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Hans Fritz Scholl
22 September 1918
|Died||22 February 1943 (aged 24)|
|Cause of death||Execution by guillotine|
|Resting place||Perlacher Friedhof, Munich|
|Occupation||Soldier, medic, student, resistance founder|
|Parent(s)||Robert Scholl |
|Relatives||Inge Scholl (sister) |
Sophie Scholl (sister)
Hans Fritz Scholl (German: [hans ʃɔl] (listen); 22 September 1918 – 22 February 1943) was, along with Alexander Schmorell, one of the two founding members of the White Rose resistance movement in Nazi Germany. The principal author of the resistance movement's literature, he was found guilty of high treason for distributing anti-Nazi material and was executed by the Nazi regime in 1943 during World War II.
- Inge Aicher-Scholl (1917–1998)
- Hans Scholl (1918–1943)
- Elisabeth Scholl Hartnagel (1920-2020), married Sophie's long-term boyfriend, Fritz Hartnagel
- Sophie Scholl (1921–1943)
- Werner Scholl (1922–1944) missing in action and presumed dead in June 1944
- Thilde Scholl (1925–1926)
Scholl was raised as a Lutheran, although he did at one point consider converting to Catholicism. Against the declared will of his father, he became an enthusiastic member of the Hitler Youth on April 15, 1933 and initially held leadership positions in the Deutsches Jungvolk, but quickly became disillusioned with the group when he realised its true principles. In 1935 he was one of three standard-bearers from Ulm who took part in the NSDAP's "Reich Party Rally for Freedom" from September 10 to 16 in Nuremberg. During this time, his attitude towards the Nazi regime gradually began to change. One reason was that the fanaticism promoted in the Hitler Youth and the unconditional subordination to the power structures ruling there became more and more repugnant. Scholl was arrested, along with Willi Graf, in 1937–38 because of their membership of forbidden Youth Movement organisations. Hans Scholl had joined the Deutsche Jungenschaft 1. 11. in 1934, when he and other Hitler Youth members in Ulm considered membership in this group and the Hitler Youth to be compatible. Scholl was also charged with "immoral behaviour" under laws that criminalised homosexuality stemming from a year-long relationship with Rolf Futterknecht during his time in the youth movement from 1934-35. He was betrayed by Futterknecht, who turned him in to the SS. Hans admitted to the relationship, but the court eventually dismissed the charges and described the affair as a “youthful aberration”.
In spring of 1937, he joined the Reich Labour Service, having volunteered for duty. He was discharged in March 1939 to attend medical school at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. At the university he came into contact with professors, teachers and students who represented positions that were clearly Christian-ethical and critical of the regime. Therefore, Hans began to question his own ideological position more critically. During the semester break, he was drafted as a medic for front service and took the rank of medical sergeant in the French campaign. What he experienced during direct frontline operations reinforced his personal stance against the rulers and the war in particular. Hans was again enrolled in the military service in spring of 1941 as a medic in the Wehrmacht against Russia.
Origins of the White Rose
Between 1940 and 1941, Scholl, a former member of the Hitler Youth, began questioning the principles and policies of the Nazi regime. As a student at the University of Munich, Scholl met two Roman Catholic men of letters who redirected his life, inspiring him to turn from studying medicine and pursue religion, philosophy, and the arts.
After their experiences at the Eastern Front, having learned about mass murder in Poland and the Soviet Union, Scholl and Alexander Schmorell felt compelled to take action. From the end of June until mid July 1942, they wrote the first four leaflets. Quoting extensively from the Bible, Aristotle and Novalis, as well as Goethe and Schiller, the iconic poets of German bourgeoisie, they appealed to what they considered the German intelligentsia, believing that these people would be easily convinced by the same arguments that also motivated the authors themselves. These leaflets were left in telephone books in public phone booths, mailed to professors and students, and taken by courier to other universities for distribution.
From 23 July to 30 October 1942, Willi Graf, Scholl and Schmorell served again at the Soviet front, and activities ceased until their return. In autumn 1942, Sophie Scholl discovered that her brother Hans was one of the authors of the pamphlets, and joined the group. Shortly after, Willi Graf, and by the end of December 1942, Kurt Huber also became members of the White Rose.
With six core members, two more White Rose pamphlets were created and circulated over the summer of 1942.
The leaflets were distributed around the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where the many of group's members studied, and at the University of Hamburg, and in the city of Ulm. Leaflets were also mailed to doctors, scholars, and pub owners throughout Germany.
