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Goodbye, Karl Erich


After taking in a shell-shocked casualty of war, a German doctor teaches the young orphan to speak again and face the horrors he experienced during World War I head on. The boy soon becomes confident and grows up to be a Nazi terrorist.



Air Dates

  • First Run - July 16, 1975
  • Repeat - November 18, 1975
  • Repeat - January 12, 1978





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24 Responses to Episode 0309

Great episode!


Goodbye, Carl Erich The setting is Germany in the 1930’s and an eminent doctor is hounded by a women to help her mute son. After giving in, the doctor discovers that the boy is actually a grown man who has been psychologically traumatized. The doctor restores the man’s voice and confidence and the man strives to great heights in Germany’s new political landscape. But how dangerous is this new political landscape. (Stars: Kevin McCarthy) Is some protracted at the start, but has a nice stinger of an ending.


A german doctor agrees to take on the case of a young man who has been strangely mute for years. The doctor's efforts to bring the young man back to the normal world seem successful until the young man becomes involved in the rise of the Nazi party in pre-WW2 Germany. A strange but effective episode. Genre: Drama

Ptyor Rodgers

A German doctor takes under his care a young boy who is shocked into silence by the death of his father in World War I. The Doctor teaches him tospeak again, and then instills in him the confidence to confront the world. Little does he realize that he has created a Nazi monster.

Neil Boggs

An anxious cleaning woman pleads with a doctor to see her son who has not spoken since the day of his father’s death. After an entire act of pleading, he agrees and is able to teach the boy to speak again. With his newfound abilities and self confidence he then turns to follow the rising star of Hitler, much to the chagrin of his mentor.

Mr. Anderson

I thought that this was a haunting episode. Notice how Carl Erich, before his treatment, makes these guttural grunts and moans, evoking images of some type of animal...and that's precisely describing the self-centered, inhuman, immature desires of those who were at the heart of Naziism. A very nice metaphor the scriptwriters and actor pulled off. Sometimes I like hearing Mystery theatre episodes that are in a similar vein. In this case, I'd also recommend (sorry, don't have the episode numbers) "The serpent's tooth", "The rise and fall of the fourth reich" "The ghosts of yesterday" and "The memory killers". "The serpent's tooth" in particular has some similar (though more malignant) elements as "Goodbye Carl Erich".

Kimberly Clarrise

What strong characters! Good story, but the characters really stood out for me. I gave it a 4.


Goodbye Karl Erich…”All good Germans are brothers.” So! Das ist sine antwort! Ich bin nicht OTRDAVE! Ich bin Until Next Time! Verstehen? Karl Ericih…..really a good boy when it comes down to it. He is devoted to his WW1 father by idolizing his bayonet and helmet Ultimately; he is devoted to his ignorant, fearful and abusive mother He is seeking an idol, while being damaged. Is his corruption directly related to Nazism or a crazy upbringing? . Ultimately, he devotes to the “one great man”. Nameless at this point but inevitably Hitler. Talking is his weak point. “Talk to me” He hears the truth. He is reverted to his origin. Despite Hitler. You see? Hitler is a poor replacement…and this is manifested in a human drama, nay, a travesty, as Karl Erich. He reverts to his pitiful self, which may be redemption. He sees the feet of clay of his God. What else is expected in the natural, real world? It is so simple here..”Good Bye Karl Erich” His source, his origin was weak, and the foundation (Nazism) even a poorer foundation. He is left speechless…back to his origin. It is a painful and powerful story. If one has difficulty having sympathy for a Nazi, then one misses the point……….Until Next Time…………By the by…I selected this show, for those who don’t speak German.

Dantz S.

He idolized the doctor too. It was what the doctor told him at the end of the episode that made him speechless. (I won't give it away here, but the ending was BRILLIANT!) I suppose poor Karel was sent to a concentration camp, since he was handicapped again, and Hitler didn't tolerate the disabled. I'm afraid Karel was doomed.


*I mean Karl.


.......and please forgive my indirect complaints.


