Son of Saul (2015) – Transcript

A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial.
Son of Saul (2015) Poster

In October 1944, Saul Ausländer works as a Sonderkommando Jewish–Hungarian prisoner in Auschwitz. His job is to salvage valuables from the clothing of the dead, drag bodies from the gas chambers and scrub the chambers before the next group arrives to be gassed. He works stoically, seemingly having been numbed by the daily horrors. Among the dead after a gassing is a boy who is still barely alive, and Saul witnesses a Nazi physician suffocate the boy and call for an autopsy. Saul steps forth and insists on carrying the body himself to the prison doctor, Miklós, a fellow Hungarian prisoner and a forced assistant to Josef Mengele. He asks Miklós to not cut up the boy, so he can give him a proper Jewish burial. Miklós declines, but says he can have five minutes alone with the boy tonight, before the cremation. Saul goes in search of a Rabbi to perform the funeral ritual. He goes to Rabbi Frankel in the crematorium, who dismisses Saul’s concern and suggests that Saul perform the burial himself.

Saul overhears Sonderkommando Abraham, talk about an uprising against the SS-guards with Oberkapo Biederman (Urs Rechn). Biederman first wants to photograph the camp’s atrocities using a camera collected from the clothing of an earlier gassed caravan, and smuggle the pictures outside to attract attention and help. Saul asks for another rabbi and Abraham tells him of “the Renegade,” a Greek Rabbi who has lost his faith. Saul in return offers his assistance in their plan and is instructed to go with a prisoner (Katz) to repair a shack; he is given a piece of jewellery for use as a bribe in case he’s caught. When Saul and Katz arrive at the shack, Saul pretends to fix the front door’s lock, while Katz takes out a camera from inside the shack and starts to take pictures of the cremation. Saul hears the guards and hides the camera outside in a drain. The guards search the shack, only to find nothing.

Saul then sneaks onto a truck for another Sonderkommando unit, heading to a nearby riverbank, where the ashes from the crematoria are dumped into the river. Saul finds the Renegade, who refuses to help him. Saul then threatens to alert the Oberkapo of the unit, Mietek, that the Renegade is a rabbi by reciting the Kaddish. When the Renegade refuses yet again Saul throws the man’s shovel into the water. The rabbi jumps into the river to retrieve the shovel or drown himself. Saul, who can’t swim, manages to bring the Renegade back to the riverbank and both are then taken to the SS-commandant of the unit. After an interrogation, the Renegade is executed and Saul is allowed to go back to the unit.

Saul is then confronted by Mietek, who realizes that he is from another unit. To mollify Mietek, Saul gives him the piece of jewellery. Back at the camp, following roll call, Saul sneaks into Miklós’s office where he is caught by a group of Nazi officers. One of them pushes Saul around like a puppet and makes a mockery of Jewish dances, finally forcing him out of the room. After searching in vain for the boy’s body, Saul confronts Miklós, who assures him that he has hidden it from the other doctors for safety. Saul sneaks into the autopsy room and takes the body back to his own barrack in a sack.

That night Saul is summoned to clean the dinner tables by SS-commandant Moll. Biederman walks in and is ordered to write up a list of seventy names. This leads Biederman to believe that his unit will soon be gassed. Biederman discloses the information to Abraham, who instructs Saul to head to the women’s camp, where he will pick up a smuggled package of gunpowder from a prisoner named Ella. When Saul finds himself face to face with Ella, he clearly knows her. She calls him by name, clasps his hand, but he withdraws. After collecting the package, Saul deliberately falls into a line of newly arrived Hungarian Jews, who are being led into the woods for execution. Saul again looks for a rabbi among the arrivals. A Frenchman named Braun approaches him and convinces Saul that he is a rabbi. Saul disguises Braun as a member of the Sonderkommando and sneaks him into the camp. When Saul arrives at the camp he is confronted by Abraham and realizes that during the turmoil in the woods he has lost the package. On further questioning, he says that the dead boy is his illegitimate son, an assertion Abraham says is not true.

