Scene from the film in which Traudl Junge escapes the bunker after the death of Hitler

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Der Untergang

Der Untergang (2004; international English title Downfall) is a German film depicting the final days of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1945. The movie was written by Bernd Eichinger and directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. more...

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The film is based on the eponymous book by historian Joachim Fest about Hitler's final days, pieces of Albert Speer's memoirs, and the memories of Traudl Junge, secretary of Adolf Hitler; in addition, it loosely conveys events described in the memoirs of Siegfried Knappe.


Played by Bruno Ganz, Hitler is presented as he was in the last months of World War II: a sick, exhausted man still dreaming of a Greater Germany amid the ruins of war-ravaged Berlin. As the Red Army draws nearer and imminent defeat looms over the Third Reich Hitler is seen alone with his clique which consists of Joseph Goebbels (Ulrich Matthes), Albert Speer (Heino Ferch) and (briefly) SS leader Heinrich Himmler (Ulrich Noethen), along with his personal staff.

Most of the events are depicted from the perspective of Hitler's young personal secretary Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara). Events outside Hitler's bunker are mostly depicted from the perspective of SS doctor Ernst-Günther Schenck (Cristian Berkel). On the day before his death Hitler marries his longtime mistress Eva Braun (Juliane Köhler) and they commit suicide together on April 30, 1945, ten days after Hitler's 56th birthday.


  • Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler
  • Alexandra Maria Lara as Traudl Junge
  • Corinna Harfouch as Magda Goebbels
  • Ulrich Matthes as Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels
  • Juliane Köhler as Eva Braun
  • Heino Ferch as Albert Speer
  • Christian Berkel as Prof. Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck
  • Matthias Habich as Prof. Dr. Werner Haase
  • Thomas Kretschmann as SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
  • Michael Mendl as General Helmuth Weidling
  • André Hennicke as SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke
  • Ulrich Noethen as Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler
  • Birgit Minichmayr as Gerda Christian
  • Rolf Kanies as General Hans Krebs
  • Justus von Dohnanyi as General Wilhelm Burgdorf
  • Dieter Mann as Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel
  • Christian Redl as Generaloberst Alfred Jodl
  • Götz Otto as SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Günsche
  • Thomas Limpinsel as Heinz Linge
  • Thomas Thieme as Martin Bormann
  • Gerald Alexander Held as Walther Hewel
  • Donevan Gunia as Peter Kranz (a fictitious person)
  • Bettina Redlich as Constanze Manziarly
  • Heinrich Schmieder as Rochus Misch
  • Anna Thalbach as Hanna Reitsch
  • Dietrich Hollinderbäumer as Robert Ritter von Greim
  • Ulrike Krumbiegel as Dorothee Kranz (a fictitious person)
  • Karl Kranzkowski as Wilhelm Kranz (a fictitious person)
  • Thorsten Krohn as Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger
  • Jürgen Tonkel as SS-Sturmbannführer Erich Kempka
  • Devid Striesow as Feldwebel Heinz Tornow
  • Fabian Busch as Obersturmbannführer Stehr (a fictitious person)
  • Christian Hoening as SS-Reichsarzt Dr. Ernst-Robert Grawitz
  • Alexander Slastin as General Wassili Iwanowitsch Tschuikow


  • Aline Sokar, Amelie Menges, Charlotte Stoiber, Gregory Borlein, Julia Bauer, Laura Borlein as the children of Goebbels

Commentary and reaction

Der Untergang is a scrupulously-researched historical drama, based largely on historical detail left by the Nazis, first-hand accounts of the final days of the Third Reich in Berlin, and the personal testimony of the people who knew Hitler. With treatment of the Third Reich still a sensitive subject among many Germans even 60 years after World War II's end, the film broke one of the last remaining taboos by its depiction of Adolf Hitler in a central role by a German actor (as opposed to using actual film footage of Hitler).

The film neither glorifies Hitler and his inner circle, nor does it provide commentary on the crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime. Instead, the film is based on historical events, eyewitness accounts and the personal testimony of the people who knew Hitler.


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