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  • In 1943 Allied aircraft swooped over Nazi Germany,

  • raining tens of thousands of leaflets on people below.

  • Written by anonymous Germans, the leaflets urged readers to renounce Hitler,

  • to fight furiously for the futureand to never give up hope.

  • Their call to action rippled through homes and businesses

  • and news of their message even reached concentration camps and prisons.

  • It was only after the war had ended that the authors' identities, stories,

  • and tragic fate would come to light.

  • When Hitler seized power 10 years earlier,

  • Hans and Sophie Scholl were teenagers in the town of Forchtenberg.

  • At that time, fear, propaganda, and surveillance

  • kept all aspects of life for the Scholl family and millions of other Germans

  • under Nazi control.

  • The government specifically targeted young people,

  • setting up institutions to regulate their behavior and police their thoughts.

  • As teenagers, Hans was a member of the Hitler Youth

  • and Sophie joined The League of German Girls.

  • Hans rose through the ranks

  • and oversaw the training and indoctrination of other young people.

  • In 1936, he was chosen to carry the flag at a national rally.

  • But when he witnessed the zeal of Nazi rhetoric,

  • he began to question it for the first time.

  • Meanwhile, Sophie was also starting to doubt the information she was being fed.

  • Their parents Robert and Magdalena,

  • who had feared they were losing their children to Nazi ideology,

  • encouraged these misgivings.

  • At home, Robert and Magdalena listened to foreign radio stations

  • that the government first discouraged and later banned.

  • While the government churned out national broadcasts which denied Nazi atrocities,

  • the Scholls learned shocking truths.

  • And yet, they were still subject to the rules of life in Hitler's Germany.

  • After the outbreak of war,

  • Sophie reluctantly worked for the national effort,

  • and Hans had to take on army duties while attending medical school in Munich.

  • That was where Hans met Christoph Probst, Willi Graf and Alexander Schmorell.

  • Day by day, each grew more sickened by Nazi ideology.

  • They longed to share their views.

  • But how could they spread them, when it was impossible to know who to trust?

  • And so, the friends decided to rebel anonymously.

  • They pooled their money and bought printing materials.

  • An acquaintance let them use a cellar under his studio.

  • In secret, they began drafting their message.

  • In June 1942, mysterious anti-Nazi leaflets began appearing all over Munich.

  • They were signed: the White Rose.

  • The first leaflet denounced Hitler

  • and called for Germans to sabotage the war effort:

  • Adopt passive resistance

  • block the functioning of this atheistic war machine before it is too late,

  • before the last city is a heap of rubble

  • before the last youth of our nation bleeds to death...

  • Don't forget that each people gets the government it deserves!”

  • At a time when a sarcastic remark could constitute treason,

  • this language was unprecedented.

  • It was written mostly by Hans Scholl.

  • In 1942, Sophie came to Munich knowing nothing of her brother's activities.

  • She soon encountered the leaflets at school.

  • But it was not until she discovered evidence in Han's room

  • that she realized who'd written them.

  • Her shock soon gave way to resolve: she wanted in.

  • For both siblings, it was time to escalate the fury that had been brewing for years.

  • From June 1942 to February 1943, the group worked feverishly.

  • While the Gestapo searched for leads,

  • the White Rose were constantly on guard.

  • The war raged on. Regulations tightened, and Munich suffered air raids.

  • But the White Rose ventured deeper into conspiracy.

  • They graffitied buildings and braved trains swarming with Gestapo.

  • In the winter of 1942,

  • Hans made a treacherous journey to the Czechoslovakian border

  • to meet anti-Nazi rebels.

  • On February 18, 1943,

  • Sophie and Hans brought a suitcase of leaflets to their university.

  • A custodian noticed what they were doing and reported them to the Gestapo.

  • Both calmly denied any involvement

  • until the police gathered all the leaflets and placed them back in the empty case,

  • where they fit perfectly.

  • When Hans and Sophie confessed,

  • they were immediately led to court and sentenced to death by guillotine.

  • Despite a grueling interrogation, the two refused to betray their co-conspirators.

  • Before her execution, Sophie declared her fury at the state of her country.

  • But she also spoke to a more hopeful future:

  • How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone

  • willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause?

  • Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go,

  • but what does my death matter, if through us,

  • thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

In 1943 Allied aircraft swooped over Nazi Germany,

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B1 TED-Ed sophie nazi hitler munich rose

The secret student resistance to Hitler - Iseult Gillespie

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/31
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