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The White Rose In cooperation with: Bayerische Landeszentrale für Politische Bildungsarbeit The White Rose The Student Resistance against Hitler Munich 1942/43 The Name 'White Rose' The Origin of the White

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The White Rose In cooperation with: Bayerische Landeszentrale für Politische Bildungsarbeit The White Rose The Student Resistance against Hitler Munich 1942/43 The Name 'White Rose' The Origin of the White Rose The Activities of the White Rose The Third Reich Young People in the Third Reich A City in the Third Reich Munich Capital of the Movement Munich Capital of German Art The University of Munich Orientations Willi Graf Professor Kurt Huber Hans Leipelt Christoph Probst Alexander Schmorell Hans Scholl Sophie Scholl Ulm Senior Year Eugen Grimminger Saarbrücken Group Falk Harnack 'Uncle Emil' Group Service at the Front in Russia The Leaflets of the White Rose NS Justice The Trials against the White Rose Epilogue 1 The Name Weiße Rose (White Rose) To get back to my pamphlet 'Die Weiße Rose', I would like to answer the question 'Why did I give the leaflet this title and no other?' by explaining the following: The name 'Die Weiße Rose' was chosen arbitrarily. I proceeded from the assumption that powerful propaganda has to contain certain phrases which do not necessarily mean anything, which sound good, but which still stand for a programme. I may have chosen the name intuitively since at that time I was directly under the influence of the Spanish romances 'Rosa Blanca' by Brentano. There is no connection with the 'White Rose' in English history. Hans Scholl, interrogation protocol of the Gestapo, The Origin of the White Rose The White Rose originated from individual friendships growing into circles of friends. Christoph Probst and Alexander Schmorell had been friends since their school days. They met Willi Graf and Hans Scholl during their medical studies in 1941/42 at the University of Munich. In May 1942 Sophie Scholl also started studying there. Along with other students critical of the regime, they listened to the lectures of Professor Kurt Huber. However, it was only the circle of friends who, together with Kurt Huber, composed and distributed the leaflets against Hitler. They started going their own ways very early. What their parents practised or said was not enough for them. They came into conflict with the Hitler Youth or even refused to join. Instead Hans Scholl and Willi Graf belonged to prohibited youth clubs, for the membership of which they were taken briefly into Gestapo custody with very little warning in Books, some of which were banned, gave them direction. They sought to make contact with contemporary authors who could not get published anymore or only underground. They were members of Students' (military) Companies and were allowed to study throughout the semester. During this time the circle of friends grew closer and confirmed their liberal beliefs by taking part in manifold cultural activities. Above all they would read and talk through the night in Eickemeyer's atelier. However, not all their time was spent dealing with weighty and important matters. Survivors still fondly remember the intense experiences they shared. 2 Activities of the White Rose After their experiences at the front and reports from friends of mass murders in Poland and Russia, reading and discussing were no longer sufficient for them. In June 1942 Alexander Schmorell and Hans Scholl took action. They wrote, duplicated and sent out the first four Pamphlets of the White Rose . In late July 1942, during their semester break, the group served on the eastern front. Later that fall they returned from Russia and reassumed their resistance activities. It was then that their fifth leaflet Appeal to all Germans! appeared. In late January 1943 the battle for Stalingrad ended in disaster. On the German side alone some 230,000 soldiers had lost their lives, about 1,000,000 Russians had died. After Stalingrad resistance in occupied European countries grew stronger. The German population was shaken after its first major defeat. For the members of the White Rose this was an incentive to bring out their final pamphlet: Fellow students! In Hamburg, Saarbrücken, Ulm, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Berlin, friends worked in small groups, distributing leaflets and maintaining contact. Down with Hitler! and Freedom! could be read on the walls of the University and other buildings in Munich on February 3, 8 and 15 in Alexander Schmorell, Hans Scholl and Willi Graf had written those slogans during the night with coal tar. The inmates of the Dachau concentration camp heard these voices of freedom , as they would report after the war, and could hardly believe that they came from young Germans. Political Opposition in Germany The National Socialists (Nazis) and their accomplices murdered more than 130,000 Germans; incarcerated some hundreds of thousands in concentration camps, high-security