The next morning during roll call, Miklós finds Saul and tells him that he needs a replacement body, similar to the one Saul has taken. The prisoners are then summoned into the crematorium to get back to work, where they discover that Biederman and his unit have been gassed by the SS. Abraham starts a riot with the other prisoners and they attack the SS guards, starting the rebellion. After managing to escape from the crematorium, Saul retrieves the boy’s body and escapes to the woods with Braun and few other prisoners. When they reach a river, Saul finds a chance to bury the body, only to discover that Braun is a fraud when he can’t recite the Kaddish. When he hears the guards approaching, Saul tries to carry the body across the river. Unable to manage the current with the added weight, he loses his grasp on the sack and is pulled out of the river by Rabbi Frankel as the body floats away. When the prisoners arrive at a shed in the forest, they start to discuss a plan to join the Polish resistance. Saul notices a young peasant boy peeking into the shed and smiles at him, the only time he is shown with a smile. The boy runs away, and makes it a short distance before an SS officer grabs and silences him as guards run past in the direction of the shed. When they have all passed, the officer releases him, and the boy runs into the woods as the sound of gunfire echoes behind him.

Sonderkommando: German word.

Term used in the concentration camps to designate prisoners special status also called “secret carriers” (Geheimnisträger).

The members of a Sonderkommando are separated from the rest of the camp.

They are killed after a few months of work.

Let’s go.


We need people like you in the workshops.

You will work and you will be well paid.

After showering and soup, come directly to me.

We need nurses.

We need artisans of all trades.

Joiners, carpenters, masons, concrete workers, mechanics, locksmiths, electricians.

When you’re ready, come find me.

All clothes are here.

All suitcases too.


A little bit faster! Remember your hook number.

Hurry up, will cool the soup.

Open the door.

What is happening here?

Thank you! Go ahead. Close the door.

The door!

You too, come.



Come on, faster.

At work.


On checkout! Put it on this fund there.

He’s still breathing.

Get back to work!

Good. Open it.

I only saw it once.

This girl…

He wants an autopsy.

Bring him to me.



What are you doing?

Put it there.

Put it down. Right now.

Doctor, please…

You’re Hungarian?

I did not know.

Do not open that boy.

Leave it as it is.


Get out.

It’s one of yours?


You did not need.

But your head, though!

Where do you come from?


I am a prisoner, like you.

You’ll have five minutes with him tonight.

But in the end, he will burn with others.

What’s your name?



Burn the pieces!



The last convoy? Hungary?

Back to work!




The convoy.



They came from another camp.


Your boyfriend is asked to close his mouth.


Bring me the gold.


Bring me reports!

Do not shit.

I will help you.

Get back to work!

No food. Than gold.

What are you looking for?

Gold, jewels, valuables: in the box.

Money, money… What you find.

Than gold, I said!

You want to put yourself in their pockets, dirty pig?

Give me that!

You and me, it’s forever.

Four months we are there… like family!

Go wash, you stink.

Calm down.


Bury someone.

Bury? The prayer is enough.

I have the body. Help me!

Get rid thee. You know the Kaddish?

I’ll say. His name?

We can do nothing more.

Not enough!

You know.

What are you doing in my Kommando?

You know!


A work!

What’s the matter?

they not be there.

I’ll have sent them.

I do not want. This is my Kommando.

I am Oberkapo!

You’re a dirty Jew rat!

He feels we’re screwed.

No, it’s nothing.

It’s not much. And him?

I have nothing.

You found me paper?



Come on!


I need your help.

I need another rabbi.

You? Why you need a rabbi?

That by not enough?

A rabbi not save you from fear.

A rabbi?

And the Renegade?

You’ve heard of the Renegade?

A Greek. Apparently he was a rabbi.

What Kommando?

The Kommando Mietek.

The case is completed.


Outside. The Polish junk.

I know him.

It has two scars in FIG.

He what?


Marked by God.


I need to talk to him.


Get me those parts!

He is with us.

In Kanada, there is a girl. She package.

Can you send someone?

In two days.

Two days?

They are already our list.

Who told you?

