The Scholl siblings: a Martyrdom for truth
The testimony of two young people in the face of the truth.
Hours, before he was executed Hans Scholl, wrote to his sister Inge: "My life has become a constant danger. The darkest night surrounds my searching heart! How great is what Paul Claudel says! "Life is a great adventure towards Light" (Ayllón, 2016). Years later the courageous story of Hans and his sister Sophie, members of the movement "The White Rose", would remind humanity of the duty that everyone has with themselves and with society.
At the beginning of World War I Robert Scholl will be recruited as a nursing assistant and meet nurse Magdalene Müller, with whom he will marry shortly thereafter. People with a good social position, members of a true cultural middle class, Magdalene and Robert will instill in their six children the love of reading, music and, alarmed by the course of political events, fight to transmit to their children strong moral convictions.
With a marked interest in society, typical of a young person, Hans and Sophie will be fooled by the youthful idealism of the "Hitler Youth". Thus, for the year 1934, both enter the Nazi movement, fascinated by "the love of God and the country, respect for the elderly and the authority and the suppression of social differences" (Ayllón, 2016) which claimed to defend the movement. The apparent utopia was very strong in the youth, but Hans and Sophie, thanks to the education received at home were able to realize that it was a farce.
In the year of 1938, disenchanted by the Nazis after the "night of the Broken Crystals", Hans will show disaffection to the regime and put him in jail for a few months. During that time Hans will be able to get ahead with the letters his mother will write to him.
The Scholl siblings not only received great help from their relatives to maintain their strong conviction of living face to the Truth but also from their friends and mentors, many of them Catholics who were facing the regime.
A good friend will be Otl Aitcher, an admirer of St. Augustine. After refusing to be part of the Hitler Youth, Otl will spend 15 years in prison. Among the mentors of the Scholl brothers, we find Carl Muth, representative of Catholic existentialism; Karl Huber, professor of psychology and philosophy; Teodor Haecker, an essayist who strongly opposed the regime and Bishop Van Galen, whose speeches will play an important role in the life of the Scholl brothers. Thanks to the lives of these characters Sophie found in Catholicism what she sought: "Reason, mystery and social commitment"(Ayllón, 2016). By that time Sophie will begin to think about the possibility of converting to Catholicism.
The news of the serious Nazi crimes committed against the Poles will awaken in Hans the need to do something about it. He will decide to create a clandestine movement, called the White Rose, in which his friends Willi Graf, Alexander Schomrell and Christoph Probst accompany him. The White Rose will aim to: "To defend the truth and to sabotage The Lie" (Ayllón, 2016). Sophie will join the movement shortly thereafter.
Schomrell will buy a duplicating machine with which the group will produce pamphlets against the regime. In the first pamphlet they will make a call of conscience to the German people, in the second they will remember the painful death of 300,000 Poles, in the third, they will call for sabotage, in the fourth they will criticize Hitler directly; in the fifth, for which Sophie will already be part of the group, they will talk about the war on the Russian front; and with the sixth pamphlet, which they will decide to disseminate through the University of Munich, they will be arrested and condemned to death.
Before being decapitated by the Nazis Sophie and Hans will have reflected on the meaning of life and death, they will have filled their leisure hours of readings laden with faith (Bernaus, Claudel, Dostoevsky, Guardini, St. Augustine) and at the end of their lives, they will ask a Catholic priest, whom the Nazis won't let them receive.
Inge Scholl will later become Catholicism and, in honor of his brothers, spread throughout the world, as he writes his brother before he died, "the great adventure to light" that was the life of Hans and Sophie.
Ayllón, J. R. (2016). Sophie Scholl against Hitler. Madrid: Word.