In 1942 a group of students of the University of Munich chose to actively protest the atrocities of the Nazi regime and to advocate that Germany lose the war as the only way to overthrow Hitler's regime. Asking for resistance and sabotage of the war effort, among other things, they published their thoughts in five separate anonymous leaflets, which they titled "The White Rose" and which were distributed throughout Germany and Austria during the summer of 1942 and the winter of 1943. When captured, the police inspector of the town, Robert Mohr, is intrigued by Sophie, the youngest of the conspirators and the only girl among them. Mohr, who doesn't really take the crime of passing leaflets so seriously, knows that the Third Reich does and is pressured by a superior, Mahler, to obtain a conviction. Mohr wants to save Sophie from certain execution and tries to get her to sign a confession saying that she didn't know what she was doing and that she was misled by the others. But Sophie counters with why she is fighting for what is right, the meaning of pride and when it counts and the loyalty she feels to the others, especially her brother who is a leader in the group. The conversations between Sophie and Mohr and the interrogation scenes of the other conspirators reveal a complex group of people, all clinging to beliefs that ultimately can not be fulfilled at this point in time. In the end, all in The White Rose group are executed, and the Nazi regime continues its devastation until the end of World War II.
In Nazi Germany, a group of students secretly try to undermine the tide of hatred by disseminating leaflets calling for the people to revolt and bring back the glories of the real Germany. When caught, each extols the virtue of life, but won't back down from certain death. "Out of this true story, Lillian Groag…has fashioned…a play that speculates on their case earnestly, intelligently, intellectually…" —NY Newsday.