Sophie Scholl, a one-time student at the University of Munich, is the most popular German woman of all times and admired in particular by many young people. In 2021 she would have turned hundred years old. She and her brother Hans fought in the White Rose resistance movement and together they rank among the most outstanding figures in German history.
On closer examination of the historical facts, it becomes clear that resistance to the Nazis among young people, mainly students, was not confined to Munich and Ulm, the Scholls’ home town – but that other cities, in particular Hamburg, were also at the heart of its spread.
A key figure here is the Hamburg medical student Traute Lafrenz, who initially acted entirely autonomously and initiated resistance activities in one of Hamburgs groups, including with Hans Leipelt. Subsequently she moved to Munich to study, where she made the acquaintance of the Scholls and other members of the White Rose.
Through Traute Lafrenz with her friends in Hamburg and the Munich-based “Roses”, a network of close on one-hundred women and men came about in Germany. In association with those already named, they were actively involved in preparing and distributing pamphlets and in other resistance activities. Many of these individuals, who have so far remained largely publicly unknown, were executed.
As well as naturally showing how the White Rose emerged in Munich, the aim of our miniseries is to pay tribute to and dramatise the movement as a whole in Germany. In this context, Traute Lafrenz - the only survivor of the White Roses - will play a prominent role, always based on facts.
The driving force of the entire story, whose approach goes beyond the films made in 1982 and 2005 about Sophie Scholl, lies in its contradictory characters who spark off each other, fall in and out of love, have differences, yet still remain true to their goal of active resistance and the key question: Is one already born as a resistance?
The TV drama mini-series of The White Roses for German and international networks aims to tell the story of how “ordinary young people” became heroes of the resistance and covers the period from Hitler’s seizure of power until the war ended in 1945.
Idea: Uwe Kersken
Writer: Andrea Stoll
Producers: Michael Souvignier, Uwe Kersken, Till Derenbach
G5 fiction with Zeitsprung Pictures