As you all may (or may not) have known, I have been passionately interested in The White Rose for the past three years now. I can’t even believe it’s been that long! I love these guys so much, I feel like they are my long-lost friends. Reading about the White Rose has helped me establish a content in my heart that I haven’t found in anything before. I’ve made new, wonderful friends and relationships through this story. I even have a Tumblr blog dedicated to them called Sophie and the White Rose.
Anyway, today is the day that three of the members – Sophie and Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst – were beheaded by guillotine for their so-called crimes against the Nazi Regime, but I do not remember them for their tragic deaths, but for who they were (and for who they wanted to become.) Sophie was a talented artist, writer, and she impressed and received admiration from many people she came into contact with. She had a brilliant mind. As did Hans. Hans loved to have fun, and he could be found making jokes and had a great sense of humor. But he was also an incredibly deep thinker who was still trying to find the meaning of life (and himself) even to the day he died. Christoph was a father, a husband, a brother, a son, and he had a sensitive and thoughtful demeanor as well. One of my favorite stories of Christoph involves a garden and some pumpkins which showed how creative and imaginative he was as a child. They were not just martyrs. They were living, breathing, human beings full of flaws and setbacks and careless actions and regrets. They did stupid things, and they said thoughtless statements, just as you and I have done many times before. That is the beauty of it all, that they were just normal people going on about their lives with full of questions and anxieties, but they still were able to stand up and be strong to do what they thought was the right thing. I see time-and-time again of how someone posts about one of the members of the White Rose (specifically Sophie Scholl) and how she comes out looking like a polished, perfect little martyr that she was born to be. She wasn’t by any means born a martyr. In fact, she was actually an avid little Nazi-to-be with a strong standing and leadership position within the female segment of the Hitler Youth (BDM) as a teenager. She wasn’t by any means perfectly polished and composed. She had anxieties. She had problems that were hard for her to deal with. She had struggles with family members, friends, acquaintances, the environment in which she lived. She even had struggles with herself. They all did.
We are all Sophie Scholl. We are all Hans Scholl. Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell, Kurt Huber, and the many other members of the White Rose. We can stand up and do something that we feel we need to do, despite how many excuses we make for ourselves that we can’t. We can all get past our flaws and setbacks and make a difference in this world, even if it is small. This is what I want those of you who hold on to the White Rose story to take back when reading about them. That you can make a difference. We all can. Please remember that.
Es Lebe die Freiheit!!