Tuesday, May 5, 2009




If everyone waits until the other man makes a start, the messengers of avenging Nemesis will come steadily closer. (From Leaflet 1, urging immediate initiative by the reader. Nemesis of course punished those who had fallen to the temptation of hubris.)

Capture and trial

of the University
On 18 February 1943, coincidentally the same day that Nazi
propaganda minister Josef Goebbels called on
the German people to embrace total war in his Sportpalast speech,
the Scholls brought a suitcase full of leaflets to the university. They
hurriedly dropped stacks of copies in the empty corridors for students to find
when they flooded out of lecture rooms. Leaving before the class break, the
Scholls noticed that some copies remained in the suitcase and decided it would
be a pity not to distribute them. They returned to the atrium and climbed the
staircase to the top floor, and Sophie flung the last remaining leaflets into
the air. This spontaneous action was observed by the custodian Jakob Schmid. The
police were called and Hans and Sophie Scholl were taken into Gestapo custody.
The other active members were soon arrested, and the group and everyone
associated with them were brought in for interrogation.
The Scholls and
Probst were the first to stand trial before the Volksgerichtshof—the
People's Court that tried political offenses against the Nazi German state—on 22
February 1943. They were found guilty of treason and Roland Freisler, head
judge of the court, sentenced them to death. The three were
executed the same day by guillotine. All three were
noted for the courage they faced death with, particularly Sophie, who remained
firm despite intense interrogation (however, reports that she arrived at the
trial with a broken leg from torture are false). She said to Freisler during the
trial, "You know as well as we do that the war is lost. Why are you so cowardly
that you won't admit it?"[6]

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