The White Rose, 1984, and The Final Days of Sophie Scholl

One of my favorite books is “1984.”  The movie adaptation of it was filmed in the geographic setting of the novel, in the year 1984.  The heroine, Julia, was played by Suzanna Hamilton.

I was kind of startled when I was studying the White Rose, a Nazi-era student resistance movement.  These young 20-somethings were convicted of treason, and were beheaded for the high crime of distributing leaflets.  The most well-known of the activists was Sophie Scholl.

To my eye, the actress who played Julia in 1984 very closely resembles Sophie – to the point where I wonder if this was intentional, or if it’s just coincidental.

Here are 4 images of Sophie Scholl:

The next 4 images are of 1984’s Julia (Suzanna Hamilton).

Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Here’s Sophie in the woods (reminds me of the scene of Julia in 1984):

The post-Hitler Germany put Sophie on a stamp.  But the lesson was not permanent, as we all head into a new fascism:

A janitor observed the students distributing leaflets, and he reported them to the police.  The students were captured by the gestapo, tried in the People’s Court, and guillotined.

There’s a big lesson, here, as we see our own rights atrophy in the name of security.  Some quotes from their leaflets are particularly prescient:

“Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanised state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right – or rather, your moral duty – to eliminate this system?”  (editor’s note – Sound familiar?)

If everyone waits until the other man makes a start, the messengers of avenging Nemesis will come steadily closer.”  (editor’s note – hubris?  are we, too, guilty of hubris?)

Why do German people behave so apathetically in the face of all these abominable crimes, crimes so unworthy of the human race? … The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals….[The German] must evidence not only sympathy; no, much more: a sense of complicity in guilt….For through his apathetic behaviour he gives these evil men the opportunity to act as they do…. he himself is to blame for the fact that it came about at all! Each man wants to be exonerated ….But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!… now that we have recognized [the Nazis] for what they are, it must be the sole and first duty, the holiest duty of every German to destroy these beasts.” (editor’s note – in our name, a new Holocaust has been dealt to millions of new innocents)

But the oddities don’t end here.  In 2005, a powerful-beyond-description movie concerning the final days of Sophie Scholl was produced. The actress who played Sophie was JULIA Jentsch.  So, it comes full circle…

The Universe is trying to tell us that it tends toward Liberty, assuming we have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the will to act.  And one other thing – history repeats.  Just keep watching – you’ll see.

HB 1274 – Death penalty


4 comments on “The White Rose, 1984, and The Final Days of Sophie Scholl

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. Sophie and Hans are my father’s first cousins. The resemblance you notice between the actress from the 1984 movie and Sophie were also noted by my father (his mother, Marie Scholl was sister to Robert Scholl, the father of H & S). My father said that for this reason, it was especially difficult for him to watch that movie when it came out.

    • Sonya, at a recent small group Church meeting, I offered the group the chance to view the ‘Last Days of Sophie Scholl’ film. At first they were a little turned off at having to read English subtitles, but they were soon completely engaged, and it was a very intense viewing. Sophie truly modeled the Passion of Christ, peacefully spreading messages of truth, and laying down her life for her friends.

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