Capture and execution
On 18 February 1943, while Hans and Sophie were distributing leaflets at Ludwig Maximilian University, Sophie flung the last remaining leaflets from the top floor down into the atrium. This spontaneous action was observed by the university maintenance man, Jakob Schmid. Schmid reported the offense and the Scholls were arrested by the Gestapo. Along with Probst, the two were tried for treason by Judge Roland Freisler. They were found guilty and condemned to death on 22 February.
During his interrogation, Hans tried to protect his sister by claiming to have thrown the leaflets himself, but his testimony was contradicted by the custodian's. He further tried to hide the role played by other members of the White Rose.
Hans was well aware of the likely consequence of his actions.
I knew what I took upon myself and I was prepared to lose my life by so doing.— From the interrogation of Hans Scholl.
Only a few hours after the judgment, Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst were beheaded by Johann Reichhart in Munich's Stadelheim Prison. The execution was supervised by Walter Roemer, the enforcement chief of the Munich district court.
Scholl's last words were "Es lebe die Freiheit!" ("Long live freedom!").
Shortly thereafter, most of the other students involved with the group were arrested, many of whom were executed as well.
Following the deaths, a copy of the sixth leaflet was smuggled out of Germany through Scandinavia to the UK by German jurist Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, where it was used by the Allied Forces. In mid-1943, they dropped millions of copies of the tract, retitled The Manifesto of the Students of Munich, over Germany.
The White Rose's legacy has been considered significant by many historical commentators, both as a demonstration of exemplary spiritual courage, and as a well-documented case of social dissent in a time of violent repression, censorship and pressure to conform.
Playwright Lillian Garrett-Groag stated in Newsday (22 February 1993):
It is possibly the most spectacular moment of resistance that I can think of in the twentieth century... The fact that five little kids, in the mouth of the wolf, where it really counted, had the tremendous courage to do what they did, is spectacular to me. I know that the world is better for them having been there, but I do not know why.
You cannot really measure the effect of this kind of resistance in whether or not X number of bridges were blown up or a regime fell... The White Rose really has a more symbolic value, but that's a very important value.
It was not until the 1998 law to abolish Nazi judgments of injustice in the administration of criminal justice that the sentences against Hans Scholl and other members of the White Rose became void in Germany.
In 2003, Germans were invited by television broadcaster ZDF to participate in Unsere Besten (Our Best), a nationwide competition to choose the top ten most important Germans of all time. Voters under the age of forty helped Scholl and his sisters to finish in fourth place, above Bach, Goethe, Gutenberg, Bismarck, Willy Brandt, and Albert Einstein. If the votes of young viewers alone had been counted, Sophie and Hans Scholl would have been ranked first.
White Rose, The Musical, by Belding and Brice, is currently (March, 2021) in a developmental reading series. A number of Broadway performers have already recorded demos and performances videos of songs from the upcoming show. 
- Geschwister-Scholl-Preis – a literary prize in honour of the Scholls
- Unsere Besten ("Our Best") – a listing of 100+ great Germans
- "Inge Aicher-Scholl" at the Wayback Machine (archived December 31, 2007). 6 September 1998. Archived from the original on 31 December 2007.
- "Inge Scholl: 'Die Weiße Rose'" (in German). Weisse-Rose-Studien. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007.
- History.com Editors. "Nazis arrest White Rose resistance leaders". HISTORY. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- Wittenstein, George J., M.D., "Memories of the White Rose" (Part 1, Introduction and Background), 1979 Archived 2003-08-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Inge Scholl: The White Rose: Munich, 1942–1943. 2nd ed., originally published as "Students Against Tyranny". Transl. from the German Edition by Arthur R. Schulz. ISBN 978-0819560865, p. 6
- Atwood, Kathryn (2011). Women Heroes of World War II. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 17. ISBN 9781556529610.
- Halpern, Sue M. (17 August 1986). "Students Against The Reich". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
- The Holocaust: An Encyclopedia and Document Collection ISBN 978-1-440-84083-8 p. 710
- Schmid, Jakob. Gestapo Interrogation Transcripts: Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell, Hans Scholl, and Sophie Scholl. ZC13267, Volumes 1–16. Schmaus. 18 February 1943. E-Document.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hans Scholl.|
- The White Rose: A Lesson in Dissent by Jacob G. Hornberger
- Text of leaflets in English
- A collaborative, student-led translation of the six printed leaflets by students at the University of Oxford