Sophie Scholl
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Sophia Magdalena Scholl (1921 - 1943)

Sophia Magdalena (Sophie) Scholl
Born in Forchtenberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germanymap
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of and [half]
Died in Munich, Bavaria, Germanymap
Profile last modified | Created 18 Feb 2018 | Last significant change: 12 Jul 2020
03:30: Andrea Taylor edited the Biography for Sophia Magdalena Scholl (1921-1943). [Thank Andrea for this]
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Notables Project
Sophie Scholl is Notable.

Anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany.

Early Life

Sophie Scholl was born the fourth of six children to her parents Robert and Magdalena (Müller) Scholl. The family moved to Ulm in 1932, where she was brought up with Lutheran beliefs and values. At the age of 12, Sophie decided to join the Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls), which was the girls' wing of the German Nazi Party youth movement. Her father, a nazi critic, was not content with her decision as was her older brother Hans, who used to participate in the Hitler Youth program. Their criticism led to Sophie becoming gradually disillusioned with the Nazi Party.[1] Scholl graduated from secondary school in 1940, but had bad marks because she lost interest in her classes, which had become part of the Nazi indoctrination.[2] After that, she started working as a kindergarten teacher in hopes of it being recognized as an alternative to the Reichsarbeitsdienst (National Labour Service), which was a prerequisite to be admitted to university. This was not the case, which is why she began working as a nursery for the Reichsarbeitsdienst in spring 1941. There she started practicing passive resistance. In May 1942, she started studying biology and philosophy at the University of Munich.[3]

Participation in the White Rose

Sophie found a pamphlet of the resistance organization Weiße Rose (White Rose) at her university. When she realized that her older brother Hans helped author it, she joined the group against his will and showed them letters of her boyfriend Fritz Hartnagel, who had been deployed to the eastern front in May 1942. Horrified by his reports of German war crimes, the origanization wrote three more pamphlets over the summer of the same year. They wrote six leaflets in total and wrote messages like "Down with Hitler" and "Freedom" on walls in Munich.

Arrest and Execution

On the 18th of February 1943, Sophie and her brother Hans got caught distributing about 1,700 leaflets at the University of Munich.[4] They were interrogated by the university rector and subsequently arrested by the Gestapo. During the following interrogation with detective chief secretary Robert Mohr, Sophie tried to save her friends by taking the blame.[5] Four days later, Scholl, her brother Hans and their friend Christoph Probst were found guilty of treason and condemned to death. They were executed by guillotine a few hours later.

Sophie Scholl's last words were:

"How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"[6]


  1. Atwood, K. (2011): Women Heroes of World War II. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 16
  2. ibid.
  3. Schulz, K. (2005): Sophie Scholl. In: (retrieved Feb 18, 2018)
  4. Bannert, C., Albrecht, K.-B. (2015): Sophie Scholl 1921 - 1943. In: (retrieved Feb 18, 2018)
  5. Federal Archives Berlin, ZC 13267, Vol. 3
  6. Burns, M.: Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. In: (retrieved Feb 18, 2018)

See also:

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Sophie Scholl
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