Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

While I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s I learned in my history classes about the horrors of what happened in Germany during WWII.  However in these classes the German people were painted with broad sweeping strokes of black as supporters of the Nazi movement and Hitler.  I never learned of people such as Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who managed to save the lives of so many of the Jewish people.  Nor had I heard of groups, such as “The Swing Kids,” “The Edelweiss Pirates,” “The Solf Circle,” and “The Kreisau Circle.”  All of these were groups of German Nationals who were either vocal opponents of the Nazi doctrine or actively fought against them as part of the underground resistance in Germany.  In fact there were a lot more “subversive groups” in Germany than I was aware existed.  Another group I had never heard of was one founded by Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie known as “The White Rose.”


“The White Rose” was an un-official student group at Hamburg University and it was very vocal in speaking against the German Government and their “Final Solution”.  Hans and Sophie were aided in their leadership by their good friend Christoph Probst.  The three were executed February 22, 1943 for distributing literature “calling for the overthrow of the German government.”  Sophie Scholl: The Final Days tells their story from a time shortly before their arrest, through their trial and finally the day of their execution; a period of only 7 days.

This film had the potential to be depressing, instead I found it inspiring.  Following Sophie rather than her brother Hans, the organizations founder made it easier to handle because of her likability and more disturbing for the same reason.   It is always sad to think about what these people faced in taking a stand, but it is also something that inspires and reminds you that no matter how much dark there is around you, there is light if you just look.