I finally watched Downfall. That’s the movie about the last days of the Third Reich, a couple of scenes from which form the basis for all those Internet Memes where Hitler is talking about how much meat there is in a meal from Taco Bell. It is actually quite a good movie. If you were worried that you might end up being sympathetic with the poor Nazis hiding out in their bunker as the
“Russian Army” approaches, with constant shelling in the background, don’t worry. The script has them mention little tidbits like the Holocaust and such often enough that you are reminded to continue to hate most of them. Well, there’s a couple that were sort of just doing their job, and then there are the children. That was pretty gruesome.
I have no idea how accurate the movie is at the level of fine detail. If it is accurate, I have to say that Herr and Frau Goebbels were real jerks, and I’m not sure which one was more of a psychopath. I also wonder what would have happened if the American and British armies were bearing down on Berlin instead of the Soviet army. With the Soviets, it was personal, some of the leaders in Hitler’s government having initially cut their teeth on killing off socialists.
I remembered while watching the film that I know someone who met Albert Speer. Two people actually. I had the vaguest acquaintance with a professor at Harvard, but I mostly knew his son, who worked for me for a while, and also, ended up marrying (for a short time) my closest friend. The dad (the professor) had some academic reason to interview Speer. He was a linguist. This was probably after Speer was released from prison and was living in England. My friend was a little kid when this meeting took place; he got to go with Dad to work, and work was visiting with this famous Nazi.
Anyway, back to the film. One of the things you almost certainly know going into it is that many of the officers, as well as Hitler and his girlfriend Eva, kill themselves. So there is a lot of that. German officers making sentences and punctuating them with shots to their own heads.
“I will not surrender. Bang” … “I am not going out there again. Bang”
… and so on and so forth.
Then there is this great moment that happens. Hitler and Eva decide to get married. So their sitting at a table. The guy doing the marriage ceremony is sitting at the opposite side of the table. And, he’s starting out with the official, required Third Reich marriage ceremony.
He asks if both parties are true Aryans, and if they can certify that there is no Jewish ancestry. He gets dirty looks. He asks for ID. Someone says “This is the Fuhrer sitting here.” He gets on with the ceremony.
Heil LOL Hitler.
Here’s one of the better Downfall Memes:
Photograph of the top of Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin by KatieJean97