February 22, 2011

In loving memory of Sophie and Hans Scholl

Members of resistance group "White Rose": Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl und Christoph Probst (from left to right), photo of 1942

Today we remember and honor

Sophie Scholl (9 May 1921 – 22 February 1943) and her brother

Hans Scholl (22 September 1918 – 22 February 1943).

They gave their young lives today, 68 years ago, for their beliefs but never doubted their resistance against the Nazi regime.

Sophie was a German student, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich with her brother Hans and other members of the restistance.

February 18, 1943, was the day Hans' and Sophie's luck ran out. They were caught leaving pamphlets at the University of Munich and were arrested. A search disclosed evidence of their friend and "White Rose" member Christoph Probst's participation, and he too was soon arrested. The three of them were indicted for treason.

On February 22, four days after their arrest, their trial began.

Sophie Scholl shocked everyone in the courtroom when she remarked to the judge: “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare to express themselves as we did.” Later in the proceedings, she said to him: “You know the war is lost. Why don't you have the courage to face it?”

To the Scholl family loyalty meant obeying the dictates of the heart. ”What I want for you is to live in uprightness and freedom of spirit, no matter how difficult that proves to be,” their father once told the family.

I'm almost sure he doubted his own words on this very day...

"Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct.
It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government.
Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure - reach the light of day?"

The White Rose - Leaflet I 1942

”How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause,” Sophie said. ”Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go,” she continued, ”but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

Sophie Scholl, February 22 1943, right before her execution.

”Long live freedom!” Hans Scholl’s last words shouted from the guillotine.

Thank you Sophie, Hans, Christoph and all other members of "Die Weisse Rose" (The White Rose) resistance group. You are my heros and you really DID make a change in this world!!!

I pray I never have to, but I pray that if I have to, I will be as brave as you were...

Trailer of "Sophie Scholl - The final days", a very touching movie about Sophie's time in prison and court.


mike1909 said...

Thank you @doublebee for helping us remember the life of Sophie and Hans Scholl.

It is in our hands to change the world and we all must fight against injustice and violence.

Thank you Sophie and Hans Scholl !

AA said...

As I was ready to submit this comment,I heard the first songbirds of the day, despite it being cloudy and rainy.

That is what Sophie and Hans and those in the White Rose movement represents, in one of our darkest chapters in human history. They symbolized light did exist.

Thank you doublebeee for sharing this brave story. Well done.

Cassarah said...

Thank you doubelebeee. Yesterday, when I read your article, I heard terrifying news about hundreds of people being killed in Libya. Killed because of their major political protests, their active opposition to didactor Gaddafi who is acting corruptly since decades, killed because of demanding what we all take as granted for free: FREEDOM.

It seems that dark chapters in history re-echo. Worldwide dictator´s time is not up yet.

But there are still people as brave as Sophie and Hans and all the White-Rose-members without names, getting in action for freedom and democracy, not asking about the risks..... willing to give their lives.

All I can do is to bow before these true heroes from the past and those heroes from today, who gave and give their lives for their believes. May your braveness never be forgotten.

Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

I have seen the film and it is a wonderful reminder of beautiful and daring souls!

MoralHeroes said...

Great article on these amazing two activists. I hope more and more people are inspired by their story and actions. We need more people who will do what is right no matter the danger.

If you're interested, Hans was featured as Hero of the week on my website. You can access his page directly by visiting http://moralheroes.org/hans-scholl

Anonymous said...

Hi I´m German and so very thankful that there were so brave people like Sophie & Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst & Stauffenberg. Because of them, we´re now not Hitler´s Germany! Thank u so very much!

Post a Comment