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 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.
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.
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 3018⁄18431
unten: das 6. Flugblatt der „Widerstandsbewegung in Deutschland”
BArch, R 3018⁄18431
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.”
You can find more information and descriptions of the background to the „White Rose” resistance group on the following websites:
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
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