Traute Lafrenz, the last known survivor of the German group known as the White Rose, which actively resisted the Nazis, has died. She was 103.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier offered his condolences to her family on Friday, describing Lafranz as a “remarkable and immeasurably brave woman”.
“Your mother was one of the few who, in the face of the crimes of National Socialism, had the courage to listen to her conscience and oppose dictatorship, fascism and war.”
LaFrentz died March 6, according to an obituary published in The Charleston Post and Courier. After the war, she emigrated to the United States, married fellow physician Vernon Page, and eventually settled in South Carolina.
Born in Hamburg on May 3, 1919, Lafrenz moved to Munich to study medicine at the age of 22, where she met Hans Scholl. Through him she met other anti-Nazi students, and a few months later became involved in the White Rose’s risky effort to distribute leaflets denouncing Hitler and his regime.
Several members, including Hans and his sister Sophie Scholl, were punished for their activities.
Lafranz was arrested by the Gestapo secret police in 1943, but managed to hide her true involvement with the group and was sentenced to just one year in prison. After her release, she was detained again until American forces freed her from the Bayreuth prison in April 1945, days before the end of World War II.
After emigrating, LaFrentz worked in a hospital in San Francisco, later living in Hayfork, California, and Evanston, Illinois.
She is survived by a daughter and three sons, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, according to the obituary. A memorial service for friends and family in Yonges Island was planned for Saturday.
In his speech, the President of Germany said that the actions of Lefranz served as an “inspiration for young people who are fighting for freedom and democracy today.”