"White Rose" Martyrs to Be Highlighted at WYD

Initiative of Communion and Liberation

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BONN, Germany, JULY 25, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Student martyrs from Munich who stood up to Nazism will be proposed as models of faith in an exhibit at World Youth Day in Cologne.

Entitled «White Rose: Faces of a Friendship,» the exhibit was created by a group of students and professors of Communion and Liberation, who gathered writings, photographs and direct testimonies from relatives and friends of the members of the group.

«White Rose» was the name of a group begun by six friends of different faith backgrounds: five students — Alexander Schmorell, siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, Willi Graf and Christoph Probst — as well as Kurt Huber, a university professor, who «had dared to defy Hitler,» says the exhibit.

In nine months, the group wrote and distributed six leaflets against Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

On Feb. 22, 1943, Hans and Sophie Scholl, together with Probst, were accused of spreading anti-Nazi propaganda and were condemned to death.

In the following days, other students were accused of the same charge, and then executed or imprisoned.

Testimony of faith

Monsignor Helmut Moll of the Archdiocese of Cologne, theological Consultor of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Sainthood, suggested in 2003 that the students should be presented as role models at the youth event in August.

The martyrs «fought to defend the dignity of man and religion in face of Nazism,» he said.

«They were youths rich in faith, with a profound ecumenical vision. Although they lived at a different time, they are of enormous importance» at present, said the priest.

«Our society is poor in Christian models … we need figures who are an example of faith, hope and charity. These martyrs are real models of faith who have something to say to all our young people,» added Monsignor Moll.

The exhibit has already been displayed in several German schools, the universities of Freiberg and Munich, and is scheduled to go to Berlin, Cologne (for World Youth Day), Vienna and the next meeting in Rimini, Italy, of Communion and Liberation.

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