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The White Rose: The True Heroic Story From The Other Side of WWII

by CarolineNaveen


Script

PROLOGUE:

(Warsaw concentration camp, where WILLI and HANS are stationed. Siren sounds and a little girl runs across the stage with a doll. She trips, falls, and starts to get up, only to bump into WILLI.)

LUCAS (offstage): (Giving orders in German)

(HANS grabs the girl’s arm forcefully and pulls out a knife holding it to her throat. She tries to scream, but HANS puts a hand over her mouth.)

HANS (whisper): Don’t be afraid of me. I won’t hurt you. (LUCAS rushes in.) What’s going on Lucas?

LUCAS: They’re resisting the transport to Treblinka! Let me have the girl.

HANS: I can get rid of her. You have bigger things to worry about.

LUCAS (Crash offstage, and he exits exasperated): Fine.

HANS (getting down on one knee): Are you alright? (She nods) Don’t worry; we’ll get you out of here.

(ALEX enters.)

ALEX: HANS!

HANS: Over here.

LUCAS (offstage): HANS! I need you.

HANS: Can you—

ALEX: Where to?

HANS: The church. Irena will meet you there. (To the girl) Go with Alex he is a friend of mine and will help you find a home with a Polish family, until the war is over.

LUCAS (offstage): HANS!!!

HANS (to ALEX): Go now. (Calling off) Coming!

EXPLOSION & BLACKOUT

HANS: The day of reckoning has come - the reckoning of German youth with the most abominable tyrant our people have ever been forced to endure.

SOPHIE: Hitler’s power was said to be extraordinarily dependent on the sympathy of the population. A reversal of feeling among the people would be a weapon of considerable force against him, one which would threaten the very foundation of this “model society.” Some fight with guns, and bombs, but we fight with words.

WILLI: We seek to revive the deeply wounded German spirit, to educate the world of the true horrors this regime has inflicted upon its own people.

ALEX: Our leaflets were one of the greatest political crimes against the Nazi Party…an act of rebellion that will endure the test of time.

SOPHIE: Together.

WILLI: We are

HANS: The White Rose,

ALEX: and this is our story.

SCENE 1

LIGHTS UP

PROJECTION: Munich Germany, 1935

(WILLI’s Home. WILLI walks in the door obviously beat up. He has a black eye and is leans heavily on the door for a moment before shutting it.)

MR. GRAF: Willi is that you?

WILLI: Yes father.

(WILLI’S father turns to face him and promptly gets right out of his seat..)

MR. GRAF: Good heavens boy. What happened?

WILLI: Nothing.

MR. GRAF: It is more than nothing. Who did this to you?

WILLI: Father I’m fine.

MR GRAF: Don’t lie to me son.

WILLI: I’m not lying.

MR GRAF: Yes you are. Now, tell me the truth.

WILLI: The HJ tried to get me to join at school today, and I refused.

MR GRAF: You did what?!

WILLI: I couldn’t very well say yes could I?

MR GRAF: Willi!

(PROF. HUBER enters.)

WILLI: I’m never going to be a member of Hitler Youth. It’s not right!

MR GRAF: I know, but it isn’t a choice. You know what happens if—

WILLI: Father, everything is a choice. This is mine.

MR GRAF: Willi, I understand your feelings about this, but you must understand that it is not wise—

WILLI: I’m not joining father!

MR GRAF: Willi, you can’t—

WILLI: Father there has never been a resolution to a controversy without difficulty.

(WILLI exits.)

MR GRAF: Willi!

PROF HUBER: How I envy the young. For them everything is so clear. Things seem to be either one way or another.

MR GRAF: Please accept my apology professor. My son does not understand his actions.

PROF HUBER: I believe he does, but I envy you. Your son is very wise, and convictions like his are scarce these days. By acting upon them, he has demonstrated himself to be an individual exceptional courage.

MR GRAF: I do not wish him to be anyone other than himself, I only desire to insure his safety in these dangerous times.

PROF HUBER: As a parent we always want the best for our children, but we must also allow them to make their own choices in life. Your boy has an exceptional aptitude for greatness. You have taught him well.

MR GRAF: Thank you Professor Huber.

SCENE 2

(Street. -Day Munich Germany. SOPHIE enters.)

SOPHIE: I can’t believe that speaker’s nerve! (Mimicking the speaker.) “Ladies,if you want to be of use to the Führer drop out of school and be a housewife.”

HANS: Sophie, if you keep walking out of these speeches people are going to suspect-

SOPHIE: I wasn’t the only one. You walked out too. I’m tired of being a piece in the Nazis’ game. In fact, the whole bloody regime infuriates me. Did you see them beat up that kid for not joining the HJ? (Louder) We can’t just sit here and let them get away with this!

HANS (Quiet hiss): Shhhh Sophie, I agree with you, but you can’t take on the whole socialist movement, the Gestapo, and Hitler by yourself. We just have to play along and bide our time.

(ALEX and LUCAS cross to HANS and SOPHIE as they start to exit.)

LUCAS (calling): Hans! Sophie! Where are you going?

SOPHIE: I thought we’d go ahead and get to Mr. Huber’s class.

ALEX (entering): Why? Aren’t you supposed to be in—

SOPHIE (whisper): I had to get out of there.

ALEX: Enough said. I think it is about time someone stood up to the Nazis.

SOPHIE: Are you insane?

ALEX: No I—

LUCAS: Listen, I don’t want to end up in jail.

ALEX: I would rather get arrested, than have to answer for not doing anything.

LUCAS: It’s different for you.

ALEX: No it’s not.

LUCAS: If I went to jail: Who would look after my family?

ALEX: Hitler has to be stopped.

LUCAS: With an army!

ALEX: He’s brainwashing everyone. If you had the support of the people—

SOPHIE: Which you don’t.

ALEX (talking over SOPHIE): If people could just stop living in fear of the Gestapo, for every second of every day…We might be able to do something!

HANS: You’re right.

SOPHIE: Hans now is not the time—

HANS (continuing): This injustice had to be stopped. But at what cost Alex? We can’t stand alone against all of Germany.

