Idol Chatter

Sophie Scholl, executed in 1943 at age 21 for resisting the Nazi regime, has long been a heroine of conscience in Germany, even though the full details of her interrogation and demise weren’t known until recently. A new feature film, “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”–an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film–opens in New York this Friday and across the country in the following weeks.

Scholl was a member, with her brother Hans, of a small circle of university students and teachers in Munich who called themselves “The White Rose.” Distributing leaflets denouncing Hitler and telling the truth about Nazi repression, the group hoped to rouse fellow academics and intellectuals to action. Like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Scholl was a devout Lutheran who thought that a Christian living under a dictatory ship had a clear moral duty. As a Christian, Scholl said, resistance “was the least I could do.”

The story of her arrest is well known—she was spotted tossing leaflets from a balcony at the university—but her defiance before the Nazi “People’s Court” only came to light as Third Reich archives were opened in the mid-’80s. “The Final Days” is the story of her trial.

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