in the Nazi party, we're are at one in our aims. I might add that, despite what you may read in the press, we all get along at a personal level. Apart from him with the funny glasses"

Jeremy:

"You mean Himmler?"

Hitler:

"Yes that's him, he can be a bit strange sometimes. Occultism, theories about Aryans in Tibet - that kind of thing. But nothing too serious, the rest of think it's a bit of a laugh"

Jeremy:

"OK let's move onto civilian moral, it's at a low ebb isn't it?"

Hitler:

"Not at all, we have 100% backing from the German people. You must remember that we were a small political party, plucked from obscurity to lead this great nation by the ordinary people of this nation"

Jeremy:

"Oh come, that's not exactly the case, you did have, how shall we put it - a little help from your friends"

Hitler:

"Meaning?…."

Jeremy:

"Are you musical?"

Htiler:

"Sorry?"

Jeremy:

"Well Carl Bechstein seems to think you are, his piano company together with IG Faben, Hoechst the Dresdner Bank and many others have bank rolled you to the tune of several million reich marks

-          how much influence in the Government has this bought?"

Hitler:

"None whatsoever, all this bank rolling as you put it, represents genuine consultancy payments, that have been properly registered. There's no sleaze in this Government"

Jeremy:

"Some officials in your own party have questioned your own judgement, for instance while our troops were surrendering at Stalingrad, you were playing golf"

Hitler:

"Whilst I am a keen golfer, that stories nonsense, throughout the battle of Stalingrad I remained in military headquarters"

Jeremy:

"Our contact in the propaganda ministry insists it's true, top generals back him up on this. Hitler, who should the German people believe, the elite of our military, or how can I put it - a here today, gone tomorrow politician?"

Hitler:

"Right that's it I'm off, I'm not answering any more of your questions"

 

{Hitler uncouples his microphone and storms out of the studio}

Jeremy:

"Well that's all we have time for tonight, Kirsty and I will be back tomorrow night. We've just got time to look at some of the headlines Volkisher Beolachter "Racial inferiority of Russian Army will lead to German victory" Der Anscigg "Rally of axis forces expected in North Africa" Der Sun "Are these the biggest tits in Berlin?" Thank you, god nacht"

 

THE  END

Submitted by Martin Harwood

martinh@newsguy.com

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