ALEX: But think Hans, we wouldn’t be alone. There has to be more people out there who believe the same as we do.

HANS: Of that I have no doubt, but my fear is that you are underestimating the hold of the Fuher on Germany.

ALEX: You’re not listening to me!

HANS: Yes I am Alex. You need to understand that if we were to attempt such a feat – which we are not - this type of action against the Nazi’s would not only put us at risk, but also everyone that we know and care about.

ALEX: Yes but—

HANS: Alex. I understand your burden to a bring awareness to the cause of which we so firmly believe; but if we were to take action now the consequences would be more severe than the impact.

ALEX: Hans. Have you forgotten everything that Professor Huber taught us? Writing has often changed the course of history. If we used it as a tool…we could change the world.

HANS: Alex.

ALEX (pleading): Hans, you are the best writer I know. If anyone could raise the awareness of Germany it’s you. At least think about it.

HANS: Alright.

SCENE 3 (Transition)

(The May Day Parade Street –Day. The Parade is dominated by swastikas, and brown-shirted Hitler Youth troops marching in formation. However, WILLI and his friends march under their tattered school flag, making a great effort to stand out from their peers. They are not wearing any swastikas and do not participate in any “Sieg Heil” salutes.

HANS is the leader of his own Hitler Youth troop with ALEX and LUCAS they are all getting ready for the parade when the youngest in the troop, FRITZ, runs up with a homemade flag.)

FRITZ: Hans: Can we please carry our troop flag at the parade?

HANS: It not protocol Fritz. You know that.

FRITZ: Pleeease?

HANS: Oh, alright, but just this once. You understand?

FRITZ: Yeah!

(The parade begins and they all begin to march, HANS’S troop is stopped by a Nazi SOLDIER.)

SOLDIER: Halt. Hans, your troop’s flag is unacceptable and demeaning to the party. (To FRITZ) You there, hand over the flag.

(FRITZ is unsure of what to do, he wants to keep his flag.)

I said hand it over!

HANS: Sir, this flag demonstrates the personality of troop, and we would like to keep it.

SOLDIER: As a group leader, and representative of Ulm at this event you should know better than to question the protocol.

HANS:Please sir. We do not intend any harm by it. It’s just that—

SOLDIER: This is not open to discussion. (To FRITZ) Hand it over boy! That’s an order!

(LUCAS takes the flag from FRITZ and gives it to the soldier who rips it in half. FRITZ starts to cry, and HANS punches the SOLDIER in the face. A fight starts to break out, the police put HANS and ALEX in handcuffs. The parade continues.)

HANS (To LUCAS): What did you do that for?

LUCAS: Individuality does not belong in the HJ Hans. We all must be uniform.

HANS: Lucas, what has gotten into you? When we signed up for this it was…

LUCAS: Was what?

HANS: Different. I thought it was different. It seems so shallow now. They’re turning everyone into robot soldiers.

LUCAS: That’s because you have everything backwards. Just look at what the Third Riech has done for Germany! We are now a global superpower. Wouldn’t you call that a success?

HANS: That is not the problem here! Look at what you did to Fritz. You know how hard he worked on that flag, and you didn’t even give him a chance. It’s time for you get your priorities straight.

LUCAS: Now what’s that supposed to mean?

HANS: It means that you need remember who your friends are.

(The Parade Continues.)

SCENE 4

(HANS’ Bedroom –Night. HANS enters tired and beat up. He sits at his desk staring at the empty typewriter. SOPHIE enters.)

SOPHIE: Are you alright?

HANS: Mhmmm

SOPHIE: We weren’t sure if you would be home tonight.

HANS: Well after the Gestapo were finished lecturing me, there wasn’t much else that they could do at the time…it’s just that….

SOPHIE: You’re still thinking about Alex?

HANS:Yeah. I just can’t seem to get our argument out of my head. He’s right you know. We have to do something. The only question remaining is: Is now the right time?

SOPHIE: It’s difficult to say for sure.

HANS: Somehow I keep thinking that if we don’t do something someone else will. It’s been three years though and I am not sure how much longer we can wait.

SOPHIE: Oftentimes the truth is more difficult for people to swallow. That, coupled with the fear of actually taking action, can frequently leave us waiting for someone else to take action forever.

HANS: I know. My heart often tells me that no one could ever be as cruel as the rumors say, and then my mind says another. After today’s fiasco at the parade, and being arrested, I’m not sure which one to believe anymore. It was suddenly all to easy to see everything falling into place.

SOPHIE: Hans I think that it’s time.

HANS: You do?

SOPHIE: We can’t keep hiding anymore. Germany needs to be told the truth about what is going on.

HANS: Agreed.

SOPHIE: Good, I’m going to go to bed. Why don’t you pray about it?

HANS: K, ‘night.

SOPHIE: Love you. Don’t stay up to late.

(SOPHIE exits. HANS takes a deep breath, and loads the typewriter slowly with a blank sheet of paper and begins typing.)

HANS: Every good writer writes from the heart…and for me— for me there is but one slogan: fight against the party which holds us in political bondage. (HANS takes the paper out of the typewriter and walks out of the scene to transition into the next.) We want genuine learning, and real freedom of opinion. This is a struggle for our future, our freedom, and our honor.

(HANS sits down and continues to write as ALEX enters.)

ALEX (reading): In the name of German youth, we demand that Adolf Hitler restore our personal freedom, which he has cheated us of in the most miserable way…. (Trailing off, seeing HANS.) Did you read this?

HANS (aside, continuing to work): They’re all over the campus.

(ALEX is still absorbed in the paper. Frustrated HANS crumples up a piece of paper in his hands.)

ALEX: Hey, listen: (Reading) It is high time we Christians made up our minds to do something. What are we going to show in the way of resistance? When this terror is over we will have no answer when we are asked: What did you do about it? (Noticing that HANS is not listening.) Hans? What’s wrong?

HANS (shaking his head, tired): Nothing.

ALEX: It’s obviously something.

HANS (handing ALEX the paper): I took your advice.

ALEX: You what?

