Film revisits the tragic life of Sophie Scholl, celebrated WWII heroine

Lauren DiSpirito

By Lauren DiSpirito

Staff Reporter

From the night before her arrest to her death sentence from the Nazi “People’s Court,” “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days” reveals new details in the life of one of the anti-Nazi movement’s best-known heroines. As a German university student during World War II and an active member of the Nazi resistance group, the White Rose, Scholl openly criticized the Fascist regime. This Oscar-nominated historical drama, released in 2005, retells the story of Scholl’s last six days, shedding new light on her interrogation, trial and death at the hands of the Nazi government.

Director Marc Rothemund takes advantage of long-buried German documents and interviews with friends, family and witnesses of Scholl’s tragic end to create a captivating and historically accurate portrayal of these events. Its foundation in realism makes this film different from earlier films made about Scholl’s life. Filmed on location at the University of Munich, the actual site of Sophie’s arrest, and based on recently unearthed Gestapo transcripts from her trial, this film provides details not previously known about one of the great heroines of the Nazi era.

At a time in Germany when people could be arrested for choosing to greet others with “Hello” rather than “Heil Hitler,” Scholl demonstrated profound moral courage. Along with her brother Hans and other like-minded students, Scholl distributed resistance pamphlets throughout the middle of the war, when other anti-Nazi organizations had died out. Her inspirational story of a modern-day Joan of Arc rings true today.

“It’s not primarily about the Third Reich but rather civil courage – a theme that is always relevant,” producer Sven Burgemeister said.

“Sophie Scholl: The Final Days” will be shown four times in the Connelly Center Cinema as part of the ongoing Cultural Film & Lecture Series: Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 3:30 & 7 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m. The film will be screened in German with English subtitles. Admission is $3.50 for students with ID and $5 for all others.

The Monday evening screening will feature guest speaker Dr. Paul Steege of the history department. Steege will introduce the film and lead the discussion to follow.

For more information, contact the communication department at X9-4750 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or consult the CFS Web site,