A prisoner, his eyes liquid pools of undiluted emotion, stumbles toward a soldier and limply embraces him, kissing his cheek. The man cannot speak, but his body convulses with sobs pent-up from month upon month of barbarous oppression. "It's okay," the officer murmurs. But the man weeps anyway.
Winters, Nixon, Speirs, and others listen intently to the statements of one low-voiced prisoner who responds sadly to Liebgott's questions. As he delivers his answers in hushed German, Liebgott translates, never tearing his eyes from the man's face. I can't think of a name for this prisoner, so I'll call him Bob for simplicity's sake. Bob reveals that the guards deserted the camp that morning, but burned a handful of huts as a final, brutal parting gift -- without evacuating the prisoners first. "They killed as many as they could," Liebgott translates. As Bob talks, he nervously rubs his bald head, as if shielding himself or preparing to cringe, or perhaps just simply trying to shrink into himself. Several other prisoners do this, too. It's an incredibly natural, heartbreakingly vulnerable motion. The camera swings in a circle around Bob as he speaks, catching Winters and Nixon's suppressed horror, Speirs's unease, and Liebgott's sympathetic intensity, which we see through the crook in Bob's raised arm. Bob begins to tremble. "Jesus Christ," Winters says. Liebgott relays that several prisoners tried to stop the guards, but failed, and their watchdogs responded by trying to kill as many people as they could before finally fleeing and locking the gates behind them. Nixon seethes. They all guess that a villager alerted the guards to the oncoming Allied forces. Winters, with considerable effort, swallows his mounting emotion and rasps that Liebgott must ask what manner of camp this is. He's barely preserving his cool-and-collected façade. Liebgott learns that it's a work camp for a certain type of person, but he doesn't understand the translation -- he thinks it's "unwanted," or "disliked." For clarification, he asks Bob if they're all criminals. "No," Liebgott translates. "No, no. Doctors, musicians, tailors, clerks, farmers, intelligent -- I mean, normal, people." Bob stammers with anguish, "Juden...Juden. Juden." Liebgott's face freezes. "Jews," he chokes. "They're Jews. [And] Poles and Gypsies." Bob reveals that the women's camp is ahead at the next railroad stop. He can't continue; wailing, he wanders away, unable to relive it. Cries of anguish erupt throughout the camp. Winters can't look up, too immersed is he in roiling shock and grief.