Unser Name

Unser Wohn­heim ist nach den Geschwis­tern Hans und Sophie Scholl benannt, die zum Kreis der „Wei­ßen Rose“ gehör­ten, einer stu­den­ti­schen Wider­stands­grup­pe in Mün­chen im 2. Welt­krieg gegen das ver­bre­che­ri­sche Hitler-Regime.

Hans und Sophie Scholl sowie fünf Mitstreiter – Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Kurt Huber, Willi Graf und Hans Leipelt – mussten ihren Widerstand mit dem Leben bezahlen. Mehrere andere Freunde erhielten hohe Zuchthausstrafen.

Der Name des Wohnheims soll allezeit an das mutige Beispiel der Geschwister Scholl und ihrer Freunde von der Widerstandsgruppe „Weißen Rose“ erinnern und alle mahnen, immer und überall auf der Welt für Freiheit und Recht, für Frieden und Völkerverständigung einzutreten. 

Our Name

Our dor­mi­t­ory is named after the siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were mem­bers of the „White Rose.” The „White Rose” was a stu­dent resis­tance group in Munich that fought against the cri­mi­nal Hit­ler regime during World War II.

Hans and Sophie Scholl and five comrades-in-arms—Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Kurt Huber, Willi Graf and Hans Leipelt—paid for their brave resistance with their lives. Several other friends were CONVICTED to long prison SENTENCES.

The name of the dormitory shall always BE A REMINDER of the courageous Scholl siblings and their friends from the „White Rose.” THE NAME SHALL admonish everyone to always stand up for freedom, peace and human rights ALL OVER THE WORLD—just like HANS AND SOPHIE SCHOLL.

The Scholl Siblings

Portraits of Hans and Sophie Scholl

Hans and Sophie Scholl were two of the six child­ren of Robert and Mag­da­le­na Scholl. Their par­ents were liberal-minded—Robert was a paci­fist and Mag­da­le­na was reli­gious. They taught their child­ren to stand up for their con­vic­tions. Their upbrin­ging along Chris­ti­an libe­ral values must have had a signi­fi­cant influence on why they rejec­ted the Nazi regime.

Above Portraits of Hans and Sophie Scholl

Like her older siblings, Inge and Hans, Sophie was initi­al­ly enthu­si­a­stic about the com­mu­nal ide­als pro­pa­ga­ted by the Natio­nal Socia­lists. The Scholl child­ren were forced to join the Hit­ler Youth (HJ) and the Bund Deut­scher Mädel (BDM), and at first they had a posi­ti­ve atti­tu­de toward both. Their initi­al posi­ti­ve mind­set cau­sed some argu­ments with their dis­sen­ting par­ents. As time went by, the child­ren incre­asing­ly dis­co­ver­ed con­tra­dic­tions bet­ween the par­ty-con­trol­led pro­pa­gan­da of the Natio­nal Socia­lists and their own free thin­king. In the HJ and the BDM, the Scholl siblings sub­se­quent­ly cau­sed con­flicts that cost them their lea­der­ship positions.

The Scholl siblings, espe­ci­al­ly Sophie, and their fri­ends were influen­ced by the works of the Catho­lic publi­cist Theo­dor Hae­cker, who was no lon­ger allo­wed to publish under Nazi rule. The pro­gres­si­ve works of Hae­cker and publi­cist Carl Muth, as well as the lec­tures of the non-con­for­mist phi­lo­so­phy pro­fes­sor Kurt Huber, were fre­quent­ly dis­cus­sed in their cir­cle of friends.

Until their arrest, Hans and Sophie stu­di­ed at the Lud­wig Maxi­mi­li­an Uni­ver­si­ty of Munich (LMU). Hans stu­di­ed medi­ci­ne from 1939, Sophie bio­lo­gy and phi­lo­so­phy from 1942. Becau­se of their medi­cal stu­dies, Hans Scholl, Alex­an­der Schmo­rell, Wil­li Graf and their fri­ends were deploy­ed as medics on the war front. As „auxi­lia­ry doc­tors,” the young medi­cal stu­dents were direct­ly con­fron­ted with and shaped by the bru­ta­li­ty of war.

