I couldn't really remember
what Germany was like.
I knew they had snow and seasons...
and our family had lived there.
Not only Mama and Papa,
but the whole family.
And it was nice.
But I also remember
that I was always afraid...
of other children and people...
and even dogs.
Come here. Let me help you.
NOWHERE IN AFRICA
I remember Germany as a dark place.
Not as bright and hot as Kenya.
A place with large buildings
and dismal rooms.
Papa always says, "Germany is our home."
I think he just misses his father...
He couldn't eat cookies with nuts,
because he was allergic.
He really liked Heinrich Heine's poems...
especially the ones about Germany.
I had two aunts in Germany
that I liked an awful lot.
Aunt Kthe was Mama's sister.
Papa's sister was Liesl.
Sometimes they helped out in Grandpa's
hotel, the "Adler" in Sohrau.
That was in the good old days
before the Nazis came.
Can I help you?
No, thank you.
We have to go now.
The Nazis forbade Papa to work as a
lawyer and took away Grandpa's hotel.
Soon none of our family had a job.
When I asked my parents why that was so,
I always got the same answer:
"Because we're Jews, Regina. That's why."
An urgent message!
- This is quinine. It's good for you.
- Leave me alone!
Come on! Wake up!
Give me the coffee.
Good heavens, Walter, wake up!
Come on, open your mouth!
Breslau, January 1938
- Jettel, can I have some apple juice?
- Ask Klara, please.
Anna, I'm glad you could come
despite the snow. Come in.
- Good evening, Mrs. Redlich.
- Good evening.
Don't talk to Jews!
Stop playing with those matches!
- You're going to burn down the house!
- Sure thing, Klara!
Here, a sausage.
You gotta get used to it!
Negroes always eat it black.
- No, they don't.
- Or raw and bloody!
I know they eat dogs
from my Geography book.
They eat grasshoppers, too. Here, hold him.
You wanna go to Africa?
You're even afraid to touch a dachshund.
- Are there nuts in it?
- They're the only cookies I could get.
- Oh, Klara.
- There aren't many nuts in them anyway.
- You have to sneeze, right?
Every time I eat nuts I have to sneeze.
Every darn time.
I really loved the green one.
Walter bought me this for New Year's,
but it isn't really my style.
I think it's very elegant.
Then take it.
You're such a sweetheart, Jettel. Thanks.
Kthchen, don't cry today, okay?
Do I dare to wear this?
It fits your rear end!
- Mrs. Redlich...
- Men like 'em round.
That's for me!
This is for you, Klara!
Glitter is what you need.
It's from Africa.
Rongai, Kenya, 2 December 1937.
My beloved Jettel:
I can imagine that this letter
will upset you, so try to be strong.
the Jewish community in Nairobi...
agreed to pay for your immigration.
After six months here...
I'll finally be able
to organize the trip for you and Regina.
I beg you not to wait another day.
Go see Karl Silbermann at once.
He can help you
with the tickets for the ship.
It doesn't matter
what kind of ship or how long it takes.
Just so it takes you.
What we need here is a refrigerator.
If it doesn't fit in our chests,
then throw out the Rosenthal china.
It's useless here.
Also, get kerosene lamps, mosquito nets...
and sturdy shoes for you and Regina.
Don't try to bring any cash
or jewelry with you.
You know what Nazis do to smugglers.
And say as little as possible.
There's no one you can trust...
not even people we called our best friends.
Oh, Jettel, my heart wants to burst
at the thought of embracing you two.
But it grows heavy imagining how much
this letter will hurt your mother.
Walter, you've got malaria.
You have to take this quinine.
It's very important.
I have to get back to the farm.
Owuor will take care of you.
He needs the quinine 3 times a day.
3 times 40 drops.
Max, we have to go!
I hate having to say goodbye.
I can't stand train stations either.
This will all be over in one or two years.
So you two are sticking together?
Promise me that you'll stick it out together.
One person always loves more.
That's what makes it so difficult.
And the one who loves more is vulnerable.
My son loves you...
I'm going to miss you so much, Max.
Tell her goodbye, please.
It will take the fire out of your body.
- Ever heard of the "Silesian Heaven?"
bacon and dried fruit all mixed together.
I don't understand a word!
In my first life I was a lawyer.
Owuor, this is for you.
- You're giving me your coat?
- It's a robe.
I was ill, and you looked after me.
I am very grateful to you, Owuor.
I wore the robe in my homeland.
I wasn't a bwana there.
I worked with my head.
And here you don't want
to wear the robe anymore?
You have to be smart to wear a robe.
Here in Rongai you're smart. Not me.
I'll have to say the word often...
so I can pronounce it just like you do.
We traveled 6 weeks
by steamship around Africa.
