By some accounts, he smuggled the sixth leaflet to the Allies for dissemination as propaganda. X
12 October 1943. Huber's widow was sent a bill for 600 marks (twice her husband's monthly salary) for "wear of the guillotine." Friends and colleagues of the White Rose, who had helped in the preparation and distribution of leaflets and in collecting money for the widow and young children of Probst, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to ten years.
After her release for the sentence handed down on 19 April, Traute Lafrenz was rearrested. She spent the last year of the war in prison. Trials kept being postponed and moved to different locations because of Allied air raids. Her trial was finally set for April 1945, after which she probably would have been executed. Three days before the trial, however, the Allies liberated the town where she was held prisoner, thereby saving her life.
The White Rose had the last word. Their last
end of July 1942, many of the male medical students at the University of Munich were obliged to serve a three-month stint on the Russian front as medics. The idea was to send all medical students to the Russian front for a period of three months in order for them to experience the rendering of medical care under fire, and to work as physician assistants in field hospitals.
Several White Rose members were among them, where they witnessed the horrors of war and the unbelievable cruelty the Germans displayed to the Jews. They personally observed beatings and other mistreatment and heard reliable stories of the persecution of the Jews then in full swing. Some witnessed atrocities of the war on the battlefield and against civilian populations in the East. Willi Graf saw the Warsaw and Łódź Ghettos and could not get the images of brutality out of his mind.
In November 1942 when the men returned, the White Rose resumed its resistance activities. In January 1943, using a hand-operated duplicating machine, the group is thought to have produced between 6,000 and 9,000 copies of their fifth leaflet, "Appeal to all Germans!", which was distributed via courier runs to many cities (where they were mailed). Copies appeared in Stuttgart, Cologne, Vienna, Freiburg, Chemnitz, Hamburg, Innsbruck and Berlin. The fifth leaflet was composed by Hans Scholl with improvements by Huber. These leaflets warned that Hitler was leading Germany into the abyss; with the gathering might of the Allies, defeat was now certain. The reader was urged to "Support the resistance movement!" in the struggle for "freedom of speech, freedom of religion and protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary action of criminal dictator-states". These were the principles that would form "the foundations of a new Europe".
By February 1943, the young friends sensed the reversal of fortune the Wehrmacht suffered at Stalingrad, which eventually led to Germany's defeat. As the brutality of the regime became more and more apparent, when deportations of Jews began, and the remaining few forced to wear the yellow Star of David, when German atrocities in occupied Poland and Russia became known, and when the copies of Bishop Galen's sermon condemning the killing of inmates in insane asylums were circulated in secret,
This spontaneous action was observed by the custodian Jakob Schmid. The police were called and Hans and Sophie Scholl were taken into Gestapo custody. Sophie and Hans were interrogated by Gestapo interrogator Robert Mohr, who initially thought Sophie was innocent. However, after Hans confessed, Sophie assumed full responsibility in an attempt to protect other members of the White Rose. Despite this, the other active members were soon arrested, and the group and everyone associated with them were brought in for interrogation.
The Scholls and Probst were the first to stand trial before the Volksgericht—the
German resistance group were arrested by the Gestapo and beheaded in 1943. The text of their sixth leaflet was smuggled by Helmuth James Graf von Moltke out of Germany through Scandinavia to the United Kingdom, and in July, 1943, copies of it were dropped over Germany by Allied planes, retitled "The Manifesto of the Students of Munich."
Another member, Hans Conrad Leipelt, who helped distribute Leaflet 6 in Hamburg, was executed on January 29, 1945, for his participation.
Today, the members of the White Rose are honoured in Germany amongst its greatest heroes, since they opposed the Third Reich in the face of almost certain death.
