Finn’s disobedience and defection: Parallels to real-life resistance against Nazi Germany



Finn’s resistance against
the First Order, both from within as a Stormtrooper and later as a
Resistance fighter, reflect and parallel real-life dissent and resistance
against fascism. This post will discuss some of those parallels.

I will confine my discussion of historical
precedents to Europe in World War 2, partly because the First Order
itself draws from Nazi imagery and history and, as @attackfish has pointed out,
The Force Awakens uses Holocaust motifs quite effectively in depicting the First Order’s crimes.
Another reason is that Finn’s actions in combination have the
distinctive characteristics of resistance both from within and outside of Germany during World War 2.

three main parallels in Finn’s actions to historical resistance are as follow: Conscientious objection to a criminal
order, the rescue of a pilot from enemy territory, and direct action to rescue a prisoner. Below I will discuss each of these
categories in more detail and end with a coda on parallels to German defectors who took up arms against the Nazis.

Keep reading


Those Who Said “No!”: Germans Who Refused to Execute Civilians during World War II
by David H. Kitterman

See also Germans Who Said No to the Holocaust (PDF link, bad scan) by the same author and an article quoting him on the subject.

Article on the Einsatzgruppen, including their high rate of addiction and mental illness and the use of poison gas in part to alleviate that toll

Wikipedia article on the legend of Joseph Schulz, the German soldier who was supposedly shot for refusing an order te execute prisoners

The number of German citizens who were sentenced to death from 1939 to 1945

The number of German military personnel sentenced to death from 1939 to 1945

Erich Knauf, whose jokes about Hitler and Nazis in a bomb shelter led to his arrest and execution

Jan Bytnar, Polish scout leader

Delousing Break from Stalag Luft III

Lorne Welch, who tried to steal a plane during the Delousing Break

Robert A. Hoover, who stole a German plane from an airfield and escaped to the Netherlands

Number of Germans killed for resistance activities

The German heroes who helped Allies against Hitler
about German and Austrian defectors who fought in the British military

John Boyega’s comments about Finn facing a choice in The Last Jedi between running and fighting (ignore the inaccurate clickbait title)