My 4th Angel Sighting!
The hidden heart of Hitler’s guilt ridden Germany
Though I am often proud to admit that I never believe in astrology and angels, and that I am a rational, sensible woman, alas my years in a boarding school in Poona always come back to me with memories! These are all about those times when I begged an angel to fly down upon the squelching quagmire that had grabbed me, and to pick me up!
There was that time when the matron put a fried egg in my plate for breakfast and I screamed and wept, as being a vegetarian I did not want to have it! The angel I prayed to, never came. Hungry, I ate that fried egg, and realized it tasted good! Now one of my favourite breakfast dishes is a fried egg! So perhaps the angel was telling me it was good for me and so she did not appear? Or was she just not there?
Now when I am old enough to not believe most of the rubbish the world and especially the internet vomits out – those dreadful cults, those God Men, those con men, those cheaters like the Dr. Batra’s Homoeopathic Clinic and those ‘magic’ remedies to cure cancer, whiten skin, stop ageing etc. etc. , angels have decided to visit me everyday, without invitation!
One day I came across a German movie about World War II which changed my thinking considerably about that darkest period of Hitler’s hell. It was one of the 100 best films everyone must watch before they die! It is Sophie Scholl: The final Days (2005).
Sophia Magdalena Scholl was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, who worked with the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. She was imprisoned for being found guilty of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich with her brother Hans. She was bullied and harassed, threatened and ill treated in jail but never gave in. She and her brother were both guillotined.
Filmmaker Marc Rothemund dug out long-buried historical records to reconstruct the last six days in the life of this young German anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl (Julia Jentsch) in an Academy Award-nominated feature that earned star Julia Jentsch a Best Actress award at both the 2005 Lolas and the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival.
The year is 1943 and Adolf Hitler’s deathly and merciless march across Europe has activated the amazing, strong and powerful White Rose, an underground resistance movement born in Munich and dedicated to the fall of the Third Reich. Sophie Scholl is the only female member in the White Rose movement and she is not afraid to risk her life for her beliefs. Eventually arrested by the Gestapo for distributing pamphlets on campus alongside her brother Hans, Sophie stands up for her beliefs and never gives in to the Gestapo’s malignant hatred and bullying.
The movie is one of the most difficult but unforgettable treasures to watch. It shows us the other side of Germany, the vulnerable, guilt ridden wing of it, which hated Hitler and his hell.
While the actress Julia Jentsch is awesome (she won awards for her acting) equally marvelous is the actor playing the hateful Gestapo henchman who bullies her endlessly to make her spill out the details of the White Rose and its other members. Though the movie runs entirely on a dialogue between the prisoner and her interrogator, it is unstoppable enchantment.
Sophie Scholl became my fourth angel sighting! So did the film, and this heart wrenching reality of how much the lesser known heart of Germany also died under Hitler’s ferocious fangs.