The Downfall parody meme, the parodying of the movie Der Untergang, originated on September 3, 2005 with the upload of the earliest known Downfall parody, La Caida (La versión No Oficial) by pajarojuarez.
Many other sources (such as Know Your Meme), however, mistakenly credited "Sim Heil: Der Untersim" by DReaperF4 as being the first Downfall parody, uploaded six months later. Interesting to note is that the two parodies are originally in Spanish (Sim Heil was later released in English subtitles by popular demand).
Eventually the popularity of the meme spread after 2008, and hundreds of new Downfall videos were uploaded.
0n 20 March 2013 Swedish television program Kobra aired an episode on Hitler Parodies. It was the first publication to acknowledge the term Untergangers and featured Hitler Rants Parodies, putting the spotlight on the Untergangers instead of generic, one-timer parodists for the first time.
Around 2004 and 2005, as Downfall hits the public, searches on the movie and Hermann Fegelein top the graph. No other search terms are present, as the meme has yet to be born. Downfall all but disappeared from the search statistics by early 2006, suggesting the film has fallen out of interest in general public.
Beginning early 2007, Downfall came back to the search statistics, most probably from the publicity made by the first few parodies. Around December 2008, as the meme proliferates and picks up popularity, searches on "Hitler rants" began to show up, proving that parodies from the time were almost exclusively made using the Original Bunker Scene.
Around the end of 2009, searches on "Hitler Parodies" begin to appear, marking the possibility of the maturity of the meme, which eventually formed a unique franchise and universe. The rising search results on Fegelein strongly support this claim.
Searches on the parodies hit an all-time high on April 2010, just as Constantin Film begin to take down the parodies off YouTube, a perfect example of the Streisand Effect. In the meantime searches on Fegelein continues to rise, as this adjutant of Himmler became increasingly associated with and entwined into the parody universe.
Constantin Film clashes
Ever since the meme became popular, Constantin Films' policy towards the parodies changed over time, to the general dislike of the Unterganging community.
April 2010 Constantin Copyright Claims & Takedown of Parodies
In early April of 2010, using YouTube's ContentID, Constantin Films began removing Der Untergang parodies from YouTube. The production company disapproved of the parodies and decided to take down the Downfall videos. As a result of the takedowns, parodists uploaded new Hitler rants videos about Constantin's blocking of parodies.
July 2010 DMCA Takedowns
On July 28th, 2010 few months after the April 2010 takedowns, Constantin film continued its taking down of videos. Several Untergangers (Downfall parodists), had their videos blocked and others recieved strikes on their accounts. As a result, some Untergangers deleted every remaining parody in their channel to prevent their YouTube channels from being suspended. One Unterganger's channel was terminated because of copyright claims. Because of these events related to the takedowns, parodists that frequently uploaded videos either made back up channels, or began uploading their videos on alternative hosts such as Vimeo, Dailymotion and the now-defunct ParodyBox.
Constantin Ends The Blocking Of Videos
On October 2010, Constantin, instead of blocking videos, placed adverts on parodies instead. Downfall videos that were previously blocked, were back on YouTube. Many of these blocked videos were unflipped classic "Hitler finds out scene" videos. While previously blocked parodies such as "Hitler Gets Banned From Xbox Live" were unblocked, videos that parodists deleted because of the copyright takedowns were gone.
Constantin Begins to Block Parodies Again
As of the 20th February 2012, Constantin are again blocking Downfall parodies. Efforts to use traditional workarounds (such as mirroring) have failed to have any effect. The blocking appears to have subsided as of 23 February, as Untergangers such as Hitler Rants Parodies now managed to upload parodies without being blocked. Some had argued that this short round of blocks are due to glitches in YouTube's part and a bad case of trolling.
Beginning early 2013, Constantin is in yet another round of blocks, this time targeting parodies longer than 5-6 minutes. It is widely speculated that Constantin is targetting YouTubers that upload the film in parts, with the blocked parodies being collateral damage.
Other companies intervene
Recently in 2013, more German film companies, especially Beta Film GmbH, have been claiming Downfall parodies. Das Phoenix once tried to dispute a claim made by Beta Film GmbH on a parody but it was rejected.
- Main article: Downfall Parodies Timeline