The Nasty Girl

Das schreckliche Mädchen
Directed by Michael Verhoeven
Produced by Michael Senftleben
Written by Michael Verhoeven
Starring Lena Stolze
Hans-Reinhard Müller
Monika Baumgartner
Music by Lydie Auvray
Billy Gorlt
Mike Herting
Elmar Schloter
Cinematography Axel de Roche
Edited by Barbara Hennings
Distributed by Miramax (USA)
Release dates
  • 15 February 1990 (1990-02-15)
Running time
94 minutes
Country West Germany
Language German

The Nasty Girl (German: Das schreckliche Mädchen) is a 1990 West German drama film based on the true story of Anna Rosmus from Passau, Bavaria. The original German title loosely translates as "The Terrible Girl." The film was selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 63rd Academy Awards.[1]


A German high school student, Sonja (Lena Stolze as a fictionalized version of Anna Rosmus) wins an essay contest and goes on a trip to Paris.

Martin Wegmus begins teaching physics at Sonja's school and one of Sonja's classmates falls in love with him. Almost by luck, Mr. Wegmus and Sonja kiss. The teacher promises to return for her.

The next year, she enters the contest again. She chooses "My Town During the Third Reich" from the possible topics. Her research leads her to discover that her picture-perfect town had been intimately involved in the Third Reich and that nearly all of the city's prominent families were members of the Nazi party long before it came to power. As she digs further, local authorities stonewall her efforts. Sonja persists and learns that there had been eight concentration camps in the area and that all the Jews were forced out of the town and had their property confiscated.

Sonja marries Martin, and the townsfolk think Sonja has dropped the issue of Nazi involvement. Sonja bears two daughters and studies history at the University. She resumes her research into the town's Nazi past, and wins court cases granting her access to archives. She still has to employ trickery to get the information she wants, however. In response, her town's hostility grows from verbal abuse, to death threats to physical assaults as they attempt to silence her with increasing desperation, but nothing deters her.

Meanwhile, her husband feels emasculated as he's forced to take care of the children. The family survives a bomb from the angry townsfolk, but Sonja keeps up her research.

At the end, the townspeople change their tune, even putting a bust of Sonja at the town hall. Sonja sees this as a means to silence her and rejects the honor.



Award nominations

See also


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