On 20 April 1938, the Fhrer's birthday...
we arrived in Nairobi.
Regina, take this please.
Mr. Morrison, who owned the cattle farm
where Papa worked...
picked us up at the train station.
It reminded me of chocolate
and what Mama told me on the ship.
We were poor now.
"So there's no chocolate for poor kids,"
And I had promised to be brave.
Hey, come here!
- What did the cow die of?
- We don't have enough water.
s**t! It's always the same!
You have to dig a well!
There's a car!
Everything's all right now.
Welcome, little memsaab.
Welcome to Rongai!
Regina, my girl! Come here!
Papa! We traveled by ship,
and we were in England and Morocco...
and all over the harbor.
I saw dolphins, and Mama danced.
Bwana, he means water.
Tell the man what to do.
Your father took care of the paperwork,
the refugee tax and everything.
We were lucky. In Hamburg they only
opened one chest full of clothes.
Max gave me "Magic Mountain" for you.
the books were in the other chest.
I'm sorry, Jettel.
I know this isn't what you were expecting.
But we can't live here.
Not that one!
Don't unpack the patterned china.
We won't be staying here long.
Learn German if you want to talk to me.
Jettel, my name is Ssskind.
- But everyone calls me Ssskind.
- I see.
Walter is showing Regina the farm.
They'll be back soon.
- Like to have dinner with us?
- Very kind of you. Yes.
I just spent four hours
driving through the desert.
You'll probably have to
put up with me for the night.
I brought you some onions and sugar.
I haven't heard the Kiddush for ages.
Up to now I've never felt I needed God.
If you take quinine every day,
you'll go blind.
What about malaria?
You can always combat it
if you catch it in time.
Here's to the arrival of Jettel and Regina.
To our second life.
How long have you been away from home?
This is my home.
Ssskind was smart enough
to leave Germany in '33.
It was easier to leave back then.
They let you take all your money, right?
- And all your books.
- What about your wife?
Weren't you ever married?
No, I wasn't.
- Why not?
It was always my bad luck to fall
in love with women who were already taken.
My mother says
someone will have to stop the Nazis.
Germany is rich in culture,
the home of Goethe and Schiller.
Papa, I think I heard some lions.
Nonsense. There aren't any lions around
here. Those are monkeys, baboons.
Maybe the lion is just acting like a monkey.
You have a great future here.
You're already talking like a Negro.
"The air is cool and darkling
"And peaceful flows the Rhine
"The mountain top is sparkling
The setting sunbeams shine
"The fairest maid is reclining
in wondrous beauty there
"Her golden jewels are shining
"She combs her golden hair
"With a golden comb she is combing,
and sings a song so free
"It casts a spell on the gloaming,
a magical melody
"The boatman listens, and o'er him
wild-aching passions roll
"He sees but the maiden before him
He sees not reef or shoal
"I think, at last the wave swallows
the boat and the boatman's cry
"And this is the fate that follows
"The song of the Lorelei"
Sleep tight, my angel.
You didn't bring the fridge, did you?
No, I didn't.
There was no room in the chests...
But enough room
for your floral-patterned china?
- There wasn't enough money, anyway.
- What did you do with the money?
If you really want to know...
I bought this at Wertheim's in Breslau.
It cost 45 marks and is beautiful.
You bought an evening gown.
... that he gives...
his name to...
... and leaves the mark of his personality...
indelibly on his time...
I never thought I'd be happy
to hear his voice.
I'll leave it here so you can stay in touch
with the outer world.
- We can't accept it.
Of course you can. I have another one.
Anyway, it'll give me a reason
to stop by now and then...
to charge the battery.
Do you have to go now?
In this country we should forget
formalities and use the personal "you."
Don't you think so?
- Do you have a gun in the house?
- Yes, why?
- Since Jettel and Regina are here.
- Morrison left me one.
Good luck with the well.
Come on, little memsaab!
You see that mountain?
That's Mount Kenya.
Come with me, little memsaab.
Mama said I wasn't allowed
to go any further than this ridge.
Can you help me?
- Help me!
I'm a cook. Cooks don't dig in the ground.
The ground is thirsty.
You need more water.
Come with me!
No, men don't carry water.
That's women's work.
Help me! It's so heavy!
Owuor, help me, please!
The water is so heavy.
Help us, too!
Please, give me the shovel!
There's no water in this ground here.
- I told you so.
- You were right, Cepoi.
And thank you. Thank you very much.
6 months later.
Why doesn't Owuor ever slaughter
a chicken? Nobody would notice.
- Regina, put the doll down.
- We aren't allowed to eat them.
It's our agreement with Morrison.
Only the eggs.
I can't stand this muck anymore!
I need meat!
Thank you, Owuor.
You have to look at a fire...
when it has slept for a long time.