prisons and jails; had more than a million people interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo. In 1933 Germany's population counted 66 million inhabitants. The political history of all nations has hardly ever produced anything greater and nobler than the opposition which existed in Germany. These people fought without any help, whether from within or from without driven only by the uneasiness of their consciences. As long as they were alive they were invisible to us because they had to put on masks. But their deaths brought their resistance to light. These dead cannot compensate for everything that happened in Germany, but their deeds and their sacrifices are the indestructible foundation of the reconstruction. Winston Churchill Germany rearms. Parade on the Day of the Wehrmacht Nuremberg, 1936 Hitler entering Berlin after the capitulation of France, June 1940 In 1933, Hitler still pretended to be bourgeois, walking along a guard of honor in Berlin. From 1938 onwards, Austrian prisoners were among the KZ inmates in Dachau. 4 October 1938: The 'Sudetenland' returns home to the Reich. Arrested Jews in a courtyard of the Warsaw Ghetto In the pillory for Rassenschande ( racial disgrace , i.e. sexual or even social intercourse with Non-Aryans ) The Third Reich On March 21, 1933, the Day of Potsdam , only seven weeks after seizing power, Adolf Hitler proclaimed the Third Reich without the consent of the people or any free parliament. At the tomb of Friedrich the Great, in the presence of Reichspräsident Hindenburg, the generals and national-conservative elites, Hitler appeared in the role of the executor of German history. While millions of Germans not only National Socialists were deeply moved, Hitler had his sights on the legitimization of total power. With the reorganization of the Reich, all Länder and democratically elected state parliaments were liquidated. Arbitrarily imposed Nazi districts (Gaue) took their places; the heads of the Nazi districts (Gauleiter) were appointed by Hitler and were accountable only to him. Thus the citizens were legally incapacitated. The new model for the nation was the Volksgemeinschaft (community of people), pushed through with consent or by force: with voluntary membership of NS organizations and divestiture of parties and unions; with the help of the NS-Volkswohlfahrt (Nazi welfare) and the violent elimination of political opponents; with ruthless job creation for Germans and the exclusion of Jews from their professions; with the Hitler Youth and concentration camps; with the Olympic Games and political murders. As early as February 3, 1933 Hitler indicated his imperialistic claim to power in a secret speech in front of the commanders of the Reichswehr: The maximum number of troops stipulated in the Treaty of Versailles, 100,000 men, was breached. The country was to rearm for the Conquest of living space in the East . In public speeches Hitler talked about peace, understanding and equality. However, he forced Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations in October The myth of the Rassenfeind (enemy of the race) was directed against all Non-Aryans , especially Jews. The disenfranchisement of Jewish German citizens started immediately after Hitler taking power. 5 The Nazis had already spoken of the Extermination of the Jewish race in their election speeches during the Weimar Republic. Step by step, until the very last days of the war, they carried out their threats: Pogrom of the Reichskristallnacht , ghettoization, deportation to concentration camps, annihilation through hard labour for the SS and German industry, murder in the extermination camps. The Third Reich ended with the capitulation of the German Wehrmacht on May 8, 1945 after Hitler's suicide on April 30, Youth Movement The Bündische Jugend (free German Youth Movement) was a revolt against the family values and morality of the bourgeoisie and the older generation. Young people wanted to grow up freely and go their own ways. Thus the Youth Movement became a school of nonconformity. The dj.1.11 ( Deutsche Jungenschaft ) took on a significant role in the late Twenties. They developed a cult of the adolescent, which fascinated other associations and autonomous youth organizations. The Bündische Jugend obviously had great influence on the members of the White Rose. Hans Scholl had connections to the dj.1.11, Willi Graf had links to the Grauer Orden (Grey Order) and Christoph Probst was shaped by a Freie Schule (Free School). However, eventually every single one of them left this youth movement behind and became accustomed to the adult culture. Here as well they studied in the fields of literature, art and philosophy, in hopes of finding an answer to the problem of freedom and self-determination, human development and realization of one's own personality. Eberhard Köbel ( ), called tusk , influential leader of the dj Youth Opposition in the Third Reich At the very beginning of the National Socialist era, members of the Sozialistische Arbeiterjugend (Association of Young Socialist Workers) went underground. They used amateurtheatre organizations and e.g. the gymnastics club Fichte as a cover in order to plan activities against the National Socialists. Right from the start Communist Youth associations were fundamentally opposed to the National Socialists' education of the youth, consequently they were banned as early as Jungvolk (junior section of the Hitler Youth) marches past HJ leaders. 