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whistlingypsy

Sophie Schull: The Final Days

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On February 23, 1943, Hans and Sophie Schull and their friend Christoph Probst were brought before the Volksgerichtshof, the People's Court, which tried political offenses against the Nazi German state. They were found guilty of treason and Roland Freisler, head judge of the court, sentenced them to death. The three were executed the same day. The Schulls and Probst had been arrested by the Gestapo earlier, on February 18, 1943, for their part in the treasonous act of distributing propaganda against the Third Reich. The Schulls along with Probst, Kurt Huber, professor of philosophy at the University of Munich, Alex Schmorell and Willi Graf were all members of a group they named The White Rose. The remaining members of the group would also be arrested and executed later in the summer of 1943.

 

In February 2005, SOPHIE SCHOLL: THE FINAL DAYS featuring Julia Jentsch as Sophie was released. The movie is drawn from interviews with survivors and transcripts that had remained hidden in East German archives until 1990. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in January 2006. SOPHIE SCHOLL: DIE LETZTEN TAGE is more important as social statement rather than an artistic one. They are both shining examples of a country facing its past squarely and recognizing its collective demons: the first step towards redemption.

 

The only hesitation I have regarding the film is the choice of Sophie as the focus. In his brief but comprehensive book HANS AND SOPHIE: GERMAN RESISTERS OF THE WHITE ROSE Toby Axelrod explains, without placing blame, that Sophie was in fact responsible for the group?s arrest through her reckless and over confident behavior. Sophie was also only indirectly connected to the group through her brother. Hans Schull and Christoph Probst had returned from a summer of mandatory service at the Russian front with a crisis in conscience. These two, under the guidance of their professor, Kurt Huber, were in fact the impetus of the group.

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I haven't seen this one, but back in 1983 there was a German movie called "The White Rose" directed by Michael Verhoeven (NOT Paul Verhoeven, who is Dutch and not German) that was pretty good. Interestingly at the same time there was another German film called "The Last Five Days" that was about the White Rose Group that used the same actress, Lena Stolze, to play sohpie Scholl as played her in "The white Rose."

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MikeBSG: Thank you for the additional titles. I was able to find DIE WEISSE ROSE on DVD, but F?NF LETZTE TAGE seems to be a little more difficult to find. I am curious to see how the 1983 version with Lena Stolze compares to the version with Julia Jentsch. Thanks again!

 

 

200px-Die_Wei%C3%9Fe_Rose_film.jpg

 

Lena Stolze is a German actress best known for playing Sophie Scholl in DIE WEISSE ROSE and F?NF LETZTE TAGE (both 1983). She and Julia Jentsch both won the Film Award in Gold at the German Film Awards as "Best Actress" for portraying Sophie Scholl.

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The Final Days was shown on the Sundance channel several times last year paired with a 2005 German TV documentary by Marieke Schroeder called Sophie Scholl - In Defiance of All Powers. This documentary might be of interest to you. Here is Sundance's film description:

 

"In 1943, German student Sophie Scholl was arrested and executed by the Nazis for distributing anti-war flyers as part of the White Rose non-violent resistance movement. Combining first-hand interviews, family photographs and previously unavailable documents, filmmaker Marieke Schroeder present a documentary portrait of Scholl that explores her upbringing ? from brief membership in the Hitler Youth through friendships with fellow philosophy students at the University of Munich ? and sheds light on the motivation behind her heroic actions."

 

It's not on the current schedule but it might show up again.

 

--

Terry Wallace

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TERRYW: Thanks for the information on Marieke Schroeder?s documentary on The White Rose. I?m sorry that I missed this film when it aired in 2005; the description sounds really interesting. I have my satellite ?scout? set up for Sophie Schull and The White Rose, so if the documentary should air again the scout will let me know. Thanks again!

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I recently watched "Sophie Scholl The Final Days.' To me, the 1983 "The White Rose" was better, certainly for American audiences, as "The White Rose" told the entire story of the group, how it came together, what it did, etc. The newer film seemed to presuppose a lot of this knowledge on the part of the viewer.

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Mike: I agree with you about the "presumptions" on the part of Sophie Schull, and your comments make me want to see The White Rose all the more. Thanks for the input.

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