Downfall (2004) Poster


Bruno Ganz: Adolf Hitler



  • Adolf Hitler : That was an order! Steiner's assault was an order! Who do you think you are to dare disobey an order I give? So this is what it has come to! The military has been lying to me. Everybody has been lying to me, even the SS! Our generals are just a bunch of contemptible, disloyal cowards.

    General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf : I can't permit you to insult the soldiers.

    Adolf Hitler : They are cowards, traitors and failures!

    General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf : My fuhrer, this is outrageous!

    Adolf Hitler : Our generals are the scum of the German people! Not a shred of honour! They call themselves generals. Years at military academy just to learn how to hold a knife and fork! For years, the military has hindered my plans! They've put every kind of obstacle in my way! What I should have done... was liquidate all the high-ranking officers, as Stalin did!

  • Adolf Hitler : In a war as such there are no civilians.

  • Adolf Hitler : [Screaming after Steiner didn't attack after giving an order]  Traitors! I've been betrayed and deceived from the very beginning! What a monstrous betrayal of the German people, but all those traitors will pay. They'll pay with their own blood. They shall drown in their own blood!

  • Adolf Hitler : The war is lost... But if you think that I'll leave Berlin for that, you are sadly mistaken. I'd prefer to put a bullet in my head.

  • Adjutant SS-Hauptsturmführer Otto Günsche : He is not in the bunker.

    Adolf Hitler : What do you mean you can't find Fegelein? Keep searching for him! I want to see Fegelein at once! If he goes AWOL, that's desertion. Treason! Bring me Fegelein!

    [slams desk] 

    Adolf Hitler : Fegelein! Fegelein! Fegelein!

  • Adolf Hitler : I always make mistakes when I'm dictating.

  • Magda Goebbels : My Führer, I beg you to leave Berlin! My Führer, please. Don't leave us! What will become of us?

    Adolf Hitler : Tomorrow millions of people will curse me, but fate has taken its course.

  • Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel : Even at the risk of repeating myself, the Ninth army must be withdrawn, otherwise it is surrounded and wiped out! We must now...

    Adolf Hitler : The Ninth army will not retreat. Tell Busse to fight where he stands.

    Generaloberst Alfred Jodl : My Führer, then the Ninth army will be lost.

    Adolf Hitler : We will repel the Soviet troops advancing to the North and East, with a relentless and almighty assault.

    Generaloberst Alfred Jodl : With what force, my Führer?

    Adolf Hitler : Steiner's force will attack from the North and unite with the Ninth army.

    General der Infanterie Hans Krebs : The Ninth Army is unable to move North; the enemy army outnumbers us ten to one.

    Adolf Hitler : Wenck: he will support them with the Twelfth Army.

    Generaloberst Alfred Jodl : But my Führer, the Twelfth Army is heading west to the Elbe.

    Adolf Hitler : Then tell the army to turn around!

    Generaloberst Alfred Jodl : But we would expose the Western Front!

    Adolf Hitler : Are you questioning my orders? I believe I made myself clear!

  • Adolf Hitler : General von Greim, I appoint you to Commander in Chief of the Air Force and General Field Marshal. A large responsibility rests on your shoulders. You must shake up the entire air force. Many mistakes have been made, so be ruthless. Life never forgives weakness. This so called humanity... is just priests' drivel. Compassion is a primal sin. Compassion for the weak is a betrayal of nature.

    Joseph Goebbels : The strongest can only be victorious by eradicating the weak.

    Adolf Hitler : I have always obeyed this law of nature by never permitting myself to feel compassion. I have ruthlessly suppressed domestic opposition and brutally crushed the resistance of alien races. It's the only way to deal with it.

    [Linge enters with a folder in hand] 

    Adolf Hitler : Apes, for example, trample every outsider to death. What goes for apes goes even more for human beings.

    [Hitler reads the folder] 

    Adolf Hitler : Himmler, in Lübeck, has made an offer to surrender to the western powers through Count Bernadotte... according to a report by English radio.

    [finishes reading] 

    Adolf Hitler : Himmler... Of all people, Himmler! The truest of the true... This is the worst betrayal of all! Göring, yeah; he was always corrupt, of course. Speer, yeah: an idealistic, unpredictable artist. All the others, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

    [puts folder down] 

    Adolf Hitler : But not Himmler. Has he gone crazy?

    [stands up] 

    Adolf Hitler : He claimed authority by saying I was sick, perhaps already dead!


    Adolf Hitler : Please leave me alone with Lord von Greim and Frau Reitsch.

    [Everyone except the following stands up] 

    Adolf Hitler : Oh, and bring me Fegelein.

    Heinz Linge, Kammerdiener : My Führer, we don't know where he is.

    Adolf Hitler : But he's Himmler's adjutant. He must be here.

    General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf : We haven't seen him for days.

    Adolf Hitler : I want his report at once!

    [Everyone leaves, and Goebbels is about to step out] 

    Adolf Hitler : Please stay, Doctor.

  • General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling : My Führer, as a soldier I suggest we try to break through the encirclement. During the fight for Berlin we've already lost 15-20,000 of the younger officers.

    Adolf Hitler : But that's what young men are for.

