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Quotes for
General Burgdorf (Character)
from Downfall (2004)

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Downfall (2004)
Adolf Hitler: That was an order! Steiner's assault was an order! Who do you think you are to dare disobey an order I give? So this is what it has come to! The military has been lying to me. Everybody has been lying to me, even the SS! Our generals are just a bunch of contemptible, disloyal cowards.
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: I can't permit you to insult the soldiers.
Adolf Hitler: They are cowards, traitors and failures!
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: My fuhrer, this is outrageous!
Adolf Hitler: Our generals are the scum of the German people! Not a shred of honour! They call themselves generals. Years at military academy just to learn how to hold a knife and fork! For years, the military has hindered my plans! They've put every kind of obstacle in my way! What I should have done... was liquidate all the high-ranking officers, as Stalin did!

Martin Bormann: [at Hitler's birthday reception] Himmler is such a pompous clown.
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: Big shots. Big shots everywhere. It makes me sick.

Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel: The Führer has lost all sense of reality.
Generaloberst Alfred Jodl: He moves divisions that only exist on his map. Steiner's scattered unit can hardly defend itself and yet, Steiner is ordered to attack! It's pure madness!
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: Then why don't you tell him yourself?
Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel: He won't listen to reason. You should know that.
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: Something must be done.
Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel: Are you insane? We'll be thrown out like Rundstedt and Guderian!
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: Yes, and?
Generaloberst Alfred Jodl: [glares at Fegelein] We are soldiers! We pledged our allegiance to the Führer!
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: So that means we are no longer allowed to think?
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: All this coming from you? An opportunist? A ruthless careerist?
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: Pardon?
[Burgdorf takes a swig of alcohol]

General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: [after Hitler realizes that the war is lost and goes to his room] What now?
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: It's time to end this spectacle.
Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel: [Shocked] What do you mean? Just stop fighting? That's unthinkable! The Führer said we will not surrender. We will not repeat November 1918! Never!
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: You all heard him. He's no longer leading us. 'Do whatever you want.' That's what he said.
Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel: There is no one who will replace him! The Führer is the Führer!
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs: [to the others] The Führer is just confused. He will pull through.
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: Oh, great! And what will happen afterwards?
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs: [pause] We cannot surrender for the Führer would never approve. We swore to obey his will!
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: Nothing but empty phrases! We must act NOW! Before it's all too late!
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: You just want to save your skin!
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein: [to Burgdorf] Mind your words.
[the Generals storm off]

Adolf Hitler: Burgdorf, what's going on? Where's the firing coming from?
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: First of all, Happy Birthday, my Führer. My Führer, the city of Berlin is under artillery fire; grenades have hit near the Brandenburg gate, Reichstag, and the Friedrichstrasse station.
Adolf Hitler: Where is the firing coming from?
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: My Führer, we don't know, but I'm talking with Koller.
Adolf Hitler: Koller! Let me speak to Koller.
[takes phone]
Adolf Hitler: Koller. Do you know that Berlin is under artillery fire?
General der Flieger Karl Koller: No.
Adolf Hitler: Can't you hear the shooting?
General der Flieger Karl Koller: No, I'm in Wildpark Werder.
Adolf Hitler: The city is chaotic. The Russians have captured a railway bridge over the Oder.
General der Flieger Karl Koller: The enemy has no railway artillery in the Oder.
[takes paper from soldier]
General der Flieger Karl Koller: It's not long-ranged artillery; the divisional headquarters of the Flak and Zoo-Bunker report that the shells are ten to twelve calibers. The Russians went into position in Marzahn.
Adolf Hitler: That's only twelve miles from the city center. Are the Russians really this close? The Lufwaffe leadership must be hanged immediately!
[hangs up]
Adolf Hitler: This is outrageous. Outrageous! The Russians are twelve miles from the city center, and nobody told me anything. I had to ask.
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs: My Führer, it's probably long-range artillery, after all. You mentioned a railway bridge over the Oder.
Adolf Hitler: Nonsense.

