Sunday, November 19, 2017

Der Untergang (Downfall 2004)

I posted this as a follow-up to the spoof of Hitler doing "Thunderstruck" that I had put up Saturday. I am sure most of us have seen our share of similar parodies set to that famous movie clip, but I was wondering how many have actually watched the entire movie. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys history and particularly to anyone who has a love of WW2 history/European Theater of Operations. The film is well made and very authentic (architecture, uniforms, events, etc.). I know it is available in the original German version, subtitled English and English speaking versions. I first saw the movie within a week of finishing Hugh Trevor-Roper's 1947 book The Last Days of Hitler. It is a fantastic book and is based on accounts and interviews from some of the people who were present during the last days of madness inside the "fuhrerbunker". Trevo-Roper was a British intelligence officer who was tasked with detailing the last days of Hitler, thus the title implies.  Though this site doesn't list the book as being part of the basis for the movie, I have read where it was as well as several other books which were too (Trevor-Roper's book could have been the actual screenplay).  Another of the books is Soldat: Memoirs of a German Soldier 1936-1949 by Siegfried Knappe. Knappe ended the war as part of General Helmuth Weidling's staff helping to defend Berlin from the Russians. The last two weeks of the war Knappe, who was a Major, reported daily to the "fuhrerbunker" and in person to Hitler giving a daily situational briefing of the the goings on in and around Berlin. In 2005 I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Mr. Knappe at length on this subject. It was fascinating listening to someone who actually had been a part of that period in history. One of the interesting facts he told me was how he was asked to surrender his sidearm the first few times he was to meet with Hitler. Then, as things became more chaotic, he was ushered right inside the bunker without having to check his pistol. He also told me in the last few days, he actually thought of killing Hitler but didn't see how it would change things very much, it would have been suicidal for him,  and he knew Berlin couldn't hold much longer and the war would end. So, he decided against it. That portion of Mr. Knappe's book and the part that describes his time in Soviet captivity was the most interesting parts for me. Anyhow, back to the movie I would say if anyone has not seen Downfall, it is worth the time.


  1. You know, there were some men with back bones of steel back then. Truly bravest band of heroes I have ever known.

    1. There were many brave men who never had their story told from that time on all sides who "did the right thing". I haven't given up on America today. I still see heroes everyday from all walks of life (i.e. _the Texican who grabbed his rile along with the passerby who he flagged down and assited him in stopping the deranged church shooter less than two weeks ago).

  2. Hey Jeffrey;

    I have his book and it is a damm good book. I got the impression that he wrote another book also but I may be mistaken about the prewar Army.

  3. Are you referring to Trevor-Roper or Knappe MrGarabaldi?

  4. He may have written others, but am not certain. The book I was referring too was a little boring starting off, but it got real good fast. Meeting Mr. Knappe in person was the icing on the cake. I should have taken my copy of his book and had it autographed, but I did not.


Leave us a comment if you like...