German soldiers gathered in a plaza is a scene in Downfall that is rarely used in parodies.
After breaking through the Berlin front, the main remaining figures from the Führerbunker led by Wilhelm Mohnke arrive at the ruined outskirts of the city nearing their end of the journey, passing dead soldiers and German civilians some of whom offering them what little bread and water they have.
Upon arrival at the plaza, Mohnke is saluted and tells Ernst-Günther Schenck to stay with the women, Traudl Junge and Gerda Christian as the rest of his unit, in particular, Otto Günsche and Walther Hewel, advance forward. Traudl takes a look at the German soldiers still armed in defiance of the surrender.
While resting, Gerda tells Traudl that she can't go on as she is too tired. Traudl assures that she can move forward as they have already come this far. Gerda refuses.
Mohnke tells Günsche to go lookout for the Soviets. Coming to Schenck, Traudl, and Gerda and tells them that the Soviets have surrounded the place. Traudl asks what's next, Mohnke suggests the women can try to get through. Gerda refuses. Schenck tells her to reconsider as the Russians are after all Reich officials and since they're women they have a greater chance. Schenck shakes their hands and wishes them good luck.
Mohnke advises them when walking past the Russians to not look directly at them in the eyes and wishes them well with a salute. Mohnke and Schenck depart.
Günsche is then seen by a window on an upper level of the building where the party is camped in, scouting for the Soviets over the smoke-filled horizon. He sees the Soviets through his binoculars.
Back at the plaza, the Russian soldiers arrive. The Germans soldiers one by one get up. Tensions remain high as there is an expectation of a shootout. Traudl sees Russian soldiers all around. Anxiously wanting to leave tells Gerda to. She, however, refuses, stating she's exhausted. Traudl, on the other hand, says she has to try and asks her not to be mad. Gerda shakes her head and the two hug for the last time whilst shedding tears. Gerda assures that everything will be alright. Gerda disappears into the crowd.
In the building's ground floor, Stehr, approaches Schenck, saying that his comrades want to surrender and asks to join his party since they haven't. Schenck tells him that the Fuhrer is dead and if he wants to continue the war on his own. Stehr remains unfazed as he is obligated by his oath as a member of the SS. Schenck says then he must go Mohnke to whom he salutes and goes with. The group then finds a place to stay as they wait what to do next.
Back at the plaza, Traudl is worried about going it alone as German soldiers surrender destroying their weapons leading into the next scene.
In Downfall Parodies
- This is the last appearance of Gerda Christian.
- Depending on which version of the film, the scene is presented in a different order.
- The group arriving at the plaza, Schenck finding a place for the women to sit, Mohnke coming to them to deliver the news, the Russians arriving, Traudl telling Gerda to come who refuses, Stehr's conversation with Schenck, the German soldiers destroying their weapons, then the next scene.
- The full version of the scene shows after the group arrives and Schenck is ordered by Mohnke to look after the women, Schenck finding a place for the women to sit, Traudl encouraging Gerda to move forward, Mohnke coming to them after ordering Günsche to look out for the Soviets and telling them on how they should move past the Soviets. Then Stehr talking to Schenck, the group finding a place to rest in the building, the Russians arriving at the plaza, Günsche looking through the binoculars, Traudl turning around seeing the Russians all around, telling Gerda to come who still refuses, the German soldiers destroying their weapons, then the next scene.