Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl (centre) and Christoph Probst (right)
Original picture from raincitypastor.blogspot.com
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.