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February 28, 2001 European Youth Online Magazine  

Weiße Rose

The uncomprom-
ising beginning of the first leaflet: "Nothing is less worthy of a cultivated people: than to allow itself to be governed by a clique of irrespon-
sible bandits of dark ambition, without Resistance."

Some words from the last leaflet: "The day of reckoning is come, the reckoning of German youth with the most appalling tyranny that our people has ever endured. In the name of the entire German people we demand from Adolf Hitler the return of our personal freedom, the most valuable possession of the Germans .."

Young Germans' fight against racism and new Nazis:
The pledge to Hans and Sophie Scholl

Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie were students in Munich. They died in 1943 paying with their lives for their active and courageous resistance against Hitler and his regime.

Together with their fellow students Alexander Schmorell, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf and their philosophy professor Karl Huber they organised the resistance group Weiße Rose (White Rose) against Nazi terror and warfare. In 1942 the group Weiße Rose started to write and distribute anti-Nazi leaflets in Munich. With great courage they named the crimes of the Nazi government and appealed to the German people to oppose to Hitler. Establishing contacts to students in other towns in Germany, taking the risk of travelling by train with suitcases full of leaflets, they succeeded to organise the distribution of the leaflets all over the South of Germany.

On February 18th in 1943 the group placed leaflets all over the university. Sophie Scholl tossed hundreds from the top of the university's atrium to reach the students below. Jakob Schmid, a plumber working as caretaker for the university, observed and denounced Sophie. Within a couple of hours Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst were arrested by the Gestapo. After four days of interrogation they were sentenced to death. They were executed the same day. Although Sophie and Hans did not betray any of their friends, all other members of the resistance group were traced by the Gestapo and arrested and executed shortly after.

Hans and Sophie were buried in Perlach Cemetery in south Munich on 24 February. In the town, graffiti appeared on walls: 'Their spirit lives.'

The "Geschwister (siblings) Scholl", as they are commemorated in Germany, stand for the young generation's resistance against the Nazis. Today many schools in Germany proudly carry their name. Young Germans active in the fight against the new Nazis' spirit of xenophobia and deeds of violence carry on the spirit of Hans and Sophie Scholl in groups with the name "White Rose".


You will find useful background information at:

A Teacher's Guide to Holocaust. Website:

Memories of the White Rose
by George J. Wittenstein, M. D.

Website of "Geschwister-Scholl Schule" in Dortmund, Germany www.schulnetz.net

The group "Weisse Rose" in Solingen, Germany
Weisse Rose


UN World Conference against racism

The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia


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