Joseph Goebbels: Surrender? Never! This is outrageous! I've conquered Berlin against the Reds several years ago, and will defend the city to the last breath against them! The few hours that I've yet to live as German Chancellor, I will not use them to put my signature on a document of surrender!
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling: We must protect the civilian population!
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs: The Führer's order is final!
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: No matter what happens, we will protect to the end!
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs: We cannot give up!
[Fritzsche steps out to Rochus Misch]
Walter Hewel: We have to start negotiations!
Joseph Goebbels: I repeat: I will never sign to a surrender!
[Burgdorf follows Fritzsche]
Hans Fritzsche: I need you to send a telegraph to Marshal Zhukov immediately.
Rochus Misch: Marshal Zhukov?
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: What's going on here?
Hans Fritzsche: This is madness. We have to give the city to the Russians.
[Burgdorf pulls out a gun]
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: Then I have to shoot you. The Führer commands to prohibit any surrender!
[Wielding grabs Burgdorf's arm as the latter shoots]

Adolf Hitler: You see, gentlemen? I'll be proved right. Wenck will come.
[leaves generals]
Adolf Hitler: Wenck will come.
[passes by guards who salute to him]
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling: I want to immediately know if it's possible for Wenck to attack or not.
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs: It's unlikely that Wenck's small force can attack the Red Army...
Joseph Goebbels: [interrupts Krebs] How dare you say it's unlikely?
General der Infanterie Hans Krebs: Wenck has nothing to confront the Red Army!
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling: Why don't you tell the Führer? Have you all gone crazy?
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: The Führer knows it himself, but he will never surrender, and we won't either! I went through that before, and once is enough!
General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling: Come on, I have to get out of here.
[leaves with Mohnke]

Adolf Hitler: General von Greim, I appoint you to Commander in Chief of the Air Force and General Field Marshal. A large responsibility rests on your shoulders. You must shake up the entire air force. Many mistakes have been made, so be ruthless. Life never forgives weakness. This so called humanity... is just priests' drivel. Compassion is a primal sin. Compassion for the weak is a betrayal of nature.
Joseph Goebbels: The strongest can only be victorious by eradicating the weak.
Adolf Hitler: I have always obeyed this law of nature by never permitting myself to feel compassion. I have ruthlessly suppressed domestic opposition and brutally crushed the resistance of alien races. It's the only way to deal with it.
[Linge enters with a folder in hand]
Adolf Hitler: Apes, for example, trample every outsider to death. What goes for apes goes even more for human beings.
[Hitler reads the folder]
Adolf Hitler: Himmler, in Lübeck, has made an offer to surrender to the western powers through Count Bernadotte... according to a report by English radio.
[finishes reading]
Adolf Hitler: Himmler... Of all people, Himmler! The truest of the true... This is the worst betrayal of all! Göring, yeah; he was always corrupt, of course. Speer, yeah: an idealistic, unpredictable artist. All the others, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!
[puts folder down]
Adolf Hitler: But not Himmler. Has he gone crazy?
[stands up]
Adolf Hitler: He claimed authority by saying I was sick, perhaps already dead!
[pause]
Adolf Hitler: Please leave me alone with Lord von Greim and Frau Reitsch.
[Everyone except the following stands up]
Adolf Hitler: Oh, and bring me Fegelein.
Heinz Linge, Kammerdiener: My Führer, we don't know where he is.
Adolf Hitler: But he's Himmler's adjutant. He must be here.
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Burgdorf: We haven't seen him for days.
Adolf Hitler: I want his report at once!
[Everyone leaves, and Goebbels is about to step out]
Adolf Hitler: Please stay, Doctor.


The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)
Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel: You've been uncommonly fortunate, I see, in deathbed confessions.
Gen. Wilhelm Burgdorf: It's all perfectly legal, I assure you, sir.