Masha Bruskina – One of the patients informed on Masha and on 14th October she was arrested by the German authorities. She was tortured for several days but refused to give the names of other members of her group. On 20th October she wrote to her mother: “I am tormented by the thought that I have caused you great worry. Don’t worry. Nothing bad has happened to me. I swear to you that you will have no further unpleasantness because of me. If you can, please send me my dress, my green blouse, and white socks. I want to be dressed decently when I leave here.”
In order to frighten the people of Minsk into submission, the commander of the 707th Infantry Division, decided to hold a public hanging. On 26th October 1941, Masha Bruskina and two other members of the resistance, 16 year-old Volodia Shcherbatsevich and First World War veteran, Kiril Trus, were taken to the gates of a local yeast factory.
Antonovna Zhevzhik was a member of the assembled crowd: “Before noon, I saw the armed German and Lithuanian soldiers appear on the street. From over the bridge they escorted three people with their hands tied behind their backs. In the middle there was a girl with a signboard on her chest. They were led up to the yeast factory gate. I noticed how calmly these people walked. The girl did not look around. When they stopped one of the fascists started knocking on the door of my neighbour, asking for a chair. But she got scared and dld not open the door. In a while I saw the Germans carrying a stool from the factory weigher’s booth. The factory gates were wide open. The officer threw a rope on the crossbar and made a loop. The first one led to the gallows was the girl.”
Pyotr Pavlovich Borisenko was also in the crowd: “When they put her on the stool, the girl turned her face toward the fence. The executioners wanted her to stand with her face to the crowd, but she turned away and that was that. No matter how much they pushed her and tried to turn her, she remained standing with her back to the crowd. Only then did they kick away the stool from under her.”
Partisans in Minsk — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – One ghetto inmate who joined the Soviet partisans was Masha Bruskina, a 17 year-old Jewish woman who had escaped to the “Aryan” side of the city. As a member of a resistance group led by Kiril Trus and Volodya Sherbateyvich, she worked at a hospital, helping wounded Soviet prisoners of war escape to the forests by smuggling in civilian clothing, medicine, and a camera to make false identity papers.
Informed of these activities, German authorities arrested some members of the group in mid-October 1941. Bruskina was brutally beaten and tortured in prison, yet she revealed nothing to her captors. In a note smuggled to her mother, she wrote, “I am tormented by the thought that I have caused you great worry. Don’t worry. Nothing bad has happened to me. I swear to you that you will have no further unpleasantness because of me.”
Despite these assurances, Bruskina was well aware of the fate that German authorities had planned for her. In a note to a friend, she remarked, “In any case, there is no chance I’ll die of starvation.”
Sophie Scholl – Sophie Scholl, the daughter of Robert Scholl and Magdalena Scholl, was born in Forchtenberg on 9th May, 1921. Her father was elected mayor of Forchtenberg. (1) Over the next few years he managed to get the railway extended to the town. He also had a community sports centre built in Forchtenberg but he was considered to be too progressive for some and in 1930 he was voted out of office. (2)
The family moved to Ulm in 1932. “Robert Scholl had lived in several small towns in Swabia, an area of south-west Germany known for its rural charms, thrifty people, and spirit of independence, before settling in Ulm, where he opened his own office as a tax and business consultant. He was a big, rather heavyset man, with strong opinions and an unwillingness, if not an inability, to keep those opinions to himself.” (3)
Nazis slaughtered my brother and sister with a guillotin | Daily Mail Online – Now, 71 years later, the guillotine used to carry out the gruesome sentence has been found gathering dust in the basement of a Munich museum, triggering a debate in Germany about whether it should go on show, or remain locked out of sight forever.
For one elderly woman in particular it has pulled into sharp focus all the pain, anguish and terror she experienced over seven decades ago when her younger sister and elder brother went bravely to their deaths.
Elisabeth Hartnagel-Scholl is the last surviving sibling of Hans and Sophie Scholl, two of the young martyrs who dared to challenge the world’s most sinister tyranny and paid the ultimate price in doing so.
Now a 93-year-old widow, she lives alone in Stuttgart, but she clearly remembers the day that she discovered her brother and sister had died beneath the flashing blade of the guillotine.
