Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Moving film of Sophie Scholl

There is a trend in films today (in fact on one site I saw it as a whole category to itself) where women are more accomplished at violence and nastiness than men. One of the reasons I thrilled to Sophie Scholl: The Final Days was that Julia Jentsch portrays Sophie Scholl as a women of immense strength without having to outblast the bad guys with guns, knives or karate.

Some time ago I wrote about the White Rose movement which was run by Sophie and her brother Hans along with other young people advocating resistance to National Socialism. Their campaign involved graffiti and the distribution of leaflets. Sophie, Hans and Christoph Probst were tried in the "People's Court" and executed by guillotine.

I was particularly moved by an exchange during the interrogation in which Scholl speaks of mentally ill children being taken off to be gassed or poisoned. When the other children asked where they were going, the nurses said that they were going to heaven. the interrogator waves his hand and says that they were Lebensunwertes Leben (life unworthy of life - a classic Nazi expression.)

During the trial, Sophie says to the judge "You may hang us now but you will be hanged tomorrow" - a chillingly accurate prediction of the Nuremberg trials.

Here is a contemporary photo of the three:

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