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Review of Sophie Scholl – The Final Days

Sophie Scholl - The Final Days

By Norris Thomlinson, Deep Green Resistance Hawaii

Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (a German film with the original title of Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage) depicts the true story of a courageous young German woman, standing strongly behind her principles, as she faces charges in 1943 of undermining Nazi Germany. Scholl and a network of more than twenty others comprised the White Rose, opposing the Nazi regime through propaganda of graffiti and leaflets. The film centers on Scholl and her capture, interrogation, time in jail, and trial. A few other White Rose members are shown peripherally, most notably her brother Hans, captured with her during the same action.

After the depiction early in the film of the leaflet distribution which got the Scholls caught, the “action” ends, but if you’re interested in the dynamics of resistance movements and state repression, there’s still plenty to keep you engrossed. Sophie Scholl’s calm weaving of a plausible cover story under interrogation, followed by an equally calm steadfast defense of her beliefs, is gripping in its opposition to power in the face of grave danger. Scholl fights a battle of words for freedom and possibly life not only for herself, but for her brother, her parents, and many other comrades.

Stanley Diamond diagnosed: “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.” Once the Scholls’ guilt is unequivocally revealed, Sophie eloquently argues with her interrogator and with the court, addressing the implications of Hitler’s empire. The argument ranges from practical concerns of the impossibility of Germany winning against the combined opposition of America, England, and Russia to philosophical questions of blindly following government laws vs using conscience and God as moral guides. The Scholls point out the inevitability of military defeat and the senseless slaughter of German and foreign soldiers; and decry concentration camps, the extermination of mentally ill children, and German soldiers killing women and children. As we experience now regarding modern atrocities, those in power react with willful denial, rage meant to silence, detached sociopathic justifications, and of course retribution. The poignancy of these few young people raising their voices against mass consensus and state repression is alleviated only by the viewers’ knowledge of the accuracy of their predictions of Nazi defeat and repercussions for those who upheld its odious operations.

We can take inspiration to be as brave and accurate as the Scholls and the White Rose as we speak out against civilization at the root of our ecological and social crises, and as we call for, predict, and enact its dismantling.

Besides aspiring to their level of courage and honesty, we can also learn from their mistakes. Hans and Sophie Scholl knew they were taking a huge risk by distributing leaflets during the day; the rest of their group urged them not to try it. Hans carried evidence incriminating not only himself, but another member of their network, and left more incriminating evidence at home, easily found in a house raid.

The lack of compartmentalization of the White Rose network exposed and endangered them all following the capture of the Scholls. Aric McBay describes aboveground and underground organizational structures in the Deep Green Resistance book and in his video presentation Organizational Structures for Resistance. Careful consideration of organizational structure and of Security Culture is required now more than ever in the face of advanced surveillance and investigative technologies.

Finally, the White Rose believed first that their leaflets and then that state persecution would spark a student uprising. That hope may or may not have been justified, but such a revolt never occurred, and is reminiscent of the belief of the 1970s Weather Underground that they could provoke a youth rebellion by rioting and fighting cops in the street. We need to work from a realistic strategy based on a realistic assessment of likely engagement, and not just hope that our example will motivate a critical mass to take action.

Sophie Scholl – The Final Days is a moving glimpse into one of many historical resistance movements from which we can learn and take inspiration.

Seven GMO Events in May

This announcement was put together by Occupy Hilo and distributed by GMO Free Hawai’i Island:

There are seven GMO‬ related events happening on ‪Hawaii Island‬ in the next two weeks. Please mark your calendars for the following:

MON 5/19 Hawaii Seed and the Mom Hui presents

as part of the Raise Awareness Inspire Change Speaker Series: Dr. Tyrone Hayes – Silencing the Independent Scientist

Where: UH Hilo campus, Science and Technology Building, room 108

When: Monday evening, May 19th, 6-8pm

A free and open to the public presentation by UC Berkeley Professor Tyrone Hayes, about his findings from 15 years of research on the herbicide Atrazine and his struggle with the Syngenta corporation, the maker of Atrazine.

TUES 5/20 Kona Island Naturals

6-8 pm ~Dr. Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkeley Professor/research on pesticide Atrazine and struggle with Syngenta Chemical Corp.

