‘Blood & Gold’ Ending, Explained: Is Sonja Dead? What Happens To Else And Heinrich?


As the Second World War came to end, the men who had joined the Hitler’s army without their will started to desert their positions. Netflix’s Blood & Gold follows Heinrich, a Nazi private and a defector who chose to abandon the war to find his way back to his daughter. Heinrich had lost his family in the war, and his daughter was his only reason to stay alive. He was hanged by the Nazis, but a village girl named Elsa saved his life. However, after Elsa saved Heinrich’s life, the Nazi troop entered her house in search of valuables. When Dorfler tried to force himself on Elsa, Heinrich intervened and attacked the troop. He and Elsa managed to bring down most of the SS soldiers except Dorfler, who managed to escape. Elsa and Heinrich realized that it would be dangerous for them to stay back, and they decided to escape the village. Paule was deeply attached to the animals on the farm, and the thought of abandoning them bothered him. At night, when Elsa was fast asleep, he ran back to the cottage. Elsa and Heinrich were forced to return to the village to bring back Paule, but by then, the soldiers had already gotten hold of him.

Spoilers Alert 

What Murdered Paule?

Paule suffered from Down’s syndrome and was ridiculed by the SS soldiers. They made him wear a placard that said that he deserved to die due to his condition. The soldiers planned to push Paule from the church top to create a spectacle out of it. The villagers gathered around, and the priest tried to stop the soldiers from entering the church. The soldiers pushed him aside and dragged Paule to the top of the church. One of the soldiers called him “the hunchback of Sonnenberg,” and that triggered Paule. Paule pushed the soldier off from the top, and his body fell to the ground with a thud. Paule unleashed his newfound courage and shot the other soldier dead. He held a gun and started shooting at random. Paule was tired of the way people treated him, and the recent humiliation that he was forced to endure got on his nerves. Meanwhile, Elsa and Heinrich had reached the village and were on their way to the top of the church. While the entire village went into a state of frenzy, the Lieutenant Colonel was calm, and he aimed his rifle at Paule. With a single bullet shot from a great distance, the Nazi Colonel killed Paule in an instant. The death of Paule stunned Elsa. She had protected him his entire life, yet she ultimately failed to keep him alive. She attempted to shoot the lieutenant colonel but broke down while walking up to him. Elsa had a reason for her sudden emotional breakdown; meanwhile, the Colonel’s past forced him to go soft on Elsa.

What Did The Lieutenant Colonel Offer Elsa? 

The Lieutenant Colonel took Elsa to the inn they were staying at and explained the reason behind the shift in his temperament. He once fell in love with a Jewish girl named Rebecca. Since he could not marry her, he chose to shoot her. He did not wish for her to be sent to a camp, and death was the only option he had. Since Elsa looked a lot like his ex-lover, he decided to make it right by proposing to her. He pulled a wedding ring out of his eye socket, which was usually covered in the golden mask he wore. The right side of his face was deformed as a result of the war, and the mask protected him from appearing heinous. With no other options in hand, Elsa did not object to wearing the ring. The Colonel promised to protect her forever and addressed her as “Rebecca.”

How Did Elsa Avenge The Death Of Paule?

At night, while lying beside the Colonel, Elsa tried to find ways to make it out alive. She attempted to reach for his gun, but she could not. She noticed the ring on his finger and found out that it consisted of a cyanide capsule. Elsa used her hairpin and pulled out the capsule, which ended up on the floor. The Colonel woke up from his sleep and noticed Elsa searching for something on the ground. Elsa used Colonel’s feelings for her to her advantage and kissed him with the capsule in her mouth. By the time the Colonel realized what was going on, he had started to froth from the mouth. While Elsa escaped from the inn, Heinrich fell into the trap of the Nazis in the hopes of rescuing Elsa.

 What Was The History Behind The Jewish Gold?

