Despite the high risk of being caught by police with
the help of their many informers, some individuals and groups attempted
to resist Nazism even
in Germany. Socialists, Communists, trade unionists, and others clandestinely
wrote, printed, and distributed anti-Nazi literature. Many of these
rebels were arrested and imprisoned in concentration
There were many plots to assassinate Hitler during the war. After the important Soviet victory at Stalingrad in
early 1943, when it looked as though the tide was turning against the
German army, a serious assassination attempt was planned by a group
of German military officers and carried out in 1944. Hitler escaped
the bomb blast with minor injuries. The four leaders of the conspiracy
were immediately shot. Later, 200 other individuals convicted of involvement
in the plot were executed.
Of the Germans who opposed Hitler's dictatorship, very
few groups openly protested the Nazi genocide against Jews. The "White
Rose" movement was founded in June 1942 by Hans Scholl, a 24-year-old
medical student at the University of Munich, his 22-year-old sister
Sophie, and 24-year-old Christoph Probst. Although the exact origin
of the name "White Rose" is unknown, it clearly stands for
purity and innocence in the face of evil. Hans, Sophie, and Christoph
were outraged that educated Germans went along with Nazi policies. They
distributed anti-Nazi leaflets and painted slogans like "Freedom!"
and "Down With Hitler!" on walls of the university. In February
1943, Hans and Sophie Scholl were caught distributing leaflets and arrested.
Together with their friend Christoph, they were executed four days later.
Hans's last words were "Long live freedom!"