The White Rose Resistance: The Anti-Nazi Freedom Fighters Within The Nazi Party
By | February 14, 2020
The White Rose Resistance was made up of young Germans
The White Rose Resistance movement was only active from 1942–1943, but in that time, the group of young Germans fought back against the Nazis with their words. Refusing to be silent, they spread their convictions through secret meetings and more than 15,000 pamphlets, leaving a lasting mark on German society.
During World War II, the Nazi party did everything they could to essentially enlist the entire country of Germany into their fight. Those who were too old or feeble to join the military were told to keep their ears to the ground for dissent, and young people were enlisted in the Hitler Youth. The core members of the White Rose (Hans Scholl and his sister, Sophie, and their friends Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, and Willi Graf) were members of Hitler Youth and the Union of German Girls, both organizations that spread Nazi ideologies to young people. As these young people came to understand what the Nazis were actually doing, however, they grew disillusioned and sought a way to counteract all the evil that the group was doing.
No one knows where the name "White Rose" came from
As cool as the name White Rose Resistance is, there's no definitive answer to the question of where it came from. It's likely that Hans Scholl was inspired by the poem of the same name by German poet Clemens Brentano. He may have also taken the name from Cuban poet Jose Marti, who wrote the line "Cultivo una rosa blanca" ("I grow a white rose"), or the German novel Die Weiße Rose (The White Rose). After his arrest, Scholl told his Nazi interrogators that the name was chosen at random, but historians believe that Scholl was trying to obscure its literary significance to lead them away from Josef Söhngen, an anti-Nazi bookseller who gave White Rose members their meeting place.