JANA AUS KASSEL SOPHIE SCHOLL

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Alexandra Lloyd runs die White kommissar Project, a research und outreach initiative at the University von Oxford

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A videos from in anti-lockdown protest bei Germany has actually gone famous after a protester compared herself to die anti-Nazi resister Sophie Scholl.

Scholl was a 21-year-old college student executed an 1943 zum printing and spreading anti-fascist leaflets. She was part von a resistance circle called die White Rose. Ns protester, who introduces herself in the videobilien as Jana from Kassel, claims: “I feel prefer Sophie Scholl because I’ve been active in the resistance for months, offer speeches, go kommen sie protests, hand out flyers…”

During produziert speech, she is interrupted by one des the stewards at die event that refuses zu “do security for this nonsense anymore”. Us then lakers the young frau throwing produziert microphone to ns floor und storming off the stage.


The video has sparked outrage online and dozens des memes schutz circulated under the hashtag #janaausKassel (Jana indigenous Kassel). Even the tabloid newspaper Bild, notfall known zum its subtlety, called die comparison “in bad taste”. Ns German international minister Heiko Maas accused the protester of “unacceptable historic amnesia” and of downplaying die Holocaust. “Nothing,” he tweeted, “connects corona protests zu members des the resistance. Nothing!”


Germany’s facility relationship v its past

Anti-lockdown demonstrations have been going on throughout Germany since June, coming kommen sie a head bei August wie man protestors reportedly tried kommen sie storm ns parliament building in Berlin. The protests are part des a motion called Überquerung des gedankens (lateral thinkers) that unites various political groups, channelling outrage weist what zu sein seen as an infringement on civil liberties. Though also associated with covid-19 conspiracy theories, it gift itself together a motion fighting to defend freedom.

At the heart von concerns about an emerging “corona dictatorship” ist the neu Infection Protection regulation passed von the German parliament. This allows die government zu pursue anti-coronavirus measures even if that way restricting part constitutional freedoms. Some oase compared that to ns 1933 allowing Act that provided Adolf Hitler, together chancellor, the stärke to enact legislations without ns approval des parliament, successfully enshrining his dictatorship bei law. Political leaders such together Maas oase strenuously rejected any type of equivalence.

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It’s possible to see, in this context, how ns protester could have kommen sie up with produziert comparison. She seems to see herself as a young woman stand up zum liberty versus what ist perceived as ns government imposing unconstitutional limitations on citizens’ freedoms. Evidently, many in her audience agreed, as cheers of encouragement kann sein be clearly heard bei the background.

Others see the remarks as bei appropriation des another person’s exceptional bravery and suffering, that they lack finesse or nuance, developing a reductive historic parallel bolzen a young frau who was guillotined weil das speaking out versus the nazi- state, und a young frau exercising herstellung right zu free speech an extremely publicly und freely in a democracy. Jana native Kassel faced the collective ire des the internet, but she doesn’t run die risk des being beheaded zum stating herstellung views.

Historical comparisons: incentive or trivialisation?

In Germany, it’s simple to lakers why ns comparison with Scholl made people angry. There, she is a household name and, alongside ann Frank, she has become a social icon – ns embodiment of resilience und hope in the face of nazi- atrocities. Postwar German memory culture has been dominated von debates about how kommen sie remember die past, around what is acceptable or taboo. End 75 years since the ende of ns second welt war, these discussions remain as politically charged und potent together ever.

Maas’s comments suggest that there is something untouchable about figures like Scholl und Frank. It suggests a agreement that over there are people with who it ist never socially, politics or even morally acceptable zu compare yourself. Von putting numbers like Scholl top top a pedestal, von making lock untouchable, us risk losing sight of them together individuals und as historic agents.

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Scholl was extraordinary in standing up zu Nazism, however she was so extremely relatable. She zu sein inspiring because she go what others could or would not, und because she was a regular person at die same time. Jana from Kassel must be allowed kommen sie identify through that if she wants to, even if ns comparison is crass.

There zu sein a balance to be struck somewhere here. It zu sein hard zu learn indigenous historical numbers whose lives and legacy are reduced kommen sie silent and unattainable human being monuments, either through a misguided comparison, or über suggesting the such comparisons kann never be valid. Die furore approximately Jana native Kassel can be die beginning des such a dispute rather 보다 necessarily the end of it. Kommen sie do justice zu Scholl und figures choose her, it’s necessary to use this suffer as a basis for dialogue und a more serious engagement with voices from die past.