Reichhart made enough to buy a villa in an affluent Munich suburb.
She was just one of the 3,009 people despatched by Nazi Germany’s leading executioner, Johann Reichhart, who was later to claim that Sophie was the bravest person he had killed.
It is often forgotten that, when the Nazis took office, they were initially cautious about using the death penalty.
According to one account, Sophie walked proudly across the yard to a small building, which contained the guillotine.
Before being strapped down, Sophie is said to have uttered these, her last words: ‘How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause?
Though fictional, it is based on the tragic true story of Otto and Elise Hampel, a working-class couple who were guillotined in Berlin’s notorious Plotzensee Prison in 1943 for distributing anonymous postcards denouncing the regime.
Victim: Sophie Scholl, student at Munich University and a member of The White Rose, an anti-Nazi resistance movement, was found guilty for treason on April 22 1943 and executed by guillotine on the same day Today, we associate the guillotine with the brutality of the French Revolution, when 16,549 men and women were executed by the device. They are thought to have beheaded almost as many victims as the French Reign of Terror during their 12 horrific years in power.Though it was talked of as a supposedly painless way to die, there is anecdotal evidence that the brain still functions within the severed head for at least 90 seconds after the blow.Nevertheless, one Nazi doctor was to claim absurdly that a trip to the ‘dentist was worse than the guillotine’, because the severance of any nerve endings in the beheading meant the brain would not feel any pain.In those early years of the Nazi regime, Hitler was concerned by the idea that, across Germany, methods of judicial execution varied.There was the guillotine, but also hanging, shooting, and perhaps most medieval of all, the axe.Twenty guillotines were secretly ordered — and distributed to prisons across the Reich.