Late last year, students at IUSB wrote blog posts discussing their favorite passages from the White Rose pamphlets. Sophie and Hans Scholl, and fellow member Christoph Probst, were executed by guillotine on February 22, 1943, four days after they were caught distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets at the University of Munich. By the end of the year, 14 of the 30 to 35 members of the White Rose Society suffered execution by guillotine.
For reasons that may never be known definitively, Hitler “personally ordered a good number of guillotines to be built” toward the end of the war, according to renowned White Rose Society and Sophie Scholl scholar Jud Newborn. The Nazis executed more than 5,000 people during their guillotine revival. The Scholls’ executioner Johann Reichhart also participated in the execution of numerous Nazis after the war.
The guillotine used to behead the Scholls was considered lost for years, presumed to have been thrown into to the Danube, but it may have been discovered recently in a storage area belonging to the Bavarian National Museum. The guillotine is a remarkable find for historians of the Third Reich and also serves as a sad reminder of what people are capable of doing to other people. At the present time, there is no indication of what will be done with the guillotine.
Here is a song about the White Rose Society:
Check out the all the posts about the White Rose Society.
Alison Smalejan, New York Times, January 14, 2014.