Friday, September 10, 2010

The White Rose

A 1942 photograph of, from left, Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst.

Hans Scholl (born 22 September 1918; died 22 February 1943)

Sophie Scholl (born 9 May 1921; died 22 February 1943)

Christoph Probst (born 6 November 1919; died 22 February 1943)

Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst were medical students in Munich during their membership in The White Rose. Sophie Scholl was a university student in Munich studying biology and philosophy during her membership in The White Rose.

In the photograph, Hans Scholl wears a military uniform because he had been involuntarily assigned to the German Army Medical Corps in 1942.

Hans and Sophie Scholl were observed dropping leaflets at the University Of Munich on 18 February 1943. They and Probst (and others) were arrested the same day.

All three were tried for treason four days after their arrests. They were tried on the morning of 22 February 1943 and immediately found guilty—and guillotined that same afternoon.


  1. There is a good German film, "Die Weisse Rose," made by Michael Verhoefen in 1982, about the Scholl siblings. It's a well-acted story that I always thought American university students should see (it is subtitled).

    I particularly admire the warm family relationship between the Scholls, on display in this film whenever brother and sister leave the Munich campus to spend school breaks at home. Frau Scholl is especially touching.

    It's amusing also to hear Hans and Sophie slip in and out of German dialect between family and school.

    The film even depicts the Scholl's capital execution at the end.

  2. I believe there are several films about Hans and Sophie Scholl, documentary and otherwise, and I have not seen any of them.

    Did you know that Hans Scholl was gay, and encountered some difficulties with the Nazi Party on that account?

    My instinct tells me that Christoph Probst was gay, too, although Probst was married and had children.

  3. I did not know that Hans Scholl was gay. Of course, the Verhoefen film gives no such subtle indication about his sexual orientation, even though both he and his friend Christoph are always shown without girlfriends. Neither, if I remember, do the two men even talk about having or wanting to have girlfriends.

  4. A fellow-member of the Hitler youth group Hans Scholl was required to join turned Scholl in to the Nazis for homosexual activity in 1937 or so.

    The Party investigated Scholl, he admitted the conduct, but a sympathetic judge determined that a youthful infatuation should not ruin the young man's life and the judge dismissed the case.

    The judge basically saved Hans's life (at least for a few years).

    I have seen numerous photographs of Probst. In each photograph, he strikes me, conspicuously, as gay.