I listened to the show while I was hard at work. It was just okay. Then it came time to post my thoughts, but I held back. I didn't feel I gave the show a proper "listen." So, I listened to it again. Woah. It always blows me away how much more you gain from listening to a show more than once. This is a prime example. It began, for me as a yet another World War II episode, which there are a great deal of in the RMT collection. I just went with it, despite tales of this period not being my particular favorite. Then the show moved to a dark, painful place, war aside. Or perhaps, war within, if you catch my meaning. The battle which Carl Erich was dealing with internally must have been horrific. Add in a vicious, mentally and physically abusive mother... oh my! But how diabolical of the RMT writers that take us from that place into one of hope and victory. The scene in the bakery. It was the schoolyard chump standing up to the bully. And with the Dr.'s providence peering in from the background. Fabulous! But again. Again! The writer's take us into that darkness, begrudgingly and knowingly. We all know what to expect. In the case of Carl Erich, it was simply unfair. We all know where it could lead him. When the friend who invites him to move in mentions the "meeting," I closed my eyes and thought, "ugh." But the final deliverance of the Dr.'s words were like a hen dropped into a deep well. I admit missing it the first time. It generated a unique smile on my face, while saddening me with reality. This was a fine episode. Unlike many others I've heard. You could take many other historical scenarios and put them into the mix instead of WW2, and the effect could be similar. The redemption. The unholy retribution. woah. In a strange way, this tale reminds me of when I was a young art student and I discovered the work of Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. We all know of his work with The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, but when I came across his Oscar winning works that were products of his absolute despise of the Nazi regime (Hitler in particular), I was much like that hen dropping into the well. It changed my perspective. It made me realize that there MUST be a point to the work I create. For if there is no point, then the work is pointless. Much like the life of Carl Erich. Anyhow, again I ramble! If you'd like to see Seuss' political work from the '40s. I gave this episode a very rare 5. An excellent selection. Thank you!


I thought this episode really resonated on an emotional level moreso than any other episode I've ever heard.


I liked this episode. At first you feel pity for the mother because she can't get the doctor to listen to her, then you feel pity for Carl when the doctor learns about his problem and no longer for the mother when you learn that she is abusive to Carl. Then feel joy at Carl being able to over come his inablility to speak and to confront the people in the bakery. Then when Carl becomes involved with the Third Reich you become angry at him and wish he could see the error of his ways. And in the end when he learns that the doctor is a Jew and represents something that he has been taught is something that is so below his station he becomes dumb again and you no longer feel sorry for him, but feel some satisfaction that he got what he deserved. That maybe a little unfair I guess, but this episode really brought out a lot of emotion and so I gave this episode a high mark.

Larsen C.

Goodbye Karl Erich was a very good RMT and interesting in many ways. I had heard Kevin McCarthy in the Sherlock Holmes adaptations but he handles the central european accent nicely without overdoing it. And talk about multi-tasking -- Bryna Raeburn! At least 3 roles I counted. I thought the 'old diary' angle was effective in this show ... but I was a bit disappointed after the show was over. I was psychologically prepared for the Doctor ending up in a concentration camp or something, and the man who orders his execution is Karl, and by saying goodbye, the Doctor makes the same gesture so many Jews made in the camps -- you may be killing me, but I have won, because you have lost your humanity. The diary angle would have been perfect with this conclusion, as a testament to one man's fate. Everything seemed to be pointing that direction, just as in history -- the seduction of young, idealistic men, who slowly turn away from their 'old' morals. So I was let down by the end which I thought was melodramatic. But that does mean I was captivated up until the end, and the story caused my imagination to create its own conclusion, which makes it a very good story. And the purpose of something like RMT is to make your mind into a theater.


I always thought this was a rather odd episode. The plot is somewhat melodramatic and some of performances a little over-the-top, but it is definitely an episode that haunts you after a careful listening. It particularly casts a light on the prejudices we have and how they only have validity as long as we can dehumanize those we hate. We can hate a stereotype but it's another thing entirely when that stereotype is revealed as a human being...especially if it is a human being we love. Perhaps it was listening to stories like this as a kid that helped me learn to be more open as an adult when it comes to accepting and embracing the differences in others.


One of my favorite episodes. GREAT characters, a surprising ending, and an engrossing setting. 5 stars.


I thought this was a pretty good episode, kind of a WWII version of the rock opera Tommy (a least, many similarities).


One of my favorite episodes because it is so interesting. None of the characters are black and white or two dimensional, which is why I liked this episode so much. You feel sorry for all of them at different times, yet repulsed at other moments. It is truly a masterpiece because of the way it explores human nature, both the good and the bad.


Great episode. Kevin and Paul did a great job.


Karl Erich Mueller, struck dumb by his father’s death in World War I, learns to speak again with the sympathetic and persistent treatment of Dr. Heinrich Stammler. Young Mueller, who promises never to forget what Dr. Stammler has done for him, goes to Munich for a warehouse job, which he promptly loses. Now in the ranks of Germany’s unemployed, he does something which the doctor can never forgive: He joins Hitler’s Nazi party.


This is, by far, my most favorite episode. I keep going back to this episode because of how good this is. I always look for stories which are kind of similar to this one.


Wow! Great episode. A true CBSMT winner!


I love the Hitchcock-style twist at the very end! Beautifully played.

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