White Rose Youth Opposition

Topics: Sophie Scholl, White Rose, Hans Scholl Pages: 12 (4394 words) Published: February 28, 2011
Youth opposition
The German public was only familiar with the resistance group WR, before the actual research began.[1] The late research in the resistance from the youth also arose from mutual beliefs that the youth followed the Nazis from 1933 and that wasn’t looked upon as being likely that the youth had started opposition and resistance groups.[2] In relation to the rising interest in resistance group among the youth, people started to examine WR’s motives and goals by analyzing the 6 leaflets, the graffiti actions in February 1943, diaries and letters. The interest kept on increasing in West Germany as well as East. The research in WR was very heterogeneous. In BRD, their main emphasis was in WR’s apolitical and Christian ethnical background in the leaflets, whereas DDR researched further into the group’s possible communistic inclination. The younger generation showed far more interest in the opposition and the resistance of the youth. Since Arno Klönne[3] wrote the book “Jugend im Dritten Reich” lots of attention was directed towards the youth in Nazi Germany and resulted in extensive research in the youth’s opposition and the conditions of these. The White Rose

The White Rose was a nonviolent resistance organization, which consisted of five students - Hans and Sophie Scholl, a brother and a sister, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, and Willi Graf - and a professor, Karl Huber. The students all attended Munich University. Between June 1942 and February 1943, the group prepared six leaflets, with the professor responsible for the making of the first two. The origin of the name is not clear, but an historian named Zeller believed that the color white represented pureness. “Nicht ist eines Kulturvolkes unwürdiger, als sich ohne Widerstand von einer verantwortungslosen und dunklen Trieben ergebenen Herrscherclique ‘regieren’ zu lassen”.[4] This is how the first leaflet begins, which represents the groups attitude towards the leadership of the country and the German self perception. Everyone but Sophie was a war veteran and witness to the atrocities done by the Nazi Regime. They rejected the fascist ideology and militarism and saw the future of Europe as a federation, founded on the principles of tolerance and justice. They used the leaflets to contact the German intellectuals, hoping that the educated people would be disgusted with what they saw in a suppressive, totalitarian regime and would reject it outright. By January 1943, after witnessing the battle at Stalingrad, the group was fairly certain that Germany was facing defeat at the hands of the allies. Three members (Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst) of the group painted anti-Hitler, pro-freedom slogans with tar on the buildings, such as the University, several times in February. WR had intentions for the leaflets to spread far and wide. It was intended for clandestine and hand-to-hand distribution. The first leaflets were of 500 copies, whereas the last were of thousands. All six leaflets maintained a red tread, even though the content changed: To preserve or to re-establish the German honor and spirit. This was the main reason for WR to distance them from Nazism. The actual political ideology became visible in the fifth leaflet because the war had been experienced by the people and had felt the pain on their own bodies and were therefore convinced the war would be lost, whereas in the first four leaflets, they haven’t experienced the true horror of the war and were “only” predicting the consequences of the war. Instead, their emphasis in the first leaflets was on freedom, German spirit and the Christian values. Members also began leaving piles of leaflets in public places. On 18th February, Sophie Scholl and Hans Scholl began distributing the sixth leaflet produced by...
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