Sophia Magdalena Scholl (9 May 1921 – 22 February 1943) was a member of the White Rose non-violent resistance movement during the Nazi regime in Germany. She was arrested on 18 February 1943, convicted of treason four days later, and executed by guillotine a few hours after that.
- Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did.
- I am, now as before, of the opinion that I did the best that I could do for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences that result from my conduct.
- Response to the closing question of whether she hadn't "indeed come to the conclusion that your conduct and the actions along with your brother and other persons in the present phase of the war should be seen as a crime against the community, but in particular against our troops fighting arduously in the east, that merits the severest sentence?" Extracts from the examination transcripts, February 1943; Bundesarchiv Berlin, ZC 13267, Bd. 3 Online at bpb.de
- How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?
- I know that life is a doorway to eternity, and yet my heart so often gets lost in petty anxieties. It forgets the great way home that lies before it. Unprepared, given over to childish trivialities, it could be taken by surprise when the great hour comes and find that, for the sake of piffling pleasures, the one great joy has been missed. I am aware of this, but my heart is not. It seems unteachable; it continues its dreaming… always wavering between joy and depression.
- I pity people who can't find laughter or at least some bit of amusement in the little doings of the day. I believe I could find something ridiculous even in the saddest moment, if necessary. It has nothing to do with being superficial. It's a matter of joy in life.
- I want to share in the suffering of these days …That is putting it too strongly, perhaps; I mean I want to be affected more directly … Sympathy is often difficult and soon becomes hollow if one feels no pain oneself.
- I'm still so remote from God that I don't even sense his presence when I pray. Sometimes when I utter God's name, in fact, I feel like sinking into a void. It isn't a frightening or dizzying sensation, it's nothing at all—and that's far more terrible. But prayer is the only remedy for it, and however many devils scurry around inside me, I shall cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even if my numb hands can no longer feel it.
- I've been thinking of a story from the Old Testament: Moses stood all day and all night with outstretched arms, praying to God for victory. And whenever he let down his arms, the enemy prevailed over the children of Israel. Are there still people today who never weary of directing all their thinking and all their energy, single-heartedly, to one cause?
- Isn't it bewildering … that everything is so beautiful, despite all the horrors that exist? Lately I've noticed something grand and mysterious peering into my sheer joy in all that is lovely — the sense of a Creator whom innocent creation worships with its beauty. Only man can be hateful or ugly, because he possesses a free will to cut himself off from the chorus of praise. It often seems that he will succeed in drowning out this chorus with his cannon thunder, curses, and blasphemy. But it has become clear to me this spring that he cannot. And so I must try to throw myself on the side of the victor.
- Just because so many things are in conflict does not mean that we ourselves should be divided. Yet time and time again one hears it said that since we have been put into a conflicting world, we have to adapt to it. Oddly, this completely unchristian opinion is most often espoused by so-called Christians, of all people.
- People believe that we live in the end times, and many terrible signs make such a belief all too credible. But isn't it irrelevant? Don't we all realize that, no matter when we live, God can call us at a moment's notice? How do I know if I'll even be alive tomorrow morning? A bomb could fall tonight and kill us all; and still my guilt would be no smaller than if I were to go down with the earth and all the stars.
- The only remedy for a barren heart is prayer, however poor and inadequate … We must pray, and pray for each other, and if you were here, I'd fold hands with you, because we're poor, weak, sinful children. Oh, Fritz, if I can't write anything else just now, it's only because there's a terrible absurdity about a drowning man who, instead of calling for help, launches into a scientific, philosophical, or theological dissertation while the sinister tentacles of the creatures on the seabed are encircling his arms and legs, and the waves are breaking over him. It's only because I'm filled with fear, that and nothing else, and feel an undivided yearning for him who can relieve me of it.
- The real damage is done by those millions who want to "survive." The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don't want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won't take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don't like to make waves — or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It's the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you'll keep it under control. If you don't make any noise, the bogeyman won't find you. But it's all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.
- Die Sonne scheint noch.
- The Sun still shines.
- These were her last words as depicted in the film, Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (2005), which was heavily based on Gestapo documents that were in East German archives and not released until 1990. Her last words have also been reported as "God, you are my refuge into eternity" or sometimes "Your heads will fall as well" but there is dispute over whether Sophie or her brother Hans had said this. Hans' last words have been reported as having been Es lebe die Freiheit! ["Long Live Freedom!"].
- The Sun still shines.
Quotes about Scholl and the White Rose
- It is possibly the most spectacular moment of resistance that I can think of in the 20th 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 don't know why.
- Lillian Garrett-Groag in Newsday (22 February 1993)
- Of course, the terrible things I heard from the Nuremberg Trials, about the six million Jews and the people from other races who were killed, were facts that shocked me deeply. But I wasn't able to see the connection with my own past. I was satisfied that I wasn't personally to blame and that I hadn't known about those things. I wasn't aware of the extent. But one day I went past the memorial plaque which had been put up for Sophie Scholl in Franz Josef Strasse, and I saw that she was born the same year as me, and she was executed the same year I started working for Hitler. And at that moment I actually sensed that it was no excuse to be young, and that it would have been possible to find things out.
- The tolerant and open atmosphere of their childhood had enabled them to see through Hitler's platitudes at the Nuremberg Rally, when the brother and sister were members of Nazi youth organizations. Nearly all their peers were completely won over by the Führer, whereas Hans and Sophie had other, higher expectations of human nature, not shared by their comrades, against which they could measure Hitler.
- You can't 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.
- Jud Newborn in in Newsday (22 February 1993)
- Biography at The White Rose
- "Sophie Scholl and the White Rose" at Shoah Education Project
- Sophie Scholl - The Final Days film website (in English)
- Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage film website (in German)
- Roger Ebert's review of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
- Memories of the White Rose
- Essay on the White Rose
- The Geschwister-Scholl-Institut (in German)
- The leaflets of the White Rose
- Summary of the Charges at the Trial of the White Rose Members