HANS: I-

ALEX: I heard you the first time, but that means—

HANS: Yeah.

ALEX: You wrote…

HANS: Yes.

ALEX: Why didn’t you tell me? I had no idea you could write like that.

HANS: I-

ALEX: Never mind. It’s not important. What’s wrong?

HANS: I can’t seem to get the next one right.

ALEX: I could help.

HANS: Alex, I don’t think—

ALEX: No really…I want to. Ever since you published that first leaflet it’s all I could think about. I wantto help.

HANS: In that case, if you insist. I could use it. Why don’t we write the second one together?

ALEX (pulling out some paper to help): I would like that. Isn’t it odd that until the war broke out, the majority of the German people were fooled by Hitler?

HANS: Well National Socialism did not really show itself in its true form until now. Now that we have recognized it for what it is, I feel that it is our duty to tell the world the truth.

ALEX: Yes, the truth. Even when this movement was just beginning it relied on deception and was preserved only by lies. Hitler himself wrote in his book: “You would not believe how one must deceive a nation in order to rule it.” That is why no one can speak of a National Socialist ideology because it doesn’t exist.

HANS (laugh): You’re right, and Hitler’s book has to be the worst piece of German I have ever read in my life. In my opinion the ideology is impossible to come to terms with intellectually, because it simply is not intellectual. Now it is a question of coming to our senses, and of keeping one another informed.

ALEX: Maybe we could start a revolution, a revolution not of weapons, but rather of words. (ALEX loads the paper into the typewriter.) So what do we want to call these series of leaflets? It would sound more organized if we had a name. Like an organization.

HANS: How about The White Rose?

ALEX: Why that?

HANS: I don’t know…it just seems to have a good ring to it. The White Rose. Besides, it is rather fitting because we stand for purity in a time of darkness.

ALEX: Hmm I like it. (Typing) Leaflets of the White Rose edition two, now you dictate, I’ll type.

(HANS begins to pace and talk, and as he does ALEX types.)

HANS: Thanks. Let’s see…We do not wish to address the Jewish question in this leaflet…nor do we wish to pen a case for the defense. No -- we would like to mention by way of example the fact that since Poland was conquered three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in that country in the most bestial manner imaginable. But…why are we bothering to tell you all this, since you know everything anyway?

ALEX: If you are not aware of this specific crime, then surely you are aware of equally heinous crimes committed by this terrible party?

HANS (slowly): This touches on a question that affects all of us deeply…

ALEX: A question that must make us all stop and think:

BOTH: Why is the German nation behaving so apathetically in the face of these

HANS: most abdominal

ALEX: most degrading

BOTH: crimes. Hardy anyone even gives them a second thought.

(They continue to work as the lights fade.)

SCENE 5

(FRITZ is walking down the street in his HJ uniform with a parcel in his hands. He arrives at a house and knocks on the front door.)

EMMA: Mama! Someone’s at the door!

(A curtain moves as the little girl tries to peek through, but the mother pulls her away.)

MOTHER: Emma, get away from the window at once!

(MOTHER answers the door with the little girl on her hip, she obviously is skeptical and afraid of WILLI.)

MOTHER (coldly): Can I help you?

FRITZ: Umm yes… my commanding officer requested that I deliver this to Ms. Watson. Is that you ma’am?

MOTHER: Is this about my husband? What have you done with him?

FRITZ: You are to take it.

(MOTHER takes the package and EMMA waves at FRITZ with a shy smile as she closes the door. A few moments later the mother screams. FRITZ rushes back to find the door wide open and the mother kneeling on the ground the box in her hands containing ashes out of which she pulls her husband’s wedding ring.)

EMMA: Mama? Mama, are you alright?

(FRITZ is in shock and emotional turns and runs the other direction, he crashes into HANS also in uniform with the leaflets in his hands.)

HANS: Hey watch where your— Fritz? Fritz, what’s wrong?

FRITZ:Lucas is our new troop leader since you were demoted.

HANS (concerned): And?

FRITZ: He asked me to deliver a package to a family…and…and it contained ashes.

HANS:What?

FRITZ (crying):Ashes! I delivered her husband’s ashes.

HANS (disbelief): No.

SCENE 6

(HANS finds LUCAS and goes straight for his throat backing him up against the wall in a choke hold.)

HANS: How could you! Do you have any idea what you just did? You betrayed us! All of us!

LUCAS: What the hell are you talking about?

HANS: I’m talking about Fritz you idiot! Why? Why did you make him do it?

LUCAS (pushing HANS away): Deliver the packages? ‘Cause it’s his job you weirdo!

HANS (accusing): You knew what was inside them.

LUCAS: Yes I did.

HANS: I can’t believe this! You’re turning into a freaking Nazi!

LUCAS: So WHAT if I AM?

HANS: I would rather belong to any one…ANYONE, than belong to the Nazis like you do. Look at what they’re making children do. Who knows what else they’re capable of?

LUCAS: Hans, we are not in charge. We can’t really know what’s going on.

HANS: Look at the evidence! Could it be anymore clear? They’re evil Lucas!

LUCAS: Shut up! Shut up! I’m not hearing this. You don’t know what you’re saying! Do you want me to report—

(LUCAS stops. The deadly unfinished threat is still hanging in the air. They both know the gravity of his unfinished sentence. LUCAS says quietly.)

Just go along… Just make the best of things.

(HANS walks to the door and turns back.)

HANS: Lucas, if you side with the Nazis: then we are at war.

(HANS exits.)

BLACKOUT

SCENE 7

(Professor Huber’s Classroom. –Day. The students are just beginning to file out and ALEX and HANS stand waiting to speak with the professor.)

HANS: Are you sure about this?

SOPHIE (overhearing): Sure about what?

ALEX: Nothing.

(ALEX tries to get rid of the paper in his hand, but SOPHIE is too fast for him.)

SOPHIE: I suspected as much. I know my brother’s writing when I see it. It’s a miracle you don’t have any misspellings in the paper. (To ALEX) He’s a great writer, but his spelling leaves something to be desired.

(HANS takes the paper from SOPHIE.)

