White Rose - Leaflet 7 draft

Information about the seventh leaflet of the German anti-Nazi group the White Rose, drafted in February 1943.

When the key White Rose members Hans and Sophie Scholl were caught distributing leaflet 6, Hans had a draft of the next leaflet on him, written by fellow member by Christoph Probst. We reproduce part of an article "The White Rose in the Light of New Archival Evidence" by Christiane Moll, in Resistance Against the Third Reich 1933-1990 which has information about what it contained.

After listening to BBC broadcasts, Probst quoted in his draft Roosevelt's demand for unconditional surrender on January 24, 1943, emphasising that this demand was not directed against the people but against the political systems of the Axis powers. The positive example he referred to was the clearance of the German-Italian troops on January 23, 1943, in Tripoli by the British, which was carried out without senseless sacrifices [of human life]. Probst wrote, "What did the English do? They let the lives of the citizens continue in their usual tracks. They even keep the police and the civil servants." The other extreme, Probst wrote, was the senseless sacrifice of two hundred thousand German soldiers in Stalingrad "for the prestige of a military con-man." National Socialist propaganda had concealed the humane nature of the Russian demands of surrender. Probst then appealed to the Germans: "Today Germany is as encircled as Stalingrad was. Will all Germans be sacrificed to the harbinger of hate and destruction? To him, who tortured the Jews, who eradicated half of the Poles, who desired the annihilation of Russia - to him who took away liberty, peace, happiness, hope and joy, and gave us inflationary money instead? This ought not, this must not be. Hitler and his regime must fall so that Germany can live. Make your decision, Stalingrad and downfall, or Tripoli and a hopeful future. And once you have decided, act." A desire for a "hopeful future" must have been especially strong for Probst, who had a family and whose third child had just been born.