Don't worry, Jettel.
It's just a common bushfire.
It won't reach the house.
Where are you going?
- To pack! I'm leaving!
- I can't stand it here any longer!
- You have to.
You always say that!
But I want to go home to Mother
and Kthe, to people I understand.
You don't earn a thing.
All we eat are eggs and cornmeal.
How can we ever send Regina to school?
She can't always hang around with Owuor!
- Damn it! We're alive!
- Yes, we're alive!
But what for?
To hope for rain,
so these cows that aren't ours don't die?
My God, I feel like I'm dead,
and sometimes I wish I were!
Don't ever say that again!
We just got out in the nick of time.
What are you talking about?
Last night the Nazis in Germany burned
down synagogues and looted Jewish shops.
They smashed everything to pieces.
People, buildings, stores, everything.
How did you find out
on this goddamn farm?
From a Swiss radio station this morning.
The Nazis no longer see us as humans.
Damn it. I saw it coming.
I saw it from the beginning.
Don't you realize that it doesn't matter
when and if Regina learns to read?
What about Mama, Kthe...
- your father?
- I have no idea!
I kept telling them they had to leave!
10 November 1938.
I am very upset about the news
I hear from Germany.
People fear that war is inevitable.
What do you think?
If I only knew how you are doing.
If I earned some money,
I'd have you come here.
Don't you see any opportunity
to leave Germany?
I beg you...
How I long for a conversation with you...
for your advice, your sympathy.
Being abroad, I have become aware how
blessed I am to have parents like you...
and how grateful I am for everything
you did for me.
Your money wasn't wasted by allowing me
to study so long after mother's death.
One day your son will certainly be
the lawyer you were always so proud of.
Come here, little memsaab.
It needs you. It is a child like you.
- It's so cold!
- Do you want to run around like a Negro?
I don't care.
I don't have anything against Negroes,
and there aren't any other kids here...
but be careful.
They have illnesses like malaria and so on.
They are very dirty,
and I don't want you to get sick.
A white child is not a black child.
And promise you don't eat anything
they give you.
And never enter their huts.
Now swallow this.
It's too bitter.
And anyway, it'll make me go blind.
Nonsense. Open your mouth.
There's a ceremony tonight. They'll
slaughter a lamb and ask Ngai for rain.
- Ask whom?
- Ngai, their god who lives on the mountain...
Mount Kenya, and the fig tree, too.
They're asking him for rain.
It's a big ceremony.
You're not going.
They're asking Ngai for rain.
Could you tell me
why you always repeat everything?
Do the Negroes do that, too?
You can't repeat good things enough.
- Who says?
- You can't repeat good things enough.
My God, Regina!
What should I do with you?
- Remember Grandma?
She always said:
"Don't worry about Regina.
She has the luck of a Gentile."
the luck of a Gentile.
That's what Grandma always said.
So you don't have to worry, Mama.
My angel. I'm so afraid
something might happen to you.
Don't worry. It's nice here.
Bwana has gone out with the big gun!
I can't do it! You see that I can't!
I just wanted you to have your damn meat!
They don't want anything?
No. They said they're not hungry.
I don't mind if you go on reading.
I've read this book 3 times!
Who cares if I read it a fourth time!
I didn't expect you to be able to hunt.
I couldn't have done it either.
You never killed an animal before.
But I want to! I'm warning you,
don't treat me like a loser!
Did I? I didn't ask you to go hunting!
You act like I'm a leper!
The hell I have! Truth is, you only let
me under your skirt when I'm a lawyer!
I got no chance in the desert,
unshaved and sweaty.
- Watch your tongue!
- I'm your husband!
I can tell you what I think,
even if you don't like it!
You have no right to a privileged life!
We've just been lucky up to now.
Stop playing the spoiled daughter,
and wake up to what's going on here!
Where are you going?
To the bar.
But now that we've brought it up,
the way you treat Owuor...
reminds me of some people in Germany...
to whom you certainly
don't want to be compared!
It's nice and warm.
Yeah, nice and warm.
Hey, little dog. Where did you come from?
- Cepoi, whose dog is this?
- This dog has no home.
It's a wild dog. It comes from the huts.
Daddy, this dog has no home.
Can I keep him, please?
- But you're afraid of dogs.
- No, not here.
Yes, I like him. We'll keep him.
We'll call him Rummler,
like the Nazi chairman in Leobschtz.
- Rummler is a nice name.
Every day we can say,
"Rummler, you bastard"...
and nobody will arrest us.
The trucks! They're driving fast!
- What does it mean?
- Don't you listen to the radio?
War has broken out. We're being interned.
You don't think I'll leave Jettel
and Regina here!
The British are reliable.
They're taking us to Nairobi.
