(Drama for Students)

Act 1, Scene 1
In 1934, Nazi Germany, decadent Max Berger is living with a dancer, Rudy, while he frequents nightclubs and drags home one-night stands. The play opens on the first morning after the start of the Night of the Long Knives in which Hitler purged his SA staff, including Ernst Röhm, who was gay and protected other homosexuals. Unfortunately, Max’s latest conquest is SA. The Gestapo arrives and murders the soldier in Rudy and Max’s apartment. They escape when the Nazis have their backs turned.

Act 1, Scene 2
Max and Rudy run to their friend Greta, a drag queen who owns the nightclub where Rudy works. Greta gives them the news about the purge and the crackdown on homosexuals, advises them to run, and gives them money.

Act 1, Scene 3
Two years later, in a park in Cologne, Max meets with his gay Uncle Freddie, the only family member from whom he is not totally estranged. Max and Rudy have moved from city to city staying one step ahead of the Gestapo. Finally, Max’s prominent family has decided to help, so Freddie gives Max papers and tickets that will get him to safety in Amsterdam, but Max insists on two sets so that Rudy can escape, too. Freddie says it is impossible until Max promises to fake being straight and come back to the family business in exchange for papers and tickets for Rudy. Freddie says that he will talk to Max’s father about the offer, and Max leaves.

Act 1, Scene 4
When Max returns to the forest camp where he and Rudy have been living, Rudy tells him that he took a job digging ditches, and that he has arranged a meeting with someone who might help them. Instead, the person tells the Gestapo where to find Rudy and Max, and they are captured.

Act 1, Scene 5
Max and Rudy are put on a prisoner train headed to Dachau. Rudy is singled out and tortured in another compartment. Max meets Horst and learns about the pink triangle that gays must wear and what he must do to survive. After Max is forced to help beat Rudy to death, he is also taken...

(The entire section is 849 words.)