Current events demonstrate extraordinary times. History dictates action to protect the human condition. To not speak and create would feel bankrupt. Times call for artists to engage, organize, and produce. The goal is to capture truth through art.
Recently, I’ve been reacquainted with an amazing woman of the past. While listening to the radio, the name Sophie Scholl appeared in causal conversation. It was a moment of grasping for recall and context. Research reconfirmed the great sacrifices some make for the betterment of society. Sophie undoubtedly was one of the best.
Sophie Scholl died on February 22, 1943 at the young age of twenty-one in Stadelheim Prison in Germany. Her crime was high treason against the government. While attending the University of Munich, Sophie was part of a group called the White Rose. The organization represented resistance against Hitler and handed out anti-Natzi leaflets.
From the Jewish Virtual Library: “The leaflet contained an anonymous essay that said that the Nazi system had slowly imprisoned the German people and was now destroying them. The Nazi regime had turned evil. It was time, the essay said, for Germans to rise up and resist the tyranny of their own government.” Sophie was caught handing out leaflets, arrested, sentenced, and executed by the guillotine.
Sophie died protecting truth and freedom.
From the Holocaust Research Project, the first White Rose: “Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes – crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure – reach the light of day?”
When hate becomes normalized, humanity suffers. Truth isn’t an alternative reality and facts aren’t fiction. Words have consequences and the world is watching. How will history record our actions? As an artist, I will create inspired by the heroines of our past and future.
“Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone.” Sophie Scholl
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