To start International Woman’s Month. We are looking at a famous German woman. She is among the most well-regarded women in Germany.
Sophie Scholl. Scholl along with her brother Hans began questioning the Nazi regime. Both were raised by an anti-nazi father. However, both were raised in the youth ranks of the Nazi party. Sophie joined her brother and three of his friends in the organization called White Rose. White Rose was an anti-nazi, non-violent resistance group. The group conducted leaflet campaigns and graffiti campaigns, disclosing the heinous actions of the Nazis, and calling for opposition to the regime. White Rose did not last long. Quickly being destroyed by the Gestapo in early 1943. Group managed to distribute six leaflet campaigns amounting to a total of 15000 leaflets. The sixth and final one made it to the allies after being smuggled by a legal scholar. The leaflet, now renamed The Manifesto of the Students of Munich, was a part of propaganda airdrops in Germany by the Allies distributing it across the country. Sophie’s role in White Rose was distribution. Sophie was less likely to be randomly stopped by the Schutzstaffel or SS because she was a woman.
Sophie, Hans, and Christoph Probst were all arrested after the distribution of the flyers at the University of Munich on February 18th. A janitor and staunch nazi reported Sophie and Hans to the Gestapo. Less than a week later, on February 22nd, a trial that lasted less than four hours ended with the death penalty for all three of them. Sophie was asked by Judge Freisler if she recognized what she did was wrong. Sophie responded: “I am, now as before, of the opinion that I did the best that I could do for my nation. I, therefore, do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences that result from my conduct.” Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans were executed by Guillotine at 5 pm on February 22nd at 21 years old.
Sophie Scholl is recognized throughout Germany. The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich named the Political Science Institute after Sophie and Hans. Numerous films have been made about White Rose and Sophie. However, none of the films have been translated into other languages. An influential figure in Germany while unknown to the rest of the world.