Film Review: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

By Ben Barker / Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

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.

From Kid Cutbank:

0 thoughts on “Film Review: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”

  1. The White Rose Society was a group of extremely brave, noble and passionate people. Their tactics, unfortunately, were extremely misguided and totally ineffective. Non-violent resistance against the Nazis was, literally, a suicidal strategy. The average German was not swayed by these pamphlets (at least not to the point of actually doing anything), and support for Hitler remained at over 90 percent even in the very last days of the war.

    A more successful strategy was undertaken by others:

    One young woman fighter recounted her story after the war:

    “We went to a neutral place in the ghetto area and climbed down into the underground sewers. Through them, we girls used to carry arms into the ghetto; we hid them in our boots. During the ghetto uprising, we hurled Molotov cocktails at the Germans.

    After the suppression of the uprising, we went into hiding, taking refuge in an underground shelter where a large quantity of arms was piled up. But the Germans detected us and forced us out. I happened to be there with Rachela and Bluma Wyszogrodzka (and that is how they took our picture) …

    Rachela and I, together with the others, were driven to the Umschlagplatz. They later took us to Majdanek from there.”

    The story of the White Rose Society, unfortunately, reminds me of Trotsky, who argued against the Soviet Union preparing for war with Nazi Germany, and when war appeared inevitable, he actually argued that German soldiers, seeing the horror they were committing, would revolt and start a revolution. Had Trotsky not been executed, and were his advice followed, Germany would have almost certainly won the war.

    The members of the White Rose Society died needlessly, and they accomplished nothing, despite their heroism and bravery. The fighers in the Warsaw Ghetto actually killed the enemy and while many died, some of them lived. The Soviets defeated the Nazis, at the cost of 27 million lives. Yet if a certain, specific, single less life had been lost, Fascism may have triumphed. Sometimes non-violence means death and sometimes peace means genocide.

    If you don’t understand the political, economic and social factors in a given situation, your strategy will almost certainly fail. This could result in the death of the participants, or it could lose you a war.

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