Thursday, 24 February 2011

Remembering Sophie

Although the anniversary has now passed, it is worthwhile remembering that the 22nd February was the anniversary of the execution (in 1943) of Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans and friend Christoph Probst. They were university students at Munich in the dark days of WWII, and were charged with treason after distributing leaflets which stated, among other things, "“Every word that proceeds from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war. And when he names the name of the Almighty in a most blasphemous manner, he means the almighty evil one, that fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the stinking maw of hell and his might is fundamentally reprobate. To be sure, one must wage the battle against National Socialism using rational means. But whoever still does not believe in the actual existence of demonic powers has not comprehended by far the metaphysical background of this war.”

Having been found guilty in the early afternoon of 22nd February, 1943, they were executed about 5.00pm.

Grave of Sophie & Hans Scholl, & Christoph Probst, Stadelheim Prison, Munich.

Sophie and her brother were devout Lutherans. According to witnesses, Sophie's last words before 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?"

Lest we forget.

Memory eternal!

HT Cranach


Peter McKeague said...

Thank you for this reminder Pastor Mark. I first heard of this extraordinary story when reading a review on the Acts 3 blog of John Armstrong, of the German movie made about Sophie and her protest. I have kept an eye out for the movie, which is subtitled, but so far haven't been able to see it. It is vital to be remember the powerful and costly Christian witness of people like Sophie and the others in the face of such evil.

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Hi Peter,

Yes, I too know of the movie but I haven't seen it available here. I first learned of Sophie's story in my late teens when I was doing a lot of reading in modern history. She deserves to be better known, although I believe in Germany she was voted the most influential woman of the 20th C. in 1993. However, it would seem that her Christian commitments and motivations have been forgotten, and she has become something of a secular hero there.

Matthias said...

The dedication in Clive James's book CULTURAL AMENESIA is to sophie Scholl and her fellow WHITE ROSES.

Throuhgotu the book her refers to her moral integrity and intellectual abilities. I htink he was trying to compare to today's generation,who perhaps cannot see Good and Evil

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Very interesting, given the title; I'll have to follow that up. I haven't read anything by James in a long time. Thanks Matthias.

Jnorm said...

Memory Eternal!