- Tell me I have nothing to fear.
- You have my word of honor.
I'm not going away!
Owuor! Take care of the two!
Yes, bwana. I will.
May I take this, too?
No, only one thing.
Either the bear or the doll.
Don't forget your passport.
- You speak German?
My mother is German.
Don't cry, little memsaab!
I'll find you everywhere, and follow you.
Promise. I'll catch a new Toto for you.
No, I don't want a new Toto.
I didn't protect him very well.
His mother should have looked after him.
I'm not a good mother for an antelope baby.
You're wise, little memsaab.
Take care of our things!
Goodbye, Owuor! Goodbye, Rummler!
Suddenly, we were no longer refugees,
but enemy aliens.
We really didn't know why
the British wanted to lock us up.
We were Germans,
and England and Germany were at war...
but, after all, we were Jews
who certainly didn't side with Hitler.
What a nice prison, Mama.
- Do you understand all this?
They probably didn't know where to put us.
- I bet that's a plum pudding.
- What's that?
This reminds me of better times.
- In the end we'll have to pay for this.
- The chef worked on a luxury liner.
- He can't help it.
- I'm really hungry!
In Breslau, we were always going
to dinner parties and receptions.
I tell you, it was such a nice life.
Before emigration every jerk was a prince.
Are you finished? Thank you.
No message for your husband?
It's the feeling of being alone...
that you really have nothing to say...
nothing to share but the time you spend
together, and a child maybe.
It's a painful realization.
You know what I mean?
Being alone is one thing.
I know all about it.
But with a woman like Jettel...
such a beautiful woman...
So cheerful and full of life.
Maybe you aren't giving her a real chance.
Back in Leobschtz everything was fine.
We both played our parts.
She won't accept reality.
I want a mature woman I can talk to.
I have to cope with everything, too.
My father, Liesl...
Will you shut up!
Sometimes I think we're like two packages.
All tied up, lying in a train...
which is taking us to an unknown address.
We travel a long way together,
but we don't really know what's inside.
You worry too much.
Perhaps. Sleep well.
After a few weeks,
the hotel wanted to get rid of us.
Every day we wandered with our mothers
from one shady spot to the next...
what we were having for dinner.
If only we could go out for a walk.
I'm going crazy in here.
If my husband were interned,
I'd fight to have him released...
instead of sitting here complaining.
- But how?
- Mama, I'm hungry!
- Hey, you greedy little pig.
- You're all Jews.
Why don't you write a letter
to your community in Nairobi?
Jews here have influence, don't they?
That'd be the first time.
Can anyone speak English?
The Jewish community had no problem
convincing the British...
that not every German sided with Hitler.
Two weeks later, we were allowed
to visit the men at the internment camp.
Wearing khakis, it was nearly impossible
between our imprisoned fathers
and the British soldiers.
Papa, I have a girlfriend, a real girlfriend!
Her name is Inge. And she can read.
And Mama wrote a letter.
So we could visit you.
- You wrote a letter to the British?
- Not just me. All the women.
- Maybe we can return to Rongai soon?
- What's changed your mind?
You were desperately unhappy there.
Like something to drink?
- They all want to go back to their farms.
- I see.
- We can't return to Rongai.
Morrison fired me because of the war.
He doesn't want an enemy alien on his farm.
What does that mean?
I'm out of work, and we have no home.
We'll have to pick up our things at the farm.
Maybe he's still waiting for us...
because he thinks that we're coming back.
Maybe Papa will see Owuor.
- And he'll bring him here.
- Of course.
Could I be of assistance?
Yes, please. I need a "special permission."
I have to leave the premises for a few
hours to meet Mr. Edward Rubens...
the head of the Jewish community
in Nairobi. It's urgent.
My husband and I were in Berlin...
in '36 for the Olympics.
That was our last time in Germany.
My God, we were naive!
It was no different with us.
We believed to the bitter end...
That our civilized friends would stop Hitler.
The Germans were never friends
to the Jews.
I don't agree.
Where are your "friends" now? And in '38?
- Without Hitler...
- Hitler didn't invent anti-Semitism.
How can we be of assistance?
Mr. Morrison, the owner of our farm...
won't employ any enemy aliens.
But without work,
Walter can't leave the camp...
and we don't know
where to find a job for him.
So, I ask you to help us again.
We'd do everything to be good farmers.
And that's why you've come to me?
You think you're the only people
to suffer from this stupid war?
You think we're responsible for you,
because we let you enter this country?
You're alive! You're here!
My God! Make something out of it!
We have relatives in Europe, in Poland.
My husband hasn't heard from them
Sorry to hear that.
- Thank you. Goodbye.
What are you doing here?
Was your little outing successful?
What do you mean?
You're looking for a job
on a farm for your husband?