HANS: Now wait just a minute, Sophie.

SOPHIE: What? I want in.

ALEX: Sophie this—

HANS: It’s against the law.

SOPHIE: You think I don’t know that? Look, somebody had to start something.

HANS: It’s too dangerous.

SOPHIE: What you wrote conveys a lot of other people’s opinions. They just don't dare express themselves like you do. It’s making a difference Hans, and I want to help! (HANS’ face clearly says no. SOPHIE turns to ALEX.) Alexander?

ALEX: I don’t see why not.

HANS: Alex!

(At that moment the PROF. HUBER turns around and notices them.)

PROF. HUBER: Why if it isn’t three of my favorite students. What can I do for you today?

HANS: Well actually professor we were just leaving.

(HANS starts to exit, not wanting to confront the PROF. HUBER with SOPHIE around.)

ALEX (whisper): Hans…just let her join us.

PROF. HUBER: Join what?

HANS: It’s a rather long story.

PROF. HUBER: Well I have time. My next lecture doesn’t begin for another hour.

HANS: We were wondering if we could request your guidance on a rather sensitive matter.

PROF. HUBER (with a knowing smile): Alright in that case. Why don’t we all meet later?

HANS: How does 10 o’clock at the Eickemeyer’s studio sound?

PROF. HUBER: Sure thing.

ALEX: Thank you so much sir.

PROF. HUBER: You’re welcome. I shall look forward to our discussion.

(PROF. HUBER gives them a wink and then exits. SOPHIE takes the leaflet back.)

HANS: Sophie, I don’t like this. It’s too dangerous.

SOPHIE: Well I’m in now.

HANS: No you are not. Forget everything you just heard. It’s for your own good.

SOPHIE: Hans, I want to help!

HANS: No.

SOPHIE: If it is not too dangerous for you then it is not for me. Besides Alexander said I could.

ALEX: Sophie, maybe Hans is right. You probably ought to go to class.

SOPHIE: I’m helping whether you like it or not!

(SOPHIE exits.)

HANS: Now look at what you did!

ALEX: I did? Is it really so bad for her to help?

HANS: Yes. It’s too much of a risk. I would never be able to forgive myself if anything happened to her.

ALEX: It just seems like we should. She’s not a little girl anymore you know.

HANS: Yes, but she is still my little sister. With father’s political history things are already difficult. If we were to be discovered who knows what could happen. She can’t be anywhere near this.

SCENE 8

(Street- Dusk.)

SOPHIE: Go to class Sophie it’s too dangerous. Yeah well you want to know what? I don’t care! Why do boys get to have all the fun? I’m tired of people telling me to just “go to class” or be a “housewife.” What does it matter if I’m a girl? I am just as capable as any guy on campus to make a change in this world.

(SOPHIE bumps into a young man making him drop his textbooks and papers. He is slightly sloppy in his appearance and an un-tucked shirt and spray-paint can in his side pocket.)

WILLI: Hey, watch it.

SOPHIE: Sorry about that um…

WILLI: Willi. Name’s Willi.

(SOPHIE helps him pick up his books and they shake hands. SOPHIE notices a spray-paint stain on his sleeve, her eyes travel up from the stain the graffiti message painted on the wall behind him which reads. “Down with Hitler.” WILLI looks at her with obvious thoughts of panic. WILLI starts to run off, but SOPHIE grabs his arm as he goes.)

SOPHIE: No wait a second!

WILLI: What do you want?

SOPHIE (referring the graffiti): Nice artwork…

WILLI: Uh, thanks?

(WILLI starts to go off again.)

SOPHIE: No wait, umm….

WILLI: What?

SOPHIE (handing him a leaflet): If you’re interested in finding out more about this meet me here at ten tonight.

WILLI (suspiciously): How do I know this isn’t a trap?

SOPHIE: I suppose you can’t. You’ll just have to trust me.

WILLI: Why should I? I don’t even know you.

SOPHIE: That is something you will have to decide for yourself.

WILLI: Hey wait! What’s your name?

SOPHIE: It’s Sophie. Sophie Scholl.

WILLI: Nice to meet you Sophie.

SOPHIE: Likewise.

(WILLI and SOPHIE exit. A TEACHER enters followed by LUCAS in his army uniform.)

TEACHER: I demand to know the meaning of this! I want the culprits found immediately!

LUCAS: Yes ma’am.

TEACHER: You understand that this is not only an insult to school property, but an abomination to the entire Third Reich!

LUCAS: Yes ma’am.

(The teacher storms off. ALEX enters also in their army uniforms.)

ALEX: What was all that about?

(HANS and ALEX notice the graffiti.)

LUCAS: It appears that we have some traitors on our hands.

ALEX (Looking at the painting in disbelief): Oh my.

LUCAS: We should all be on high alert please aware everyone to this so that we can find this culprit and bring them to justice.

(LUCAS exits, and HANS enters.)

ALEX: I want to find him alright, but for a very different reason. (Seeing HANS) Hans! Where have you been all day?

HANS: Let’s just say that I’m not on speaking terms with Lucas.

ALEX: What?

HANS: He made Fritz deliver the “packages.”

ALEX: What!

HANS: Never mind. I can’t even think about it, it makes me to angry. (Looking at the graffiti.) Wow that really is something else. That kid has some courage to put that on the wall in broad daylight.

ALEX: Do you think it was more courage or madness?

HANS: Both. Is there really a difference anymore?

ALEX: I only hope we find him before Lucas does.

HANS: Come on we have to go get ready to meet with Professor Huber, and we still need to go over that last leaflet.

(Same Location. After Dark. WILLI is hidden in the shadows and SOPHIE enters.)

SOPHIE: Psst! Willi? Willi where are you?

(WILLI sneaks out behind SOPHIE and puts a hand over her mouth dragging her back to his hiding place.)

WILLI: Be quiet will you? This whole place has been crawling with Gestapo all day. You’re going to get us both killed.

SOPHIE: Sorry, I didn’t know.

WILLI: Obviously. So I’m here. What do you want?

SOPHIE: A chance to change the world.

WILLI (exasperated): You have got to be kidding me.

