Berlin, spring of 1945. Goebbels enters a room, where he is greeted by Goring and Bormann.
Goebbels: So, what are you getting HIM for his birthday?
Goring: I believe this year I topped you all, meine herren. A brand new, chrome-plated Mercedes-Benz, with 20 extra horsepower!
Goebbels: Good one, Goring. Good one. What about you, Bormann?
Bormann: Two tickets to the State Opera! Die Walkure!
Goebbels: Only TWO tickets? Who is HE supposed to take with him? You?
Goebbels: Always brown-nosing, Bormann. Always brown-nosing. No, meine herren, this year, none of you come close to my gift. Watch!
Goebbels reaches into his pocket and produces a small cylindrical machine. It has a dial and is topped with a crank.
Goring: What is it?
Goebbels: A highly experimental...
Bormann reaches for the machine. Goebbels quickly retracts his arm.
Goebbels: Look, but don't touch!
Goring: So what is it, Goebbels?
Goebbels: Tell me, Goring, what's 7,498 plus 18,546?
Goebbels: Now watch!
Goebbels spins the dial and turns the crank.
Goring: Astonishing! Amazing!
Bormann takes out a pen from his pocket and scribbles on a sheet of paper lying on a desk.
Bormann: Don't want to spoil your excitement, Goebbels, but I got 26,044.
Bormann hands Goebbels the paper with calculations.
Goebbels: That cannot be! Let's see here... Carry the one... No! NOOOO!
Goebbels tosses the machine against the wall. It shatters into pieces.
Goebbels: That... JEW!
Bormann: What Jew, Goebbels?
Goebbels: Some Austrian scientist we got working in one of our... camps. And I thought he'll have a working prototype ready for HIS birthday!
Bormann: I think the Jew is pulling your leg, Goebbels.
Goebbels: How so?
Bormann: He is purposely withholding a working prototype so you keep him alive.
Goebbels: You're over-thinking this, Bormann. No, obviously the Jew is not clever enough to do that...
Bormann: If you say so, Goebbels... If you say so. Now excuse me, I need to pick out a tuxedo for the opera.
Bormann exits the room. Goring shakes Goebbels' hand and also departs. Goebbels starts pacing.
Goebbels: What to get HIM, what to get HIM... Oh, and I thought this machine was such a perfect gift! Oh well... There will always be next year!
Curt Herzstark was liberated from Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, and created the working model of his hand-held calculator, the curta, by November.