Remembering Hans Sophie Scholl

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by stug3, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    #1 stug3, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
    Beheaded in Munich 70 years ago today.

    The student resistance movement called the White Rose, active in Germany during the Third Reich. The image shows Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl (center), and Christoph Probst (right), Munich, Germany, 1942.
    [​IMG]


    In their school days Hans and Sophie Scholl had been fascinated by the Nazi movement. Hans had had a high rank in the Hitler Youth organisation and Sophie a similar position in the League of German Girls. Yet as they grew older and witnessed the progress of the war they became highly critical of the Nazi regime, realising that it ran counter to their most deeply held values.

    As a medical student Hans found himself posted to Russia on military service and witnessed the conduct of the German armed forces and the actions against the Jews. On returning to Munich University in 1942 he and a group of fellow students formed the ‘White Rose Resistance Movement’. When Sophie came to the university in 1942 she also joined the group.

    Between June 1942 and February 1943 the group distributed six different leaflets denouncing Hitler and the Nazi regime. Readers were 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 the new Europe”. Thousands of leaflets were produced using a hand cranked printing machine and they reached most of the major cities in Germany.

    On the 18th of February Hans and Sophie were distributing a suitcase full of leaflets in the University. They were intended to be found by students attending lectures the following day. But they were caught in the act by university staff and handed over to the Gestapo.

    When they came up before the Nazi ‘People’s Court’ chaired by the notorious Roland Freisler on the 22nd of February there was not much hope for them. He acted as prosecutor, judge and jury in his own conception of ‘Nazi justice’ and had a record of convicting over 90% of the people appearing in his court and sentencing them to death. Hans and Sophie were treated no differently. They remained defiant to the end, Sophie then aged 22, is recorded as saying “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just do not dare express themselves as we did.”

    Within hours of their conviction they were beheaded by guillotine at Munich’s Stadelheim Prison. Prison officials emphasized the courage with which Sophie walked to her execution. Her last words were “Die Sonne scheint noch”—”The sun still shines.”



    The People’s Court Judge Roland Freisler, sometimes known as ‘Raving Roland’ for his hysterical outbursts in court. He sentenced over 2,600 people to death in the last three years of the war.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I remember seeing the movie on DVD a few years ago - very well produced, and very moving.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I have some neat pictures I took at the memorial for them at the University in Munich. I will post them up this weekend.
     
  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Never heard of these three students until a few months back when the movie was on TV. Courageous people, and should be remembered.
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Can't say I had heard of them until now. Remarkable story with a tragic ending.

    :salute:
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  7. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Being a student (or any other kind for that matter) protestor in Nazi Germany must have taken cojones (in this case better to say: Kloten) the size of watermellons. After the indoctrination of the Hitler Youth I am surprised he retained so much empathy. Tragic and horrible may their souls rest in Peace
     
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