6 dj at Lake Traunsee in Austria, Easter 1931 dj on a trip with their Kohte tent BDM (Girls' Hitler Youth): Faith and Beauty Pre-military training of Hitler Youth boys 7 1933. Above all they objected to compulsory military and National Labour Service: Young people want peace! Down with the warmongers! Millions of dead on the corpse-fields of a new world war, death as profit for a gang of racketeers and cannon-kings! That is the future Hitler has promised the young generation ( ) According to the Reichskonkordat , the 1933 treaty between the Church and the National Socialist government, Catholic youth associations were still permitted to have uniforms, insignia and banners. Despite this agreement they were oppressed and prohibited in 1938 after the National Socialists had seized power. On December 18, 1933 the Protestant Youth were integrated into the NS State Youth Organization. Many young pastors joined the NSDAP. However, when it turned out that the cross was to be exchanged for the Hakenkreuz (Swastika), the Young Reformation Movement was founded as part of the Confessional Church. Here Christians who resisted National Socialism united. Young Jewish people were excluded by law from joining the Hitler Youth and all other sports clubs. They were only permitted to be members of Jewish organizations. These maintained the ideals of the German Youth movement whilst the rest of the country conformed. Under the pressure of persecution, new kinds of self-help arose: preparations were made for emigration to Palestine. In the fall of 1937 there was a wave of arrests throughout Germany. It destroyed what was left of a significant youth movement that dated back to the beginning of the century. It also affected Hans Scholl and Willi Graf, who were imprisoned by the Gestapo while still young. During the final years of World War II youth groups who evaded both the Hitler Youth and the war emerged in the bombed big cities of Western Germany. The Gestapo and Police combated them. The Edelweißpiraten youth group, who were treated like criminals by the Gestapo, are an example of this. Hitler Youth On June 17, 1933 Baldur von Schirach, Youth Leader of the NSDAP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei National Socialist German Workers' Party), was appointed Youth Leader of the German Reich. Excerpts from the Hitler Youth Law of December 1, 1936: The Future of the German nation depends on its youth. The entire German youth must therefore be prepared for its future duties. Thus the Reichsregierung (government of the Reich ) has decided to promulgate the following law: 1 The entire German youth is to be consolidated within the Hitler Youth. 2 Apart from at home and at school, the entire German youth is to be educated within the Hitler Youth in order to serve the nation and Volksgemeinschaft (community of the people) physically, intellectually and morally in accordance with the spirit of National Socialism. In million boys and girls were members of the Hitler Youth. 8 A City in the Third Reich On January 30, 1933 the National Socialists celebrated their taking power with a torchlight parade. The disputes and street battles were over. Long before the other parties were actually banned they had disappeared from the scene. Opponents of National Socialism were transported to a camp by the armed SA- Hilfspolizei (Storm Troopers' auxiliary police) through the entire city, visible to everyone. Nobody protested. More and more citizens showed their true colours: Black-Red-and- Gold, the colours of the Republic, were no longer to be seen anywhere, just like the black-white-and-red flag of the Imperial Reich gave way to the Swastika. The streets and squares of the medieval city were used for parades, roll calls and oath-taking ceremonies. Speeches of the Führer were transmitted in public and on the radio on the numerous National Socialist holidays. The citizens were kept on the go, either as marching columns or as rows of people saluting from the sidewalks. The voluntary and involuntary registration of the city's citizens began. Boys and girls became members of the Hitler Youth; membership was considered by many as liberation from their restrictive homes. Only a few refused to join and as a consequence accepted personal disadvantages. Joining the party was voluntary. In 1933 the party offices had to work overtime in order to accept all applicants. The local newspaper was united with the NS organ. The party also affected personal life: Nazi wedding services took place in the hall of a monastery which was now used for party purposes; couples received Hitler's book Mein Kampf (My fight/struggle). During