Students from the University of Munich comprised the core of the White Rose — Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, Alex Schmorell, Willi Graf, Christoph Probst, Traute Lafrenz, Katharina Schüddekopf, Lieselotte (Lilo) Berndl, Jürgen Wittenstein, Marie-Luise Jahn, Falk Harnack, Hubert Furtwängler, Wilhelm Geyer, Manfred Eickemeyer, Josef Söhngen, Heinrich Guter, Heinrich Bollinger, Helmut Bauer, Harald Dorhn, Rudi Alt and later Wolfgang Jaeger. Most were in their early twenties. A professor of philosophy and musicology, Kurt Huber, was also associated with their cause. Whilhelm Geyer taught Alexander Schmorell how to make the tin templates used in the graffiti campaign. Eugen Grimminger of Stuttgart funded their operations. Grimminger's secretary Tilly Hahn contributed her own funds to the cause, and acted as go-between for Grimminger and the group in Munich. She frequently carried supplies such as envelopes, paper, and an additional duplicating machine from Stuttgart to Munich. In addition, a group of students in the city of Ulm distributed a number of the group's leaflets. Among this group were Sophie Scholl's childhood friend Susanne Hirzel and her teenage brother Hans Hirzel and Franz Josef Müller.
Between June 1942 and February 1943, the group prepared and distributed six leaflets, in which they called for the active opposition of the German people to Nazi oppression and tyranny. Huber wrote the final leaflet. A draft of a seventh leaflet, designed by Christoph Probst, was found in the possession of Hans Scholl at the time of his arrest by the Gestapo. While Sophie Scholl hid incriminating evidence on her person before being taken into custody, Hans did not do the same with Probst's leaflet draft or
Grave of Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst, in the Perlacher Friedhof next to the Stadelheim prison in Munich
To read English translation of the sixth leaflet, click on thumbnail.
To read the testimony of Jakob Schmied that led to the arrest of Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christopher Probst, click on thumbnail.
Turn to p. 10.
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Robert Edward and Donald McKenna Quiz Poets Laureate
Comments from Our Readers
This quiz was very easy. All I did was zooming the picture and read the words "Ein Deutches Flugblatt"; and googled the phrase, that led me to the wikipedia article about White Rose, which contained all the answers and another picture of the monument.
Further research and having also read "Sophie Scholl" and opened her bio, led me to a bigger understanding of the story.
I found the quiz pic here uwec-germany.blogspot.com/ and it seems to be taken by an American student that spent the Summer of 2011 in Germany.This adventure reminds me of "Heidenrslein", in which the Rose, despite being taken off the garden, also has the last word by pricking the boy (I don't agree it was in vain!)
***** I found this easy to identify because I instantly recognized the photo of Sophie Scholl--I have a copy of her and her brother Hans Scholl's letters and diaries in my library as well as a volume of the White Rose leaflets. The photo is indelible in my memory because I discovered the White Rose in the 1980s and the picture of her always looked like a European pop or punk band photo taken in the 1980s--think The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Eyeless In Gaza--that sort of thing. Go ahead and laugh--it's how my brain works.
***** This one I know. Remember I am related to Dieterick Bohnoeffer. Dietrich visited my great aunt and uncle, Irma (Tafel) and Harold Boericke in their home on Philadelphia's Main Line several times. Their daughter Betty was my mother's best friend and first cousin. She was there during several visits.
Irma has donated several private, personal letters from him to museums. They also helped support his parents and a sister living in Berlin during the later part of the war.
I have never understood why he went back to Germany knowing they would kill him. He was engaged to a nice young woman. Very strange.
The Boericke's lived across the street from Albert Barnes, Barnes Museum of Modern Art. Hal would walk to the train "Paoli Local' at Merion, PA with Albert. The rest of the neighbors shunned him because he was Jewish.
The Boerickes, like the Tafels, were Swedenborgian and Dietrich was interested in their religious views.
Sherry Shaller Marshall
***** The ultimate last word is that they were heroes and are remembered as such. Thank you, once again, for this learning experience.
Carol Gene Farrant
***** I think that is part of being a young activist, I also think that they would have been caught at some point, it was unavoidable and they knew it, but they wouldn't stop, since resistance from young students is a fundamental part of every autoritarian regime.
***** Another moving learning experience. I would hope I have the courage to make a stand in the face of death. And another place to go see on my bucket list!
***** Today the members of the White Rose are honored as heroes in Gemany as well they should be. I stood up for what I thought was right back in my college days and a few years afterward, but never at peril to my own life. These were indeed brave "kids".
***** I googled the names on the 2 photos (Hans and Sophie Scholl) which led me to the White Rose group. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose Also, the googling "Munich student manifesto" (the English translation of a phrase on one page in the photo) leads to the same info.
