“One has to do something in order to not be guilty oneself….” Sophie Scholl
Sophie Scholl was wonderfully alive. She reveled in the works of creation, and in her Creator, often taking note of the wonder and beauty of the natural world around her. By contrast, the sin of fallen men was everywhere around her manifesting itself in increasingly ugly and unthinkable ways. I have put off telling her story because I could not imagine doing justice to it.
Not many of us would like the world to inquire into our every teenaged thought and deed. The intensely serious 21-year-old Sophie would surely
shake her head, remembering the nights she stayed out too late, and the time she came home drunk. What happened in those intervening years was
a world gone mad, the round-up of Jewish classmates, the growing chasm between her and her soldier boyfriend (a young man too eager to obey, and too unwilling to test his actions by the demands of faith).
What happened in those intervening years was also an exposure to banned literature, from Cardinal Newman to Kierkegaard to Augustine—particularly Augustine. His Confessions became a constant companion, much to the chagrin of latter day biographers who point out that she was “no Augustine scholar.” They bemoan the way Augustine brought Sophie face to face with a perfect and just God, and how that resulted in a young girl deeply humbled by her own shortcomings. In other words, those latter day chroniclers simply do not really understand Sophie Scholl, at all.
While we resist the temptation to fashion a Sophie to our own liking, one who expresses herself in the right words, and never admits to being influenced by someone whose views we may not share, in reality, Sophie Scholl does not need sanitizing. It is precisely because she found her way, gleaning as she did through the few suppressed books and papers she could get her hands on, that we stand in awe. Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with Kierkegaard. He was a terrible theologian that happened to say a lot of powerful things along the way. One quote comes to mind.
“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.”
On the Cover
Sophie Scholl by Sabine Rudolph, 2011, 100 cm x 80 cm, oil on canvass.
The Oct-Dec 2015 issue includes these articles:
- Sophie Scholl and the White Rose
- The Life and Times of Arch-Druid William Price
- Jennie Wade of Gettysburg
- Here I Stand, How We Got Our Pulpits
- John H. Converse, Layman for Christ
- O Holy Night