Twenty-one-year-old Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans and their friend Christoph Probst were found guilty of treason and condemned to death in Germany on Feb. 22, 1943.
They were all beheaded by a guillotine in Munich’s Stadelheim Prison only a few hours later.
To commemorate Sophie Scholl’s death and the events leading up to it 75 years ago, The Frida Cinema in downtown Santa Ana presents Sophie Scholl: The Final Days on Thursday, Feb. 22.
Director Marc Rothemund’s acclaimed 2005 biographical drama shows the journey to activism by the college student, who is played by Julia Jentsch. Scholl became a member of the White Rose, an anti-Nazi, non-violent student resistance group that Hans Scholl helped found.
After a White Rose member witnessed Soviet prisoners of war being shot in a mass grave, and the extermination of Jews was uncovered, the group distributed pamphlets exposing the Nazi government, which obviously did not take that exposure well.
The film won several international awards and was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
The real Sophie Scholl was the daughter of Magdalena Müller Scholl and liberal politician and ardent Nazi critic Robert Scholl, who was the mayor of Forchtenberg am Kocher in northern Baden-Württemberg, when his girl–the fourth of six children–was born. Sophie was brought up in the Lutheran church.
Prison officials described the courage she displayed as she walked to her execution. Her last words were reportedly, “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?”
The Frida Cinema is at 305 E. 4th St., No. 100, Santa Ana, (714) 285-9422. The Thursday, Feb. 22, screening begins at 7 p.m. For tickets, which are $7 to $10, visit thefridacinema.org.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.