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|“||You are now in the hands of the SS. My hands to be exact.||„|
|~ Hans Landa to an incapacitated Lt. Aldo Raine|
|“||I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing.||„|
|~ Landa to Lapadite while interrogating him.|
|“||I love my unofficial title, precisely because I have earned it.||„|
|~ Landa speaking about his nickname "The Jew Hunter".|
Hans Landa (also known as: The Jew Hunter and Col. Landa) is arguably the main antagonist of the 2009 Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds.
Chapter One - Once upon a time... in Nazi-occupied France
He is first introduced when arriving at Perrier LaPadite's farm, to seach the residence for any hiding Jews. After he asks permission, he enters LaPadite's house, where he meets the former's daughters. He sits at the kitchen table and asks for a glass of milk, as LaPadite operates a dairy farm. Landa then politely asks LaPadite to send the girls outside, so that they could have a talk. He then asks to switch to English (so that any hiding Jews in the house would not know what they're saying). LaPadite, obviously nervous, asks for permission to light his pipe and Landa permits it.
Landa begins to ask LaPadite if he knows anything about the Dreyfus family, as well as their names and ages, which LaPadite gives him. Landa asks for another glass of milk before he leaves, and then begins to talk about how he loves his nickname, "The Jew Hunter". He explains to LaPadite that the Jews are similar to rats, saying that he doesn't consider it an insult. He goes on to elaborate his statement before coming to the conclusion that his ability to find Jews is far more advanced than that of regular German soldiers', and that he is aware of "humans being are capable of once they've abandoned dignity".
At this point, Landa suddenly asked for permission to smoke his pipe. He pulls out a huge Sherlock Holmes-like pipe. Landa then starts to tell him that in order to cross LaPadite's name off the list, he would have to have his men search his house. However, he tells LaPadite that any information that will make his job a lot easier would not be met with punishment, quite the contrary, it would be met with reward, that his family will no longer be harassed in any way by the Germans during the Occupation. Visibly convinced, LaPadite confirms to Landa that the Dreyfuses are under the floor of his house. Landa asks him if they don't speak English, since he hasn't heard any noises during the conversation.
LaPadite confirms his suspicions and Landa asks him to return to French and continue the masquerade. Hans Landa thanks him in French for the hospitality and for the milk and says that they're now finished. He exits the door, seemingly to call the girls, but he actually calls his men, and points them the place where to shoot. As he wishes to everybody "Adieu", his men shoot through the floor, killing the Jews. However, one girl, Shosanna, somehow survives and crawls through the basement vent and flees in horror, crying. Landa goes to the front door, puts his suitcase on the doorsteps and aims his Walther P38 at her, soon realizing that she's run too far for him to shoot. Instead he smiles and says to himself, sarcastically, "bupsti" (the German equivalent of "oopsie"). Landa then shouts, "Au revoir, Shosanna!", as Shoshanna flees further into the distance.
Chapter Three - GERMAN NIGHT IN PARIS
Hans Landa arrives at the restaurant where Joseph Goebbels, Francesca Mondino, and Fredrick Zoller are talking to Shosanna Dreyfus, now known as Emanuelle Mimieux, about her cinema. Zoller introduces Landa to Mimieux, telling her he is running the security for the film premiere. He kisses her hand, while Shosanna tries to remain calm. As the Germans leave, Landa explains that he would like to have a conversation with Mimieux. Zoller rudely asks why, and Landa (both offscreen) is surprised by the private's attitude. Landa then sits at the table with mademoiselle Mimieux. He then orders two strudels and a glass of milk for her. He asks Mimieux about her cinema and if it's true that a black man operates the projectors. When Mimieux confirms that it is, Landa tells her that she will be the one to operate the projectors on the day of the premiere. He then says he had another question for Mimieux and briefly stares at her. After saying he cannot remember what the question was, he leaves.
