Tomorrow at 7 PM at the Historic Downtown Yuma Theatre, 254 S. Main Street, The Freedom Library will screen the movie, Sophie Scholl – The Final Days. Nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Foreign Language Film, the movie is the true story of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroine who was a fearless activist of the underground student resistance group called The White Rose. The film truly portrays the amount of courage it takes to resist the status quo.
In many societies individuals are chided and even accused of being treasonous when they state opposition to their government, especially during wartime. It is always the duty of every citizen to support his country, which in the minds of many is synonymous with government. Once war is underway, all discussion and debate is over and government officials take any opposition as treasonous.
Sophie Scholl is caught distributing anti-war leaflets in 1943 when Germany was fighting a war against the Soviets in the east and the United States and Britain in the west. Sophie and others took it upon themselves to enlighten the populous as to how wrong and immoral their German government officials had become. Since government officials at that time did not recognize free speech, Sophie Scholl and anyone caught opposing the war effort was prosecuted as traitors just like the founders of the United States would have been had they lost their battle with England.
In the United States today, individuals possess their inalienable right to free speech. Although some are touted and chided for their beliefs, it is important Americans can still say what they want especially during wartime. America has the Constitution. It is the American people who have the responsibility to make sure their government officials abide by it.
Free speech results in the continuation of the great American experiment in liberty not being devoured by tyranny. Saying, “love it or leave it” is not the proper response when discussing current events. Immigration, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the War on Drugs and Poverty, education, and all of the other situations current Americans find themselves all make it so important that Americans do not allow what happen to Sophie Scholl and others who spoke out for individual liberty and freedom.
Sophie Scholl and the other members of The White Rose were asking all Germans, military and civilian, to decide that what their government officials had become and what those officials got the German people into as immoral and illegitimate. The White Rose was asking the German people to take the necessary steps to put a stop to their government officials and their war. They were asking the German people to embrace a higher concept of patriotism involving a devotion to moral principles and values as opposed to blind allegiance to one’s government in time of war, a patriotism similar to that of the founders of the United States when they decided that it was time to break with England. Like the story of the founders, the story of Sophie Scholl and The White Rose is truly one of the great chronicles of human courage in history.
The Freedom Library makes this movie available so that Americans will not make the same mistake the German people did and vote in tyranny to replace the republic they were bequeathed.
All funds from ticket sales and the raffle go toward The Freedom Library scholarship program. Through this program and others similar to it around the country, Americans will save their republic to give to future generations.
Doors open at 6:30 PM. Stop by the Historic Downtown Yuma Theatre tomorrow to learn what happens when the principles of liberty are not followed and to help others learn as well.