The File on… Sophie Scholl

To risk one’s life for truth, for one’s personal convictions, that takes courage, indeed! With great empathy and sensibility Barbara Sichtermann seeks to elucidate the mystery of how a young girl, intelligent, but otherwise quite ordinary, came to put up resistance against the evil Nazi regime. Children will readily identify with Sophie, the girl.

Sophie was quite a bright girl who took a special interest in nature. She grew up in Germany while the Nazis were in power, at a time when children and young persons had to join the official organisations of Hitler’s party, the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) or the Bund deutscher Mädchen (League of German Girls). Sophie Scholl loved to have friends around her, and she enjoyed community life. But when she grew older she learned that people were persecuted and murdered just for their origins or for the convictions they held. And once she became aware of the fact that Germany was waging a war of conquest she decided to put up resistance against the seemingly all-powerful regime. This was not an easy decision because now it was dangerous to speak one’s mind. And since friendship requires frankness, she lost many a friend. Consequently her relationship with what few friends she could trust became all the closer – first and foremost among them her brother Hans, who was a student like herself. This group of resistance fighters called themselves “Weiße Rose” (White Rose). In clandestine operations that were all the more daring for their enforced secrecy, she spread information on the Nazis’ crimes and appealed to people to join the resistance movement. Eventually she was reported to the authorities and arrested. But even under interrogation she upheld her convictions. When she was executed on February 22nd 1943 she was only twenty-one years old.

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Wer war Sophie Scholl?

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Barbara Sichtermann

Born in 1943 Barbara Sichtermann studied acting in Bochum where she subsequently worked at the theatre from 1965-68. Then she moved to Berlin to study social sciences and economics. She has been working as a freelance journalist and writer since 1978, contributing regularly to Zeit, a weekly newspaper, and working for the radio as well. She has had a number of quite succesful books published. Barbara Sichtermann lives in Berlin.

Stefanie Roth

Born in Dresden in 1969, Stefanie Roth studied illustration and graphic arts in Prague and communication design at Berlin-Weißensee’s Kunsthochschule, attending Professor Volker Pfüller’s master class. She has been freelancing as a graphic designer, illustrator and designer of books since 1997. She’s also headed the faculty of graphic design at Schwerin’s Design Schule since 2008.

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