Most people know about Anne Frank and her famous dairy but fewer know about Sophie Scholl. She was just 22 when she was executed by the Nazi party for being part of the non-violent resistant group The White Rose.
The university student was arrested on the 18th of February 1943 and was put to death only four days later on the 22nd. Seventy years ago, Sophie and her brother were imprisoned for distributing anti-war leaflets in the University of Munich which was enough to convict them both for treason leading to education by guillotine.
Although Sophie had been part of the Bund Deutscher Maedel (League of German Girls) she soon became very critical of their views. Heavily influenced through her father, who had strong Christian beliefs, and the experience of seeing her brother being arrested for participating in Die Deutsche Jugendbewegung (The German Youth Movement), a collection of youth work organisation separated from the Nazi Youth, which the Nazi state did not allow, Sophie became involved with the White Rose.
The group didn’t have any particular religious affiliation, however most of the members had strong christian beliefs. They were motivated by morals and ethics and were concerned about how the Nazi party discourage the freedom of thought. The intellectual group produced six leaflets opposing Hitlers dictatorship and distributed them in the University of Munich.
Although only 22 Sophie Scholl was a true hero, a woman at the beginning of her life, willing to sacrifice all for what she believed in. Her parting words as she walked up to the guillotine were:
How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?
If you want to know more about Sophie Scholl check out the films:
Or the books:
Sophie Scholl and The White Rose by Annette Dumbach
The White Rose by Inge Scholl (her sister)