„White Rose”

above: Members of the „White Rose” in Munich Haidhausen (from left to right): Hubert Furtwängler (no resistance fighter), Hans Scholl, Raymund Samiller, Sophie Scholl (ON the fence) and Alexander Schmorell.

The „White Rose” is the name of a stu­dent resis­tance group that stem­med from catho­lic and youth move­ment phi­lo­so­phies against Hitler’s Natio­nal Socia­list regime. Start­ing in the sum­mer of 1942, they dis­tri­bu­ted leaf­lets in Munich cri­ti­ci­zing the Nazi dic­ta­tor­ship and cal­ling for an end to the war. Hans and Sophie Scholl belon­ged to the inner cir­cle of the White Rose, along with Chris­toph Probst, Alex­an­der Schmo­rell, Kurt Huber, Wil­li Graf and Hans Lei­pelt. Over time, more mem­bers joi­n­ed the resis­tance group in other Ger­man cities as well. They even found ano­ther like-min­ded per­son in the phi­lo­so­phy pro­fes­sor Kurt Huber, who taught at the Lud­wig Maxi­mi­li­an Uni­ver­si­ty in Munich and joi­n­ed the resis­tance group in the sum­mer of 1942.

The Leaflets

Due to the Hit­ler regime’s sup­pres­si­on of opi­ni­on, the uni­ver­si­ty no lon­ger offe­red any space for open and cri­ti­cal dis­cus­sion. Intellec­tu­al deba­tes could only take place in a pro­tec­ted and pri­va­te envi­ron­ment. The „White Rose” was forced to meet in pri­va­te rea­ding evenings, whe­re they initi­al­ly read books ban­ned by the Nazi regime and dis­cus­sed them. By July 1942, the group felt the need to act. Hans Scholl and Alex­an­der Schmo­rell secret­ly began to com­po­se and send out four leaf­lets under the title „White Rose Leaflets.”

With the help of fri­ends in other cities⁠—Ulm, Stutt­gart, Frei­burg, Saar­brü­cken, Ham­burg and Berlin⁠—the „White Rose” leaf­lets were secret­ly dis­tri­bu­ted bey­ond Munich. 

Howe­ver, the pos­ses­si­on and dis­tri­bu­ti­on of anti-regime ideo­lo­gy was strict­ly for­bidden under Natio­nal Socia­lism, and citi­zens were obli­ged to report pam­phlets of this kind to the poli­ce. The first dis­tri­bu­ted pam­phlets were repor­ted by about one third of the appro­xi­m­ate­ly 100 recipients.

After their return from medi­cal ser­vice in Rus­sia, Alex­an­der Schmo­rell and Hans Scholl were even more deter­mi­ned to resist. By the end of 1942, Sophie Scholl, Wil­li Graf, Chris­toph Probst and Kurt Huber also joi­n­ed in the acti­ve pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­ti­on of the pamphlets.

In Janu­ary 1943, the Batt­le of Sta­lin­grad, which would later pro­ve to be a tur­ning point in World War II, ended in a cata­stro­phic defeat for the Ger­man Wehr­macht. Of the ori­gi­nal 330,000 sol­diers of the 6th Army, more than two-thirds had fal­len. On the Rus­si­an side, more than a mil­li­on peo­p­le died in and around Stalingrad.

For the „White Rose,” this was the cata­lyst for their fifth and sixth leaf­lets, which they wro­te tog­e­ther in Janu­ary and Febru­ary 1943, now under the pseud­onym „Resis­tance Move­ment in Ger­ma­ny.” With the help of a new mimeograph machi­ne, they pro­du­ced about 6,000 copies of both new pam­phlets. During the war, paper, enve­lo­pes and stamps were ratio­ned, and the purcha­se of lar­ger quan­ti­ties made the buy­er sus­pi­cious. The stu­dents were ris­king their lives by pro­du­cing and mai­ling the leaflets.

