Sophie Scholl – An Exploratory Painting
Sophie Scholl could have had a very nice life, had she remained silent in the shadow of the Nazi Regime.
At the start of the year 1943, Sophie was a twenty-one-year-old, student at the University of Munich, enjoying a vibrant social life, engaged to marry, and close to her family. The looming darkness of the Nazi era cast a very dark shadow on her life, but she chose to resist evil, rather than cower to her fears.
The White Rose Movement
Sophie joined “The White Rose” , a non-violent resistance movement founded by her brother, Hans and his friends. Members worked together to write, type, and distribute leaflets warning the German people about the evils of the Nazi Regime.. Alone, members carried suitcases containing the latest leaflet on trains to cities all over Germany. Arriving in the night, they emptied their suitcases into public mailboxes. Without delay, they returned home the same night by train. This effort led to thousands of Germans receiving these anonymous leaflets.
Capture by the Nazis
Eventually, the Nazis caught hold of a leaflet. Despite the risks, on February 18, 1943, Sophie, and Hans, with a suitcase filled with leaflets, entered the University of Munich. Spreading and scattering the leaflets throughout the gallery corridors hurriedly before the bell rang. After pushing the last pile of leaflets over a banister on the top floor, the bell rang. They tried to escape hidden in the crowds. Unfortunately, they were caught immediately and handed over to the Gestapo. Christoph Probst, another member was also brought in.
Seeing Sophie was “just a girl”, the Nazis gave her several chances to have her charges lessened, by denying her true involvement. She could have saved her life, but refused. Along with her brother, Hans, and Christoph Probst, the Nazis tried them on February 22, 1943, and found all three guilty. Within hours, they were beheaded. Sophie went to her death without “the flicker of an eyelash” according to her executioner. Later that year, someone smuggled a leaflet out of Germany, handing it to the allies, who distributed millions of copies all over Germany by plane.
About the Painting:
This painting captures the moment when Sophie has thrown the leaflets over the banister in the university. She watches them flutter down like the petals of a white rose. She raises her hands….in surrender? No, she is raising them up in in victory. Her quest for truth and justice and love of Germany, overcame her fears. She was not “just a girl”, but a strong, courageous, free woman.
To learn more about this painting and other similar paintings by this artist, click on Other Inspired