James M's review of Inside Hitler's Bunker & Der Untergang (book/movie review)

Welcome back, friends. This time we are diving... into history, traveling back to the final months of a dark time in our world's history. We're turning back the clock to 1945 as World War II in Europe was ending in chaos. 

This is my review of Inside Hitler's Bunker by Joachim Fest, which details the final days of the Third Reich as the Soviet army besieged the German city of Berlin.  Plus the movie that was based on it along with many other accounts by those who knew the infamous Adolf Hitler.

We got INSIDE HITLER'S BUNKER back in 2015 and read the entire book from start to finish with me taking down notes as I went.  it detailed everything that  happened during those chaotic final weeks as the Soviets took Berlin and as Hitler met his fate down in that bunker with his close allies. It covers the start of the Battle of Berlin a couple days before Hitler's birthday, then talks about what happened during the last ten days from his birthday up to his death with Eva Braun.

Joachim Fest took his time writing this book and letting us know it is important to learn history in order to avoid repeating it. We all heard the tales many times. The tales of how Hitler met his end and where he was when he died. While what happened down in the Fuerherbunker was NEVER seen on camera, he made one last public appearance that was caught on camera; his birthday and a single photo of him taken outside the bunker before his death.

Nothing is left out and ignored. All the events that unfolded above the bunker in Berlin and everything that everyone around Hitler did is very explicitly addressed.

The final days of the war cannot and must not be ignored.  War is hell as the saying goes and the chaos engulfing Berlin is very-well described. This is a very informative book if you are curious about the final days of the Nazi regime and those final hours in the life of history's most infamous dictator who's legacy has haunted us for decades.

Joachim is an incredible historian and author. His work is a must read for historians. I actually wrote a report on INSIDE HITLER'S BUNKER for school in the weeks after we read it. The report is tucked away somewhere in a binder full of school-related reports I've done over the years.

INSIDE HITLER'S BUNKER gets a ten out of ten. It's well-written and was fun to read. So, what about the movie which was somewhat based on this book? Well, I'll tell you.

Released in 2004 and ONLY done in German, Der Untergang stars the late Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler. It is told from the perspective of Traudl Junge and many others and depicts the Battle of Berlin, the events unfolding above and within the bunker during the final days of Hitler's life. It is a very well done war movie.  I've seen it four times so far and will most likely watch it again.  

If you wish to see it, go ahead. But just a warning before you do, DOWNFALL (which is what DER UNTERGANG is also called) is R-rated. It is violent and very scary.   Well,  what would you expect, since it's about the events in Berlin in 1945. This film was well-received and very successful. 

it has also spawned quite a few internet memes. How you ask?

Adolf Hitler has become an internet meme thanks to this German-speaking movie. If it weren't for DOWNFALL, we wouldn't have the Hitler Rant Parodies going on right now. Der Untergang parodies are everywhere, everywhere I say. And its thanks to the movie we got SONIC'S SPACE ADVENTURES AGAINST HITLER by AVIDSONICFAN (which I reviewed ages ago).

Der Untergang and the book that inspired it are both good, well put-together and everyone should give them a shot. Just be forewarned, the content is disturbing. DER UNTERGANG and DOWNFALL gets a ten out of ten. 

Now, I say farewell to you all as we return to the modern day and prepare to take our minds off the war and any other dark history events. Stay safe in the world as long as you don't stumble into a time machine that will take you back to any dangerous times, times such as WWII during any point in the conflict.

See you later!

-James M

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