But the resis­tance group did not only try to defy the Hit­ler regime with leaf­lets. Hans Scholl, Wil­li Graf and Alex­an­der Schmo­rell wro­te the slo­gans „Down with Hit­ler” and „Free­dom” on the walls of their uni­ver­si­ty and other buil­dings with tar paint on seve­ral nights in Febru­ary 1943.

unten links und mitte: das 5. Flugblatt der „Widerstandsbewegung in Deutschland”     BArch, R 3018 _/_ 18431
unten rechts: das 6. Flugblatt der „Widerstandsbewegung in Deutschland”     BArch, R 3018_ / _18431
unten: das 5. Flugblatt der „Widerstandsbewegung in Deutschland”    
BArch, R 301818431
unten: das 6. Flugblatt der „Widerstandsbewegung in Deutschland”    
BArch, R 301818431

Arrests, show trials, death sentences

On Febru­ary 18, 1943 at about 11 A.M., the Scholl siblings laid out the sixth leaf­let in front of the lec­tu­re halls in the main buil­ding of the LMU and drop­ped the remai­ning sheets into the building’s atri­um. While doing so, they were obser­ved and detai­ned by jani­tor Jakob Schmid. Both were imme­dia­te­ly arres­ted by the Gesta­po. At Hans Scholl’s home, the poli­ce found a hand­writ­ten leaf­let draft by Chris­toph Probst torn into small snip­pets, who was then also arres­ted the fol­lo­wing day.

Sophie and Hans Scholl were ques­tio­ned indi­vi­du­al­ly. Sophie con­fes­sed that she wan­ted „not­hing to do with Natio­nal Socia­lism.” When she was told in the inter­ro­ga­ti­on on Febru­ary 19, 1943, at 4 A.M. that her brot­her had con­fes­sed, she too made a confession.

The siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl, played by Lena Stolze & Wulf Kessler in the film „The White Rose” (1982), are arrested by the Gestapo
Copyright: CCC Filmkunst GmbH / Sentana Film

Roland Freis­ler, the Pre­si­dent of the so-cal­led „People’s Court,” made his way to Munich from Ber­lin to swift­ly deal with the arres­ted stu­dents on Febru­ary 22, 1943. Hans and Sophie Scholl and Chris­toph Probst were sen­ten­ced to death and exe­cu­ted by guil­lo­ti­ne on the very same day in the Munich Sta­del­heim Pri­son. Hans Scholl cal­led out „Long live free­dom” as his last words at the gallows. 

Just a few days after the exe­cu­ti­on of Hans and Sophie Scholl and Cris­toph Probst, Alex­an­der Schmo­rell and Kurt Huber were arres­ted. They were also sen­ten­ced to death by the „People’s Court” on April 19, 1943 in the second tri­al against the „White Rose.” During this tri­al, Huber cou­ra­ge­ous­ly oppo­sed Hitler’s so-cal­led „Exe­cu­tio­ner” Freis­ler, who refu­sed to show any mer­cy. On July 13, Kurt Huber and Alex­an­der Schmo­rell were exe­cu­ted by guil­lo­ti­ne. Wil­li Graf was also exe­cu­ted on Octo­ber 12, after the Gesta­po fai­led to pro­ve his con­nec­tion to any Hil­ter regime oppo­si­ti­on organizations. 

The remai­ning fri­end and resistant group mem­bers were inves­ti­ga­ted and arres­ted until the end of Febru­ary, 1943. The fami­ly mem­bers of the arres­ted and/or exe­cu­ted were clas­si­fied as sha­ring respon­si­bi­li­ty for the „crime” of the „White Rose” mem­bers, as orde­red by Hein­rich Himmler. 

