​​Alexander Schmorell ​ 

​​16.09.1917​ - ​​19.04.1943​
Alexander Schmorell, 1940 © Family Schmorell​

​​Alexander Schmorell was born in Russia but grew up in Germany. In the summer of 1942, he and Hans Scholl produced and distributed four illegal leaflets. A passage in the second leaflet condemning the murder of Jews as a crime against humanity was written by Schmorell. 

​​Alexander Schmorell was born in Orenburg in Russia. His father Hugo Schmorell, a doctor, was from a German family that had settled there in the 19th century. His mother Natalja was Russian and died of typhus when Alexander was one year old. In 1920, his father remarried.  

​During the Russian Civil War, the family was forced to leave the country and settled in Munich in 1921. Alexander and his two younger siblings grew up bilingual and Russian culture was an important part of their upbringing.  

​From 1933 onwards Alexander Schmorell was a member of National Socialist youth organizations. After school, in 1937, he had to perform Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labour Service), and later he had to join the Wehrmacht. When he had to swear the obligatory oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler he asked, in vain, to be discharged from the Wehrmacht. His unit was deployed in the invasion in Austria in 1938 and later during the occupation of Czechoslovakia. The drill and uniformity of military life were at odds with his longing for independence and freedom. 

​In 1939, Schmorell began studying medicine. He was then assigned to the 2. Studentenkompanie (Second Students´ Company) where he met Hans Scholl in June 1941 and Willi Graf at a later time. They became friends because of their shared interest in art and literature and their critical attitude towards National Socialism. In June and July 1942, Schmorell and Scholl published four “Leaflets of the White Rose”. 

​From the end of July to October 1942, Schmorell and his friends from the Students´ Company were forced to serve as medical orderlies on the Eastern Front near Moscow. This return to his early childhood homeland, the experiences at the front and the impression of the criminal conduct of the war convinced him to intensify the resistance against the Nazi regime. 

​When the Scholl siblings were arrested on 18 February 1943, Schmorell decided to flee Munich. He planned to hide in a camp for Soviet prisoners of war near Innsbruck. When this plan failed, he returned to Munich where he was betrayed in an air-raid shelter on 24 February and handed over to the Gestapo. 

​The People’s Court sentenced Alexander Schmorell to death on 19 April 1943, along with Kurt Huber and Willi Graf. The sentence was carried out on 13 July when Schmorell was executed in the Munich-Stadelheim prison.​