This Young Revolutionary Bravely Sowed Seeds of Discontent in Hitler's Nazi Germany
Editor's Note: This Women’s History Month, Bumble is celebrating women from all walks of life, across centuries and generations, who didn’t believe in sticking to the rules. These founding members of our First Movers Club didn’t let gender norms — or anything else! — hold them back. They left their mark by making the first move, and the world is a better place thanks to their bravery and boldness.
As a young girl growing up in World War II Germany, Sophie Scholl let nothing stand in the way of her fierce fight for individual freedom — not even Hitler’s Nazi Party. Along with her brother, Scholl battled oppression through The White Rose, a secret revolutionary group devoted to exposing the horrors of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. To stir the German public into action, Scholl and fellow White Rose members risked their lives to create and distribute pamphlets that revealed the abuse inflicted upon European Jews.
Scholl was executed for her participation in the movement in 1943. At just 21-years-old, Scholl had done more to preserve human rights than many do during an entire lifetime. Through her bold leadership of passionate Munich college students, this political activist boldly resisted Nazi indoctrination and brought attention to the egregious crimes against humanity in Germany.
- As a young girl, Scholl was a member of the infamous Hitler Youth program for young girls, but eventually became disenchanted with the organization after a Jewish friend was barred from joining.
- Raised by an avowed anti-Nazi father, Scholl and her siblings were taught to “...walk straight and free through life, even when it’s hard." It was a charge that led them to resist Nazi propaganda and instead prize individual liberty and freedom.
- Scholl first became involved with The White Rose after accidentally discovering one of the group’s revolutionary pamphlets while at school. She quickly became one of the group’s leaders along with her older brother Hans.
- Through the White Rose, Scholl and her fellow members distributed pamphlets throughout Germany, purchasing them from multiple different post offices to avoid suspicion. They made covert trips to different parts of the country to drop them off. Through these tactics, the small group was able to create the illusion of having a publicly supported vast network.
- Sophie and Hans Scholl’s activism has been honored numerous times by a variety of German and international institutions, including their alma mater, the University of Munich. In 2003, they were featured on Germany’s “Our Best” list, ranked above Bach and Einstein.