Monday, August 23, 2010

A courageous girl called Sophie

Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl (centre) and Christoph Probst (right)
Original picture from

Just finished watching the German film “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”. Guess it was never too late to learn about some extraordinary people.

Sophie Scholl was born on 9th May 1921. The fourth of six children, she was a student at the University of Munich. Through her brother Hans, their friends and some lecturers, she joined the White Rose, a non violent resistance group in Nazi Germany.

The belief in human’s dignity and conscience formed the basis for resisting the Nazi ideology of war and extermination of Jews. Sophie and Hans were caught distributing leaflets calling for an end to the war at the Atrium of the University of Munich and were caught by the Gestapo on 18th February 1943.

After several days of intense interrogation, Sophie, Hans and another friend, Christoph Probst were brought to the People’s Court sat by Judge Roland Freisler on 22nd February 1943. All three of them were convicted of high treason and sentenced to death.

Sophie bravely told the judge this, “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just do not dare express themselves as we did.”
And when told of her sentence, her reaction was this, “I am, now as before, of the opinion that I did the best that I could do for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences that result from my conduct.”

After meeting their parents for the last time, the three of them hugged and shared a cigarette. They were executed by guillotine at the Munich Stadelheim Prison a few hours after the verdict. Sophie’s last words were, “The sun still shines.” Next to die was Hans and his last words were, “Long live freedom.” Christoph was the last to be executed.

After their death, their last leaflet was smuggled to the Allies who made millions of copies and air dropped them over Germany. Today, they were considered heroes of modern Germany for standing up against an evil regime.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What is the point, really? 值的吗 ?

All around me, I could see some people buying this or selling that. These stuffs were not petty things like a T-shirt or maybe a new mobile that costs several dollars to a few hundred bucks. On the contrary, these stuffs are heavy weight stuffs that can cost several millions of dollars.

Yes, I am talking about those "opportunists" out to make cash and more cash!

These people are usually professionals, holding top posts in their organizations and earning big bucks. They were so loaded with cash that at any given time, they have a string of properties in hand to be disposed off given the right price. You can see them laughing all the way to the bank.

I personally knew two of such people. They stayed in high class residential areas and riding in luxury cars. They go for overseas holidays annually and their children went to the best schools. They were the first in line to pick and buy prime units for investment purposes. Needless to say, they were leading lives that many of us dare not dream off.

Why am I kicking up a storm? It was their right, of course. But not when in the process to impress their higher ups, your chance to make a decent living was taken away. Yes, your rice bowl was broken and so were many others so that they stood out in the eyes of their superiors.

But fate has an upper hand. A few years ago, one of them came down with end stage nasal cancer and today, I heard that his wife succumbed to lung cancer although she does not smoke. Neither did he smoke too. And they were still in the prime of their lives, healthy and kicking.

I could not say much except that it was their doctors who had the last laugh on their way to the bank. Yes, what is the point, really? I mean, to make so much money but in the end to lose them all to expensive treatments?

Note :
Opportunists ~ plural .
                       ~ noun:
A person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by principles , conscience or plans.