A rose by any other name

“In Munich, a group of students, together with one of their professors, whose idealism and mounting detestation of the criminal inhumanity of the regime had led them the previous year to form the ‘White Rose’ opposition-group, now openly displayed their attack on Hitler. The medical students Alexander Schmorell and Hans Scholl had formed the initial driving-force, and had soon been joined by Christoph Probst, Sophie Scholl (Hans’s sister), Willi Garf, and Kurt Huber, Professor of Philosophy. . . . All were fired by Christian beliefs and humanistic idealism. The horrors on the eastern front, experienced for a short time at first hand when Graf, Schmorell, and Hans Scholl were called up, converted the lofty idealism into an explicit political message. ‘Fellow Students!’ ran their final manifesto (composed by Professor Huber), distributed in Munich University on 18 February [1943]. ‘The nation is deeply shaken by the destruction of the men of Stalingrad. The genial strategy of the World War corporal has senselessly and irresponsibly driven three hundred and thirty thousand German men to death and ruin. Führer, we thank you!’ It was a highly courageous show of defiance. But it was suicidal. Hans and Sophie Scholl were denounced by a porter at the university (who was subsequently applauded by pro-Nazi students for his action), and quickly arrested by the Gestapo. Christoph Probst was picked up soon afterwards. . . . All three were guillotined. . . . Willi Graf, Kurt Huber, and Alexander Schmorell suffered the same fate some months later.” – Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis

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