Sophie Scholl: Standing Up to the Nazis

Sophie Scholl: Standing Up to the Nazis

By History Hit

Sophie Scholl was an anti-Nazi political activist who stood up to the regime as a student under the Third Reich and paid with her life. Sophie lived, like most middle class Germans, very comfortably under the Nazi regime - if you kept your head down, you didn't have anything to fear. But Sophie and her brother Hans refused to stay silent on what they saw happening.

Her activism began when she was forced to do National Labour Service in the form of passive resistance to the military-like regime she had to follow. After Labour service, in May 1942, she enrolled at the University of Munich where her brother was studying medicine. He introduced her to his friends and eventually they formed the White Rose resistance group - a non-violent, anti-totalitarian organisation who wrote flyers and graffiti and distributed leaflets that called for the toppling of National Socialism. But on the 18 February 1943, Sophie and Hans Scholl went to the Ludwig Maximilian University to leave flyers out when they were caught and arrested. The pair were charged with treason and eventually executed by Guillotine four days later. She was 21 years old.

In the years after Germany's reunification, Scholl became an icon of German resistance and free-thinking and her story is now widely celebrated, thanks in part to Frank McDonough, an internationally renowned expert on the History of the Third Reich, who joins Dan on this podcast to talk about Sophie's life, on the anniversary of her death and his book 'Sophie Scholl.'

Produced by James Hickmann and mixed by Dougal Patmore 

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