Despite the usual number of goofs and some controversy about its historical accuracy, the 2004 German film Downfall (Der Untergang) is generally acknowledged to contain many authentic parts. Various details are obviously based on original footage and photographs, for example Hitler’s accent (in normal conversation, he did not speak with a staccato and did not roll the r like he did in mass rallies), the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, Hitler Youth members being decorated, the Katyusha (Stalinorgel) sound, and men scavenging a dead horse. Several notable quotations are taken from reports of contemporary witnesses, in particular from Traudl Junge’s memoir Until the Final Hour (Bis zur letzten Stunde).

However, I could not find any original source for the famous scene of the briefing in the map room on 22 April 1945. It is a climactic scene for the movie and is also well known as the inspiration for many internet video parodies. In this scene, it becomes undeniable that the expected relief attack of Steiner’s army detachment cannot be implemented. Hitler falls into a tearful rage and declares that the war is lost.

The incident of April 22 is mentioned in several texts, but surprisingly, the important eyewitnesses for many events shown in the movie (for example, Traudl Junge or Rochus Misch) did not actually witness this briefing. Admittedly, only a few men (some of which did not survive the war) were in the map room during the entire briefing; however, all those who had gathered at the door to the map room and in the corridors should have been able to give an account of this scene. Nevertheless, all descriptions that I have found are based on hearsay (for example, Joachim Fest’s interview with Albert Speer, who arrived in Berlin on 23 April).

That leaves me with the question of how authentic this scene really is. What was the original source that was used as the reference?

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    According to IMDB, the film was based on "Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich" by Joachim Fest, "Until the Final Hour" by Traudl Junge, "Hitler's Last Days: An Eye-Witness Account" by Gerhardt Boldt, "Inside the Third Reich" by Albert Speer and "Soldat: Reflections of a German Soldier" by Siegfried Knappe. Having a look through those might give some insight into the final scene.
    – user7812
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 19:14

2 Answers 2


A bit of research (in both English and German) turned up little solid evidence either way.

An answer on another forum concludes that the scene is definitely accurate about Hitler's general temper and manner of speaking to his military commanders, but it is unknown whether this particular scene happened this way.

This general assessment can be found numerous times and appears to be well supported. In general terms, Hitler did act in this manner and did believe in that ludicrous Steiner attack saving him and was enraged when Steiner refused.

As little as this is, it points towards the movie having created a scene that plausibly could have happened like this given what we know, but there appears to be no evidence that it actually did happen in exactly this way.


Short Answer about 50% imo and why i give that number you will see below,1,we will never know for a Fact,2,more drama for the big screen...i explain in full below

  1. we will never really know, (for a fact) Everyone that was in that bunker in toughs last few days,and of the day you speak of the 22/4/1945 and now ,the 20th of July 2019 they are all dead..Every single person the last to die was in 2001.
  2. Yes in reports he was Irate and shouting,but this is coming from the USSR back in the day...and 95% of people who gave statements they were found in the bunker by the Red's Soviets! were under duress and they ALL bar 2 retracted there statements.
  3. It was done more so for movies sake..Art of the scene and so on if you get me.
  4. The 2 girl's at the time you see outside the door,moved to west Germany a year or so later and gave a REAL first hand different account on what really happened that day.

So in my opinion I'd say yes he was under massive stress that the USSR was less than a mile away..we would have been Irate but i think they went over the top..and i agree i do not like how may meme's were made even tho they were funny lol..if they knew the true nature of war it is no joke what went on in that bunker and the order's he gave to his Generals to die where they stood,which is a fact..you do know a lot about the matter as do I, but in short to your question its about 50/50 partly real and partly for the big screen

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    This is barely legible, and mostly conjecture. What points are you referring to? Who is 'he'? Where is the source for these claims? Why "50%"?
    – Joachim
    Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 12:26

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