I have a friend here in the army.
He needs someone.
I could talk to him.
That would be very nice of you.
- Come on.
- I tagged you!
Where have you been? A letter for you.
It looks quite important.
Darn it! How do you say "morgen?"
My gosh, Jettel! It's "tomorrow!"
Try to remember that!
You see? You got it!
- How did you manage it?
Here we are, Owuor!
The holy mountain
looks like a Chinaman's hat.
Get down from there!
You're going to break your neck!
This is the most beautiful place
in the whole world!
Ssskind, I'm afraid.
Afraid of what?
This place is further away
from your farm than Rongai.
You can hardly ever visit us.
I'd drive 20 miles more to see you.
I'll be here more often than you like.
At least we've gotten rid
of those damn cattle.
Are you doing all right?
- I'm your bwana, and I order you...
- Well, bwana?
...to take off your blouse.
- Are you meshuga, or what?
If you do you'll get a fried chicken.
And now you have to walk down the path
like an African woman.
Hey! Did you miss me in your hotel?
Ouch! What are you doing?
My name is Walter Redlich.
I'm the new bwana here.
You'll need my help.
- I've lived here for 40 years.
- I'd appreciate your help.
- Is Bwana Gibson dead?
Bwana Gibson can't be here.
He's serving in the Royal Army.
He asked me to run his farm.
Show me what to do.
You aren't a British bwana?
No, I didn't come here to get rich.
I came here because I was chased
out of my own country.
- What country are you from?
It is far away from here. It is at war.
If someone steals your cow...
it will be killed and eaten.
And you can forget it.
But if someone steals your land,
it is always there.
You can visit it. It will always be there.
You can never forget it.
Daji Jiwan is Indian. He's a good Fundi.
He can help you build the house.
When you work for me you will get maize...
firewood, 2 liters of milk a day
and 12 shillings a month.
12 shillings aren't much.
I don't bargain. If you don't want
to work, someone else will, Daji.
- These men can't build a house for you.
- I'll teach them.
Bwana, Kania is my brother.
He can sweep the floors.
Can Kania cook, too? We need a cook.
No, Kania isn't a cook.
Kania can sweep the floors.
Kamau can cook for the dog.
For what dog? We don't have a dog.
Yes or no?
It's very expensive!
I've come for the mail.
Letters with this stamp always bring tears.
I will give it to bwana.
That's good. You are his friend.
Sohrau, 2 October 1940.
My dear son:
It's wonderful to hear about
your good fortune with the second farm.
For us it's impossible to emigrate now.
Hitler will be closing the borders soon.
Anyway, we have nothing left
that we could sell for cash.
They say that the Jews
are going to be taken to ghettos.
If that happens, I'll have Grescheck
send you our new address immediately.
Walter, I'm afraid
for the first time in my life.
for Liesl, but also for myself.
We feel like our old Germany
is a desert island.
Hardly anyone dares to talk to us.
It is horrible.
I'm sending you some rose seeds
as you wanted.
May these seeds
sprout in the African earth...
and bring joy to Jettel, you...
and my little Regina.
My thoughts are always with you.
They've taken a long journey.
Yes, a long journey.
I want us to register Regina at school soon.
Five pounds a month, we can afford it.
The next time Ssskind goes to Nakuru
he can ask about it.
Have you learned to cook?
You've found us!
Memsaab doesn't have a cook
in Ol Joro Orok?
No, we don't have a cook.
How did you know?
And how did you find us?
Rummler has a good nose.
A bit of flour.
A little boy and a little girl...
are lost in the forest.
They are afraid.
The forest is dangerous at night.
This is an angel. It lives in heaven.
- And what's this?
- Those are his wings.
He needs them to fly up to Heaven.
Have you ever seen an angel?
No. Angels are invisible.
The ancestors are invisible, too.
Yes. Angels protect us, too,
when we're in danger.
I'm an angel,
and I'll drive away the evil spirits!
Come to me!
Go away! Go away!
When you come back,
I won't be a child anymore.
I'll always come home for vacation.
I'll be back for the next maize harvest.
Swear that you'll come back.
I think that's him.
Learn all you can, angel.
Mama, I'll be back for vacation.
I know, my angel.
When I come back,
I'll tell you all about it, Owuor.
We're Jewish. We have to step out.
I learned very quickly
what it means to be an outsider.
As Jews, we didn't have to pray...
and we could eat what we liked on Fridays.
Every once in a while a snake fell
on the playing field...
the lost prey of a falcon.
I was happy to have Inge.
She didn't like sports either...
at least not those stupid games
the British played.
It's strange how some words
lose their meaning here.
For example, "tax return" or "streetcar."
Sometimes I wonder why
I even get dressed in the morning.
