The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals; they give them the opportunity to carry on their depredations; and of course they do so. Is this a sign that the Germans are brutalized in their simplest human feelings, that no chord within them cries out at the sight of such deeds, that they have sunk into a fatal consciencelessness from which they will never, never awake? It seems to be so, and will certainly be so, if the German does not at last start up out of his stupor, if he does not protest wherever and whenever he can against this clique of criminal, if he shows no sympathy for these hundreds of thousands of victims. He must evidence not only sympathy; no, much more: a sense of complicity in guilt.
The White Rose was a notable anti-violent resistance group who opposed Nazi rule that was composed of students from the University of Munich. One of its most known members, Sophie Scholl (May 9, 1921 - February 22 1943) was a student of biology and philosophy who joined the group with her brother, a former medic on the Eastern front, Hans Scholl.
She, Hans and Christoph Probst (in the photograph included here) were arrested after being accused of distributing anti-war leaflets at the University. They were soon charged with the crime of high treason and demoralizing the troops. At their trial in Hitler’s People Court, they were found guilty, stripped of their citizenship and sentenced to death.
Instead of being given 99 days before execution, they were to die the same day of their court trial. That afternoon, the prison guards permitted Hans, Sophie, and Christoph to have one last visit together. Sophie was then led to the guillotine first. Christoph Probst was next. Hans Scholl was last; just before he was beheaded, he cried out: “Long live freedom!”
Unfortunately, they were not the last to die. The Gestapo would later arrest, charge and execute Alex Schmorell (age 25), Willi Graf (age 25), and Professor Kurt Huber (age 49) for their involvement in the White Rose. Those not executed were sent to concentration camps or handed down incredibly harsh punishments. The White Rose, however, had the last word. Their sixth and final leaflet was smuggled out of Germany through Scandinavia to England where The Allies air-dropped millions of copies across Germany with the title, “A German Leaflet: Manifesto of the Students of Munich”.
August 05, 2011, 2:00pm / 165