‘White Rose’ monument
From the end of 1942, opponents of the Nazi regime in Hamburg had links to the ‘White Rose’ resistance group at the University of Munich. Members of the ’White Rose’ in Munich included Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell and the siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, who began distributing leaflets in the summer of 1942 denouncing Nazi crimes. The young students also advocated passive resistance to the war.
Hamburg branch of the ’White Rose’
Resistance groups sympathetic to the ‘White Rose’ also formed in Hamburg. One group of former students from the Lichtwarkschule met secretly to read proscribed literature and listen to foreign radio broadcasts. A second group formed around the Leipelt family in Wilhelmsburg. The link between these two groups was the bookshop run by Reinhold Meyer at Jungfernstieg 50. The Hamburg Cultural Authority placed a plaque here to commemorate this meeting place for members of the resistance in Hamburg. In the autumn of 1943, the Gestapo exposed the resistance group with the help of informers. By March 1944, a total of 30 members had been arrested. Hans Leipelt was sentenced to death by the Volksgerichtshof (People’s Court) and was executed on 29 January 1945, while seven other members of the resistance group died in prison or were executed in the Neuengamme concentration camp in April 1945. After 1945, these groups were referred to as the ‘Hamburg branch of the White Rose’.
Commemorating the ‘White Rose’ in Hamburg
In 1977, on the basis of a resolution by the Walddörfer local administrative committee, a pedestrian zone in Volksdorf was named after the ‘White Rose’ and a monument was erected in memory of the student resistance movement. At the time, local residents and business owners in particular vehemently protested the renaming of the street. In October 2006, the monument had to be temporarily removed during construction work. Protests erupted once again, but this time they called for the monument to be returned promptly. On 25 May 2007, the monument was re-erected at a new, more centered location in the ‘White Rose’ pedestrian zone.