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The Twilight Zone: Deaths-Head Revisited

A former Nazi officer from the Dachau concentration camp is put on trial by the ghosts of his tortured victims.


Episode Info


Episode number: 3x9
Production Number: 4804
Airdate: Friday November 10th, 1961

Director: Don Medford
Writer: Rod Serling


  • Currently 9.4/10
9.4/10 (5 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Joseph Schildkraut
As Becker
Recurring
Oscar Beregi
As Captain Lutze (as Oscar Beregi)
Recurring

Co-Guest Stars
Robert Boon
As Taxi Driver
Recurring
Ben Wright
As Doctor
Recurring
Kaaren Verne
As Innkeeper (as Karen Verne)

Uncredited
Chuck Fox
As Dachau Victim
Main Cast
Rod Serling
As Narrator/Host

Recap

Captain Gunther Lutze, a Nazi SS officer, arrives in the small town of Dachau under the alias of Mr. Schmidt. He checks in at the inn and expresses interest in the nearby concentration camp which was shut down after the war, 17 years ago. The innkeeper recoils in horror, but Lutze decides to visit the abandoned camp where he served as commandant. Lutze enters the camp and remembers the prisoners that he hung and tortured. A man then appears, wearing a prisoner’s uniform. The man says that ”they” have been waiting, and Lutze turns to see the gates close and lock themselves. He assumes the new arrival is the caretaker, and then remembers him as Alfred Becker, a former prisoner. Lutze is astonished that Becker doesn’t seem to have aged in 17 years...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Ben Wright was also in "Judgment Night" and "Dead Man's Shoes."

Joseph Schildkraut is also in "The Trade-Ins."

Oscar Beregi is also in "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" and "Mute."

Robert Boon was also in "Mute."

The 2004 radio show adaptation features Stacy Keach as the narrator and H.M. Wynant as Captain Lutze. Wynant previously appeared as Dave Ellington in "The Howling Man." Other stars are Maggie Carnie, David Darlow, Richard Shazden, Peggy Roeder, James Schneider, Carl Amare, Doug James, and Roger Wolsky.



Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Narrator:
Mr. Schmidt, recently arrived in a small Bavarian village which lies eight miles northwest of Munich, a picturesque, delightful little spot onetime known for its scenery but more recently related to other events having to do with some of the less positive pursuits of man: human slaughter, torture, misery and anguish. Mr. Schmidt, as we will soon perceive, has a vested interest in the ruins of a concentration camp - for once, some seventeen years ago, his name was Gunther Lutze. He held the rank of a captain in the S.S. He was a black-uniformed strutting animal whose function in life was to give pain, and like his colleagues of the time he shared the one affliction most common amongst that breed known as Nazis: he walked the Earth without a heart. And now former S.S. Captain Lutze will revisit his old haunts, satisfied perhaps that all that is awaiting him in the ruins on the hill is an element of nostalgia. What he does not know, of course, is that a place like Dachau cannot exist only in Bavaria. By its nature, by its very nature, it must be one of the populated areas of the Twilight Zone.

Innkeeper: [nervously] I just meant, sir... I just wondered... it's just that...
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: What? You just wondered what?
Innkeeper: It's just that... you remind me of someone.
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: Oh?
Innkeeper: During the war.
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: Go on.
Innkeeper: There were... there were SS stationed here. They used to come to the inn very often.
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: I spent the war years on the Russian Front. The panzer division.
Innkeeper: Of course, sir.

SS Captain Gunther Lutze: Was it a prison or something you had here?
Innkeeper: Something of the sort, sir.
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: Was it a prison!
Innkeeper: A camp, sir.
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: How's that?
Innkeeper: A camp, Mr. Schmidt! A ... concentration camp!
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: (smiling) A concentration camp? Really? Now that's odd. For the life of me, I can't seem to remember the name of this town.
Innkeeper: Sir?
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: The name of this town! What is the name of this town?
Innkeeper: Dachau, sir. (painfully) Dachau.
SS Captain Gunther Lutze: Dachau. Of course. Dachau.

Becker: They just heard you offer the apology for all the monsters of our times. "We did as we were told. We functioned as orders. We merely carried out directives from our superiors."

Becker: Captain Lutze, ten million human beings were tortured to death in camps like this. Men, women, children, infants... tired old men. You burned them in furnaces, you shoveled them into the earth, you tore up their bodies in rage. And now you come back to your scenes of horror, and you wonder that the misery that you planted has lived after you?

Doctor: Dachau... why does it still stand? Why do we keep it standing?

Closing Narration
Narrator:
There is an answer to the doctor's question. All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes - all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and to remember, not only in the Twilight Zone but wherever men walk God's Earth.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
SoundWilliam Edmondson
 
Warning: The Twilight Zone season 3 episode 9 guide may contain spoilers
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