1943-02-22 Munich, Germany / White Rose / Weiße Rose / Rosa Branca / Rosa Blanca

The color white has always been synonymous with purity and virtue. And so, sincerity, purity, and chastity are some of the meanings of a white rose.

White has ever been a symbol of innocence, of a World unspoiled. The meaning of a white rose is innocence and spiritual Love. The white rose glorifies a Love that is unaware of temptations and resides only in the soul.

The White Rose was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany which denounced the Nazi regimes’s crimes and oppression, and called for resistance.

Their anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign started in Munich on June 27th, 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on February 18th, 1943.

Isn’t it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes– crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure– reach the light of day?

1st leaflet of the White Rose

In their second leaflet, they openly denounced the persecution and mass murder of the Jews. Eventually around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945, some six million European Jews, were systematically murdered.

Paramilitary units called the ‘Einsatzgruppen’ murdered around two million Jews in mass shootings in less than a year. Victims were being deported from the ghettos in sealed freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, they were killed in gas chambers.

Since the conquest of Poland, 300,000 Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way … The German people slumber on in dull, stupid sleep and encourage the fascist criminals. Each wants to be exonerated of guilt, each one continues on his way with the most placid, calm conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!

2nd leaflet of the White Rose.

The White Rose group was motivated by ethical, moral, and religious considerations. They came from various religious backgrounds, devouted Catholics, orthodox Christians, Anthroposophist and Buddhist.

Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanised state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right – or rather, your moral duty – to eliminate this system?

3rd leaflet of the White Rose

They were found guilty of treason. Roland Freisler, head judge of the court, sentenced them to  death. The three were executed the same day by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison.

All three were noted for the courage with which they faced their deaths, particularly Sophie, who remained firm despite intense interrogation.

Es lebe die Freiheit! Let Freedom live!

Hans Scholls last words before his execution

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