Sophie Scholl, the daughter of Robert Scholl, the mayor of Forchtenberg, was born on 9 May, 1921. The family moved to Ulm and in 1933 Sophie joined the Hitler Youth.
At first she was enthusiastic but, influenced by the views of her father, she became increasingly critical of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi government.
Sophie’s brother, Hans Scholl, was also growing disillusioned with Nazi Germany and in 1937 he was arrested and briefly jailed after being accused of subversive activities.
Later that year her father was imprisoned for making critical comments about Adolf Hitler to one of his employees. He was found guilty of saying: “this Hitler is God’s scourge on mankind, and if this war doesn’t end soon the Russians will be sitting in Berlin.”
Hans Scholl was also at the University of Munich and in 1942 he had formed the White Rose group.
Committed to opposing to the government of Nazi Germany members included Hans Scholl, Inge Scholl, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf and Jugen Wittenstein. Kurt Huber, a philosophy teacher at the university, was also a member of the group.
In Passive Resistance to National Socialism, published in 1943 the group explained the reasons why they had formed the White Rose group:
“We want to try and show that everyone is in a position to contribute to the overthrow of the system. It can be done only by the cooperation of many convinced, energetic people – people who are agreed as to the means they must use.
The White Rose group believed that the young people of Germany had the potential to overthrow Adolf Hitler and the Nazi government.
Do you and your children want to suffer the same fate that befell the Jews? Do you want to be judged by the same standards as your traducers? This included “Down With Hitler”, “Hitler Mass Murderer” and “Freedom”.
On 18th February, Sophie Scholl and Hans Scholl began distributing the sixth leaflet produced by the White Rose group.
It included the following: “The day of reckoning has come – the reckoning of German youth with the most abominable tyrant our people have ever been forced to endure. The Hitler Youth, the SA, the SS, have tried to drug us, to regiment us in the most promising years of our lives. The name of Germany is dishonoured for all time if German youth does not finally rise, take revenge, smash its tormentors.”
They were searched and the police found a handwritten draft of another leaflet. This they matched to a letter in Scholl’s flat that had been signed by Christoph Probst.
Found guilty of sedition they were executed by guillotine a few hours later.
Sophie’s last words to her cell mate were, “It is such a splendid sunny day, and I have to go. But how many have to die on the battlefield in these days, how many young, promising lives. What does my death matter if by our acts thousands are warned and alerted.”
via Spartacus Schoolnet.