SOPHIE: Just listen okay? Writing has often changed the course of events in history. Perhaps we can have that same opportunity. When I saw your message on the wall that gave me an idea, messages can be sent in more ways than through paper, but also through art.

WILLI: I wouldn’t exactly call that art.

SOPHIE: Whatever, it’s getting people’s attention.

WILLI: So what does this (the leaflet) have to do with anything?

SOPHIE: First you have to swear on your honor that you will not breathe a word to anyone about anything you see or hear tonight.

WILLI: Sure, but what—

SOPHIE: I know the person that is writing the leaflets, and where they will be meeting tonight. We can meet with them to discuss our next move.

WILLI: I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.

SOPHIE: You said that earlier, and it’s a risk that you’re going to have to take if you want to do this.

SCENE 9

(Art Studio -Night. HANS, ALEX and PROF. HUBER are talking, and the professor has the first leaflet in his hands.)

HANS: You see professor that’s what brought us to you—

PROF. HUBER: Hans.

HANS: Sir?

PROF. HUBER: Did you really compose this?

HANS: Yes sir. We came to you, because we were wondering if you might be able to assist us in this endeavor.

PROF. HUBER (sad smile): My dear boy, I do not believe that you understand the gravity of the situation you have now put yourselves in. This is serious business, and unlike you I have a family to look after. Engaging in “treasonous” discussions in secret is very different than actually creating written documents.

HANS: Professor we—

PROF. HUBER: Hans. I understand why you are doing this, and your secret is safe with me. However, I can not put my family into the crossfire. Hitler must be overcome by military means. Two students and a professor writing leaflets, is not going to make that much of a difference, other than get us all killed.

HANS: That is where we differ in opinion sir. I believe that Germany can offer up a passive resistance to stand up against this regime. Hitler is but one person, and the fatherland is thousands. If we can gather the support of the people, Hitler could be stripped of his power.

PROF. HUBER: I’m afraid that the world does not work like that. What you have here is great, but even if we were of the same opinion, it is not worth the risk for me. I have too much to lose.

(HANS and ALEX look very disappointed, and start to stack up their things as if to leave.)

HANS: Thank you so much for your time professor.

PROF. HUBER: Wait, you did not let me finish. I may not be able to help you at the capacity that you prefer. However, that doesn’t mean that I am unable to help you at all.

ALEX: Sir?

PROF. HUBER: You are welcome to use my old press, under a two conditions. You must change its location and you must also make sure that none of your activities can be traced back to me.

HANS: Thank you sir!

PROF. HUBER: Hans—

HANS: Yes?

PROF. HUBER: Be careful. When playing with fire it is almost impossible not to get burned.

(PROF. HUBER exits. SOPHIE bursts through the door with WILLI.)

SOPHIE: Hans!

HANS: Sophie! What are you doing here?

ALEX (indicating WILLI): Who is he?

SOPHIE: A friend.

HANS: Go home Sophie. You don’t belong here.

WILLI: I’m sorry to intrude, but I thought—

SOPHIE: Just give us a chance Hans. I have a plan!

(Noises outside.)

HANS: Someone’s outside.

ALEX (looking through the window): It’s Lucas, and the Gestapo.

HANS: Who are you exactly “friend?”

WILLI: No I swear I did not tell anyone!

ALEX (seeing the paint stain): Hans look at his sleeve.

HANS (seeing the small paint stain): You…You’re the painter?

WILLI: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

HANS: Oh, I think you do.

SOPHIE: Can you two continue this conversation later please? They’re coming towards the door.

ALEX: Why don’t you answer it for your boyfriend?

WILLI: Boyfriend!

ALEX: Oh, didn’t she tell you? She’s dating the captain.

SOPHIE: Shut up Alex! I need to think.

HANS: Come on everyone. This is no time to argue.

(Knock on the door.)

LUCAS (offstage): Open up! In the name of the law!

ALEX: Are you kidding me?

SOPHIE (making the choice to get the door): Ohhh….fine. (Calling) Coming!

(SOPHIE opens the door. LUCAS walks in with some other Gestapo members.)

LUCAS: Sophie, what are you doing up at this hour?

SOPHIE: Well we were about to lock up and head home. What time is it exactly?

LUCAS: Midnight.

SOPHIE: Oh dear, it is late! (Nervous laugh.) We must have lost track of time.

HANS: Last time I checked there was not a curfew on this town. What do you want?

LUCAS: We are looking for a traitor who has been vandalizing government property, and when we saw the lights on though we needed to check it out. (To Sophie) Let’s get you home it’s dangerous on the streets at night. Would you like me to walk you?

SOPHIE: Oh thank you that would be wonderful.

(LUCAS looks over his shoulder at HANS, ALEX, and WILLI as if to warn them to be getting home as well.)

HANS: Well we had best be going also. Willi, your opinions on this morning’s lecture were greatly appreciated. I look forward to continuing our discussion at a later date.

(All exit except WILLI.)

WILLI (confused): Well that was interesting….

SCENE 10

SOPHIE: We continued to write and distribute the leaflets until the summer of 1942, when the student company was drafted into the axis military.

SOLDIER: We’re under attack!

(FRITZ is shot. HANS runs straight to FRITZ dropping his rifle when he reaches him.)

HANS: Fritz!!! Fritz can you hear me?

FRITZ: Hans?

HANS: That’s right, you’re alright. I’m going to get you otta here. Okay?

(HANS looks to WILLI for help as ALEX covers for them. WILLI starts trying to bandage the wound. Gunshots. ALEX returns fire.)

FRITZ:My head.I’m not going to make it, am I?

HANS: Yes you will! You’ve got to!

(The rest of the soldiers begin exiting quickly. A soldier gestures for them to go before him, trying to make sure everyone exits. HANS has a new since of urgency and tries to lift FRITZ up with WILLI.)

WILLI: We’re going to get you out of here.

SOLDIER: Hurry up!

FRITZ: Save yourselves, let me go. (Sliding back down) It’s-It’s alright, tell my family that I – I love them and (gunshots getting closer, he winces) find her…find the little girl Hans. She’s here at the camp. You saw her I know you did….make sure she’s safe.

