Martyrdom in Nazi Germany… the Germans who Resisted Bigotry & Totalitarianism

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Scene from “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”

I have been researching things for one of my book “concepts” I’m working on, and I got totally traumatized by something historical that I was never aware of until the end of the movie I was watching [based on real people and events] that shocked and horrified me!  And it was only a small facet of what I was researching about!!  I strayed off my path because the subject matter was intriguing and somewhat vaguely related…. and by the end of this movie, I think I cried my eyes out for an hour!  Watching that hurt my heart and mind more than words can say.  But it is better to face the demons in this world than to hide myself away from them… I spent my whole life deflecting away from subject matters involving dehumanizing violence, real events that happened to real people throughout history.  I decided that in order to be more authentic as a writer, AND as an empathetic being, I needed to GO to those places I fear and face them with both eyes open.  What I watched, however, did not end as I anticipated…. it was a million times worse!  A true story, too.

Let’s just say that I hope there is a dark cruel place in hell for the Third Reich of Nazi Germany… turns out, there was no end to the draconian atrocities these sadists enlisted to torture and execute even their own people—completely Aryan; non-Jewish, non-gay, non-gypsy, non-disabled, etc., Germans!  Some of the Rebels were appalled at having witnessed a mass killing of naked Jews standing before a giant pit—but overall, their dissent had a common theme: their message was merely that they wanted a just government!  “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary action of criminal dictator-states…”  It is stated that these were the principles that would later form “the foundations of the new Europe“.

Over 60,000 souls were brave enough to risk a terrible death just for distributing leaflets telling of the FACTS going on in the war, and how imminently Germany was to face defeat and disgrace before the entire world!  Our allied forces were closing in against their country, but the Third Reich’s governing body was in prolific denial.  Most noteworthy among the Nazi Resistance were three young University students who were part of what was called the “White Rose” movement.  Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl, and Christoph Probst were tried in The People’s Court in Berlin, 1943.  These 20-year-old students were blatantly denied their right to council in that their “defense” attorneys were in fear for their own lives and so they said and did NOTHING in the way of countering trumped up charges against them, as was also the case for all other individuals whose dissent were rooted out by the Gestapo.  Judge Roland Freisler, presiding over Sophie Scholl’s “trial” with her brother, Hans, and Christoph Probst, was notorious for his loathing of rebels—non-violent or otherwise.  He is depicted historically as a ruthless judge and executioner, and the words he shouted at these three students reeked of pure evil… spouting off about the Master Race and how the Führer could not be defeated!  So these harmless activists were taken away and brutally murdered just a few hours later on February 21, 1943 … A year later, the Nazi’s would come to find out for themselves that those warnings the leaflets spoke of were more than accurate, because the fallout they experienced was much worse!

As true karma would have it, Judge Freisler found out personally, and PAINFULLY, that his grandiose delusions would END him and his Master Race!  There are many versions of Freisler’s demise on February 3, 1945.  All are in agreement, however, that an air-raid interrupted a trial.  The most common consensus for the judge’s death was that it was the middle of a trial for Fabian von Schlabrendorff , and once the sirens went off announcing a bomb raid, Judge Freisler adjourned court to run for cover.  But he first stopped to grab the file on Schlabrendorff.  A bomb made a direct hit on the People’s Court in Berlin, and the Judge was later found crushed to death, file in hand of what would have been his next victim of justice.  The amazing “karma” aspect of this story is that Freisler’s death saved Fabian von Schlabrendorff from the same fate as more than 60,000 other martyrs who were guillotined before him.  After the war, von Schlabrendorff became a judge of the Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht)!  No better example of Poetic Justice in action…  it is said that when Freisler’s body was brought in to the morgue, a worker named Luise Jodl commented, “It is God’s verdict.” According to Mrs. Jodl, “Not one person said a word in reply.”

I only regret that Judge Freisler wasn’t afforded even a MOMENT to reflect upon the irony of his death.  To read more about the White Rose movement  and the incredible courage of Sophie Scholl and her family, here’s a link that tells the whole story:

http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/revolt/scholl.html

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