***** Googling ein deutsches flugeblatt gave me quite a story in wikipedia.
***** At first, it seemed that Goolge Translate was going to help me because initially, I could not figure out what in the world a "a German plane sheet" was. Turns out flugblatt means a flier or leaflet. Realizing that was not going to help nearly as much as I'd hoped, I sat staring at the pictures of the people. Then I noticed, clear as day, the name Sophie Scholl under one of the photos. From there a quick Google search directed me to information about her and White Rose. Sophie was a fearless young woman. It is wonderful to see that she and her fellow compatriots are still highly regarded by most Germans, in particularly the youth.
***** The first step I took was to search for the headline "eine deuches flugblatt" from the photo clue. It led to the website "Wesson.de" written in German. I translated the text thru google. I the went to Wikipedia for information on the "White Rose Group".
War-Time Recollections of Robert Edward McKenna Quiz Poet Laureate
Thank you for your note concerning the "White Rose" . I had some personal knowledge of then situation. As I had been there at the time...... In the early 1940's I received a personal invitation from the United States Government to join the War in Europe. Being free at the time, I decided to accept the call.
I was assigned as a Scout to the 13tn Armored Division Reconnaissance, whose overall responsibility was to "Clean Out the Bad Guys" who still remained of Hitlers' Grand Army. We were to travel down the Ruhr River (Transportation supplied) from the North until the area was purified.
I was at the time between 18 and 19 years old. I had never traveled more than 50 miles from home before. Home was Fairfield , Connectici\ut. Quite an experience, Eh what?
The only personal confrontation that could have exploded, was experienced was with an elderly woman. She came out of her house very concerned. With all of the noise and confusion that was going on all around, she was actually quite brave to ask me what I was doing there in her back yard.. (She spoke English.)
I attempted to explain to her that Hitler had lost the war. She could not believe that her country had lost the war. I told her that her life was in danger if she did not return to her home. She did go peaceably.
I don't mean light of the circumstances of the War. Millions of people lost their lives!! But I just happened to be there!!!!!
Robert Edward McKenna Quiz Poet Laureate
Dissemination of the Sixth Leaflet "A German Leaflet" by the Allies, 1943
First Dissemination by Air
Last Dissemination by Air
Total No. Dropped by Aircraft
03/04 July 1943
27/28 July 1943
First Dissemination by Balloon
Last Dissemination by Balloon
Total No. Dropped by Balloon
10/11 July 1943
12/13 July 1943
First Dissemination by Artillery
Last Dissemination by Artillery
Total No. Dropped by Artillery
The White Rose (German: die Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to dictator Adolph Hitler's regime.
The six most recognized members of the
Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christopher Probst, 1942
On Feb. 5, 2012, Alexander Schmorell was canonized as a New Martyr by the Orthodox Church.
detachment gave way to the conviction something had to be done. It was not enough to keep to oneself, one's beliefs, and ethical standards, but the time had come to act.
Quoting extensively from the Bible, Aristotle and Novalis, as well as Goethe and Schiller, they appealed to what they considered the German intelligentsia, believing that they would be intrinsically opposed to Nazism. These leaflets were left in telephone books in public phone booths, mailed to professors and students, and taken by courier to other
People's Court that tried political offenses against the Nazi German state—on 22 February 1943. They were found guilty of treason and Roland Freisler, head judge of the court, sentenced them to death. The three were executed the same day by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison. All three were noted for the courage with which they faced their deaths, particularly Sophie, who remained firm despite intense interrogation. (Reports that she arrived at the trial with a broken leg from torture were false.) She said to Freisler during the trial, "You know as well as we do that the war is lost. Why are you so cowardly that you won't admit it?"
a sentence of ten years in a penitentiary.
The third White Rose trial was to have taken place on 20 April 1943 (Hitler's birthday), because Freisler anticipated death sentences for Wilhelm Geyer, Harald Dohrn, Josef Söhngen and Manfred Eickemeyer. He did not want too many death sentences at a single trial, and had scheduled those four for the next day. However, the evidence against them was lost, and the trial was postponed until 13 July 1943.