HANS: We will together. Fritz you’re not going to die!

FRITZ: Promise me Hans. Promise me you will find her, and make it right.

HANS: I-

FRITZ: Promise me!

HANS: I promise.

(FRITZ dies. HANS picks up his gun as if in a trance. Russian soldiers advance. WILLI and ALEX try to hold them off.)

ALEX: Hans we have to get out of here! There’s too many of them!

WILLI: You have to leave him Hans! HANS!

HANS: That’s her!

WILLI: Huh?

HANS: The little girl Fritz was talking about. That’s her!

EXPLOSION AND BLACKOUT

(During the blackout before the siren begins to flash onstage HANS, WILLI, ALEX and FRITZ exit.)

SIREN (LIGHT and SOUND)

(Bare stage. EMMA runs across the empty stage with a doll. She trips, falls, and starts to get up, only to bump into HANS.)

LUCAS (offstage): (Giving orders in German)

(HANS grabs EMMA’S arm forcefully and pulls out a knife holding it to her throat. She tries to scream, but HANS puts a hand over her mouth.)

HANS (whisper): Don’t be afraid of me. I won’t hurt you. (LUCAS rushes in.) What’s going on Lucas?

LUCAS: They’re resisting the transport to Treblinka! Let me have the girl.

HANS: I can get rid of her. You have bigger things to worry about.

LUCAS (Crash offstage, and he exits exasperated): Fine.

HANS (getting down on one knee): Are you alright? (She nods) Don’t worry; we’ll get you out of here.

(ALEX enters.)

ALEX: HANS!

HANS: Over here.

LUCAS (offstage): HANS! I need you.

HANS: Alex can you—

ALEX: Where to?

HANS: The church. Irena will meet you there. (To Emma) Go with Alex he is a friend of mine and will help you find a home with a Polish family, until the war is over.

LUCAS (offstage): HANS!!!

HANS (to ALEX): Go now. (Calling off) Coming!

EXPLOSION & BLACKOUT

SCENE 11

SOPHIE: They never spoke about what happened in Poland, but you could tell in their eyes that they were haunted by it. Warsaw changed them forever.

(ALEX’S BEDROOM, Munich Germany. ALEX is pacing the floor. HANS is sitting on the bed with the Remington portable typewriter.)

ALEX: When I joined the German army I swore the oath of allegiance to the Fuher, which even then I had inhibitions about doing. However, like a fool I attributed them to unfamiliar military life. I can’t take it anymore Hans! I have sunken so deep into an inner conflict that it is tearing me apart. When I realize that I am wearing a German uniform and all I care about is Russia, I find that I am unsure of anything anymore. I did not think it possible that there could ever be at war with my homeland.

HANS: Have you talked to the Lieutenant about being discharged?

ALEX: Yes, but with no success. They attributed my request as a consequence of my age and an emotional breakdown.

HANS: What?

ALEX: They even brought my father in for advice.

HANS: What did he say?

ALEX: Nothing, other than he was insulted by my attitude toward Russia, a fact which he has expressed to me very clearly on multiple occasions.

HANS: But, I don’t understand…your whole family is Russian!

ALEX: Yes, but that doesn’t seem to have an effect on my father. Ever since my mother passed away, it’s as if our family legacy is no longer a part of us. Ever since our first day on the front I have had nightmares. Those people could have been my friends or family even! Being so close to the border only strengthened my love for my heritage, because I saw with my own eyes the strength and the character of the Russian people had not been changed greatly by Bolshevism. We have to do more. It no longer feels as if the leaflets are enough of a resistance, there has been no reaction from the other students so far at all.

HANS: We have to get their attention but how? (Pause) That’s it!

ALEX: What’s it?

HANS: Willi!

ALEX: What?

HANS: Willi, the painter from our company. Remember? He can help us.

ALEX: You’re brilliant! Graffiti! That will get their attention.

HANS: Come on let’s go find him.

(HANS and ALEX exit in a hurry.)

SCENE 12

(HANS, ALEX, and WILLI paint “Down with Hitler” in man sized letters on the campus walls, the Feldhermhalle and Hugendubel book store. HANS freehands FRIEHIET “freedom” on the campus walls. This would be great to be painted as a part of the background for the remainder of the show. It is also a very important moment as it sets up the scene for his final words. Es Lebe Die Frieheit! “Long Live Freedom.” LUCAS enters with SOPHIE they are apparently returning from a date and the boys scatter.)

SOPHIE: Thank you so much Lucas. It was a truly wonderful evening.

LUCAS: You’re welcome sweet heart. It was my pleasure. (Seeing the graffiti) What the—

SOPHIE (knowing, angry): Oh, no.

LUCAS: Those little….Forgive me Sophie, but I must leave you and report this to my commander at once. Will you be alright getting home?

SOPHIE:Yes, I will be fine. My apartment is only two doors down from here.

LUCAS: Please accept my sincerest apologies dearest for ending our date so abruptly. I will make it up to you soon. I promise.

(They kiss quickly LUCAS runs off.)

SOPHIE: Alright boys, get out here right now! Who is responsible for this?

(HANS, ALEX and WILLI come from out of hiding.)

ALEX (to guys, mimicking LUCAS): Please accept my sincerest apologies dearest—

SOPHIE: Oh, shut up Alexander! You three ruined my date!

WILLI (patronizing): Did we now? I thought you might be glad it was over.

ALEX: Just be careful Sophie. He is a Nazi after all.

SOPHIE: Well so is most of the country.

WILLI (aside): He’s a jerk if you ask me.

SOPHIE:That’s not fair!

ALEX (exploding): Do you want to know what’s not fair? What’s not fair is that millions of innocent people are “disappearing” in these camps while your boyfriend assists them.

SOPHIE: Alex!

ALEX: It’s the truth.

SOPHIE: He is my fiancé!

HANS (shocked): Fiancé?

SOPHIE: Yes.

ALEX: You’re engaged to a Nazi soldier. How could you?

SOPHIE: You’re one too!

