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This is the character sheet for the German WW 2 movie Downfall. The movie has become famous in the internetland for the long living YouTube Meme (which now has its own character page) it has given birth to. Tropes listed here are related to the original movie.


Downfall

Hitler’s inner circle

Adolf Hitler (Bruno Ganz)

Eva Braun (Juliane Köhler)

Magda Goebbels (Corinna Harfouch)

Joseph Goebbels (Ulrich Matthes)

The Goebbels Children

Albert Speer (Heino Ferch)

  • Anti-Villain: Mostly Type I. Arguably Type II.
  • Defector From Decadence: While he considers himself to remain Hitler’s true friend, he admits to him disobeying his orders because he found them lunatic and inhuman.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: After his confession, Hitler refuses to say farewell to him, to shake his hand or even to look him in the eyes. When Speer leaves the room, Hitler is shown shedding Manly Tears. However, he doesn’t have him executed and lets him go.
  • Nice Guy
  • Only Sane Man
  • Token Good Teammate: Unlike most of the turncoats who abandon Hitler to save their own skin, Speer disobeys his orders out of wish to save civilian lives and to give Germany a future after the war.


Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler (Ulrich Noethen)

  • Affably Evil
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Unlike Speer, he attempts to jump ships out of selfish interests. When Hitler learns about it, his reaction is much more severe and he wants Himmler dead.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He believes the Allies want to keep the former Nazi regime in power to prevent the Communists from taking over. It escapes him that after all the horrendous crimes they've committed, any human of normal moral code wouldn't consider co-operating with them for a split second.
  • The Quisling: Tries to become this to the Allies. They’ll have none of it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here
  • The Starscream
  • Turncoat

SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein (Thomas Kretschmann)

  • Ambition Is Evil: Not interested in the Nazi ideology or serving his country, but advancing his own position. Fegelein was deeply disliked by many both in Real Life (Speer described him as one of the most disgusting men in Hitler’s circle) and to some extend in the movie (Burgdorf calls him a careerist at his face.)
  • Anti-Villain: Type I or II. A Nazi, an opportunist, a deserter… and a young man who just wants to live, unlike his lunatic fellow men determined to die for a crazy ideology.
  • Disappeared Dad: He becomes this to his yet unborn daughter.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Upon realizing he’s about to be executed, he buttons up his jacket and salutes Hitler.
  • Gold Digger: The real Fegelein married Gretl Braun only to get closer to Hitler (Gretl was Eva Braun’s sister.) His relationship with his wife is left undiscussed in the movie, as she is never seen. However, he is shown to really be fond of at least Eva.
  • Handsome Lech: “The playboy of the Third Reich”.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: This isn't the first time Thomas Kretschmann has played a Nazi. You may also recognize him from Resident Evil Apocalypse as Timothy Cain.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The real Hermann Fegelein didn't become Heinrich Himmler's adjutant for being a nice person. Among his real-life war crimes were the deaths of 17,000 Soviet Jews in Byelorussia.
  • I Have a Family: Not spoken by him, but by Eva on his behalf while she begs Hitler to save his life. It doesn’t work.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has shades of this.
  • Only in It For the Money: Or for a career. Interestingly both he and Magda Goebbels arranged themselves into a political marriage to get closer to Hitler. Only Magda did for passionate loyalty for National Socialism, while Fegelein simply climbs the ladders of the party that happens to in power.
  • Only Sane Man: Takes no part in Hitler’s delusions, nor has any interest in dying for Nazism. He also tries to convince others to come to their senses, with little success.
  • Pet the Dog: He’s honestly concerned about Eva’s safety, and begs her to escape Berlin with him. He also implores Hitler's secretaries to flee Berlin because the war is already lost, but they refuse to believe him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Attempts it. It doesn't end well.
  • Tragic Villain: He knows that the Nazis are going to lose the war in a matter of days and wants to get away from their messy demise, but his Nazi comrades, and Hitler, make things difficult for him to leave.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Being married doesn’t stop him from being found in a prostitute’s bed.

The bunker staff

Traudl Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara)

SS-Sturmbannführer Otto Günsche (Gotz Otto)

  • Battle Butler: By the definition of being an adjutant, i.e. a soldier servant to a superior officer, in his case to Hitler.
  • Nice Guy: Generally friendly and helpful, especially to Traudl and Gerda.
  • One Head Taller: Compared to everybody else, but especially Hitler.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Isn’t shown to be Ax Crazy or a passionate Nazi like many of the other bunker inhabitants. In Real Life too he was never found to be guilty of war crimes, even though he had fought on the front lines.
  • The Quiet One
  • The Reliable One: Doesn’t stand out much, but is often present, silently waiting for orders in the backround, and in the end is trusted with the important task of destroying Hitler’s body after his suicide.
  • The Stoic
  • Undying Loyalty: Among those who stay with Hitler till the end. Near the end he joins in the Mohnke's group of survivors, and when the group votes for what to do Günsche is among those who vote for dying before dishonor. Yet when the surrender is declared he declines from committing suicide.

Hans Krebs, Chief of the Army General Staff (Rolf Kanies)

Chief adjutant Wilhelm Burgdorf (Justus von Dohnányi)

Generaloberst Alfred Jodl (Christian Redl)

 "You are a soldier! You have sworn loyalty to the Führer!"

  • Undying Loyalty: Despite arguing with Hitler, he refuses to consider abandoning him.

Battle for Berlin

Standartenführer Ernst-Günther Schenck (Christian Berkel)

 Hewel: "Why do you want so much to live?"

Schenck: "Why do you want so much to die?"

General Helmuth Weidling (Michael Mendl)

SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke (André Hennicke)

  • Badass Baritone: Perhaps not quite baritone, but distinctively soft and pleasant anyway.
  • Fan Nickname: "Bonkers" - Due to the difficulty English-speaking viewers sometimes have in pronouncing his name, many fansubs have taken to calling him "General Bonkers", because "Mohnke" sounds somewhat close to this. The in-universe fan-joke is that Hitler is the kind of annoying boss who invents demeaning pet names for his subordinates, but Mohnke is too afraid of Hitler to correct him. Other joke fansubs straight-up say that "Bonkers" is his actual name.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: As with Schenck, some critics accuse the film of portraying him in too heroic light while forgetting his alleged war crimes; again the director answers he doesn't believe in the accusations.
  • Only Sane Man: Of the same kind as Weidling. In the end, when many others commit suicide, he leads the surviving bunker members to attempt to break through the encircling Soviet troops.
  • Punch Clock Villain
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Goebbels keeps sending him unarmed Child Soldiers, he tries to stop it.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Is against using the Volksturm volunteers for this reason.
  • The Stoic: The most stoic of them all. Doesn't as much as flinch when Goebbels shouts at his face he doesn't care about the dying Child Soldiers.
  • Undying Loyalty: Played with. During the movie he plays the role of a Only Sane Man who's concerned about saving lives from the Senseless Sacrifice that the Battle for Berlin is. Near the end he leads a group of survivors, who argue about what to do. A vote is called, and Mohnke votes for dying. Yet when the surrender is announced, he doesn't commit suicide.


Peter Kranz (Donevan Gunia)

Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (Mathias Gnädinger)

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