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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | February 18, 2009

<i>Hans and Sophie Scholl</i>

Hans and Sophie Scholl

February 18, 1943 – Nazis Arrest White Rose Leaders

Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, the leaders of the German youth group Weisse Rose (White Rose), are arrested by the Gestapo for opposing the Nazi regime.

The White Rose was composed of university (mostly medical) students who spoke out against Adolf Hitler and his regime. The founder, Hans Scholl, was a former member of Hitler Youth who grew disenchanted with Nazi ideology once its real aims became evident. As a student at the University of Munich in 1940-41, he met two Roman Catholic men of letters who redirected his life. Turning from medicine to religion, philosophy, and the arts, Scholl gathered around him like-minded friends who also despised the Nazis, and the White Rose was born.

During the summer of 1942, Scholl and a friend composed four leaflets, which exposed and denounced Nazi and SS atrocities, including the extermination of Jews and Polish nobility, and called for resistance to the regime. The literature was peppered with quotations from great writers and thinkers, from Aristotle to Goethe, and called for the rebirth of the German university. It was aimed at an educated elite within Germany.

On February 18, 1943, Hans and Sophie left a suitcase filled with copies of yet another leaflet in the main university building. The leaflet stated, in part: “The day of reckoning has come, the reckoning of our German youth with the most abominable tyranny our people has ever endured. In the name of the entire German people we demand of Adolf Hitler’s state the return of personal freedom, the most precious treasure of the Germans which he cunningly has cheated us out of.” The pair were spotted by a janitor and reported to the Gestapo and arrested. Turned over to Hitler’s “People’s Court,” basically a kangaroo court for dispatching dissidents quickly, the Scholls, along with another White Rose member who was caught, were sentenced to death. They were beheaded–a punishment reserved for “political traitors”–on February 23, but not before Hans Scholl proclaimed “Long live freedom!” (H/

The Scholls have been celebrated as heroes of Germany for thirty years now. it is an honor they truly deserve.

Topics: HHH | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. USA_Admiral Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    That is a great story that I had never read about.

  2. BB-Idaho Says:
    February 18th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    That pretty well kept the Germans suppressed until Count Von Stauffenberg came along….

  3. Morgan Says:
    February 19th, 2009 at 12:12 am

    They are an excellent example of what courageous youth is, like Nathan Hale in the American Revoltuion. Glad to know the Scholl siblings are well remembered in Germany.

  4. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 19th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Admiral – I saw it originally on Hitler’s Bodyguard – a series the Military Channel was airing.

    BB-Idaho – Agreed. Good to keep that bastard on his toes.

    Morgan – It took a few years, but it is nice to see them get recognized for their courage.