  • Adolf Hitler : You see, gentlemen? I'll be proved right. Wenck will come.

    [leaves generals] 

    Adolf Hitler : Wenck will come.

    [passes by guards who salute to him] 

    General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling : I want to immediately know if it's possible for Wenck to attack or not.

    General der Infanterie Hans Krebs : It's unlikely that Wenck's small force can attack the Red Army...

    Joseph Goebbels : [interrupts Krebs]  How dare you say it's unlikely?

    General der Infanterie Hans Krebs : Wenck has nothing to confront the Red Army!

    General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling : Why don't you tell the Führer? Have you all gone crazy?

    General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf : The Führer knows it himself, but he will never surrender, and we won't either! I went through that before, and once is enough!

    General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling : Come on, I have to get out of here.

    [leaves with Mohnke] 

  • Adolf Hitler : [dictating to secretary]  My political statement. Since 1914, when I invested my modest strength in the First World War, which was forced upon the Reich, over 30 years have passed. In those 3 decades, all my thoughts, actions and my life were dictated by my love for and loyalty to the German people. Centuries will pass, but from the ruins of our cities and cultural monuments our hatred will be renewed for those who are responsible, the people to whom we owe all this: The international Jewry and its supporters.

  • Adolf Hitler : Burgdorf, what's going on? Where's the firing coming from?

    General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf : First of all, Happy Birthday, my Führer. My Führer, the city of Berlin is under artillery fire; grenades have hit near the Brandenburg gate, Reichstag, and the Friedrichstrasse station.

    Adolf Hitler : Where is the firing coming from?

    General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf : My Führer, we don't know, but I'm talking with Koller.

    Adolf Hitler : Koller! Let me speak to Koller.

    [takes phone] 

    Adolf Hitler : Koller. Do you know that Berlin is under artillery fire?

    General der Flieger Karl Koller : No.

    Adolf Hitler : Can't you hear the shooting?

    General der Flieger Karl Koller : No, I'm in Wildpark Werder.

    Adolf Hitler : The city is chaotic. The Russians have captured a railway bridge over the Oder.

    General der Flieger Karl Koller : The enemy has no railway artillery in the Oder.

    [takes paper from soldier] 

    General der Flieger Karl Koller : It's not long-ranged artillery; the divisional headquarters of the Flak and Zoo-Bunker report that the shells are ten to twelve calibers. The Russians went into position in Marzahn.

    Adolf Hitler : That's only twelve miles from the city center. Are the Russians really this close? The Lufwaffe leadership must be hanged immediately!

    [hangs up] 

    Adolf Hitler : This is outrageous. Outrageous! The Russians are twelve miles from the city center, and nobody told me anything. I had to ask.

    General der Infanterie Hans Krebs : My Führer, it's probably long-range artillery, after all. You mentioned a railway bridge over the Oder.

    Adolf Hitler : Nonsense.

  • Martin Bormann : [reading folder in hand]  My Führer, following your decision to stay in Berlin, do I have your approval as Vice Chancellor to immediately take charge of the entire Reich with the necessary power and authority? If I receive no answer by 10 p.m., I will assume that you have been incapacitated. I will serve the well-being of our people and fatherland.

    [closes folder and puts it down] 

    Martin Bormann : He's betraying Germany... and you!

    Walter Hewel : Göring's concern isn't unjustified. If our communication system breaks down, which could happen at any time, we'd be cut off from the world; we could no longer pass on orders.

    Joseph Goebbels : I see it differently. Göring wants to seize power. I never trusted that mob he gathered at Obersalzberg; it stinks of a coup.

    Adolf Hitler : That failure. That sponger... A parvenu! A lazybones!

    [Albert Speer returns while Hitler rants offscreen] 

    Adolf Hitler : How dare he declare me unable to act? Tomorrow he might declare me dead!

    Albert Speer : Hello, Frau Junge.

    Traudl Junge : Herr Speer. How did you get into Berlin?

    Albert Speer : It wasn't easy, but I must speak with the Führer.

    Heinz Linge, Kammerdiener : I'd wait here if I were you.

    Adolf Hitler : The Luftwaffe... What did he do with it? That was reason enough to execute him! That morphine addict... helped to corrupt this country! And now this...

    [Hewel looks down in disappointment] 

    Adolf Hitler : He betrayed me of all people! Me of all people!


    Adolf Hitler : I want Göring to be deprived of power and removed from office. If I don't survive the war, that man is to be executed at once.

  • Adolf Hitler : [in a furious tirade upon hearing of Himmler's attempt to surrender]  Has he gone crazy?

  • General der Infanterie Hans Krebs : The enemy has broken through along a wide front. They've taken Zossen to the south, and are advancing to Stahnsdorf. They're now on the northern outskirts between Frohnau and Pankow. They've reached Lichtenberg, Mahlsdorf and Karlshorst to the east.

    Adolf Hitler : Steiner's assault will bring it under control.

    General der Infanterie Hans Krebs : My fuhrer, Steiner...

    Generaloberst Alfred Jodl : Steiner couldn't mobilize enough men. He was unable to carry out the assault.

    Adolf Hitler : [Removes glasses]  These men will stay here: Kietel, Jodl, Krebs and Burgdorf.

See also

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