1918 - 1943

“I knew what I took upon myself and I was prepared to lose my life by so doing.”

– Hans Scholl

Born in 1918, Hans Scholl was outwardly the Aryan ideal. In 1933, he joined the Hitler Youth and quickly became a squad leader but soon grew disillusioned with the Nazi party. In 1937 a former member of his group confessed to a homosexual relationship with him. Hans was arrested and kept in solitary confinement before admitting the allegations were true. In 1938 he was tried as a homosexual but was surprisingly acquitted after the judge reviewed Hans’ favorable career with Hitler Youth and called his affair a ‘youthful failing.’ However, the experience only added to Hans’ disillusionment with the party, a disdain matched by that of his younger sister Sophie. Propelled by the criminality of Han’s gayness, in 1942 the siblings became founding members of non-violent underground protest movement called The White Rose, which distributed thousands of leaflets to Germans which cited the details of the Holocaust and called for democracy and tolerance. Hans also was responsible for graffiti on public buildings which read 'Down With Hitler' and 'Hitler the Mass Murderer.’ The siblings continued to distribute the leaflets until they were apprehended in 1943 after throwing dozens of fliers from a university window. After being led to Gestapo headquarters in handcuffs they were interrogated for four days, but neither of them cracked. During questioning Sophie explained that Hans' previous experience at the hands of the Gestapo for his 'sexual deviance' was the deciding factor in their defiance. On February 22, Sophie joined Hans in his cell. After the two shared a final cigarette, she cried 'The sun is still shining!' as she was brought to the execution chamber. Afterwards, an equally defiant Hans cried 'Long live freedom!' as the guillotine blade fell. After their burial, graffitied cries of 'Their spirit lives' began to appear on the town walls. The words were true. Hans and Sophie Scholl have gone down in history as two of the greatest heroes of the opposition in Nazi Germany.


Gender Male

Sexual Orientation Gay

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Caucasian/White

Faith Construct Protestant

Nations Affiliated Germany

Era/Epoch Great Depression (1929-1939) Interwar Period (1918-1939) World War II (1939-1945)

Field(s) of Contribution

Advocacy & Activism




Social Justice

World History

Commemorations & Honors

Scholl Memorial in Bommersheim Dedicated

German Democratic Republic Postal Service Commemorative Stamp (1961)


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Original Biography Author
Owen Keehnen
Biography Edited By
Allo Kerstein
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell