Adolf Hitler, magnificently acted by Bruno Ganz in the German film Downfall (2004), is half-educated and hot-tempered, a sane psychopath clearly unhappy over abysmal failure. His is not the only suicide in this scorching chronicle. The Third Reich falling to pieces, as Russian soldiers pour in, becomes a charnel house of self-killing. The non-suicidal are often wounded. Many long to survive.

Two things about Oliver Hirschberger‘s movie must be said, and at least one of them already has been, viz. it lets the German people off the hook for tolerance of antisemitism, etc. The other thing is that it humanizes people who were human beings—blind ones, alas. These folks include Traudl Junge, Gerda Christian, Alfred Jodl, Albert Speer, and the unhinged devil at the top of the heap. All the same, they were not victims. Their suffering does not match that of Jewish men, women and children in the death camps.

(In German with English subtitles)