During the second „White Rose” tri­al in Munich on April 19, 1943, 11 fur­ther indi­vi­du­als were char­ged of hel­ping dis­tri­bu­te the pam­phlets. The majo­ri­ty of the defen­dants were sen­ten­ced to impri­son­ment or hard labor. On July 13, a third tri­al char­ged 4 more peo­p­le, and a fourth tri­al on April 3, 1994 fol­lo­wed in Saar­brü­cken. The fifth and final tri­al on Octo­ber 13, 1994 in Donau­wörth char­ged 7 fur­ther defen­dants, one of which was Hans Lei­pelt, who was sen­ten­ced to death and exe­cu­ted on Janu­ary 29, 1945 in the Munich Sta­del­heim prison. 

What was the „White Rose’s” Goal?

With the „White Rose leaf­lets” (1st to 4th leaf­let), the „leaf­lets of the resis­tance move­ment in Ger­ma­ny” (5th and 6th leaf­let), the resis­tance group tried to mobi­li­ze the aca­de­mic youth—and all Germans—against the cri­mi­nal Hit­ler dic­ta­tor­ship. They did not achie­ve this goal, yet their sacri­fices were not in vain. To this day, they are shi­ning examp­les of how peo­p­le can bra­ve­ly and sel­fless­ly stand up for free­dom and peace even in the dar­kest of times.

Above: Ground memorial for the „White Rose” in front of the main entrance of the LMU at Geschwister-Scholl-Platz.

Win­s­ton Chur­chill, Bri­tish Prime Minis­ter during World War II, said the fol­lo­wing about the „White Rose” in 1946:

„In Ger­ma­ny the­re lived an oppo­si­ti­on which belongs to the noblest and grea­test that has been pro­du­ced in the poli­ti­cal histo­ry of nati­ons. The­se peo­p­le fought wit­hout help from within and without—driven sole­ly by the rest­less­ness of con­sci­ence. As long as they lived, they were invi­si­ble to us becau­se they had to dis­gu­i­se them­sel­ves. But in the dead, the resis­tance has beco­me visi­ble. The­se dead can­not jus­ti­fy ever­y­thing that hap­pen­ed in Ger­ma­ny. But their deeds and sacri­fices are the indes­truc­ti­ble foun­da­ti­on of the new reconstruction.”

Further Literature

You can find more infor­ma­ti­on and descrip­ti­ons of the back­ground to the „White Rose” resis­tance group on the fol­lo­wing websites:

White Rose Foundation

Fede­ral Agen­cy for Civic Education

Or in the fol­lo­wing literature:

The White Rose
Published by the White Rose Foun­da­ti­on, Gent­ner Stra­ße 13, 80805 Munich, 3rd edition.

This bro­chu­re (87 pages), published in seve­ral lan­guages, is also available at the White Rose Memo­ri­al next to the Licht­hof of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Munich.

Bar­ba­ra Beuys, Sophie Scholl- Bio­gra­phy, insel Taschen­buch 4049, Ber­lin 2011
ISBN: 978−3−458−35749−0

Bar­ba­ra Leis­ner, „I would do it again just the same” Sophie Scholl.
List Taschen­buch Ver­lag, 3rd edi­ti­on, 2000, ISBN 3−612−65059−9

Rudolf Lill (ed.), New Rese­arch on the White Rose
Por­traits of the Resis­tance, 1st edi­ti­on 1993, modi­fied edi­ti­on 1999,
UVK Uni­ver­si­täts­ver­lag Kon­stanz GmbH, Con­s­tance 1999
ISSN 0943–903 X, ISBN 3−87940−634−0

Inge Scholl, The White Rose
Fischer Paper­back Publi­shing House, 9th edi­ti­on, 2001, ISBN 3−596−11802−6

Her­mann Vin­ke, The short life of Sophie Scholl
Ravens­bur­ger publi­shing house, first edi­ti­on: 1986, ISBN: 3−473−54208−3