75 years “White Rose” – FIR remembers the German antifascist resistance

11. Februar 2018

In all from German fascism and its allies occupied countries, resistance fight is well known. Also in fascist Germany one can find resistance groups they sacrificed their life for freedom and peace. One of the most popular groups is the clandestine student group “White Rose” at the Munich University.

The members of the group came together because of a common tradition in the “Bündische Jugend” on initiative of a circle of friends around Sophie and Hans Scholl and Alexander Schmorell from June 1942 in Munich. Most of them had a Christian and humanistic conviction.

The group wrote, printed and distributed on various clandestine distribution routes six leaflets – in varying, rising trend of last up to 9000 copies. The members distributed the leaflets first in the Munich region itself, later on couriers in some other cities of the German Empire. In these publications, they addressed the regime’s crimes and called for resistance to National Socialism.

In the final phase of its existence, the “White Rose” tried supported by Falk Harnack to expand its contacts with other resistance groups to the imperial capital of Berlin and system opposition to the Wehrmacht circles. After the end of the Battle of Stalingrad their members of “White Rose” also painted public facades in Munich with slogans against Hitler and Nazi rule in nightly actions.

At the end of February 1943, the group was smashed by uncovering, arrest of most of its members and finally the execution of their formative members after death sentences of the People’s Court under the chairmanship of Roland Freisler. The first trial started on February 21, 1943 against Sophie and Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst. All were executed next day. The last message of the executed was “Long life the freedom!” Later further trials followed until end of 1943.

The leaflets of the “White Rose” were so popular that the British Royal Airforce dropped also copies as propaganda-material when they attacked German towns with bombs.

The FIR commemorates this resistance group as a part of a wider German resistance movement – mainly based on the organizations of the workers movement, Communists, Socialists and Trade Unionists, but also including Christians and humanistic citizens, some conservatives too. They all have been part of the Anti-Hitler-Coalition. They represented the so-called “other Germany”.