A Grief

This made me cry. This dialog is from the movie “Sophie Scholl: the Final Days” (German, 2005). There is a well-meaning German official talking with a girl who is in alot of trouble, it is Munich, 1943. He asks her why she is against Hitler’s Reich. The girl mentions the Jews, the official waves his hand. She then mentions retarded children who were killed by the scientific and compassionate Nazi Regime:

Girl: [talks about Nazis killing mentally retarded children]
Official: Their lives were not worthy. (worth living)….[talks]
Girl: No one, regardless of circumstances, can pass God’s judgment. No one knows what goes on in the minds of mentally ill. You do not know the wisdom that can be bought from suffering. Every life is precious.
Official: You have to realize a new age has dawned. What you are saying has nothing to do with reality.
GIrl: it has everything to do with reality. With decency, morals, and God.
Official: [exasperated] God! God doesn’t exist!

I cried. The German official wasn’t a jerk. He was a reasonable, logical, well-meaning man. And it didn’t end in 1945. I think in the USA alone, 80% of Down Syndrome kids are killed before birth.
ps The sun still shines. I just remembered a crazily happy and adorable Down Syndrome kid back home in AL. Our band director (and mother of 6) let the kid “conduct” our homeschool band during a rehearsal. He stood on the chair, waving the baton madly and grinning. Our band director stood behind him, conducting us. I won’t be able to forget his smile.


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