My guy in the office.

We took the pictures first.

What photos, Elijah?

There was no time for that. We will go there.

You think you can do everything explode?

You think that your photos will come the liberators?

Find me a locksmith.

Me, I can.

You can what?

What he wants.

What is he saying?

Tell him.

You do not know what we are talking.

I must leave.

He wants a locksmith!

You speak Yiddish?


Tell him that I was a watchmaker.

I can fix everything.

He said he was a watchmaker, he can do locksmith.


Come with me.

If you there going, you’re all alone.



These two are with me.

Go for it.

They are with me.

Burn me these pieces!

I said, a play by Jew!

If a Kapo shows up.

Mietek… Kommando?


Why is he here?

He stands guard.


Wait here.

Who is it?

The farm!

Fucking Mietek!

Repair the door, but monitors!

You understand? Opens the eye.



There’s too much smoke!


There’s too much smoke!

Pushes you.

Go outside!


Go outside.

Where you go?



Come here!


Finish it!


Where are you going?

Greek rabbi?

Careful not to drop ashes!

You, Renegade?

I need you for the dead.

You understand?

All ashes in the water!

Child death.

You are rabbi!

Mietek knows you’re a rabbi?

Praised are You, Seign…

Do not pull over!

Get them out of there.

Forgive me.

Who can explain what happened?


My shovel…

These pigs not speak German Oberscharführer.

Can anyone translate the…

Which language?




What happened?

The shovel fell into the water.

He tried to catch her.

So she was rescued… the shovel?

Yes, Oberscharführer!

You see that he speaks German.

Hungarian is a very beautiful language.

The other stays here.

Bring this pig to work!

Come on!

Who are you, rot?

In my shoe…

Where you go?

Kommando Biederman.

I’ll come see you soon.

At work!

This one, it is my crema. I took him.


What happened?

Did you find the Greek!

In ranks!


Where you go?

I have stuff to do.

I come with you.

Not worth it.

What is the reason for your visit, please?




A small dance shtetl, like the old days!



the autopsy room…

Where are they?

you’re of the day shift.


The doctor promised.


You want to go up in smoke?

Rate gold.

Come on, give.

Praised are You, O Lord, King of the universe,

who make spring the bread from the earth…

The Angel of Death hears your prayers, Rabbi!

You. Goldtone.

I have nothing.

You necessarily have to, in your mattress or in a sock.



What did you do down there?


Give, I said.

I take them.

Account, you.

We need them.

We can not wait.

We must retrieve the package Ella.

That will be enough for the guards?


He wants what, the butcher?

The boy!

Where is the boy?

I hid it.

So that doctors do not see it.

You can not exchange it?

Take another one?


I have an autopsy and document everything.


What’s your name again?


It is in the autopsy room.

I come again.

What is it?

Bring it!

You’re playing with our lives.

I can show the Germans where you buried your writings on the camp!

We get other weapons tonight. Be ready tomorrow morning.

The morning?

Yes. That’s the plan.

I have to find a rabbi.

I find you after.

I’m going to need you.

You’re not interested in me before.

It has not changed.

I have to eat.

It was not only his body, it was his way of looking at me.

I had to talk to him. It was breathtaking.

Then she asked for it!

I would prefer not to understand.

You also talking about women before.

I do not remember.


We saw nothing with smoke, he hid the camera.

You know how to use a gun?

Not really.

I will show you.

He knows not to fight.

He saved us today. Stop the hatching.



A convoy.

It was expected?

They told me nothing.


All Kapos!

You, come with me.

you’re with me now.

Hurry up, the coffee will cool.

Indoor disinfection!



Stay here.



Bring the day shift reinforcements and put them to work.

Yes, Oberscharführer.

After, will see how much is left to be processed.

Yes, Oberscharführer.

You, you got.

You too!





How much is left to deal with?

Mille, Oberscharführer.



We expect three times that night.

So let’s do it like this:

we must have finished at dawn.

At each passage, 2 men, 1 woman 1 child.

Empty the ashes 1 both 2, aerate all 12 min.

