Sophia Magdalena Scholl

(born 1921 in Forchtenberg – executed 1943 in Munich)

"Even though I don't know much about politics and don't have the ambition to do so, I do have a bit of a feeling for what is right and wrong, because this has nothing to do with politics and nationality." (Letter to Fritz Hartnagel, 29 May 1940)

Sophia Magdalena “Sophie” Scholl sacrificed her life in the fight against National Socialism. 

The later resistance fighter Sophie Scholl grew up in a liberal, Protestant family and attended a Protestant girls’ school in Ludwigsburg from 1930. Her parents rejected National Socialism; nevertheless, Scholl became a member of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (abbr.: BDM, Eng.: League of German Girls) in 1934. Only two years later, however, the now 15-year-old attended gatherings of an alternative youth league whose forbidden meetings were conducted in secret. 

In 1942, Scholl moved to Munich to study biology and philosophy. Through her brother Hans, she met other students who similarly rejected Nazi ideology, and she became part of the Weiße Rose (White Rose) resistance group. In January 1943, she became involved for the first time in the production of a leaflet critical of the Nazis. The activists distributed their subversive writings first on the campus of Munich University, then also in Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne and Vienna. The sixth leaflet calling for the overthrow of the Nazi regime reached as far as the shores of Great Britain. There, it was reprinted and then airdropped over Germany. Soon, however, the Gestapo became aware of the anti-fascist students. 

On 18 February, Hans and Sophie Scholl were arrested and shortly afterwards sentenced to death together with their fellow student Christoph Probst. 

* (Brief an Fritz Hartnagel, 29. Mai 1940)

Scholl H., Scholl S., Briefe und Aufzeichnungen. Frankfurt am Main 1984.

Sophie Scholl
Credits: George J. Wittenstein