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Sophie Scholl and the "White Rose"

The story of Sophie Scholl, who was a member of the resistance group "The White Rose" in the Third Reich, has lost nothing of its importance sixty years after her violent death. She is a symbol of courage and resistance against the National Socialists - a proof that there was room to move in individual everyday political action.

At the occasion of the release of Marc Rothemund's film "Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage" [Sophie Scholl - Her Last Days] on video and DVD we would like to draw attention to an information platform of the Federal Centre for political Education, available at http://www.bpb.de/themen/HKQ6B3. The history of the resistance operations of the "White Rose" and the arrest of its members is documented in detail in a dossier. It also describes details of the interrogations, the trial and the verdict of Roland Freisler by the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof).

Part of the dossier is dedicated to the film made by Marc Rothemund. In an interview he describes his attempt to centre his story about the resistance on Sophie Scholl, who is not an idealised heroine but an "average" young woman who acts with courage and who can still be a role model today. In a review, Stefanie Zobl puts the film into the context of recent similar films, e.g. "The Ninth Day" (Der neunte Tag) or "Rosenstrasse", which also deal with civil courage and resistance. She rightly criticises the moral idealisation of the main characters which, contrary to Rothemund's intentions, make emotional identification with their actions and attitudes impossible. Historical and political education aiming at pointing out the ambivalence of resistance actions during National Socialism should rather concentrate on Volker Schlöndorf's film about the biography of Abbé Kremer under the title "The Ninth Day" (Der neunte Tag).

Other important teaching/learning resources available from the portal are the biographies of Sophie and Hans Scholl, texts of flyers produced by the "White Rose" and excerpts from the minutes of interrogations.

Due to its long texts, the information portal is only suitable for the independent research work of students at higher secondary level. The portal provides a good, concise and well-structured introduction to the topic for multipliers.

The booklet accompanying the film "Sophie Scholl - Her Last Days", edited by the Federal Centre for Political Education, is available from http://www.bpb.de/files/3B4VQJ.pdf

 

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