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 belon­ged to the cir­cle 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 sentenced to long prison terms.

The name of the dormitory shall always remind of the courageous example of the Scholl siblings and their friends from the resistance group „White Rose” and admonish everyone to always and everywhere in the world stand up for freedom, peace and human rights – just like them.

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, father Robert was a paci­fist and mother Mag­da­le­na was reli­gious. They taught their child­ren to stand up for their con­vic­tions. Their upbrin­ging accord­ing to Chris­ti­an libe­ral values pro­bab­ly had an influ­ence that should not be unde­re­sti­ma­ted on why the child­ren 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 ide­al pro­pa­ga­ted by the Natio­nal Socia­lists. The Scholl child­ren were for­ced to join the Hit­ler Youth (HJ) and the Bund Deut­scher Mädel (BDM), but at first they had a posi­ti­ve atti­tu­de toward both. Becau­se of this, the­re were always argu­ments with the par­ents in the fami­ly. As time went by, the child­ren incre­a­singly dis­co­ve­r­ed con­tra­dic­tions bet­ween the par­ty-con­trol­led for­eign deter­mi­na­ti­on by 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 the publi­cist Carl Muth and Theo­dor Haecker, as well as the lec­tures of the non-con­for­mist phi­lo­so­phy pro­fes­sor Kurt Huber, were fre­quent­ly dis­cus­sed in the 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 bru­tal rea­li­ty 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 (at the fence) and Alexander Schmorell 

The „White Rose” was the name of a resis­tance group of stu­dents against Hit­ler’s Natio­nal Socia­list regime that emer­ged from the Catho­lic and alli­an­ce youth move­ment. Begin­ning in the sum­mer of 1942, they issued leaf­lets in Munich cal­ling against the Nazi dic­ta­tor­s­hip and 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, hel­pers 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, who 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 cir­cle of the „White Rose” the­re­fo­re met for pri­va­te rea­ding evenings, during which they initi­al­ly read books ban­ned by the Nazi regime and dis­cus­sed them. Then, in 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.”

Through hel­pful friends in other cities – Ulm, Stutt­gart, Frei­burg, Saar­brü­cken, Ham­burg and Ber­lin – the „White Rose” leaf­lets were secret­ly distributed.

Howe­ver, pos­ses­si­on and dis­tri­bu­ti­on of anti-regime pam­phlets were strict­ly for­bid­den under Natio­nal Socia­lism, and citi­zens were obli­ged to hand in wri­tings of this kind to the poli­ce. The first pam­phlets were also repor­ted by about a third of the appro­xi­mate­ly 100 recipients.

After their return from medi­cal ser­vice in Rus­sia, Alex­an­der Schmo­rell and Hans Scholl were even more deter­mi­ned than befo­re to resist. Now Sophie Scholl, Wil­li Graf, Chris­toph Probst and, at the end of Decem­ber 1942, Kurt Huber also joi­ned actively.

In Janu­a­ry 1943, the Batt­le of Sta­lin­grad, which would later pro­ve to be a tur­ning point in World War 2, 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” resis­tance group, this was the impe­tus 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 each. During the war, paper, enve­lo­pes and stamps were ratio­ned, and even the purcha­se of lar­ger quan­ti­ties made the buy­er sus­pi­cious. By pro­du­cing and mai­ling the leaf­lets, the stu­dents ris­ked their lives.

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; they drop­ped the remai­ning she­ets into the atri­um. In doing so, they were obser­ved and detai­ned by the jani­tor Jakob Schmid. Both were immedia­te­ly arres­ted by the Gesta­po. At Hans Schol­l’s, 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 the next day, Febru­a­ry 19, 1943, at four o’clock in the morning 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, der berüch­tig­te Prä­si­dent des soge­nann­ten Volks­ge­richts­hofs, eil­te von Ber­lin her­bei, um schon am 22. Febru­ar 1943 mit den Ver­haf­te­ten kur­zen Pro­zess zu machen. Hans und Sophie Scholl sowie Chris­toph Probst wur­den zum Tode ver­ur­teilt und noch am glei­chen Tag im Gefäng­nis Mün­chen-Sta­del­heim durch das Fall­beil hin­ge­rich­tet. Hans Scholl rief am Scha­fott laut: „Es lebe die Freiheit“.

Nur weni­ge Tage nach der Fest­nah­me der Geschwis­ter Scholl wur­den auch Alex­an­der Schmo­rell und Kurt Huber inhaf­tiert. Sie wur­den in dem zwei­ten Pro­zess des Volks­ge­richts­hofs gegen die „Wei­ße Rose“ am 19. April 1943 zum Tode ver­ur­teilt. Kurt Huber war im Pro­zess der muti­ge Gegen­spie­ler von „Hit­lers Scharf­rich­ter“, Roland Freis­ler, der ihm jedes ehren­haf­te Motiv absprach. Am 13. Juli 1943 star­ben Kurt Huber und Alex­an­der Schmo­rell auf dem Scha­fott, Wil­li Graf erst am 12. Okto­ber 1943, nach­dem die Gesta­po ver­geb­lich ver­sucht hat­te, etwas über sei­ne Ver­bin­dun­gen zu ande­ren Regime-Geg­nern und – Geg­ne­rin­nen herauszupressen.

Bis Ende Febru­ar 1943 wur­de der Münch­ner Freun­des­kreis weit­ge­hend inhaf­tiert. Ihre Fami­li­en­an­ge­hö­ri­gen kamen auf Anord­nung Hein­rich Himm­lers in „Sip­pen­haft“.

Im zwei­ten Pro­zess am 19. April 1943 in Mün­chen wur­den noch elf wei­te­re Per­so­nen ange­klagt, die bei der Ver­brei­tung der Flug­blät­ter gehol­fen hat­ten. Die meis­ten die­ser Ange­klag­ten erhiel­ten hohe Zucht­haus­stra­fen. Am 13. Juli 1943 folg­te in Mün­chen ein drit­ter Pro­zess gegen vier Ange­klag­te, ein vier­ter am 3. April 1944 in Saar­brü­cken gegen einen Ange­klag­ten. Ein fünf­ter und letz­ter Pro­zess fand am 13. Okto­ber 1944 in Donau­wörth gegen sie­ben Ange­klag­te statt, von denen einer, Hans Lei­pelt, zum Tode ver­ur­teilt und am 29. Janu­ar 1945 in Mün­chen-Sta­del­heim ent­haup­tet wurde.

What was the meaning?

With the „White Rose leaf­lets” (1st to 4th leaf­let), the „leaf­lets of the resis­tance move­ment in Ger­ma­ny” (5th and 6th leaf­let) as well as with the wall slo­gans, the resis­tance group tried to mobi­li­ze the aca­de­mic youth and bey­ond that all Ger­mans of good will 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: Part of the reconstruction:
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 2, 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.), Hoch­ver­rat ? 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