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Friday, October 09, 2009

Movie: The White Rose

Last night I watched the subtitled movie "Sophie Scholl: The Last Days" about the young and courageous members of the secret resistance group in 1942-3 Germany, The White Rose. The group members, mostly students at the university of Munich, distributed thousands of leaflets denouncing the Nazi programme of war and murder. A few days after they were caught, the leaders (including Sophie Scholl, who was 21) were guillotined; many others were imprisoned. As a movie I don't recommend it, it is very depressing, one is better off to just read about The White Rose on the Internet (the Wikipedia article seems to give a decent overview). But the story depicts, negatively, the grand power of intellectual activism: besides brute force, irrationality has no defense against voices of reason. It may be a fictitious line, but in the movie Hans defiantly tells the judge that he and Hitler must be afraid of -- and thus morally inferior to -- the members of The White Rose, otherwise there wouldn't even be a trial.

From The White Rose leaflet #3:
[W]hy 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?

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