The Geschwister-Scholl Platz in Munich

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This past weekend, we went to Munich!  It was a day trip; we left at 9:00 AM and returned after midnight.  We almost couldn't stay awake on the train ride back -- we were so exhausted.

We all had Bayern tickets, so we traveled around in groups of 5.  Sandy and I joined with Robert, Tim, and Chris O'Connor.  We ate a lot of good food, sampled a lot of good beer, and walked continuously for 12 hours straight.  During this time, we experienced our fair share of 'culture shock' amongst some rowdy Germans; one group of boys stepping onto the train at 11:00 AM, liters of beer in hand, and another woman so abrasive and large that Sandy gasped as she walked past us, "I feel like she could have crushed me with her fingers!"

The reason I was most excited about returning to Munich was to visit the University of Munich and see the Geschwister Scholl Platz honoring Sophie and Hans Scholl, members and founders of the White Rose Nazi Resistance Movement.  I have such a fascination with them and it was so incredible finally getting to do this.

'Geschwister Scholl' means the 'Scholl siblings.'  If you're not familiar with the story, I'll briefly explain: the brother and sister pair founded the White Rose Movement in 1942, a non-violent group of 5 college students at Uni. Munich who wrote 6 anti-Nazi brochures and secretly distributed them throughout Munich.  The first 5 were successfully distributed in secret, but during the distribution of the 6th, Sophie was caught and arrested, along with her brother Hans and fellow group member Christoph Probst.  Their goal was to expose the Nazis, and they were convicted of high treason and executed by guillotine just a few hours after their conviction.

At Uni. Munich, you can see the following tribute, directly outside the building where they were arrested, honoring Hans (age 24 when arrested; his last words spoken as the guillotine came down were "Lang lebe Freiheit!" which means "Long live freedom!), Christoph (age 23 when arrested; he had a wife and 3 children) and Sophie (age 21 when arrested; the only girl among the group).

I don't know why more people don't make this a priority in Munich.  It's chilling.

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