|Sophie and Hans Scholl, commemorated on a 1961 East German postage stamp.|
by Andy Nowicki
On February 22, 1943 – seventy-two years ago – three leaders of the dissident student movement The White Rose were executed by guillotine at the Stadelheim Prison in Munich, Germany.
Twenty-four year old Christoph Probst, 24-year old Hans Scholl, and his sister, 21-year old Sophie Scholl – all students at the University of Munich – were sent to their deaths mere hours after being tried and convicted for treason in what amounted to a show trial, presided over by the ogre-like "hanging judge" and infamous Nazi stooge Roland Freisler. Their "crime" consisted primarily in the fact that they printed up and surreptitiously distributed pamphlets which condemned the war and urged passive resistance to the Hitler regime. At no time did the White Rose movement ever practice or even espouse violence, but they were nevertheless shown no mercy by the totalitarian government they so vigorously opposed in print. Many more arrests and summary executions of other young people belonging to the group were to follow in the weeks and months to come.
Nearly all of the White Rose members were devout Christians – some Catholic, others Lutheran – and the youngest, fiercest, and boldest of them all proved to be steely-souled Sophie, an extraordinary young girl whose story is compellingly told in the 2005 German film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.
In this riveting scene, Sophie (Julia Jentsch) matches wits with Robert Mohr (Alexander Held), a tough-minded, true-believing National Socialist interrogator who finds himself alternately flummoxed by, infuriated with, and finally grudgingly admiring of his unflappable young interlocutor. The dialogue here is taken verbatim from the transcript kept of the actual interrogation. Given this fact, there are certain notable aspects to their exchange which make it relevant beyond its immediate milieu.
Again, since the dialogue here isn't invented, but is a faithful reenactment of what was actually said on the occasion of Scholl's arrest and interrogation, certain aspects of the exchange deserve to be highlighted.
- Scholl talks about a Jewish teacher whose humiliation she witnessed; a group of SA men forced the unfortunate man to come forward, then took turns spitting in his face. She claims that this teacher afterwards disappeared, having apparently been taken "to the East," never to be seen again. Mohr scoffs at Scholl's suspicion that Jews are being exterminated on the Eastern front, but doesn't for a moment deny her story about the loathsome antics of the bullying, boorish SA.
- Scholl recounts the heartbreak she felt upon learning that handicapped children were being systematically euthanized by the National Socialist regime. Mohr, in response, coldly dismisses these children as "unworthy lives," to which Scholl contends: "Every life is precious!"
- Scholl invokes the necessity of "decency, morals, and God," but Mohr insists that "God doesn't exist," and that "a new age has dawned," rendering her ostensible "bourgeois morality" obsolete.
- Finally, Scholl asks why she and her brother must be arrested, merely for expressing their thoughts in print. Mohr replies that the regime works to protect the nation, and cannot tolerate those who would work to undermine it.
Once more, it must be noted that, much like today's victims of "hate speech" laws, the White Rose's only "treachery" was to have the temerity to express a forbidden point of view. This, of course, casts into stark relief the fact that the contemporary "Antifa" powers-that-be are little more than a mirror reflection of the old-school National Socialist brand of totalitarian nihilsm. Yesterday's Aryan-purity obsessed Nietzschean atheist is at essence no different than today's anti-white Frankfurt School-derived cult-Marxian, since each makes quite arbitrary claims to rule the lives and control the minds of others.
Scholl, however, is a prototype of a very different sort of personality. For her, conscience, not the arbitrarily-established law of a tyrannical usurper, is king. Her own conscience, in turn, is nurtured by a transcendent vision of man as a being created in the image of God, and subject only to his Creator's dictates, not to those of any self-proclaimed ruler of a supposed "new age." She won't allow her morality to be circumscribed by the latest goon with a gun who claims to know what is best for her; the only one who rules her heart is her Lord in Heaven.
Today, on the alternative right, personalities like Scholl are locked in an uneasy alliance with others who share more in common with Mohr. Both Schollites and Mohrites are opposed to the current reign of ideological tyranny (often called "political correctness" or "cultural Marxism"), but those of Mohr's orientation aren't against the tyranny itself; rather, they object to the fact that their enemies, rather than themselves, retain hold of the levers of power. For the Schollites, however, it is tyranny itself which is the enemy. The Mohrites will practice any kind of cruelty to overthrow their enemies and get and keep what they want, but for the Schollites, cruelty itself is the adversary, to be opposed wherever it arises.
One faction hates bullies, dictators, and corrupt, puffed-up bigwigs who rule by arbitrary decree, while the other merely mourns the fact that they themselves don't get to rule in such a manner. Or to put it in today's hip-hop parlance, one faction merely hates the "playa" (i.e., feels jealous of his enemy's status and wants it for himself) while the other loathes the whole lousy, stinking game, and would rather die than play it.
In time, we'll all have to decide whether we wish to be minions of Hitler and stooges of Stalin, or whether we prefer the more rarefied company of those like Solzhenitsyn and the Scholl siblings. As for myself, I know temptation well, but aspire always to resist it, and pray that I ultimately succeed.
See also Andy Nowicki's 2006 Last Ditch article "Sophie Scholl: Dissent and Punishment."
Andy Nowicki, co-editor of Alternative Right, is the author of eight books, including Under the Nihil, The Columbine Pilgrim, Considering Suicide, and Beauty and the Least. He occasionally updates his blog when the spirit moves him to do so. Visit his Soundcloud page.