I might as well wear a sack.
Nobody around here would care.
Do you still find me attractive?
You do have your great moments.
Did you get to know someone in Norfolk?
Do you think people
should stay together for their entire life?
I guess not.
It's probably just some nonsense which
our ancestors persuaded us to adopt.
If you had your choice, would you leave?
I sometimes wonder if there could have
been a happier way of life for me.
Do you understand?
If I'd decided differently at one time.
Listen, I want to make it with you.
I want it to work for us.
You're my wife and I love you!
I miss them all so much...
my mother, Kthe.
It hurts so much!
Well? Isn't that nice, Jogona?
You can't talk to the night.
You're right. You can't talk to the night.
The poet imagined that the night had ears.
It is lovely to make music with words.
Your father is a wise man.
He can talk to the thunder and lightning.
He talks to the ancestors. That's different.
You must take off your blouse,
or it will get dirty.
I won't take off my blouse anymore.
I'm no longer a little child.
You're a stupid child
if you dirty your school blouse.
I'm no longer a child.
You can't see my breasts anymore.
They are no different than the breasts
of the women in the village.
Yes, they are. The breasts of a Mzungus
are different. You can't see them.
The Mzungus' schools
teach very strange things.
Are Mzungus like you
still allowed to climb trees?
Yes. But only when they don't
dirty their school uniform.
Be careful, Regina!
My dear loved ones, we are very nervous.
We are being sent
to Poland tomorrow to work.
Don't forget us. Mother and Kthe.
What does that mean?
They weren't allowed to write more
than 20 words.
They gave away one.
They are bad days
when Memsaab Kidogo has to go to school.
Maybe they want to leave via Poland.
Maybe they've found a way out.
Say something, Walter! Please! Talk to me!
Your mother wanted you to know.
Or she wouldn't have written it.
- Poland means death.
You know what?
I envy you for getting this letter...
for the certainty!
I have no idea how my father's doing...
where he is...
where my sister is.
Every day the German troops in the East
suffer a new defeat.
German casualties are...
no less significant.
The number of Germans
who have died or been captured...
since the beginning
of the Russian winter offensive...
is now more than 400,000.
What are you doing?
This woman needs no help.
She wants to die.
And her family has left her here?
The hyenas will take away her body
Kimani, I can't allow this.
I am the memsaab of this farm!
Carry the woman into the house!
If she dies in the hut,
it will no longer be pure.
It would be a great sacrifice
for the family to cleanse it.
It would cost the family a lot of money.
I don't care. It's an order!
As soon as the memsaab is inside...
she will be carried out again.
The woman wants to die outside.
That is what the tradition requires.
It's all right, memsaab.
My mother won't die alone.
The ancestors are with her. She isn't afraid.
If you like, you can be out of here soon.
They call it "Operation J,"
the restructuring of troops in Kenya.
They're really taking Germans?
Jewish men your age stand a chance.
Nobody will accuse them
of siding with Hitler.
But don't be a fool and tell them
you're fed up with farm life...
and you need a change.
They want to hear that you're for the Allies...
and you're ready to fight for the right cause.
- What about Jettel?
- She could live in Nairobi.
I can hardly believe that I'll get
a chance to take part in this war.
What about you?
This isn't my war.
Germany has nothing more to do with me.
- I'm not going with you to Nairobi.
I'm staying here with Owuor.
I've made up my mind.
It's too dangerous here for you.
Leave us your gun.
For the past few years
you've wanted to be somewhere else.
You wanted to return to Germany,
then Rongai. You were never satisfied.
- And now you don't want to leave here.
- I'm not afraid of being alone.
- You'll be among people in Nairobi.
- I don't want to keep following you!
What if something happens to you?
You're the one who should watch out.
They're sending men to Burma.
For the first time in years, I feel
I'm doing something out of conviction.
I can't keep sitting around here.
I feel so useless.
- I understand.
- Then come with me to Nairobi.
I'm staying here with Owuor.
If I don't see you for a day, where are you?
I go see my wives and my children.
On the lake. Near Kisumu.
They don't often see you.
They understand that I can't leave
the memsaab alone so often.
- But your wife is always alone.
- That's different.
White women are helpless,
black women are not.
How many children do you have?
I have six children and three wives.
- Then you have a lot to do!
- I bring them my money.
It isn't much. 12 shillings isn't much.
They have shambas with maize and beans...
and fish from the lake.
Do they respect you?
They respect me.
I work in the house of a bwana.
I respect you very much, too.
I don't know what we'd have done
in this country without you.
Will you help me?
I'm a cook, not a barber.
Please! I can't do it alone.
So your maize fields are fine?
The maize? Yes, it's doing well.
Like to go out for a drive?
I'd love to.
Then I'll wait for you outside.
