White Rose Petal Background
Students from the University of Munich comprised the core of the White Rose: the siblings Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf, Christoph Probst, and Kurt Huber, a professor of philosophy and musicology. They were supported by other people, including: Otto Aicher, Theodor Haecker, Anneliese Graf, Traute Lafrenz, Katharina Schüddekopf, Lieselotte "Lilo" Ramdohr, Jürgen Wittenstein, Falk Harnack, Marie-Luise Jahn, Hubert Furtwängler, Wilhelm Geyer, Manfred Eickemeyer, Josef Söhngen, Heinrich Guter, Heinrich Bollinger, Wilhelm Bollinger, Helmut Bauer, Harald Dohrn, Hans Conrad Leipelt, Gisela Schertling, Rudi Alt, Michael Brink, Lilo Dreyfeldt, Josef Furtmeier, Günter Ammon, Fred Thieler, and Wolfgang Jaeger. Most were in their early twenties. Wilhelm Geyer taught Alexander Schmorell how to make the tin templates used in the graffiti campaign. Eugen Grimminger of Stuttgart funded their operations. Grimminger was arrested on 2 March 1943, sentenced to ten years in a penal institution for high treason by the "People's Court" on 19 April 1943, and imprisoned in Ludwigsburg penal institution until April 1945. His wife Jenny was murdered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, presumably on 2 December 1943. Grimminger's secretary Tilly Hahn contributed her own funds to the cause, and acted as go-between for Grimminger and the group in Munich. She frequently carried supplies such as envelopes, paper, and an additional duplicating machine from Stuttgart to Munich. In addition, a group of students in the city of Ulm distributed a number of the group's leaflets and were arrested and tried. Among this group were Sophie Scholl's childhood friend Susanne Hirzel and her teenage brother Hans Hirzel [de] and Franz Josef Müller. In Hamburg, a group of students including Reinhold Meyer, Albert Suhr, Heinz Kucharski, Margaretha Rothe, Rudolf Degkwitz, Ursula de Boor, Hannelore Willbrandt, Karl Ludwig Schneider, Ilse Ledien, Eva von Dumreicher, Dorothea Zill, Apelles Sobeczko, and Maria Leipelt formed as a resistance group against the National Socialist regime and distributed the group's leaflets.