You are responsible. Including?

Yes, Oberscharführer.

When you finish, cleaning and disinfection

for the upcoming treatments. Break.


Yes, Oberscharführer?

I need a list of 70 names.

Men which you can do without.


At your service.

Hey, you!

Go in the kitchen and bring me Schlojme.

At your service.

The Oberscharführer calling you.

Hey you!

You stay here.

Get moving or cramerez you all!

Bunch of crap!

This one comes with me.

Jump into the furnace going!

This cold water is not potable.

After the shower, you will have tea.


You were right. It’s our turn.

He wants 70 names tomorrow.

Who will pick the package?


I come. Ella knows me.

No. You must stay here.

So take Saul. She knows.

I not know.

But if.

I want to go there.


Do what I tell you.

It goes with you.

What is happening?


They both go with you.




Yes, Oberscharführer?

What are you doing? We need you here!

My men can no longer work.

There are clothes to the ceiling.

We must put them to the warehouse.

You stay here. Others go there.

Yes, Oberscharführer!


The name of the girl?

Fried, Ella.


Hands off.


You’re fast, you.

You have it?


They go where?

In the pits.

Furnaces should be full.

Where you go?

Where you go?

Leave me!

You are rabbi?

You… You know a rabbi?

You, Rabbi?


There, a rabbi!





person to speak!

You’re there, you?

strong man to Sonderkommando.

You already want to replace you?

Tell him! strong man to Sonderkommando.

You lost your head?


They’ll kill you!


See, Jews, that’s how it goes.

Take that one.

What are you doing?


Do not kill him, it is the Sonderkommando.

I too Sonderkommando.

Shut up, Jew!

You’re a Kommando, dirty shit!



It is the Sonderkommando.

It is the Sonderkommando.

This time, it will do you two bracelets!

Come on!


You gonna help me bury my son.

Sixty seven.

Sixty seven?

What does that mean, motherfuckers band?

Who’s that one?

It is another crematorium.

Biederman ahead.


Kapo, why do not we have the right account?

Oberscharführer, we lost men in the fire.

We’ll see the call.



Why you brought him here, that one?


For the dead.

Our dead, we take care of ourselves.

People come to see me.

I came to see you!

I said kaddish.

A rabbi him? He’s a thief with a beard!

That the child.

I hid it.

You tell me what to do.


Where you been all night?

I was taken to the pits.

And the package?

The women’s package?

The powder! How does all jump without it?

It fell.

That’s what did you find?

It will help us tomorrow.

Have you been searching for a rabbi to the dead?

The packet?

He lost it.

Jewish shit!

Son of a bitch.

Who is it?

My son.

But you got no son.


I have to bury him.

You do not need a rabbi for that.

At least it will you need. four hundred ninety seven

Him, he stays here. Get rid of the body.



What is that?

Creuse not here.

I do not understand.

What are you saying?

This is my place.


Get out, I tell you!

Come! Quick!

He made his list?

How many men?

We can no longer afford to wait.

The crema 2 not move a finger.

And now this.

So Rabbi? This is Shabbat.

You do not know about?

Leave him alone.

What do you want?

If he is really rabbi, he should start the prayer.

We will die because of you two.

We are already dead.

I have to take care of my son.

It is not my wife.

You saw it when was the last time?

You’re no son.



Find me a boy.

Same age, same hair.

You have forsaken the living for the dead.


In the changing room!

At work!

Gather clothing.

Another Kommando!

The guards burned them.

It was at Biederman!


Come here, you bastard!

Hurry up. You’re going to fight.

Advance, son of a bitch!

Like I brought, help yourself to him.

Let me go.



Say kaddish.

Please. Kaddish!

Magnified and sanctified…


be the…

Not waste time. Forward!

Five minutes. We must continue.

Two kilometers through the woods.

We should find members

of the Home Army.

They will give us weapons.

We will fight. The Soviets are almost in Krakow.

Otherwise, we will go to Pszczyna.

They have weapons. And eat.

How do you find them?

You have to hide and wait.


We must find supporters and fight.


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