Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
Tyndale students gathered on November 13, 2014 to watch the German film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, a dramatization of the last days of German university student and revolutionary Sophie Scholl’s life. Dr. Natasha Duquette, Associate Dean of the University College, organized the event which included a panel discussion with three Tyndale University College professors: Dr. Daniel Driver, Assistant Professor of Old Testament; Dr. Eric Crouse, Professor of History; and Dr. Elizabeth Davey, Associate Professor of English.
Sophie Scholl was a philosophy and biology student at the University of Munich in the early 1940s. Her brother Hans, a medical student, introduced her to his friends who all shared her love of theology, literature, philosophy, the arts and politics. As the Second World War progressed, the group began to notice the National Socialist Party’s atrocities against the Jews, the mentally disabled and those on the Eastern Front. Together, they formed a non-violent intellectual resistance group called the White Rose and distributed anonymous anti-Hitler leaflets across Germany.
On February 18, 1943, the Scholl siblings were caught distributing flyers at the university and sent to the Gestapo. There, the siblings and other members of the White Rose were questioned. Sophie held her ground but eventually she and her brothers confessed in an effort to protect their fellow members. The siblings were tried for treason and executed on February 22. Sophie’s last words were reported to be: “How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”
After the screening, Dr. Duquette and the three panelists discussed the biblical, historical and narrative aspects of the film and Sophie’s bravery in the face of such evil. Sophie was a devout Lutheran, and it was her faith and her belief that all human life has dignity which led her to question the anti-God ideals of the National Socialist Party. Her story demonstrates the importance of a strong faith and the power of ideas.
Dr. Duquette was greatly touched by Sophie’s sacrifice when she first heard about her story, and she hopes that Tyndale students can be similarly inspired to stand up for the truth. She plans to hold similar film screening and panel discussion events in the future.