I'm glad you're here.
This country is so beautiful!
The Allies landed on the French coast
with over 300,000 men.
Thank you. So is that good or bad?
Bad for Hitler, so I'd say it's good.
Don't you care what happens in Germany?
- What's wrong?
- Don't do this to me.
What am I doing?
Come on! Itíll be dark in two hours.
You're already here?
I was worried.
I showed your mother Lake Bogoria.
We were very near your school.
Why are you angry at me?
Because I wasn't here?
Why didn't you go to Nairobi with Papa?
You're asking me?
You're the one who loves this farm!
You don't love him anymore.
Ssskind took me out for a drive. That's all.
Don't you think I was aware of what
happened at the Norfolk?
You had an affair with that soldier.
He organized this farm for us.
We had no home.
I see. What can Ssskind do for you
when you sleep with him?
Have you seen my child?
The Mzungu child?
- Back there in the hut.
- Thank you.
I'll be right there, Mama.
I've often spent the night
with Jogona and his mother.
You didn't notice,
because I was home by sunrise.
My wild little girl. Don't disappear like that.
It's so beautiful, Mama.
I understand why you wanted it.
Don't tell Papa. He almost sent me back
to Germany because of that dress.
- And you've never worn it?
I was just able to prevent him
from wrapping the meat in it.
Your grandmother and I bought it
in Breslau for 45 marks.
After that we had some cheesecake
at Caf Mohnheim.
I can't remember Germany at all.
Only when I eat nuts.
Then I think of Grandpa.
Mama, why are the Jews hated?
You and Papa aren't really Jewish.
You eat all kinds of meat,
and you never pray, do you?
Here I do sometimes.
At school they say that the Jews
killed the son of God.
Judaism has never been
so important for Papa and me.
We thought we were as German
as anyone could be.
German culture, the language,
that was home to us.
Maybe we Jews really are different.
Do you remember Aunt Ruth
and Uncle Salomon?
Of course they're different.
They live according to the Jewish religion,
and that makes them different.
Tolerance doesn't mean that everyone
is the same. That'd be stupid.
What I've learned here
is how valuable differences are.
Differences are good.
And intelligent people
will never hold it against you.
The Pokots are celebrating
a big ngoma tonight.
They slaughtered a cow under the holy
tree. There'll be beer and singing.
You have to see it.
It is very "different."
9 May 1945
The war in Germany is over.
A few days ago I got a letter
from a German teacher in Tarnopol.
I don't know the man.
He was a teacher before the war.
He knew Father and Liesl.
Father gave him my address.
A week before his death.
Father and Liesl hid
in the basement of a school.
Father was beaten to death
by two SS men on 17 November 1942.
Liesl was taken to Belsec a month later
with the third transport.
She got married while fleeing, to a Czech...
He was a truck driver.
Wiesbaden, 4 November 1946.
Dear Dr. Redlich:
It is our pleasure to inform you
that your application...
for a position in the Justice Dept.
Of Hesse has been accepted.
You will be installed as a judge
at the Frankfurt District Court.
Your wish to participate in rebuilding
a liberal system of justice...
is seen as a sign of hope
for the budding democracy in our state.
While expressing our best wishes
to you and your family...
I remain yours sincerely,
Dr. Erwin Pollitzer...
Department of Justice, Hesse, Germany.
- How did you get here?
- A uniform can work wonders.
Want to see where I sit?
I sit here, and Inge sits there.
And a girl from the 9th grade sits
at the head, a stupid English cow!
- Is something wrong with Mama?
- No, don't worry.
I need your help.
I want to return to Germany.
I know. You want to, and Mama doesn't.
I've been thinking about it for a long time.
I want to and I have to return.
Please, don't make it so difficult for me.
I could never forgive myself
for making you unhappy.
Why do we have to go back to Germany?
The others don't have to.
Inge said her father's becoming
an Englishman. You can, too.
You're in the army, and he isn't.
Perhaps Inge's father
will get an English passport.
But that doesn't mean
he'll ever be an Englishman.
Do you really think an English family
would ever invite him over?
For example, your headmaster Brinkley.
- He never would.
- Or anyone else.
An English passport isn't enough for me.
I don't want to be a man
with a name that isn't mine.
I would always be an outsider in Kenya.
Do you know what that means to me?
Yes, I do.
My brave angel.
Promise you won't be sad
when we go back home.
Promise you'll trust me.
If we have to return to Germany...
can Owuor go with us?
Not this time.
Hello, my friend.
Very nice. Where is the memsaab?
She's out on the field.
With Bwana Ssskind.
Was Bwana Ssskind often here?
Then a corncob fell out of his left pant leg.
The maize is really tall this year.
The rain came at the right time.
- Gibson can be...
