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Sophie Scholl on Instagram: A Communication and Historical Study

Sophie Scholl on Instagram: A Communication and Historical Study

The Instagram account "@ichbinsophiescholl" of the public broadcasters Südwestrundfunk [Southwest Broadcasting] (SWR) and Bayerischer Rundfunk [Bavarian Broadcasting] (BR) is a spectacular social media meme project. By having Sophie Scholl, a historical figure from the National Socialist era, appear as a social media actor, it promises an "honest" and an "intimate perspective" on the young resistance fighter who was convicted by the Nazi justice system and executed on 22 February 1943.

Daria Chepurko, Ken Phan, Kira Thiel and Hans-Ulrich Wagner have analysed the account from the perspective of communication and history. They present their findings in a comprehensive dossier on our blog (in German).

How should we assess the attempt to present historical knowledge to the media society and make it accessible? What communicative processes can be observed when looking at the text-image contributions published so far, especially with regard to the many short reels, stories and longer reenactment videos?

The dossier introduces the Instagram account and discusses its context. The following texts discuss "@ichbinsophiescholl" with regard to the following themes: Article 2 addresses the question ''Fakten und Fiktion: Wie viel Fiktionalität verträgt ein Instagram-Account über eine historische Persönlichkeit?" [Facts and Fiction: How Much Fictionality Can an Instagram Account about a Historical Personality Tolerate?]. The third article focuses on the attribution of historical authenticity and asks how sources and documents are dealt with. Article 4 deals with the topic of cult figures and asks which Sophie Scholl should users follow? Article 5 looks at history as a battle of opinions and raises the question of how to deal with "undesirable" comments. Finally, the concluding article looks at the changing field of remembrance culture through digital interactive media.

Cover picture provided by: Bayrischer Rundfunk (BR)


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