Heroes of the Holocaust
Imagine living in a time when people would get arrested and even executed just because they tried to help those who were in need. Their courage, kindness, and passion to help others were not wanted.
Instead, the German people were expected to turn a blind eye to military cruelty, to submit to Hitler, and to remain silent. Nonetheless, a few select people put all of the death threats aside and helped revolt against Hitler. An example of some of these people are Hans and Sophie Scholl (both founders of “The White Rose”). “The White Rose” represents the true bright lights in the terrible event we call the Holocaust. Their bravery and audacity helped save others and prove the point that all lives matter in this world. If it were not for the heroic actions of people like them, more precious lives would have been lost during the devastating Holocaust.
It all started for Sophie and Hans Scholl when Hitler came to power. Ironically, Sophie and Hans at first supported Hitler’s rules. They were even members of the Hitler Youth. Hitler himself used so much propaganda that Sophie and Hans were brainwashed into thinking that Hitler was simply bringing Germany back into its deserved powerful state. It was not only Sophie and Hans fell victim to this misconception. A great mass of the German population had no clue as to what was truly going on during the Holocaust.
All these people just believed that Hitler was helping to win the war and bring Germany into a period of excellence. Little did they know that Hitler was ruining millions of people’s lives and killing off the Jewish population. The other part of the German population who knew of Hitler’s cruel plan were either too appalled to believe it or too scared to oppose it, fearing Hitler’s wrath. After all those who went against Hitler’s ways were tortured or killed by the military. Luckily Sophie and Hans had a very intelligent father who made them realize the nightmare of what was truly happening around them.
Their realization sparked the formation of “The White Rose”. Sophie and Hans Scholl despised Hitler’s beliefs. They didn’t support the horrific and atrocious actions of the dictator. During Hitler’s rule, he decided to exterminate Jews, communists, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally/physically disabled, and Jehovah’s witnesses. Roughly eleven million people died during this terrible event.
Not only did Hitler murder millions of people, but he was also behind many other cruel and disturbing, traumatic incidents that occurred. Sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers were torn away from each other. Children were burned, babies were shot, and mothers were forced to leave their children in harm’s way. Men and women who were able to work were sent to concentration camps, where they would work until they died. Millions suffered from starvation and disease. Basic humanity was lost as people were separated, tattooed, and stripped of their belongings and identities.
Unimaginable events took place to get rid of these victims. Gassings were held daily, execution squads shot people by the thousands, and pits filled with fire were used to murder countless victims. After Sophie and Hans found out about these atrocious actions, they decided to do what many other thought was insanely risky. They decided to revolt against Hitler and they tried to stop the Holocaust. With brave intentions, Sophie and Hans created an organization called “The White Rose” aimed at preventing Hitler from succeeding in his abominable plan. “The White Rose” was a group of students who helped inform the German people of what was happening to the Jews and other victims.
As previously stated, many Germans had no clue about what was actually happening to the imprisoned people. To deliver their message to the public, Sophie and Hans formed a group to write articles in a leaflet entitled, “The White Rose”. The leaflet contained explanations about what was actually happening to the victims and encouraged others to rise up against Hitler. The name “The White Rose” was a cover name for the group because if the Nazis ever discovered who was creating the articles, the authors (Hans Sophie, and their peers) would surely be killed. “The White Rose” was successful in delivering its message that Hitler’s actions were evil.
It appeared in different parts of Germany and Austria. Six leaflets were created and widely distributed. These leaflets helped people realize that they had to rise up against Hitler’s genocide. Unfortunately, Hans and Sophie were caught by the Gestapo and sentenced to death. Their sacrifice however made a huge impact on the fight to end the Holocaust and affected many people’s visions on how they saw Hitler and his diabolical plans. Though they were just college students, Hans, Sophie, and their peers collectively formed “The White Rose” proved that everyone can make a difference and bettering humanity.
Sadly, Hans and Sophie Scholl were executed on February 22, 1943, but their legacy of resistance lived on in their ultimate sacrifices. It is true that not many people would risk their own lives to help others be safe and free. It takes valor, fearlessness, and heart to put others before yourself. “The White Rose” represents these characteristics completely and ultimately proves to be one of the “bright lights” that helped lead people out of one of the darkest periods in history known as the Holocaust.