[The story of two young women. How can we expect righteousness to prevail…]
Sophie Scholl was a German student and revolutionary, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany.
She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich with her brother Hans.
As a result, they were both executed by guillotine. She was 21 years of age at the time of her death.
Here last words prior to being beheaded were:
“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?”
Gertraud “Traudl” Junge was Adolf Hitler’s youngest private secretary from December 1942 to April 1945. After typing out Hitler’s will, she remained in the Berlin Fuhrerbunker until his death.
Junge died from cancer in Munich on 10 February 2002 at the age of 81 and received global celebrity status at that time, reportedly having said shortly before her death, “Now that I’ve let go of my story, I can let go of my life.”
Further fame came two years later, when some of Junge’s experiences with Hitler were portrayed in the Academy Award-nominated film “Downfall”. Her interviews are seen at the beginning and at the end of the film. At the end she says:
“ Of course the horrors, of which I heard in connection of the Nuremberg trials, the fate of the 6 million Jews, their killing and those of many others who represented different races and creeds, shocked me greatly, but at that time I could not see any connection between these things and my own past.
I was only happy that I had not personally been guilty of these things and that I had not been aware of the scale of these things.
However, one day I walked past a plaque that on the Franz-Joseph Straße (in Munich), on the wall in memory of Sophie Scholl. I could see that she had been born the same year as I, and that she had been executed the same year when I entered into Hitler’s service.
And at that moment I really realized, that it was no excuse that I had been so young. I could perhaps have tried to find out about things.