Among this group were Sophie Scholl's childhood friend Susanne Hirzel and her teenage brother Hans Hirzel "The government – or rather, the party – controlled everything: the news media, arms, police, the armed forces, the judiciary system, communications, travel, all levels of education from kindergarten to universities, all cultural and religious institutions.

Children were exhorted in school to denounce even their own parents for derogatory remarks about Hitler or Nazi ideology." The activities of the White Rose started by the end of 1942.

This was a time which was particularly critical for the Nazi regime: After initial victories in World War II, the German population became increasingly aware of the losses and damages of the war.

Eugen Grimminger of Stuttgart funded their operations.

Grimminger's secretary Tilly Hahn contributed her own funds to the cause, and acted as go-between for Grimminger and the group in Munich.

Their activities started in Munich on June 27th, 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on February 18th, 1943.

They, as well as other members and supporters of the group who carried on distributing the pamphlets, faced show trials by the Nazi People's Court (Volksgerichtshof), and many of them were sentenced to death or imprisonment.In Summer 1942, the German Wehrmacht was preparing a new military campaign in the southern part of the East front in order to regain the initiative after their earlier defeat close to Moscow.In February 1943, the advance of the German army had come to a halt at the Eastern front, and faced a major defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad.The group wrote, printed and initially distributed their pamphlets in the greater Munich region.Later on, secret carriers brought copies to other cities, mostly in the southern parts of Germany.She frequently carried supplies such as envelopes, paper, and an additional duplicating machine from Stuttgart to Munich.