Der Untergang (Downfall) — the Last Days of Hitler and His Regime

I just got back from seeing a really brilliant new film, Der Untergang (Downfall; German with English subtitles). It was an outstanding portrayal of the last days of the Third Reich; in addition to Bruno Ganz’s excellent portrayal of Hitler, a noteworthy element of the film was the portrayal of the idealistic pursuit of evil, especially in the form of the behavior of Joseph and Magda Goebbels. As Goebbels is reported to have remarked elsewhere (and I cannot at the moment verify the remark; so unless you can find a really reliable source, please don’t repeat this….but it does certainly ring true from Goebbels’s other statements), “If the day should ever come when we [the Nazis] must go, if some day we are compelled to leave the scene of history, we will slam the door so hard that the universe will shake and mankind will stand back in stupefaction.” What evil. And how very well portrayed in this film. Watch it….but don’t plan on doing anything light or fun afterward.

9 Responses to “Der Untergang (Downfall) — the Last Days of Hitler and His Regime”

  1. Dr. Palmer,

    I’d like to use the opportunity to recommend a truly amazing movie to you and everyone else that will read this.

    It is Lukas Moodysson’s film called “Lilya 4-ever”. If you haven’t seen it already, I suggest that you try to find it and see it. It is one of those movies that leaves you stunned and speachless. And you also shouldn’t plan anything light and fun after this movie as it is one of the saddest and the most disturbing movies I have ever seen. But, it deals with an important topic (human trafficking, poverty in post-communist Russia) and is an absolut “must see”.

    Here is the link for the good review:,4267,942882,00.html

    Best regards,

  2. Anders Monsen


    Thanks for the link to Moodysson’s new film. I saw Show Me Love a few years ago; he’s an excellent director. The review from The Guardian certainly brings to mind Dirty Pretty Things, another superb movie. Since Tom brought up a movie set in Nazi Germany, here’s an on topic link to a brief article on The White Rose, a forthcoming movie about “a group of dissident German college students known as the White Rose. Headed by siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, the group distributed leaflets that challenged the government’s war claims and attempted to awaken their fellow Germans to the atrocious realities of what Nazism meant.”


  3. Pew Mockwell

    Why you so focused on demonizing the Nazis, eh neocon??? Why don’t you focus on what a baddie FDR and the evil US was. Who invaded GermanY???? Who killioned thousands of innocents?? Everyone knows the genocide would have been over without all the statism of FDR. You neocons make me sick. True libertarians will fly the nazi flag proudly.

  4. Tom G. Palmer

    A quick moment of internet access again. (I’m not in D.C., which makes finding internet access a bit challenging.) Thanks for the links above.

    I strongly encourage people to see the film, which is remarkably well done. The complete abasement of the followers of National Socialism was quite well represented, as was the idealism of evil that that movement represented. One remarkable element of that evil is the way in which Magda Goebbels kills her children, on the grounds that she doesn’t want them to grow up in a world without National Socialism. (A few people have commented in emails that the film has been controversial for showing a “human side” to Hitler, but that is mainly showing that he was a human, not that he had any real good in him. It is unthinkable that anyone could watch the film and end up sympathetic or or with a positive evaluation of Hitler or of National Socialism.)

    I also managed to take in the play “Democracy,” about which I will write a short post soon. The play was excellent.