Term Paper: White Rose: Munich 1942-1943

Pages: 4 (1416 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Some were found in other southern German cities, too. Then the leaflets stopped, because all the students had to fight in Russia during the summer break. Sophie went home, and while she was there, she heard from a nurse that all the children in the hospital for the mentally ill were sent to concentration camps and exterminated. While Hans and Werner were fighting, they found out their father was in prison for his remarks about Hitler. Thy took it as a "mark of distinction" (Scholl 39). On his way home, Hans gives a Jewish prisoner a daisy and a chocolate bar, and she put the daisy in her hair after he left.

When they all arrived back in Munich, they used an artist's studio as a production facility for their leaflets, and they began to pray, because they knew what danger they were in. They felt Christ was their "elder brother," looking out for them. They printed thousands of leaflets, and distributed them by packing them in suitcases and taking them to other cities, while trying to avoid search and seizure by the Gestapo. All during this time, people were being tried and executed by the People's Court for even speaking out against Hitler and the Nazis, so they knew the danger they faced. The newspapers were like "mine fields" to them because they were filled with Nazi propaganda, but could not report what was really happening, like the prison chaplain who had to walk with at least seven men to the gallows, and had a nervous breakdown because of it. He knew when prisoners were released, they were often sent to a concentration camp to die. Sophie wrote in her diary that people should "fear for the existence of mankind only because men turn away from Him who is their life" (Scholl 48). The group knew they were facing great odds, but went on anyway. They even painted "Down With Hitler" all over a street in Munich with paint that would not come off, and the group found that Berlin had taken up their cause.

Hans began to think about leaving for Switzerland, but worried about his family and friends that would be left behind, he knew they could face death because of him. Sophie and Hans were caught when someone saw them dropping leaflets down a staircase into an entrance hall at the university. After they were caught, they confessed to everything in order to keep their friends from being caught. To the end, they were strong and proud. Hans wrote on his prison cell wall, "Hold out in defiance of all despotism" (Scholl 56). They knew from the charges they would be sentenced to die, and they both accepted in peaceably, and with great strength. Sophie's last words to her mother were about knowing Jesus, "Yes, but you too," and Hans last words were "Long live freedom!" (Scholl 62). However, they had not saved their friends, and later, Professor Huber, Willi Graf, and Alexander Schmorell were also arrested and executed. There were also rumors that 80 other people had been arrested. Finally, eleven more were tried and convicted to jail sentences. Only one newspaper account was printed about the trials, and it called everyone traitors. Thirty-two students from Hamburg were also taken to concentration camps for their part in the White Rose; they distributed leaflets for the group. The last of the White Rose group were executed just three weeks before the end of the war with Germany, which ended in May.

Did the White Rose members give up their lives in vain? As the book shows, these young students were brave until the end, showing how much freedom meant to them. They were right to stand up as they did, and show the world there were some who could stand up to Hitler and his terrors. Their resistance gave others the courage to resist the Nazis, and speak out against tyranny and injustice. They won in the end, even though they were not there to see it. They were courageous and most of all, they were right in what they did, and should always be remembered for their bravery and strong belief in freedom… [END OF PREVIEW]

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