May 9th is the anniversary of the birthday of Sophie Scholl. Scholl is a celebrated heroine of modern Germany—indeed the world—for her historic service and sacrifice in resisting Hitler’s Third Reich.
Scholl was part of the White Rose student resistance movement. At the University of Munich she, along with her brother and others, determined to inform others of the depredations visited by the German regime on the Eastern Front.
She was arrested and tried, along with her brother Hans and Christoph Probst, for the treasonous offense of dropping leaflets on the university grounds.
The judge was the notorious Roland Freisler, reputed to be Hitler’s favorite jurist. Freisler’s judicial approach can be seen in this film from the 1944 trials of the von Stauffenberg conspirators.
On February 22, 1943, the Scholl siblings and Probst (the latter the father of young children), were found guilty and executed by beheading.
The twenty-one-year-old Sophie’s last words:
How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?
The Final Days of Sophie Scholl is a moving and historically meticulous rendering of her heroic life. The trailer can be seen here.
Sophie Scholl Ennobles May 9th