A small and poignant memorial exhibition inside the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich showcases the lives of the founders of the Weiße Rose (in English, “White Rose”) and holds artifacts that are central to their story of heroism in the face of brutal oppression.
The White Rose was a resistance movement founded by siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl and their friend Alexander Schmorell in the city of Munich in 1942. All three founders were enrolled students at the University of Munich. (Sophie was a student of biology and philosophy while Hans and Alexander were medical students.) However, they were forced to interrupt their studies and to attend compulsory national service due to Nazi policies.
The Scholl siblings and Schmorell were sent to the Eastern front to serve as student soldiers in the Wehrmacht medical corps. During this time, they learned of the atrocities being committed by the Nazis in concentration camps against the Jewish people and in the occupied territory against the civilian population of the Soviet Union.
Horrified by the tyranny of the Nazis they decided together to form a nonviolent resistance movement to inform civilians of these crimes and incite the German population to overthrow Hitler’s dictatorship. The White Rose waged a short-lived but significant campaign against Hitler and the Nazis through the dissemination of anonymous leaflets and the painting of graffiti addressed to the citizens of Germany.
Through these heroic actions, the group urged the public to reject the “subhumanism of national socialism” and to fight for “freedom of speech, freedom of religion and protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary action of criminal dictator-states.”
Know Before You Go
The White Rose memorial exhibition is open from Monday to Friday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Fridays from 11:30 am to 4 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Entrance is free of charge.