Salus publica suprema lex (Public safety is the supreme law)
All ideal forms of government are Utopias. A state cannot be constructed on a purely theoretical basis; instead, it must grow and develop in the same way an individual human being matures. But we must not forget that at the beginning of every civilization the state already existed in a rudimentary form. The family is as old as man himself, and out of this initial bond man, endowed with reason, created for himself a state founded on justice, whose highest law was the common good. The state should reflect the divine order, and the highest of all utopias, the Civitas dei, is the model it should ultimately resemble. We will not compare the many possible states here—democracy, constitutional monarchy, monarchy, and so on, but one issue needs to be made clear and unambiguous; every human being has the right to a just state, a state that safeguards the freedom of the individual as well as the good of the whole. For according to God’s will, man should be free and independent, while fulfilling his natural duty of living and working together with his fellow citizens, and strive to achieve earthly happiness through self-reliance and self-motivation.
But the present “state” is the dictatorship of evil. “Oh, we’ve known that for a long time,” I hear you object, “and it isn’t necessary to bring that to our attention again.” But, as I ask you, if you know that, why do you not rouse yourselves, why do you allow these men in power to rob you step by step, both openly and in secret, of one of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanized state system presided over by criminals and drunkards? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right—or rather, your moral duty—to eradicate this system? But if a man can no longer summon the strength to demand his right, then he will definitely perish. We would deservedly be scattered over the earth like dust in the wind if we do not marshal our powers at this late hour and finally find the courage we have lacked up to now. Do not hide your cowardice behind a cloak of expedience, for with every new day that you hesitate, failing to oppose this offspringof Hell, your guilt, like a parabolic curve, grows higher and higher.
Many, perhaps most, of the readers of these leaflets cannot see clearly how they can mount an effective opposition. They cannot see any avenues open to them. We want to try to show them that everyone is in a position to contribute to the overthrow of this system. Solitary withdrawal, like embittered hermits, cannot prepare the ground for the overthrow of this “government” or bring about the revolution at the earliest possible moment. No, it can only be done through the cooperation of many convinced energetic people—people who agree on the means they must use to attain their goal. We have few choices as to these means. The only one available is passive resistance. The meaning and the goal of passive resistance is to bring down National Socialism, and in this struggle we can’t shrink from any means, any act, wherever it is open to attack. We must bring this monster of a state to an end soon. A victory for fascist Germany in this war would have inconceivable and terrible consequences. The first concern of every German is not the military victory of Bolshevism, but the defeat of National Socialism. This must be the first order of business; its greater imperative will be discussed in one of our forthcoming leaflets.
And now every resolute opponent of National Socialism must ask himself how he can most effectively fight against the present “state”, how he can inflict the most damaging blows. Through passive resistance, without a doubt. We can provide each man with a blueprint for his acts; we can only make general suggestions, and he alone will find the best way to achieve them.
Sabotage armament industries, sabotage every assembly, rally, ceremony, and organisation sponsored by the National Socialist Party. Obstruct the smooth functioning of the war machine (a machine designed for war that is then used solely to shore up and perpetuate the National Socialist Party and its dictatorship.) Sabotage in every scientific and intellectual field involved in continuing this war—whether it be universities, technical colleges, laboratories, research stations, or technical agencies. Sabotage all cultural institutions that could enhance the “prestige” of the fascists among he people. Sabotage all branches of the arts that have even the slightest dependence on National Socialism or serve it in any way. Sabotage all publications, all newspapers, that are in the pay of the “government” and that defend its ideology and help disseminate the brown lie. Do not give a penny to public fund-raising drives (even when they are conducted under the guise of charity), for this is only a cover. In reality the proceeds help neither the Red Cross nor the needy. The government does not need this money; it is not financially interested in these fund-raising drives. After all, the presses run nonstop, printing as much paper currency as is needed. But the people must never be allowed to slacken! Do not contribute to the collection of metal, textiles and the like. Try to convince all your acquaintances, including those in the lower social classes, of the senselessness of continuing, of the hopelessness of this war; of our spiritual and economic enslavement at the hands of the National Socialists, of the destruction of all moral and religious values; and urge them to adopt passive resistance.
Aristotle, Politics: “Further….[a tyrant] should also endeavor to know what each of his subjects says, or does, and should employ spies everywhere…and further, to create disunity and division in the population: to set friend against friend, the common people against the notables, and the wealthy among themselves. Also he should impoverish his subjects; the maintenance of guards and soldiers is thus paid for by the people, who are forced to work hard and have neither the time nor the opportunity to conspire against him…Another practice of tyrants is to increase taxes, after the manner of Dionysius at Syracuse, who contrived that his subjects paid all their wealth into the treasury within five years. The tyrant is also inclined to engage in constant warfare in order to occupy and distract his subjects.
Please make as many copies of this leaflet as possible and pass them on!