Sophie Scholl: The Woman Who Stood Up to Hitler with a White Rose
Difficulties shape brave people. So today we bring you the story of a young woman with courage, Sophie Scholl. To get to know her, we have to travel to Hitler’s Germany. The place and time in which a girl chose to have fear and confront it, rather than ignore the cruel and unjustified persecution of citizens like herself.
In February 1943, along with others in group of young people that formed a resistance group called “The White Rose,” Sophie was accused of treason and beheaded on the guillotine. Curiously, the instrument designed during the French Revolution to terminate all enemies of freedom, ended the life of one of its greatest advocates.
“When the war ends, foreign troops will enter. People will point to us saying that we did nothing against Hitler”
The story of Sophie Scholl
“What does my death matter if through us, thousands of people wake up and begin to act,” were the words of Sophie few hours before being killed. She was only 21 years old.
Despite the control and deterrents with which the Nazi regime threatened anyone who opposed their way of thinking, within Germany there were small groups who did not hesitate to confront them. They had few resources and even less support.
They decided that even if the regime could control justice, education, health or the army, it would never break their will. They knew the risk and the price if they were discovered: their own lives.
In 1937, the danger of the regime hit close to home, when some of her brothers and friends were illegally arrested for being part of the German Youths. Around this time, Sophie realized her vocation was teaching, even though she entered the University of Munich to study biology and philosophy.
The White Rose
All resistance movements have a name and The White Rose was the one our protagonist joined. After attending meetings of different national socialist groups at her university, she was attracted by this group for its boldness. The White Rose did not hesitate to spread their message through pamphlets and graffiti on the walls.
They were not limited to discussing in intellectual gatherings, but also from underground they tried to get the word out that Germany’s silence was complicit in the atrocities committed by the party led by Hitler.
Thanks to her brother who already belonged to the group, Sophie began as a carrier for “The White Rose” propaganda. A very risky job, because if you were caught with this material you would have no way to escape the charge of treason.
She defended freedom till her last breath
On February 18, 1943 Sophie decided to climb to the roof of her school to throw pamphlets from up there. Nothing would have happened if it weren’t for one of the concierges, who belonged to the Nazi party, who had seen her and reported her.
Captured and imprisoned, the Gestapo put one its confidants as her cellmate. The intention was none other than to get information to disband the group. However, not only did the confidant not get information out of Sophie, but she marveled at the strength that Sophie gave off and ended up being convinced by her message.
Neither Sophie nor any of their captured comrades betrayed anyone, despite being tortured. Even today, The White Rose is the symbol of freedom and several schools, streets, parks and squares are named after the Scholl siblings.