ALEX: It’s different!

(ALEX, SOPHIE and WILLI ad-lib argument)

HANS: That is enough! Lucas may be a lot of things, but he is Sophie’s fiancé. You will not speak about him that way, or so help me, you will suffer the consequences.

ALEX: So you’re taking his side? The side of the Gestapo?

HANS: No, what he is doing is wrong, but he is blind to it. You and I were too once. He just needs time…

ALEX: Sure time. That is a luxury that a lot of people don’t have these days.

HANS (warning, firm): I am serious Alex. Drop it, now.

(ALEX and WILLI exit.)

HANS (to Sophie): Fiancé?

SOPHIE: You didn’t know?

HANS: No, I had no idea. I thought—

SOPHIE: Lucas promised me he talked to you about it.

HANS: He did?

SOPHIE: I knew that you two had a disagreement a while back and wanted to make sure—

HANS: Fiancé?

SOPHIE: Yes.

HANS: Well if you are happy who am I to disapprove? (Giving her a hug) Congratulations Lil Sis.

SOPHIE: Thank you. He really didn’t talk to you, did he?

HANS: No, but that’s no matter your getting married. I’m so happy for you, both of you. (SOPHIE looks sick.) Are you alright?

SOPHIE: Yes, it’s just that—

HANS: That what?

SOPHIE: Nothing it doesn’t matter. Let’s go.

(They exit.)

SCENE 13 (Transition)

(LUCAS enters with several Gestapo members.)

LUCAS: Alright gentleman. We need to catch these traitors tonight! We must not allow them to continue to contaminate this city’s streets. The paint is still fresh which means that they should be meeting tonight at the art studio two blocks from here. We must proceed on foot under the cover of night. Make sure that all the exits are blocked, and then we will make our move.

SCENE 14

(Eikemeyer’s Art Studio.-Night. A meeting between The White Rose members, SOPHIE folds the last leaflet and puts it in a stack.)

SOPHIE: That’s the last one, our 100th copy of: “An appeal to all Germans.”

WILLI: I still don’t feel like that’s enough. We have to stop this injustice now before it’s too late.

HANS: I wish we could.

SOPHIE: You’re doing the best you can Hans.

HANS (abrupt): Our best isn’t good enough Sophie. People’s lives are at stake.

WILLI: There has to be something else we can do.

ALEX: We can’t go on like this. Everything that we are doing is great, but maybe Professor Huber was right. It’s going to take more than a passive resistance, we have to be active and do something.

(HANS is deep in thought not really paying attention.)

SOPHIE: We are doing something.

ALEX: You know that’s not what I meant.

HANS (abruptly): I want to distribute the leaflets on campus.

SOPHIE: What?

ALEX: Hans, you can’t go handing out the leaflets in broad daylight!

HANS: We have to take action now.

WILLI: This is crazy. Don’t do it.

HANS: I will pack the leaflets in the suitcase and place them in the hallway while everyone is still inside the lecture halls.

ALEX: It’s too risky.

HANS: I will take the responsibility. (Pause.) I alone.

(Knock on the door. ALEX looks offstage as the others continue talking.)

ALEX: Hans it’s Lucas!

WILLI: What is he doing here?

HANS: He’s onto us. Quick, everyone! Hide the papers, and grab your books.

(Everyone scampers around, hiding the papers, and grabbing their study books.)

SOPHIE: Oh, calm down you guys! He’s just here to finish our date, (to ALEX) the one that was so rudely interrupted earlier.

(SOPHIE lets LUCAS inside who is followed by several Gestapo members.)

LUCAS (confused): Sophie?

SOPHIE: Lucas, what a pleasant surprise! I thought that our date was over for the night. I will go get my coat.

LUCAS: Sophie I am not here for a date…I—

SOPHIE (nervously): Then-then what’s going on?

LUCAS: We have to search the studio.

SOPHIE: What? Why?

LUCAS: We traced the paint used on the graffiti to here. It must be done.

SOPHIE: Lucas…

LUCAS: I’m sorry Sophie, but I must do my job. (Official) Search them!

(SOPHIE looks around nervously, and sees a leaflet still on the floor which she kicks under a set piece.)

SOPHIE: I will not stand for this! If you wish to search me or this studio you must have a formal search warrant. This is my friend’s property and I will not have your grimy hands getting all over his paintings. Now get out! (To LUCAS) All of you.

LUCAS: Sophie I—

SOPHIE: I said – get – out - now.

LUCAS: Alright gentlemen clear out!

(They leave just as suddenly as they came. LUCAS looks back at SOPHIE.)

LUCAS: Sophie I’m sorry.

SOPHIE: Just go, (taking the ring off her finger.) and take this stupid thing with you. (She throws it.) If I can’t trust you as a friend, then how can I ever trust you with a marriage?

LUCAS: Sophie this is just—

SOPHIE: Why didn’t you tell Hans? You promised!

LUCAS: That’s what this is about?

SOPHIE: No, it’s more than that. Look at yourself! Your tearing apart my friends property, and having me searched by one of your hooligans!

LUCAS: Sophie you’re over reacting.

SOPHIE: No I’m not. You need to show that you are trustworthy, before we take our relationship any further.

LUCAS: Sophie—

HANS (protective): Lucas if you do not wish to be thrown out, you will leave immediately.

(LUCAS leaves and SOPHIE stares off after them.)

You alright?

SOPHIE: Yes. I’ll be fine. Let’s get this place cleaned up before they come back.

SCENE 15

(They clean, and as they do they pick up some papers off the set and read them. HANS and Sophie are working together to place the pamphlets throughout the stage/campus.)

WILLI: We emphatically point out, that The White Rose is not in the pay of any foreign power. Although we know that the National Socialists must be broken by military means. We seek the revival of the deeply wounded German spirit.

HANS: Isn’t it true? That every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who among us has any idea the shame that will befall us and our children? When one day the veil falls from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes….crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure reach the light of day?

