Time for a history post! Y’all, today is a day you might not know is important. But it is…it is so important. Unless you are a WWII buff/enthusiast, you’ve probably never heard of The White Rose Resistance group. I know a gentleman from our church whose mother was German and he hadn’t heard of them, even though WWII is his favorite time period to study. He’s taught me most of what I know about the period. Well, today is the 76th anniversary of the death of three members of the White Rose Resistance group. And I am going to share with you 10 random facts about these amazing young people…
1. Unlike most resistance groups of WWII, The White Rose was a non-violent, intellectual resistance. This means that rather than sabotaging Nazi plans, assassinating the bad guys or going out to rescue people, they appealed to the public to turn on Hitler’s regime by writing pamphlets. They appealed to people’s morality, duty and loyalty to stand against the Nazis in any way they could. Had their resistance lasted longer, I have no doubt they eventually would have turned to rescuing internees, directly or indirectly.
2. The main members of The White Rose were: Hans and Sophie Scholl (Brother and sister), Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf and Kurt Huber.
3. They published 5 leaflets, but 6 were written in all. Even though the papers were destroyed by the SS (Nazi Secret Police), some of the papers were smuggled to England, where they were mass-produced and spread throughout Germany, even after many of the resistance members had been executed.
4. Sophie is the indirect reason she and Hans were arrested. She pushed a stack of the papers off the ledge of their collage balcony, showering papers on the students walking below. The Janitor figured out who was responsible and everything fell apart from there.
5. Christoph was a married man with three children. His wife was ill at the time of his death. They tried to get him off the hook by claiming he had what we now call PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), since he had indeed been a soldier and did suffer some lasting mental strain as a result.
6.And speaking of being a soldier, Hans Scholl also served in the German Army prior to becoming a resister.
7. Christoph, Hans and Sophie were all medical students! Y’all know I liked that aspect of their story!
8. The man who judged them, Roland Freisler, was known for holding staged trials. He always decided on the fate of the victim prior to the trial, giving them no chance of escaping his sentence. Freisler died almost two years later on February 3rd, 1945, when an American pilot bombed his courtroom.
9. Hans, Sophie and Christoph were sentenced to die by way of the guillotine, the very same day as the trial.
10. Just before being executed, Hans cried out, “Es Lebe Die Freiheit!” (Long Live Freedom!) May this always be the battle cry of those Resisting evil.
I do not know as much about these young people as I would like, but I intend to continue studying them. Take a moment today to remember the cause for which they fought and died. Thank God for His mercy in letting that cruel war end in Allied victory and for following it up with the founding of Israel (1947).
And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
1 Samuel 17:29
(King James Bible)
Until Next Time,
Es Lebe Die Freiheit!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.