Wilhelm Emanuel Burgdorf ([IPA: vɪlhɛlm bʊʁgdɔɐf]; 15 February 1895 – 2 May 1945) was a German officer. Born in Fürstenwalde, Burgdorf served as a commander and staff officer in the German Army during World War II.
Role in Downfall
As stated above, he was one of the officers who stayed along with Hitler inside the Bunker. The film depicts him as a temperamental person, having little patience for anyone who gets in his way, most especially Fegelein, even calling him a "ruthless careerist" in the movie. He is also shown to drink too much, and seems to be a good drunken singer though it was only in one scene.
In the Original Bunker Scene, Burgdorf claims that Hitler's ranting was outrageous, his only show of objection to the Führer. He is also extremely loyal to Hitler, as shown in the Goebbels Rants Scene, where he is threatening to shoot Fritzsche for trying to contact Marshal Zhukov and surrendering. Because of this, along with Hitler's suicide a day earlier, he and Krebs commit suicide after smoking cigarettes near the end of the film.
In the Parody Universe
Despite his drunkenness and bad temper, he does have a softer side, as he was involved in making a rather light-hearted propaganda video for the Hitler Youth. However, this was met with negative reaction from the Führer, who described the video as a "fucking disgrace".
A running gag in the parodies is how he drinks a lot, and shoots at Fritzsche for doing multiple things illegally. It was stated in this video that he became an alcoholic after he walked into Hitler's room and saw him naked.
His sexuality has always been under question as him and another general, Hans Krebs, are shown to be in more than amicable terms, to the point where they choose to die together. In the parodies, he and Krebs were introduced as gays who clearly love each other very much. Hitler's opinion varies from parody to parody; for example, in one, he had both of them married in war room (to which Jodl objected yet again); in another one he declared all gay marriage in the Reich illegal, thus terminating the relationship. Afterwards, Krebs and Burgdorf committed suicide, proving that they cannot live without each other. In the parodies, Hitler accepts the relationship.
Despite his loyalty to H-man, the latter sometimes jokingly calls Burgdorf "Burger Dork". This might stem from the fact that Burgdorf enjoys cooking, but screws up by spilling his drink into all the dishes he makes.
Burgdorf is also shown to be a good ranter, but compared to Hitler's and Goebbels', it sometimes wasn't based on anger, but rather on how fast he spoke. When Goebbels complains about his nickname as Skeletor in Juniermahri246's parody, Burgdorf was arguing that he was called Burgdorf Motormouth.
He also created a new superweapon called the Pistol of Armageddon, which he has used to destroy many things such as the Titanic, Elliot Carver's Stealth Boat, several planets, Spinnaker Tower, windmills, cities, Ancient Greece, etc. It is shown as one of the most powerful superweapons in the Downfall Parody Universe.
His Stalin Parody counterpart used to be Mikhail Tukhachevsky, who later becomes Stalin's Fegelein. He was then replaced by Pavel Dybenko because of his good drunken singing. In the Mirror Parody Universe, his counterpart is Frodgrub Mlehliw, who is also a drunkard, fast ranter, and the one who tries to kill Ehcsztirf (Fritzsche's counterpart in the Mirror Universe).
- The real Burgdorf had a "barrel-organ baritone" voice, instead of the high voice in Downfall.
- Burgdorf's last name means "Castle Village" in English, if you translate it literally.
- Burgdorf was the one who offered Erwin Rommel the choice of suicide rather than face court - going so far as to give him a cyanide pill and watch him take it.
In Other Media/Spoofs/Resemblances
In Real Life