Friday, March 2, 2012

Recommended film: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and the anti-Nazi resistance group the White Rose Society, is an example we all should look to in resisting the unjust and murderous culture in power. After watching the film based on their story, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, my heart is broken at their sacrifice and inspired by their courage to act.

Executed by Hitler's regime for their effectiveness, the White Rose Society wrote and distributed pamphlets denouncing the Nazis, their wars and atrocities. Their organization operated secretly underground, working late at night in a private office space with printing equipment.

The Scholl siblings understood the risks they were taking by acting against the Nazis, and this was shown through every step of their interrogation and trial. Upon confessing their involvement in the resistance group and position against the Nazis, they held firm to their sentiments and were proud of them.

Courage is a great in concept, yet often difficult to have in life-threatening matters, but Sophie Scholl and members of her group show that doing what is right is more important than any one of our lives alone. This may be the most important lesson that can be learned from their story and words.

Hans and Sophie Scholl were quite young, seeking to encourage similar resistance amongst their peers. By their age, it could be guessed that they were extremely passionate and willing to fight, but the virtue of discipline may not be assumed. Their seriousness and discipline is clear from their story, and embodied in quotes like this (from Hanz): "Keep a strong spirit and a tender heart."

After all they had done to support resistance to Hitler and the Nazis, the Scholl siblings were hung. Their spirit of resistance must not be in vain. We must speak out and act now, even if it seems no one else is doing the same. As Sophie said in what were some of her last words: "Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did."

Original pamphlets by the White Rose Society can be found and read here.