Today marks 75 years since the deaths of two brave young Christians who stood up to the might of Nazi Germany at the height of the Second World War.
Midway through 1942, university students Hans and Sophie Scholl helped form the White Rose – a non-violent anti-Nazi resistance group.
Along with others who had previously supported the Third Reich, they came to recognise and oppose the oppression and brutality of the governing regime, with Sophie declaring: “We fight with our words”.
The White Rose movement began creating leaflets aimed at the millions of Germans who were blind to Nazi atrocities.
The leaflets were posted to houses and in public places around Munich, where Hans and Sophie were studying, highlighting the Jewish holocaust, which they called a crime “unparalleled in all of history”.
“How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually for a righteous cause?” Sophie Scholl
They knew they risked their lives, but because of their strong Christian convictions the siblings knew they had to take action.
Every leaflet produced and distributed by the White Rose quoted scripture. Sophie’s favourite verse was James 1:22 – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Hans said: “It’s high time that Christians made up their minds to do something…”
“We will be standing empty handed. We will have no answer when we are asked: ‘What did you do about it?’”
Sophie and her brother were arrested on 18 February 1943, when they were caught distributing leaflets, and interrogated for four days.
On 22 February, they were tried by the German People’s Court and found guilty of high treason, and subsequently executed at Stadelheim Prison.
It’s said that Sophie’s final words were: “God, you are my refuge into eternity”.