In the continuity, he is the first of the group murdered by Hannibal and his second overall victim. In addition, he is the first victim cannibalized by Hannibal (his cheeks were sliced off and consumed) in the movies (where as Paul Momund was the first in the books).
Near the end of the Second World War, he served under Vladis Grutas who led a group of looters through the battlefields obtaining whatever riches and resources they could muster. The group encountered Berndt after he traveled back to the Lecter Castle to retain their food and other resources, where he was captured and brought into the castle that had become occupied by Nazi Forces. Grutas and his group were asked by the SS Major how they would dispose of locals (if they were Jewish). Stating that if they wish to be "SS", they should prove it. Grutas then orders Zigmas Milko and Bronys Grentz to kill the Jewish cook that worked for the Lecters, with Milko being the one to deliver the shot. Dortlich then grabbed Berndt, restraining him while Grutas questioned him on first if he was a gypsy and second, if he was a Jew. When he answered no to both questions, Grentz told him to show his "dick" to confirm if it was circumcised. Before they could do anything, Russian tanks approached the Castle and the Nazi forces were forced to do battle with Grutas's group retreating.
Out on the road, Grutas had Milko snipe two medics outside their ambulance which they stole to disguise themselves as they returned to the battlefield. Here, the group looted as many riches as they could find (which would help fund their rich lifestyle later in life) and Dortlich pointed out the SS Major from before laying against a disabled vehicle. Grutas approached, mocked the previous statement the major made and shot him in the head while taking his jewelry. It was then that they spotted a man running through the field and Grutas ordered the man be fired upon (as he was not "one of ours"). While their gunfire did not kill the man, the oncoming Russian tanks did and the group retreated with the riches they had obtained.
They eventually stumbled upon the lodge where Count Lector had brought his family. Outside were the remnants of a brief battle, with dead Russians and the adults from the Lecter family. Inside, the men found two children...with Dortlich mocking a young Hannibal that tried to fight him off. They tied up the children and used the radio to figure out their predicament, realizing that everything was blocked off around them they decided to stay. Eventually...hunger got the best of them and Grutas decided that they should eat the girl (being a young Mischa Lecter) to survive. Dortlich himself sang an old Lithuanian lullaby to help the child stay calm as they walked her outside, with Grutas carrying the axe. She was murdered and later boiled in a pot, where they consumed her to survive the winter.
Some time after this incident, Dortlich was ordered to return to the cabin by Grutas to secure whatever was left by Kazys Porvik. Apparently he found little, as he missed the bag that contained several of their treasures including the dog tags each man war from Lithuania.
After the WarEdit
Eight years passed and the group went their separate ways but remained in contact. Using the riches they looted from the war, they all secured positions to help settle themselves in society. Dortlich himself became an office of the Soviet Union, working as a high ranking official in the Border Guards. It's here where he found the name of Hannibal Lecter, instantly remembering the time he and his comrades spent in the lodge. He began tracking the youth as he travelled to the former Lecter Castle (now an Orphanage) and then followed him back to the lodge, where he noticed Lecter pulling out a set of pearls from a animal trophy's mouth. Intent on killing Hannibal and taking the goods for his own, he approached Lecter attempting to sneak up on him but was immediately subdued with a wooden rod Hannibal had nearby.
Lecter buried his sister's remains the following morning, having tied Dortlich to a tree. He questions him on the location of the other members of the group, in which he initially states he knows nothing but eventually decides to sell out Grentz, whom moved to Canada. When asked about the others and especially their leader, Grutas, he said he knew nothing. Hannibal took a sandwich Dortlich prepared, smeared the mayonnaise on the rope and placed it around Dortlich's neck. He then walked to his horse and attached the rope to his horse's saddle.. He slowly moved away from the tree with the horse while the rope gripped tighter to Dortlich. Hannibal told him to "sing for Mischa", the same song he sung prior to participating in Mischa's murder. He eventually gave in as the rope dug into his neck and told Hannibal about Petras Colnas, also stating that the group resided in France. Hannibal, while thankful for the information, had his horse continue going and sung angrily the song from before until Dortlich's eyes began to bulge and he was decapitated by the rope.
Following his death, Hannibal disposed of the body and displayed the head with half of his dog tag stuck in his mouth. Both of the cheeks were removed and eaten (cooked nearby with mushrooms).
If Dortlich had done as Grutas asked originally and gave a thorough search of the lodge, he would have found the bag with the dog tags and ultimately would have prevented Hannibal from learning more about the men. This also includes him actually tailing Hannibal as this provided necessary information (upon his capture) to locate the other men.