Following in the Footsteps of Sophie Scholl’s Misfit Messiah

Christ and Pop Culture | 2/22/1943 | Joshua Heavin
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This post is featured in the CAPC Magazine Issue 4 of 2019: Misfits issue of Christ and Pop Culture Magazine. Subscribe to Christ and Pop Culture Magazine by becoming a member and receive a host of other benefits, too.

On February 22, 1943, at the age of twenty-one, University of Munich student Sophie Magdalena Scholl was executed by guillotine along with her brother Hans and a few others for spreading leaflets for the White Rose, a non-violent resistance movement against the Nazis.

German-language - Film - Sophie - Scholl - Die

The 2005 German-language film Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage (The Final Days) is based on the true events of Sophie’s last few days following her dramatic action of dropping leaflets into the atrium at the University of Munich that led to her arrest, interrogation, near-release prior to incriminating evidence being found that leads ultimately to her confession, trial, and execution only a few days later in Nazi Germany’s notorious Volksgerichtshof (people’s court).

As Alissa Wilkinson noted at Vox, “The film is remarkable partly because it draws directly on police records of interrogations of Scholl, both before and during her incarceration. Those records had been unavailable for a long time, but screenwriter Fred Breinersdorfer used them to reconstruct Scholl’s final six days, and thus craft a true profile in courage.” In 2006, Anthony Lane wrote in The New Yorker that “until recently, ‘Sophie Scholl’ could not have been made in this form. Only under German reunification were the relevant Gestapo files discovered and made public, and the exchanges between Mohr and Sophie adhere as closely as possible to the official records of her interrogation.” Moreover, Richard Alleva noted in his 2006 review at Commonweal that “throughout the narrative, especially in the closing scenes, Sophie’s reliance on her faith in God is emphasized.” Director Rothemund has no ax to grind; he is an...
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