At that trial, Gisela Schertling – who had betrayed most of the friends, even fringe members like Gerhard Feuerle – redeemed herself by recanting her testimony against all of them. Since Freisler did not preside over the third trial, the judge acquitted all but Söhngen (who got only six months in prison) for lack of evidence.
Alexander Schmorell and Kurt Huber were beheaded on 13 July 1943, and Willi Graf on
cigarette coupons given to him by Geyer, an act that cost Probst his life and nearly undid Geyer. Hans did try to destroy the draft of the last leaflet by ripping it into pieces and stuffing into his mouth to try save Probst from detection but the Gestapo recovered enough to match with written, signed statements from Probst found later in Han's apartment.
The group was motivated by ethical and moral considerations. At the
universities for distribution. At first, the leaflets were sent out in mailings from cities in Bavaria and Austria, since the members believed that southern Germany would be more receptive to their anti-militarist message.
The leaflets caused a sensation, and the Gestapo began an intensive search for the publishers. On the nights of the 3rd, 8th and 15th of February 1943, the slogans "Freedom" and "Down with Hitler" appeared on the walls of the university and other buildings in Munich. Alexander Schmorell, Hans Scholl and Willi Graf had painted them with tar-based paint. (Similar graffiti that appeared in the surrounding area at this time was painted by imitators).
The shattering German defeat at Stalingrad at the beginning of February provided the occasion for the group's sixth leaflet, written by Huber. Headed "Fellow students!" (the now-iconic Kommilitoninnen! Kommilitonen!), it announced that the "day of reckoning" had come for "the most contemptible tyrant our people has ever endured." "The dead of Stalingrad adjure us!"
On 18 February 1943, coincidentally the same day that Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels called on the German people to embrace total war in his Sportpalast speech, the Scholls brought a suitcase full of leaflets to the university. They hurriedly dropped stacks of copies in the empty corridors for students to find when they flooded out of lecture rooms. Leaving before the class break, the Scholls noticed that some copies remained in the suitcase and decided it would be a pity not to distribute them. They returned to the atrium and climbed the staircase to the top floor, and Sophie flung the last remaining leaflets into the air.
When Hans was executed, he said "Let freedom live" as the blade fell.
The second White Rose trial took place on 19 April 1943. Only eleven had been indicted before this trial. At the last minute, the prosecutor added Traute Lafrenz (who was considered so dangerous that she was to have had a trial all to herself), Gisela Schertling and Katharina Schüddekopf. Others tried were Hans Hirzel, Susanne Hirzel, Franz Josef Müller, Heinrich Guter, Eugen Grimminger, Heinrich Bollinger, Helmut Bauer and Falk Harnack. None had an attorney. One was assigned after the women appeared in court with their friends. Prior to their deaths, several members of the White Rose believed that their execution would stir university students and other anti-war citizens into activism against Hitler and the war.
Professor Huber had counted on the good services of his friend, attorney Justizrat Roder, a high-ranking Nazi. Roder had not bothered to visit Huber before the trial and had not read Huber's leaflet. Another attorney had carried out all the pre-trial paperwork. When Roder realized how damning the evidence was against Huber, he resigned. The junior attorney took over.
Grimminger initially was to receive the death sentence for funding their operations. His attorney successfully played upon the female wiles of Tilly Hahn to convince Freisler that Grimminger had not known what the money was really being used for.Grimminger therefore escaped with
leaflet was smuggled to the Allies, who edited it and air-dropped millions of copies over Germany. The members of the White Rose, especially Sophie, became icons of the new post-war Germany.
Willi Graf 2 January 1918 – 12 October 1943 A recruiter in other German cities X
1961 East German stamp commemorating Sophie and Hans Scholl
In nationwide (German) poll, Sophie and her brother Hans were voted the fourth most important Germans of all time, above Bach, Goethe and Einstein X
Sophie reading Undated
Photos of Sophie Scholl
\Scholl Siblings from left: Sophie, Inge, Hans, Werner, Elisabeth
Sophie Scholl, Girl's Lutheran School, class of 1936, Ludwigsburg. Sophie is circled in white.
Sophie in Ulm c 1931
Sophie as a young girl, undated.
Sophie with other White Rose members, 1942
Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst Founding members of the White Rose