Sophie Scholl Die letzten Tage

  • Directors: Marc Rothemund
  • Producers: Fred Breinersdorfer, Sven Burgemeister, Marc Rothemund
  • Writers: Fred Breinersdorfer
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs

In student lodgings in Munich, Sophie Scholl and a close friend, Gisela Schertling, are bent over a radio. They sing along softly as Billie Holiday sings “Sugar”. Sophie announces that she must go. She walks through darkened streets and quietly steps in a door. In a cellar studio, members of the White Rose student organization, including Sophie’s brother Hans, are preparing copies of their sixth leaflet. They have mimeographed more than they can distribute through the mail. Hans hits on the idea of distributing the extras at university the next day. Willi argues that the risks are unacceptable. Hans announces that he will take full responsibility. Trying to reassure the others, Sophie volunteers to assist Hans, explaining that a woman is less likely to attract the attention of any security personnel.

The next day, Sophie carries a small suitcase as she and Hans walk to the main building of Munich University. They cross the square that now bears their name (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz, “Scholl Siblings Square”). In the building, where classes are in session, they set about putting down stacks of leaflets near the doors of lecture rooms. With only minutes left until the period ends, they start to leave, but Sophie tells Hans she still has some copies left over. Running to the top (third) floor, she sets a stack of leaflets on the balustrade, then impulsively pushes them over the edge. The mass of sheets flutters to the floor of the great atrium. Descending the stairs, Hans and Sophie seem safely enveloped in the anonymous throng of students emerging from lecture rooms. However a janitor who saw Sophie scatter the leaflets shouts at them to stop, detains them until police come (quickly) and arrest them. The Gestapo orders that the building shall be sealed.

In the closing shot, thousands of leaflets fall from the sky over Munich. A title explains that copies of the White Rose manifesto were smuggled to Scandinavia and thence to England, where the Allies printed millions of copies of the “Manifesto of the Students of Munich” that were subsequently dropped on German cities. The first frames of the credits list the names of the seven members of the White Rose group who were executed, more than a dozen who were imprisoned, and supporters and sympathizers who received draconian punishments.

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