There was only one Jewish family in the village— the Lowenstein. Everyone in the village shared cordial relationships with one another, but that suddenly changed once the influence of Hitler started to set in. The mayor was the first to start excluding Jews. He was vocal about fulfilling his duty as a member of the National Socialist Party, and he encouraged others to do the same. The Lowensteins’ oldest son, Johannes, came in the fall of 1938, before the November pogrom. He used to live in Essen, had married into a wealthy merchant family, and had taken over the company. Johannes and his wife soon sold the company, realizing that their future was doomed in Germany. They decided to flee to Palestine with the rest of the family, but Johannes’ parents refused to leave their home. Soon after, the villagers gathered and forced the Lowesteins to leave the village. The priest tried to calm down the villagers, but the hatred had already spread by then. They were ultimately forced to encounter the hateful mob that gathered in front of their house. While scuffling with the angry mob, a case full of gold that belonged to the Lowesteins fell onto the street. Sonja immediately noticed it, along with four others. The mayor, Sonja, and the other accomplices hid the gold in a grave. The priest knew the truth, and he managed to sneak the gold out of the grave and keep it hidden at the church altar. Johannes wanted to buy his freedom in exchange for the gold, which was how the Nazis got to know about the treasure. After Elsa was kidnapped, Heinrich decided to use the gold to free her, only to realize that Elsa had already escaped.

‘Blood & Gold’ Ending Explained: What Finally Happens To Sonja And Heinrich? 

Sonja killed the mayor once he showed weakness and refused to keep their secret hidden. After searching the grave, she and her accomplices realized that the gold had been stolen. Initially, they blamed one another, but Sonja soon remembered that they were not the only ones who noticed the gold that night; the priest had been watching them all along. The Bible left in the grave made her all the more certain. When Sonja threatened to harm Irmgard, the priest confessed the truth. He brought her to the church and pointed at the altar. The moment her accomplices removed the altar cover and got their hands on the gold, the booby trap set by the priest went off. Sonja was injured, and her accomplices died on the spot. Meanwhile, Heinrich brought the Nazis to the gold as well after he was blackmailed. Dorfler shot the priest dead after entering the church. Upon hearing the gunshot, Elsa decided to blow up the church. The sudden blast created a distraction, and Elsa and Irmgard entered the church with weapons. The two women did their best to tackle the Nazis, but Irmgard died in the process. Even after getting shot, Elsa managed to bring down the Nazis, except Dorfler (of course!). While Dorfler was busy strangling Elsa, Heinrich crawled up to him and smacked him in the head with a gold bar. Tired of the trouble they had to go through because of the gold, Heinrich pushed the gold bar into his mouth. Heinrich and Elsa left the church without any of the gold. Heinrich’s aim was to meet his daughter, and that was all he was interested in. Meanwhile, a member of the Red Cross who was hiding at the church noticed all the gold lying around, and there was an instant glimmer of joy in his eyes. But he was shot dead by Sonja immediately.

Blood & Gold ends with the news of Hitler’s death blasting on the radio. Sonja, in a happy mood and dressed in red, drove a military jeep out of the village. With the gold bars she had, she was ready to start her life afresh. Unexpectedly, an American jeep blew up her vehicle. The American troops wondered if they had made a mistake by blowing up the Jeep now that the war was over, but it was a little too late to think it over. The moment the soldiers walked up to the vehicle, they noticed the gold bar and rejoiced. They could either report the gold, or they could share it amongst themselves; the American troop decided to keep it for themselves. Blood & Gold ends with Sonja lying on the ground and she can barely move. Considering that Sonja’s body was burned as a result of the blast, we can assume that she will not survive the accident. After spending years protecting the gold in the hopes of enjoying the wealth after the war, Sonja watched a few men take away her future in the blink of an eye. The poetic justice at the end is rewarding. Sonja stole the gold from a Jewish family, and she deserved the brutal punishment that she ultimately received. And in the end, the ones who brought freedom were rewarded in the most unexpected way. Meanwhile, Heinrich was united with his daughter, and all the fights he was forced to fight made it worth his while.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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