Sunday, October 25, 2009

White Rose

(Sophie Scholl) Marc Rothemund's 2005 Sophie Scholl – The Final Days makes good on decades of sentiments for an intelligent and award winning film about White Rose, a small group of students at the University of Munich who opposed the Nazi regime and distributed anti-Nazi flyers on the university campus.

From the first leaflet:
Isn’t it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure - reach the light of day?


The second leaflet calls attention to the Holocaust and the extermination of Jews. The college students knew, and we are talking about 1942, not 1944 or 1945.

On the morning of February 18, 1943, Sophie and her brother Hans were caught leaving stacks of papers in hallways for the students. The gestapo arrested them and ruthless Nazi prosecutor Roland Friesler sentenced them to death. Sophie defiantly pronounced, "Where we stand today you will soon be standing."

They were executed at once by guillotine on February 22, 1943.

Killing him on February 3, 1945, allied bombs spared Friesler his appointment with Nuremberg.

Around 1992 in a college course on film finance, students had to pitch projects in competition for funding. I was most impressed with Cindy's presentation for a documentary about White Rose. I think Rothemund's re-creation of the events, in particular the powerful dialog of Scholl's interrogation, is cinema well worth watching that fulfills if not exceeds Cindy's vision for a film on the subject. I hope she learned of the film and saw it.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beheaded in less than a week for distributing flyers on a college campus.

Imagine living in such a nightmare.

10/26/2009 6:03 AM  
Anonymous The Observer said...

Sophie Scholl was only 22 years old when they killed her.

The Allies got hold of a copy of the last leaflet. They made millions of copies and dropped them all over Germany.

Before she died, she said, "Your heads will fall as well."

At the time she was killed, Nazi Germany and most of its leaders had sixteen months to live.

10/26/2009 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Observer, your math is a little off. They had another 2 1/4 years to go, but your basic idea is right.

The subsequent prosecution didn't catch everyone, but a lot more Nazis were caught and killed than most people think. Obviously the very top committed suicide in Spring 45. Many were captured and died in prison camps, especially the Russian camps. The Nuremberg hangings happened in October 46, but there were a bunch more hangings on through 1947 to 1950.

10/26/2009 12:51 PM  

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