Traute Lafrenz

Traute Lafrenz Page[1] (née Lafrenz; 3 May 1919 – 6 March 2023) was a German resistance fighter who was a member of the White Rose anti-Nazi group during World War II.[2]

Traute Lafrenz
Traute Lafrenz.jpg
Lafrenz, c. 1943
Born(1919-05-03)3 May 1919
Died6 March 2023(2023-03-06) (aged 103)

Early lifeEdit

Lafrenz was born on 3 May 1919 in Hamburg to Carl and Hermine Lafrenz, a civil servant and a homemaker; she was the youngest of three sisters.[3][4] Together with Heinz Kucharski, Lafrenz studied under Erna Stahl [de] at the Lichtwarkschule [de], a liberal arts school in Hamburg.[5] When coeducation was abolished in 1937, Lafrenz moved to a convent school, from which she and classmate Margaretha Rothe graduated in 1938. Together with Rothe, Lafrenz began to study medicine at the University of Hamburg in the summer semester of 1939. After the semester she worked in Pomerania, where she met Alexander Schmorell who had begun studying in the summer of 1939 at the Hamburg University Medical School but continued his studies from 1939 to 1940 in Munich.[6]

Involvement in the Weiße RoseEdit

In May 1941, Lafrenz moved to Munich to study, and while there she got to know Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst.[5] In her opposition to the Nazi regime, she found inspiration in the writings of Rudolf Steiner.[7] She attended many talks and discussions of the White Rose group, including those with Kurt Huber. She and Hans Scholl, one of the group's leaders, were briefly romantically involved.[4]

In late 1942, she brought the third White Rose flyer to Hamburg[5][8] and distributed them with her former classmate Heinz Kucharski. When Hans and Sophie Scholl were arrested at the University of Munich on 18 February 1943 for spreading anti-war leaflets, Lafrenz was also put under investigation by the Gestapo. She was arrested, along with Alexander Schmorell and Kurt Huber, on 15 March. During her interrogation by the Gestapo, Lafrenz succeeded in disguising the full extent of her involvement in the distribution of leaflets. As a result, she was sentenced to one year in prison on 19 April 1943, by the Volksgerichtshof (People's Court, first senate) for her role as a confidante.[5][9][10] After her release, she was arrested and imprisoned once again by the Gestapo.[5] Her trial was set for April 1945. Had it proceeded, she most likely would have been sentenced to death, but the Allies liberated the prison where she was held three days before her trial was supposed to commence, likely saving her life.[11]

After the warEdit

In 1947, she immigrated to the United States,[12] completing her medical studies at Saint Joseph's Hospital in San Francisco, California. In the United States, she met Vernon Page, an opthalmologist. They married in 1947 and had four children together.[5] Together they formed a medical practice in Hayfork, California.[1] They were together until his death in 1995.[4] She was an early practitioner of the anthroposophical-inspired holistic medical approach.[1] After moving to Chicago, she served from 1972 to 1994 as head of Esperanza School,[13] a private, therapeutic day school serving students with developmental disabilities between the ages of 5 and 21. She was involved in the anthroposophical movement in the United States for more than half a century.[7] She retired and lived on Yonges Island near Meggett, South Carolina.[14]

In 2019, she received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on her 100th birthday.[4][15][16]

On 6 March 2023, Lafrenz died on Yonges Island, South Carolina, at age 103, as the last living member of the White Rose group.[17][1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Traute Page Obituary (1919–2023)". The Post and Courier. 8 March 2023. Archived from the original on 9 March 2023. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  2. ^ Sachs, Ruth Hanna (November 2003). White Rose History, Volume I [Academic Version]: Coming Together (January 31, 1933 – April 30, 1942). ISBN 978-0-9710541-9-6. Archived from the original on 9 March 2023. Retrieved 11 December 2022 – via
  3. ^ "Letzte Überlebende der "Weißen Rose": Traute Lafrenz ist tot". Norddeutscher Rundfunk (in German). 9 March 2023. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d Cowell, Alan (11 March 2023). "Traute Lafrenz, Last Survivor of Anti-Hitler Group, Dies at 103". The New York Times. Vol. 172, no. 59724. p. A21. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Traute Lafrenz". German Resistance Memorial Center. Archived from the original on 22 February 2021. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  6. ^ Enge Zeit Spuren Vertriebener und Verfolgter der Hamburger Universität ; [Katalog zur gleichnamigen Ausstellung im Audimax der Universität Hamburg vom 22.2. bis 17.5.1991]. Angela Bottin, Universität Hamburg. Berlin. 1992. p. 69. ISBN 978-3-496-00419-6. OCLC 243715842.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ a b "Leve friheten! Traute Lafrenz og den hvite rose – Litteraturhuset" [Live the freedom! Traute Lafrenz and the White Rose – Litteraturhuset] (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  8. ^ Flugblätter der Weissen Rose III, Bundesarchiv
  9. ^ "Letzte Überlebende der Weißen Rose gestorben". Tagesschau. 9 March 2023. Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  10. ^ "Urteil 1 H 101/43 (6 J 24/43) [Volksgerichtshof]". De Gruyter: Widerstand als "Hochverrat" Die Anklage- und Urteilsschriften aus Verfahren im Deutschen Reich und Österreich (in German). Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  11. ^ Normann, Waage, Peter (2018). Long Live Freedom!: Traute Lafrenz and the White Rose. Brooklyn, NY: Cuidono Press. ISBN 978-1-944453-06-0. OCLC 1007750099.
  12. ^ "Ehrung: Traute Lafrenz-Page". Der Spiegel (in German). Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  13. ^ "Esperanza School". Esperanza Therapeutic Day School. Archived from the original on 5 December 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  14. ^ Goldmann, A.J. (21 December 2018). "Disgraced German Reporter Fabricated Details In Nazi Resistance Interview". The Forward. Archived from the original on 5 December 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  15. ^ "Traute Lafrenz Page von der "Weissen Rose" mit Bundesverdienstkreuz geehrt" [Traute Lafrenz Page was honored with the Federal Cross of Merit by the "White Rose".]. Der Spiegel (in German). 4 May 2019. Archived from the original on 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Last surviving member of the White Rose, received the Cross of the Order of Merit First Class on her 100th birthday". AlabamaGermany Partnership. 6 May 2019. Archived from the original on 28 October 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  17. ^ "Widerstandskampf: Letzte Überlebende der Weißen Rose ist tot". Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). 9 March 2023. Archived from the original on 9 March 2023. Retrieved 9 March 2023.

Further readingEdit

  • Augenzeugenbericht; in: Inge Scholl, Die Weiße Rose (erweiterte Neuausgabe), Frankfurt am Main 1993, pp. 131–38.
  • Susan Benedict, Arthur Caplan, Traute Lafrenz Page: Duty and 'euthanasia': the nurses of Meseritz-Obrawalde; in: Nursing Ethics, 2007 November; 14 (6): 781–94
  • Peter Normann Waage, Long Live Freedom! Traute Lafrenz and the White Rose, Brooklyn, Cuidono, 2018, ISBN 978-1-944453-06-0