One of the pieces of Nazi Germany that has been discussed over and over this semester and has interested me is the idea of conscience. In Sophie Scholl, we see that her and her brother encouraged the Nazis they encountered to think about what they were actually practicing. It was in her interrogation where the viewer could see the situation go from a more formal interrogation to a conversation about conscience. Someone in class brought up the idea that if the Scholl’s ideas weren’t true, the Nazis wouldn’t have had anything to be scared of. As we know, this is very true. The words of the Scholls and the White Rose were incredibly true in that they asked for a kind of thinking about tough subjects that had been missing in Nazi Germany.
A second piece to this is the ways in which conscience can be thought about in relation to the Nuremberg Transcripts. Some of the individuals on trial did in fact not think about the consequences of their actions. However, many people blamed Hitler entirely for the atrocities. Was this used as a scapegoat? Probably for a few of the defendants, but one individual stuck out the most for me. Walther Funk’s statement truly shows a new understanding of the atrocities he helped commit during the Third Reich. Throughout the document, he talks about his discovery of his conscience. He talks about the way in which he “placed the will of the State before [his] conscience and [his] inner sense of duty because, after all, [he] was the servant of the State” (Nuremberg Trials 31). Throughout the transcripts, the reader can see that many in Nazi Germany had truly betrayed themselves, their consciences, and their potentials due to the idea of “Following the Fuhrer”.
Bundesarchiv, Bild. Walter Funk. 1942. Wikipedia. Web. 6 Dec. 2015.
Nuremberg Trial Transcripts. uwgb.edu. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/imt.htm. December 4, 2015
Sophie Scholl. 2005. Film.