- This isn't our farm!
And I don't care about the maize!
I applied for repatriation.
The army is required to send
its soldiers back home.
In our case that means Germany.
They pay for the ship.
And you decided that all by yourself?
But there are three of us.
Maybe Regina and I don't want to.
I've already talked to her.
Why are you doing this?
Why don't you talk to me about it?
I don't understand you!
How can you even consider returning?
Stay out of this!
You're not going to destroy my family!
Know what your problem is?
You don't know who you are!
We're Jews, Walter,
even if it doesn't mean much to you.
I'll only say this once.
If you like, you can stay with me.
It would make me very happy.
These will be
the best Knigsberger meatballs...
that memsaab has ever eaten.
But you don't have any capers.
And you don't even know what capers are!
I don't know what capers are...
but I know that capers aren't necessary!
Happy New Year, Rummler!
Maybe it's because she has a girlfriend.
Those were the best meatballs I've ever had.
I believe she prefers your ugali.
When she was four in Leobschtz
she loved Knigsberger meatballs.
Happy New Year, Jettel.
We need more guards for the fields.
A lot of corn is being stolen at night.
Perhaps you could talk to the men.
Jettel, they're waiting
for my decision in Frankfurt.
I'm not going back to Germany.
What about us?
Are you really ready to give us up?
How can you still believe in that country?
I'm a lawyer, and I love my job.
Perhaps you'll laugh at me...
but I feel I could be useful
in a new Germany.
You're such a damn idealist! Do you
think the Nazis suddenly disappeared?
We'd have to deal
with our parents' murderers.
I'm proud to be an idealist, because
it shows that I believe in mankind!
That may seem naive...
but every other belief
will lead to destruction!
This country saved our lives,
but it isn't our country!
- Can't you sleep?
In Germany there's lots of snow
in the winter, you see?
Isn't all that snow very cold?
I hate snow.
Hey, busy beaver,
you're doing Owuor's work.
Mama needs your help.
It's harvest time.
She's managed quite well without me
the past few years.
I'd rather be at school than here.
Why is that, Papa?
I don't know.
The locusts are coming!
Many of them! Many of them!
When the locusts land on the field,
they'll eat everything!
They're leaving, Mama! They're leaving!
Like some? It's good for your voice.
Thanks for coming back.
- You have to be careful.
Because I'm pregnant.
- From me?
- You bet!
Jettel, I don't want to lose you.
Can't we sit like this all night?
The men and the women in the village
They don't even know what kissing is.
What a shame.
Everything I love is lying on this bed.
The song of the Pokot women
inspired me more than usual.
Papa told me Mama was pregnant.
I sensed Owuor close by and knew...
he understood that this good news
was also sad news.
The letter, I'll tear it up.
- What letter?
- From the Justice Dept. In Wiesbaden.
I can't leave without you.
My parents went to Frankfurt
on their honeymoon.
The first night my father
got terribly drunk on apple wine.
And Mama was very disappointed.
I'm so afraid of the people there.
Yes, I am.
Do you love me?
If you let me.
Then you decide for us.
What are you doing here?
- I'm waiting for the sun.
- And why?
Are you going to sell the dog at the market?
I didn't want you to see me.
Rummler and I are going on a long safari.
The first to go on safari has dry eyes.
A man must go on safari
when his time has come.
Tell little memsaab goodbye.
Should I tell my daughter, "He left
and didn't want to see you again"?
Should I tell her,
"Rummler is gone forever"?
The dog is a part of my child.
You were there
when Rummler and Regina became friends.
The little memsaab will understand.
She always understands everything.
She has eyes and a heart like us.
Please, Owuor. Tell her goodbye.
Papa, Owuor has to go,
or do you want his heart to dry up?
- He doesn't want to die.
- What nonsense! Parting won't kill you!
Otherwise I'd already be dead.
Here is my black robe. You've forgotten it.
I haven't forgotten anything.
The robe doesn't belong to me.
But I gave it to you when you saved my life!
At that time you told me,
"I don't need the robe anymore.
"It is from a life which I have lost."
Now you've found that life again...
the life with the robe.
Please, Owuor, take it!
Without the robe you'll forget me.
My head won't forget you, bwana.
I have learned so many words from you.
No, Owuor. Pick me up again
like my first day in Rongai!
Don't leave. You don't want to go on safari.
Take care of bwana. He is still like a child!
You are wise. You must show him the way!
All the best.
Same to you. Thank you.
I hope you'll find happiness.
Take care of yourself.
I can't buy anything.
I'm as poor as a monkey.
- For the monkey.
- Thank you.
My brother was born on 6 June 1947.
Thanks to the almighty god Ngai,
there were no complications.
He was big and strong,
and my parents named him Max...
after my grandfather.