Chris Knight reviews Sophie Scholl: The Final Days — the story of a member of the White Rose — and finds the cover blurb “Chilling authenticity” goes further than anyone would think.
Arts & Literature, General, Movies
December 21, 2006 at 10:04 pm
I should have mentioned this in my review: although that was the original guillotine from Stadelheim, the steel blade was removed during production and replaced with a foam-rubber replica. At no time was Julia’s pretty little head actually under a real guillotine blade (though for me that would still be hecka disquieting to have my head in THAT thing knowing how many people died on it regardless of whether the real blade was there or not).
At the beginning of the segment on the guillotine you see a few of the film crew workers with the guillotine disassembled, and they’re commenting on how well it was put together, how big the bolts were that held it together etc. Not many people outside of Germany realize that the Nazis put the guillotine to more use than the French ever did… and they had improved on every facet of it, from its construction to how efficiently it was used.
Guillotining was the standard capital punishment for civilians found guilty of treason in Nazi Germany and the occupied territories. Military personnel found guilty of treason were usually hanged or (as happened with Claus von Stauffenberg) executed by firing squad. If the offender was one of the higher guys on the Nazi totem pole, like Rommel, they might be given the chance to commit suicide and thus spare Der Fuhrer any public embarrassment (along with repercussions to the traitor’s family).
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