“The Oath” a Historical WWII psychological drama based on real life events. The memory is in each of us, the tragic horrors forged in the minds of millions, never to escape the psyche of the human race. An intriguing tale of two psychiatrist friends who fall in love with the same girl, a Russian noblewoman Elizabeth. In autumn 1909 Naum Balaban comes to Germany from Russia. Being of Jewish descent and the son of a top guild merchant he enrols with the medical faculty at the University of Munich. He attends lectures of the German psychiatrist Ernst Ryudin and falls deeply in love with Lizzie the girlfriend of his best German friend Gustav.

Naum Balaban and Lizzie pledge their undying love and escape to Switzerland to work under the direction of Emil Krepelin, a leading German psychiatrist. Many years in Switzerland pass and Balaban’s passion to serve the people in need leads Naum and Lizzie back to Russia. They experience the horrors and terrors of the Civil War first hand, death and destruction, at the beginning of WWII.

What different lives they lead, Naum Balaban a Professor and Chief Physician of the advanced psychiatric hospital of Simferopol and Gustav Schaeffer one of the developers in sterilization therapies for the mentally ill for the Third Reich. Gustav had been waiting 20 years for reunion, the WWII setting the stage for his chance to strike against the ambitions of Naum Balaban, a selfless man. During the 4 months of occupation, Naum Balaban saved more than 600 people, 400 psychiatric patients and 200 Jewish, who were hiding in the hospital and cleverly evacuated from the city.

On March the 7th, 1942 in the territory near the hospital where Naum Balaban controlled the Nazi gas vans enter at a rapid pace. Naum’s goal to preserve and respect life, but Gustav’s was to destroy and obliterate everything in site. Like Janusz Korczak, the spouses Balaban chose to stay, fight to the end with the remaining patients. Their tragic deaths looked certain. They banded together in this defeated somber mood, they had accepted their fate. What happens next is the ultimate defining moment of many lives, a defining moment to be indwelled in the history books for all eternity.

The Oath, a triumphant journey where we experience the rollercoaster of love and hate, friendship and enmity, suffering and jubilation. In the horrendous fight for survival, we see the awakening of the best attributes of the selfless heroism. The true struggle of the indomitable human spirit as it soars to rise above it all.

A story about love and fidelity, fuelled by temptation and desire. The futile fight for survival. Love to people and loyalty to the duty.

Love and loyalty to the last breath.

Film References

Schindler’s List

The Pianist

Ordinary Fascism


Vladimir Pomukchinsky

Dimitri Vorontsov

Vincent Wilburn Jr

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