German Resistance Fighters Against the Nazis
Sophie Scholl and Claus Schenk Count from Stauffenberg are only two very famous German resistance fighters. The following list provides you ten German resistance fighters, you probably didn’t know.
Sophie Scholl was a German resistance fighter against the dictatorship of National Socialism in Germany and a member of the group White Rose (German: Weisse Rose). As the heads of the group, the students Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans Scholl called on with flyers to overthrow the national socialists. On February 18, 1943, the housemaster of the University of Munich caught Sophie Scholl and her brother while they were spreading flyers in the University. The two got arrested and sentenced to death with the guillotine. She was born in Forchtenberg on May 9, 1921, and died in Munich on February 22, 1943, at the age of 21.
The White Rose: The White Rose is probably the best-known resistance group of the Third Reich. The founders and core members of the White Rose were the siblings Sophie Scholl and Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell and Professor Kurt Huber. Between 1942 and 1943, the group spread six flyers, in which there were calling for resistance against the Nazi regime. For their courage and determination to defend themselves against the Nazi dictatorship, all six of them paid with their lives.
Hans Scholl (Hans Fritz Scholl) was a German resistance fighter against the dictatorship of National Socialism, brother of Sophie Scholl and a member of the White Rose (German: Weisse Rose) group. He was born on September 22, 1918, in Ingersheim on the Jagst (now Crailsheim) and died on February 22, 1943, at the age of 24 in Munich.
Kurt Huber was a German university professor for musicology and psychology and an active member of the White Rose German resistance group against National Socialism. He was born on October 24, 1893, in Chur, Switzerland, and died on July 13, 1943, at the age of 49 in Munich-Stadelheim.
Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (Claus Schenk Count from Stauffenberg)
Claus Schenk Count von Stauffenberg (Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Count von Stauffenberg) was an officer and German resistance fighter against National Socialism, who, as head of the “Operation Valkyrie,” failed with Adolf Hitler’s assassination attempt on July 20, 1944. He was born in Jettingen on November 15, 1907, and died on July 21, 1944, at the age of 36 in Berlin.
20 July plot: The assassination attempt of July 20, 1944, is regarded as the most important attempt to overthrow the military resistance during the time of National Socialism. The killing of Hitler was regarded as a prerequisite for the planned change of power. The explosive charge, which was deposited and sharpened by Claus Schenk Count from Stauffenberg during a discussion at the leader’s headquarters in Wolfsschanze, only slightly injured the dictator.
Helmuth James Graf von Moltke (Helmuth James Count from Moltke)
Helmuth James Graf von Moltke was a lawyer and German resistance fighter against National Socialism, who founded the bourgeois resistance group “Kreisauer Kreis” (1940-1944). He was born on March 11, 1907, in Kreisau (today Krzyżowa) in Germany (today Poland) and died on January 23, 1945, at the age of 37 in Berlin-Ploetzensee.
Berlin-Ploetzensee: Berlin-Ploetzensee is a small village in the district of Charlottenburg-north in Berlin. The name is best known for its penal institutions where in particular the executions of the prisoners during the time of National Socialism had taken place.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran theologian, co-founder of the “Confessing Church” and one of only some German resistance fighters against National Socialism. He was born on February 4, 1906, in Breslau in Germany (today Poland) and died on April 9, 1945, at the age of 39 years in the concentration camp Flossenbuerg.
Georg Elser (Johann Georg Elser) was a Swabian carpenter and resistance fighter against National Socialism, who assassinated Adolf Hitler with a bomb in the Munich Buergerbraukeller on November 8, 1939. He was born on January 4, 1903, in Hermaringen and died on April 9, 1945, at the age of 42 years in the concentration camp Dachau.
Clemens August Graf von Galen (Clemens August Count from Galen)
Clemens August Graf von Galen was a German Catholic clergyman and during the period of National Socialism the Bishop of Muenster (1933-1946). He was one of only a few church representatives, who openly criticized the Nazi regime and “euthanasia program” in three famous sermons (1941). He was born on March 16, 1878, in Dinklage and died on March 22, 1946, at the age of 68 in Muenster.
Erwin von Witzleben (Erwin from Witzleben)
Erwin von Witzleben (Job-Wilhelm Georg Erwin von Witzleben) was a German officer, field marshal and resistance fighter of July 20, 1944, who was to take over the command of the Wehrmacht. He was born on December 4, 1881, in Breslau in Germany (today Poland) and died on August 8, 1944, at the age of 62 years in Berlin-Ploetzensee.
Carl Friedrich Goerdeler
Carl Friedrich Goerdeler was a German lawyer and national conservative politician as well as one of the leading German resistance fighters against national socialism, who was involved in the plans of the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944, and was to take over the position of Imperial Chancellor. He was born on July 31, 1884, in Schneidemuehl (today Piła) in Germany (today Poland) and died on February 2, 1945, at the age of 60 in Berlin-Ploetzensee.