the ceremony German chamber music was played. The pianist Elly Ney played Beethoven in the city concert hall and read out letters of soldiers from the front between sonatas. A few courageous persons, primarily Socialists and Christians, had small resistance groups form around them. Saying Guten Tag or Grüß Gott instead of Heil Hitler took a great deal of courage. Nonconformists remained silent or only talked to friends, always facing the risk of being prosecuted for Heimtücke (ordinary treachery) in the case of any dissenting statements made in public. There was no place in the people's 9 The local SS marching in celebration of the Führer's 50th birthday, 1939 Parade of local army units on a national holiday before 1933 School classes from the city helping with the potato harvest during the war. Sports group of women factory workers Children drafted into the Volkssturm (German Territorial Army) units in Pleasure from the Hitler Salute Bombed city, 1944 community for gripers and bellyachers . With the introduction of universal conscription in 1935, there was no longer enough space in the barracks. New facilities had to be built. Trade and development were flourishing. Military parades and NSDAP demonstrations were increasingly happening as joint events. In 1938 the synagogue was set on fire. Old-established Jewish citizens were arrested, abused, the bases of their livelihoods were destroyed, and some of them were murdered. Starting in 1941, they were obliged to wear the Yellow Star of David. In 1943 the last transport of Jews left for Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. Only very few survived, marked for the rest of their lives. During the first two years of war, special broadcasts announced the German victories. Many believed in victory. The Hitler Youth were given either pre-military or air-defence training. Prisoners of war were forced to work in agriculture or in the armaments industry. Contact with German women would land them in the hands of the Gestapo, and the women were publicly humiliated by having their heads shaved. On February 18, 1943 Goebbels announced Total War at the Berlin Sportpalast; it was the day of the Scholl siblings' imprisonment. Young and old people, even women were forcibly employed in armaments factories in order to replace the workers who had been drafted and sent to the front. After the attempted assassination of Hitler on July 20, 1944, the party organized itself for the battle for the Endsieg (final victory). The destruction of the city in bombing raids barely affected people's morale. The Volkssturm (consisting of boys and men unsuitable for military service) was the last line of defense against the enemy. The Allies, on entering the city, could not find a single person willing to admit to having been a National Socialist. 11 Munich Capital of the Movement On August 2, 1935 Hitler conferred the title Capital of the Movement on the city of Munich. In 1920 the NSDAP had been founded there. During the night from the 8th to the 9th of November 1923, Hitler proclaimed a national revolution by firing a shot into the ceiling of the Bürgerbräukeller (the Beer Hall Putsch ). The following day's march towards the Feldherrenhalle was an attempt at seizing power in Bavaria. Hitler imitated Mussolini's march on Rome. The Bavarian State Police shot into the crowd. Hitler fled, 15 of his followers and three policemen died. The trial was a farce the judge sought above all reasons for exonerating the defendant and Hitler was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in a fortress, of which he spent only nine comfortable months in Landsberg. It was there that he dictated his book Mein Kampf to Rudolf Hess. After the National Socialist takeover, the failed march on the Feldherrenhalle was elevated to an annual march of triumph on November 9, It was led by the Blutordenträger (Bearers of the Blood Order) marching with the Blutfahne (Blood Flag). On June 30, 1934 during the course of the so-called Röhm Putsch or Night of the Long Knives , Hitler had hundreds of Alte Kämpfer (old fighters) shot, especially the leadership of the SA ( Sturmabteilung , Storm Troopers or Brownshirts ) as well as many more alleged adversaries. These murders, along with others, were never atoned for. The commemorating march on November 9 was cancelled that year. On November 9, 1935 the coffins of the 16 Blutzeugen (martyrs called blood witnesses ) of the Reichswehr movement were brought through a forest of flags, past burning pylons, to the temples of honor at Königsplatz. There they were laid out in state for the eternal death watch. The Capital of the Movement now had its place of worship. During the years 1934/35 Königsplatz was paved with granite slabs. The elegant, classicist square of Ludwig I. was turned into a regularly shaped marching ground, a forum for national rallies and celebrations. It was renamed Königlicher Platz (Royal Square). The people of Munich called it Plattensee (the German word fo
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