the fifth leaflet
Leaflets of the Resistance
A Call to All Germans!
The war is approaching its destined end. As in the year 1918, the German government is trying to focus attention exclusively on the growing threat of submarine warfare, while in the East the armies are constantly in retreat and invasion in imminent in the West. Mobiliation in the United States has not yet reached its climax, but already it exceeds anything that the world has ever seen. It has become a mathematical certainty that Hitler is leading the German people into the abyss. Hitler cannot win the war; he can only prolong it. The guilt of Hitler and his minions goes beyond all measure. Retribution comes closer and closer.
But what are the German people doing? They will not see and will not listen. Blindly they follow their seducers into ruin. Victory at any price! is inscribed on their banner. "I will fight to the last man," says Hitler-but in the meantime the war has already been lost.
Germans! Do you and your children want to suffer the same fate that befell the Jews? Do you want to be judged by the same standards are your traducers? Are we to be forever a nation which is hated and rejected by all mankind? No. Dissociate yourselves from National Socialist gangsterism. Prove by your deeds that you think otherwise. A new war of liberation is about to begin. The better part of the nation will fight on our side. Cast off the cloak of indifference you have wrapped around you. Make the decision before it is too late. Do not believe the National Socialist propoganda which has driven the fear of Bolshevism into your bones. Do not believe that Germany's welfare is linked to the victory of national Socialism for good or ill. A criminal regime cannot achieve a German victory. Separate yourselves in time from everything connected with National Socialism. In the aftermath a terrible but just judgment will be meted out to those who stayed in hiding, who were cowardly and hesitant.
What can we learn from the outcome of this war-this war that never was a national war?
The imperialist ideology of force, from whatever side it comes, must be shattered for all time. A one sided Prussian militarism must never again be allowed to assume power. Only in large-scale cooperation among the nations of Europe can the ground be prepared for reconstruction. Centralized hegemony, such as the Prussian state has tried to excercise in Germany and in Europe, must be cut down at its inception. The Germany of the future must be a federal state. At this juncture only a sound federal system can inbue a weakened Europe with a new life. The workers must be liberated from their condition of down trodden slavery under National Socialism. The illusory structure of autonomous national industry must disappear. Every nation and each man have a right to the goods of the whole world!
Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the protection of individual citizens from the abritrary will of criminal regimes of violence-these will be the bases of the New Europe.
Support the resistance. Distribute the leaflets!
the sixth leaflet
Leaflets of the Resistance
Fellow Fighters in the Resistance!
Shaken and broken, our people behold the loss of the men of Stalingrad. Three hundred and thirty thousand German men have been senselessly and irresponsibly driven to death and destruction by the inspired strategy of our World War I Private First Class. Fuhrer, we thank you!
The German people are in ferment. Will we continue to entrust the fate of our armies to a dilettante? Do we want to sacrifice the rest of German youth to the base ambitions of a Party clique? No, never! The day of reckoning has come - the reckoning of German youth with the most abominable tyrant our people have ever been forced to endure. In the name of German youth we demand restitution by Adolf Hitler's state of our personal freedom, the most precious treasure we have, out of which he has swindled us in the most miserable way.
We grew up in a state in which all free expression of opinion is unscrupulously suppressed. The Hitler Youth, the SA, the SS have tried to drug us, to revolutionize us, to regiment us in the most promising young years of our lives. "Philosophical training" is the name given to the despicable method by which our budding intellectual development is muffled in a fog of empty phrases. A system of selection of leaders at once unimaginably devilish and narrow-minded trains up its future party bigwigs in the "Castles of the Knightly Order" to become Godless, impudent, and conscienceless exploiters and executioners - blind, stupid hangers-on of the Fuhrer. We "Intellectual Workers" are the ones who should put obstacles in the path of this caste of overlords. Soldiers at the front are regimented like schoolboys by student leaders and trainees for the post of Gauleiter, and the lewd jokes of the Gauleiters insult the honor of the women students. German women students at the university in Munich have given a dignified reply to the besmirching of their honor, and German students have defended the women in the universities and have stood firm.... That is a beginning of the struggle for our free self-determination - without which intellectual and spiritual values cannot be created. We thank the brave comrades, both men and women, who have set us brilliant examples.
For us there is but one slogan: fight against the party! Get out of the party organization, which are used to keep our mouths sealed and hold us in political bondage! Get out of the lecture rooms of the SS corporals and sergeants and the party bootlickers! We want genuine learning and real freedom of opinion. No threat can terrorize us, not even the shutting down of the institutions of higher learning. This is the struggle of each and every one of us for our future, our freedom, and our honor under a regime conscious of its moral responsibility.
Freedom and honor! For ten long years Hitler and his coadjutor have manhandled, squeezed, twisted, and debased these two splendid German words to the point of nausea, as only dilettantes can, casting the highest values of a nation before swine. They have sufficiently demonstrated in the ten years of destruction of all material and intellectual freedom, of all moral substance among the German people, what they understand by freedom and honor. The frightful bloodbath has opened the eyes of even the stupidest German - it is a slaughter which they arranged in the name of "freedom and honor of the German nation" throughout Europe, and which they daily start anew. The name of Germany is dishonored for all time if German youth does not finally rise, take revenge, and atone, smash its tormentors, and set up a new Europe of the spirit. Students! The German people look to us. As in 1813 the people expected us to shake off the Napoleonic yoke, so in 1943 they look to us to break the National Socialist terror through the power of the spirit. Beresina and Stalingrad are burning in the East. The dead of Stalingrad implore us to take action.
"Up, up, my people, let smoke and flame be our sign!"
Our people stand ready to rebel against the Nationals Socialist enslavement of Europe in a fervent new breakthrough of freedom and honor.
A seventh leaflet?
When Hans and Sophie Scholl were taken into Gestapo custody on that fateful February morning, Hans carried in his pocket the draft of the next leaflet - handwritten by Christoph Probst. When discovered, Hans insisted it was thrust upon him in a crowd by an unknown student and then Hans shred the document into innumerable pieces. It was carefully taped together by the Gestapo and matched to a sample of Christl's handwriting found in Hans' apartment. The Gestapo also forced him to "reconstruct" the draft during his interogation. So what did Christl have to say?
The following is quoted from an article entitled "The White Rose in the Light of New Archival Evidence" by Christiane Moll [Resistance Against the Third Reich 1933-1990; ed. by Michael Geyer and John W. Boyer]: After listening to BBC broadcasts, Probst quoted in his draft Roosevelt's demand for unconditional surrender on January 24, 1943, emphasizing 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.