Sophie Scholl

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“Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone.” ~Sophie Scholl is a symbol of Nazi-resistance, courage, and freedom. She was a member of the White Rose, a group of German students who opposed the Nazis by distributing leaflets expressing their views. As a young girl, Sophie was a member of the League of German Girls, a Nazi organization, and became a squad leader. But she soon began to question Nazi policies when two of her Jewish friends were not permitted to join the League. Her anti-Nazi views were strengthened when her father was imprisoned for making a comment critical of Hitler. In 1942, Sophie became a student at the University of Munich, majoring in biology and philosophy. She began to attend lectures that explored moral and ethical questions about individual responsibility in a dictatorship. She soon joined her brother and his friends in the White Rose and participated in writing, copying, distributing, and mailing pamphlets containing theological and philosophical arguments against the Nazi regime. She was arrested while distributing leaflets at the University of Munich. At her trial, she was only permitted to make a short statement: “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just do not dare express themselves as we did.” Her appointed lawyer made no defense. The 21-year-old was convicted and immediately executed a mere 4 days after her alleged crime. Her last words were: “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?”

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