Germany / Biography
As part of the White Rose (Weiße Rose) resistance group Sophie Scholl was one of the Germans who stood up against the Nazi regime. The group consisted of a few students and professors of the University of Munich, who printed and distributed six anti-war pamphlets around German cities between June 1942 and February 1943.
Sophie Scholl was born on 9 May 1921 and just like many other German children she was an enthusiastic member of the national socialistic youth movement. This was to the dismay of her parents, who valued the Christian tradition. However, Sophie’s enthusiasm would disappear slowly due to the violent and racist incidents which took place, but also because of the arrest of her brother, Hans, for being a member of another youth movement.
In May 1942 Sophie started studying biology and philosophy at the University of Munich. Here she saw pamphlets of the White Rose and made the connection that her brother was involved in the organisation. Sophie confronted him with this and insisted on joining the group. Hans and his friends gained inspiration for the pamphlets from their experiences fighting on the Eastern Front. Here they had seen how bad the situation was in Poland and the Soviet Union, which resulted in their call for non-violent resistance against the Nazi regime. The pamphlets were distributed all over Germany.
On 18 February 1943 Sophie and her brother were caught distributing pamphlets by the university janitor. They were arrested by the Gestapo the same day. The trial against Sophie and Hans took place behind closed doors four days later. Together with Christoph Probst, they were sentenced to the guillotine and the verdict was executed that same day. Despite the fact that during the trial they took all blame, their friends were convicted at a later time. The sixth pamphlet was smuggled into England via Scandinavia and was dropped by the Royal Air force in large quantities over Germany.