Chapter Four - OPERATION KINO
Hans Landa is called into the village of Nadine, to investigate a shootout between several German soldiers and the Basterds. He identifies Hugo Stiglitz and Wilhelm Wicki. He tells the soldier that accompanies him that they were part of the Basterds, responsible for killing German soldiers. But he notices that there's something odd about the incident. He then sees a woman's shoe, and deduces that someone is missing. After signalling everyone to leave, he finds a handkerchief with an autograph from Bridget von Hammersmark.
Chapter Five - REVENGE OF THE GIANT FACE
Hans Landa, is at the film premiere, drinking some champagne. He sees Bridget von Hammersmark with 3 of the Basterds, Donny Donowitz, Omar Ulmer and Aldo Raine, who are masquerading as Italian escorts. He speaks with von Hammersmark and her escorts, and sees through their disguises. He takes von Hammersmark to a private room and tells her to put her foot on his lap. He puts the shoe he found at the tavern on her, and then strangles her to death. He then has Aldo captured, along with another Basterd named Utivich. He takes Aldo and Utivich to an empty building and speaks with them. Aldo asks where Donny, Omar, and von Hammersmark are. Landa tells him that von Hammersmark got what she deserved, and that Donny and Omar are still at the theatre with bombs strapped to their legs. He has Aldo contact his superior at the OSS and negotiates his surrender and allowing the mission to proceed in exchange for immunity, medals, American citizenship, and a house on Nantucket Island. Aldo's superior agrees to his demands and the mission goes as planned, with the theatre blowing up and the Nazi High Command being killed, most likely ending the war. Landa and his radio operator drive Aldo and Utivich into Allied territory, and then surrender to them. Aldo tells Utivich to cuff Landa. Landa asks if that's really necessary, and Aldo replies that he's a slave to appearances before shooting the radio operator and having Utivich scalp him, to Landa's shock. Landa finally loses his composure and tells Aldo that he will be shot for this. Aldo says that he will most likely be "chewed out" and that he's been chewed out before. Aldo, knowing that Landa plans to take off his Nazi uniform someday, tells the frightened Landa that he will give him something he can't take off. He then carves a swastika into Landa's forehead as he screams in agony. After finishing, he tells Utivich that "this just might be my masterpiece." It's unknow as to whether or not he was killed by either them or other Nazis for his betrayal.
An Austrian SS officer assigned to the Sicherheitsdienst. He is nicknamed The Jew Hunter in reference to his keen ability to locate Jews hiding throughout Occupied France. Egotistical and ambitious, Landa takes a great deal of pride in this reputation, lauding his nickname "the Jew hunter" and using it to compare himself to Reinhard Heydrich. When the tide of the war turns against the Nazis, he scoffs at it, alluding that his job is to find and capture people and the fact that they are Jews is of no consequence to him. Landa is cruel, highly intelligent, relentless and ruthless but when needed, charming and polite. He uses a very methodical and Holmesian approach in his search for hidden Jews. Besides speaking German, he is also fluent in at least English, French and Italian. He is also sarcastic and seems to have a knowledge (albeit flawed) of English language idioms, such as "That's a Bingo!" or "If the shoe fits, you must wear it."
Landa appears to be an opportunistic sociopath, acting only out of pure self-interest. In the beginning of the film, he subscribes to Nazi ideology as a means to power and wealth, having been a member of the Austrian Nazi party at least since 1934 (possibly even having taken part in the assassination of Engelbert Dollfuss.) By the end of the film, he unreservedly breaks his oath to Hitler, and switches sides to assist the Basterds in assassinating Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party elite inside a movie theater. In return for his role in the plot, Landa first demands and receives full immunity for his war crimes, a house on Nantucket Island, a Colonel's military pension, public recognition as an agent working with the American Office of Strategic Services and to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Even so, Landa is punished for his actions by Lt. Aldo Raine, who carves a swastika into his forehead with a Bowie knife, ironically marking the apolitical careerist as a Nazi for life.
- Tarantino called Hans Landa "one of the greatest characters I have ever written, and one of the greatest characters that I will ever write."
- He also said that Landa was "the only nazi that could speak a perfect yiddish".