Jim Doty - Photo Blog

Photography: Photos, News, and Tips
Monday, February 27, 2006

Hans, Sophie, Cristoph - The White Rose

Hans (left) and Sophie Scholl with Cristoph Probst (right), leaders of "The White Rose" resistance movement. Munich Germany, July 1942.

Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie were part of "The White Rose", a group that opposed Hitler and the Nazi party. Hans served as a medic on the Eastern (Russian) front from late July to October 1942. One month later, 300,000 Germans were trapped in Stalingrad and only 5,000 returned to Germany. . . .

Hans and Sophie were arrested February 18, 1943 for distributing leaflets and indicted for treason. They were "tried" February 22, 1843 along with their friend Cristoph Probst, found guilty, and executed by guillotine later the same day. A moving account of the trial and visits with their parents during their last hours is toward the end of this article.

12 or so years ago, my son Jim acquired the above photo. He and his friend Eric wrote the following poem at that time.

--- --- ---


They are the things of nursery rhymes

Such as ones you read to children –

Unknowing toddlers suffering parents’ crimes

And burned beneath the ashes of Dresden:

Petals falling to the ground.

Sophie stares darkly serious

With heavier weight than should be

Allowed for a woman on twenty-one.

But everyone carried burdens.

Three hundred thousand bodies

make the conscience sour,

Shameful that a much larger number

would be necessary to sate one man’s

Thirst, or earn

righteous vengeance.

For Hans, perhaps no healing powers

Ever learned could stop the burns and amputations

from the


Or mend the bleeding of a people

Once vast

Once proud

Once beautiful.

And more than beauty, the daisy


Close to Sophie’s bosom,

In its last bastion of protection

Where life and beauty survive

If only for a moment –

Innocence lost, like blood drained and

Whitened leaving zombies in blind sleep;

Red sapped from passionate roses

Stifling growth,

Cultivating compliance,

Leaving only a single symbol

Of virginity

Of purity

On aninimity

White Rose

- Copyright © Eric Duckworth and Jim Doty III

--- --- ---

You can learn more about Hans, Sophie, and the White Rose here , here, and (if you speak German) here.

Sophie's story has been made into a critically acclaimed movie that will be released in major U.S cities between February and May. You can learn more about the movie here and here.

Playdates are listed at the movie site.


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