SOPHIE: The war is approaching its destined end. It has become a mathematical certainty, that Hitler cannot win the war. He can only prolong it. But what are the German people doing? They will not see, and will not listen. Victory at any price! Is inscribed on their banner, "I will fight to the last man," says Hitler. But in the meantime the war has already been lost.

ALEX: Germans! Do you and your children want to suffer the same fate that befell the Jews? Are we to be forever a nation which is hated, and rejected by all mankind? No. A new war of liberation is about to begin. Do not believe the National Socialist propaganda which has driven fear into your bones. A criminal regime cannot achieve a German victory!

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the protection of individual citizens from the will of

a criminal dictator, these will be the bases of the New Europe.

We are the White Rose, and we will not leave you in peace! Support the resistance before it is too late.

(HANS and SOPHIE join together again, now with empty suitcases. SOPHIE throws the last pamphlets into the air as the bell rings.)

LUCAS: Hans! Sophie stop!

HANS (whisper): Keep walking.

(LUCAS catches up to them. He pulls SOPHIE around to face him. LUCAS notices something sticking out of HANS coat pocket.)

LUCAS: I’m sorry Sophie, I-I love you and don’t want to lose you.

JANITOR: You! Arrest these traitors immediately!

SOPHIE: What on earth for?

JANITOR: I saw your brother girly. He threw the leaflets over the balustrade!

LUCAS: Sir, you must be mistaken. Sophie—

JANITOR: I most certainly am not. Just look at the boys pocket, he even has a paper there now.

LUCAS: What’s he talking about? (Seeing the paper) What is that in your pocket Hans?

HANS: Nothing, just notes.

LUCAS: Let me see it.

(LUCAS makes a step to take it. HANS counters.)

JANITOR: You see sir. He is responsible—

SOPHIE (protecting HANS): No. I am.

HANS (warning):Sophie.

LUCAS: What? (Looking at SOPHIE and then to HANS for confirmation.) Give me the paper Hans.

HANS: No.

LUCAS: Hans please don’t do this to me. I don’t want to have to turn you in.

HANS (letting LUCAS take the paper): Lucas, think about what you’re doing.

LUCAS: I don’t know you two anymore. Do I? I actually thought you loved me.

SOPHIE: I do.

LUCAS: You betrayed me. You lied to me. You deceived me. (LUCAS grabs SOPHIE’S shoulders and begins shaking her.) How is that love? HOW!

HANS: Leave her alone!

LUCAS (building): And you! I can’t believe that you would turn your back on your country like this, and then drag your little sister into it! You are a traitor. Arrest them!

(GESTAPO enter and start to take SOPHIE and HANS away.)

SOPHIE: Lucas, you can’t! Hans is a member of the student military you have no authority—

LUCAS: You will both pay for what you did. I loved you Sophie, and sincerely wish the feeling was mutual.

SOPHIE: Lucas, please.

HANS (measured): Let it go Sophie. We have made our choice, and Lucas has made his.

JUDGE: In the name of the German people, in the criminal case against Hans Fritz Scholl from Munich, and Sophia Magdalena Scholl from Munich, the people's court has reached a verdict following court proceedings on 22 February, 1943: The defendants published leaflets at a time of war, calling for people to sabotage armaments, and to overthrow our people's National Socialist way of life. They propagated defeatist ideas and viciously insulted the Fuhrer. By so doing, they aided the enemy and demoralized our troops. They are therefore sentenced to death. They lose their rights as citizens for all time.

SOPHIE: If you and Hitler we’re afraid of our opinions we wouldn’t be here. Your reign of terror will soon be over!

HANS: You may hang us today, but tomorrow you will be sitting in our places.

JUDGE: Take them away!

HANS: Es lebe die Freiheit!

BLACKOUT

EPILOGUE

ALEX: In Scholl, I recognized a man who was unreservedly subscribed to the idea of a passive resistance. We clearly knew that the publication of treasonous flyers represented an action against the National Socialist regime, and were not unaware of the consequences of our actions.

WILLI: However, we were able to disregard all of that, because our inner duty to act against the party was greater than the oath we swore as soldiers. We knew what we took upon ourselves and were prepared to lose our lives for this cause.

FRITZ: In the final days of the war the last leaflet of The White Rose, written by Professor Huber, was smuggled into England. This leaflet was copied and scattered by the allied air force over the streets of Munich Germany for weeks after their death.

(Plane sounds. A light scattering of leaflets are dropped onto the street. Someone picks one up and begins reading silently.)

HANS: To me, the real damage is always done by those millions who want to 'survive,' the honest men who just want to be left in peace, those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies— and those who live small, and die small. If you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, then death won’t find you.

SOPHIE: But it’s all an illusion, because they die too. Those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe! From what? Life is always on the edge of death. Narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. We have chosen our way to burn, the way of Liberty. Es lebe die Freiheit. Long live freedom…

BLACKOUT


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317 Reviews


Points: 20
Reviews: 317

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Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:18 am
lostthought wrote a review...



Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! (Had to say it. Isn't that what you say after awesome plays?) This must have taken forever to write! I sure hope it wasn't a true story though. Even though it was inspiring it was also sad. I didn't cry but almost did. The injustice that Hitler has brought upon these people is horrid. Well I am here to do a short review.

I read the entire thing and searched it for any mistakes. I saw no grammatical, punctuation, or spelling mistakes in this entire thing. If this was to be presented I am sure that this would get good critic reviews. Thank you for showing us this.

~lost




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33 Reviews


Points: 489
Reviews: 33

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Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:55 pm
BrittanyNicole wrote a review...



Brovo! Brovo! Brovo! Nice, Nice, nice, nice.

HIE: But it???s all an illusion, because they die too. Those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe! From what? Life is always on the edge of death. Narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. We have chosen our way to burn, the way of Liberty. Es lebe die Freiheit. Long live freedom???
- I love thiss. I just do. Because at the end he says "long live freedom" How do you write something THIS good. woww.






Wow, thank you so much! Really appreciate it, it's still a work in progress...there are so many things that could be done to make it better. If you have any suggestions as far as plotline or notice any awkward dialogue that would be amazing if you could let me know. Thanks. :)




trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward)
— E.E. Cummings