Sophie Scholl was a young woman who, during World War II, along with her brother, Hans, and a handful of other students, wrote and distributed anti-Nazi material at their university in Munich. They were reported by a janitor and summarily admitted to but did not repent for their crime. For this, they were executed.
We—we who live in a dorm complex on Geschwister Scholl Straße here in Marburg—watched the film based on this story today in our culture class. It is an incredibly poignantly and powerfully done piece, the heroes of which are not super humans, but individuals who took responsibility for their own humanity.
At one point in the movie, Sophie Scholl makes the point that, when the war ends, everyone will point to the Germans, and particularly the young Germans, and say that they did nothing. And plenty did nothing. But neither she nor her brother were in that plenty. And I don’t know how many of us—young people today of roughly the same age as Sophie and Hans and the rest of their group—would be able to say the same for ourselves when faced with the same sort of choice that they were decent and good and brave enough to make. And I don’t know that I’ll ever know.
But I do know that I’ll never again walk back to my dorm on Geschwister Scholl Straße without being haunted by Sophie and Hans. And that that is how it ought to be.