TUES 5/20

Agriculture Advisory Commission 10:00 am Puna Conference Room. Agenda items include a discussion of GMO legislation

THURS 5/22

9:00 am to 4:30 pm UH Hilo room UCB100

UH Soil health and composting symposium. The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo and the County of Hawai`i will host a free, public forum entitled “Building Momentum Toward a Resilient and Sustainable Local Farming Culture.” Dr. Hector Valenzuela of the UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and Dr. Norman Arancon of CAFNRM will be the lead presenters with discussion facilitation by Interim CAFNRM Dean Bruce Mathews and County Councilwoman Margaret Wille, Chair of the County Council’s Committee on Agriculture, Water, Energy, Sustainability. Morning presentations and panel discussions will focus on eco-friendly agro-ecological models, integrated crop-livestock systems and feed options, improving soil health, and increasing economical options for high quality compost. The afternoon sessions will include a discussion of little red fire ant control strategies and facilitated breakout sessions, followed panel discussions on how to move forward on the key areas of interest.

SAT 5/24

1:00 ‪March Against Monsanto‬ March/Sign Waving against Monsanto in Kona. Queen K toward Mormon Temple

SAT 5/24

6:30-8:30 pm UH Hilo STB108 Dr. Lorin Pang of Maui, informs us about the health effects and other issues around genetic engineering and genetically engineered food and farming. His focus will also be on pesticides, and how pesticides affect the human body at the cellular level, and the unintended consequences of mixing different pesticides together. When mixed, as is done more often than not in the farm fields, they combine to create brand new untested chemicals that wreak havoc on the human body’s ability defend from the toxins.

THURS 5/29

4:30pm GMO ISSUES: Pro and Con Panel Discussion by Four Experts, STB108, UH Hilo Campus. Free presentation sponsored by AAUW and UHH Women’s Center.

Pro presenters:

Richard Ha, Hamakua Springs Country Farms/ Hawaii Board Agriculture

Dr. Russel Nagata, County Administrator, UH Manoa, College Tropical Agriculture Human Resources

Con presenters

Councilwoman Margaret Wille, Chair County Agriculture/ Sustainability Committee

Dr. Hector Valenzuela, UH Manoa Professor, College of Tropical Agriculture

Community members who have questions or concerns about this topic are encouraged to attend. There will be an opportunity to have questions answered.

Failure of Bill on Sustainable Living

The Hawai’i Sustainable Community Alliance has put a lot of effort over the past few years into drafting, introducing, and lobbying for a bill to “enable innovators and sustainable pioneers to practice and test ways of living that are ecological and sustainable” in Hawaii.

The bill passed through 6 committee hearings, and normally would have proceeded automatically to a final hearing. Senator Malama Solomon, who generally seems opposed to sustainability and supportive of destructive practices like industrial agriculture and geothermal, used her position as Chairperson of the Senate Conference Committee to deny the bill a hearing.

This, of course, is an all too typical expression of how systems of power operate. If you don’t play by their rules, they imprison you. If you play by their rules, you generally have no chance of winning, because they wrote the rules to keep themselves in power. And if you play by their rules and start to win, they change the rules.

If we, as advocates of sustainable living and social justice, are serious about winning, we need to find ways out of this triple bind. The Deep Green Resistance strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare is an excellent start, though we’ll have to figure out how to effectively apply it the particular situation in and needs of Hawaii.

Support bill to limit geothermal – deadline April 26

Passing this on from Puna Pono Alliance:

This year’s geothermal legislation needs your help now, one last time. Please send an email (see below) and ask your friends to do the same. The immediate need for these emails ends this week (please do not send emails after April 26th.)

Representatives Chris Lee and Cindy Evans along with their committees on Energy and Environmental Protection and Water and Land made appropriate changes to Senate Bill 2663 (now referred to as SB2663 SD2 HD2.) They not only cleaned up the Senate version of the bill, but they also provided for contested cases in geothermal permitting and a ban on fracking (with a sunset of 10 years.) Representative Sylvia Luke and her Finance committee then also approved the favorably amended legislation.

On Friday, April 25th, SB2663 SD2 HD2 will be considered by a conference committee (where Chris, Cindy, Sylvia and Cynthia Thielen will confer with Senators Malama Solomon, Donovan Dela Cruz, Mike Gabbard, Brickwood Galuteria and Sam Slom for decision making only, with no public testimony.) Puna Pono Alliance is supporting a campaign of email messages to the conference committee members. Here is a sample email message:


Thank you for your concern and support for a community that lives near Hawai`i’s only geothermal development. We appreciate how the House has provided for contested cases in geothermal permitting and a ban on fracking as amendments to Senate Bill 2663. These House changes, along with other improvements in language and intent, make Senate Bill 2663 an initiative I support. As members of the House and Senate confer on the bill, I ask that you please keep contested cases and the ban on fracking as essential elements of the bill. Without both of these elements, I feel that the bill would not be worthwhile.


Please freely edit the above draft text for your email. Here are the email addresses of the conference committee members::