Memorial plaque for the Hamburg branch of the ‘White Rose’
The ‘In Memoriam’ plaque in the foyer of the main auditorium (Audimax) of the University of Hamburg commemorates the members of a resistance organisation in Hamburg, most of whom were students, which is often referred to as an offshoot of the Munich ‘White Rose’ movement. The plaque was designed by the Hamburg artist Fritz Fleer and was installed in 1971. The Hamburg resistance group was actually older than the Munich ‘White Rose‘ and had its own character, but there were connections between the two organisations. The Hamburg group made copies of the flyers from the Munich group and distributed them in Hamburg.
Active members of the Hamburg group included the students Margaretha Rothe, Heinz Kucharsky, Reinhold Meyer, Albert Suhr, Karl-Ludwig Schneider, Traute Lafrenz and Hans Leipelt as well as the bookseller Hannelore Willbrandt. The members met secretly during lectures at the University of Hamburg, in the grounds of the university hospital in Eppendorf and at two Hamburg bookshops. Not all of the estimated 50 members of the group knew each other.
Between 1943 and 1944, around 30 of the members of the group were arrested and accused of ‘aiding the enemy’, ‘undermining military morale’ and ‘preparation for high treason’. Eight of the accused were murdered or died while imprisoned.