Traute Lafrenz Page was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1919. Her mother was from Vienna and her father was a state official. At age 14 she attended a progressive school, Lichtwarckschule, where the main teacher, Erna Stahl, presented new liberal educational ideas. In the summer of 1939, she was sent to Pomerania in eastern Germany to help reap the harvest. It was there she met Alexander Schmorell, with whom she spent many evenings discussing Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Pushkin. She completed her pre-clinical medical training in Hamburg. In the spring of 1941, she attended the University of Munich where Traute studied medicine. One evening at a concert, Traute encountered Alex Schmorell again. Seated next to him was a handsome medical student named Hans Scholl, founder of “The White Rose,” a student anti-Nazi resistance group.
After that evening, a group of friends slowly formed, and Traute was included in their circle. The drama of “The White Rose” played out and Traute was sentenced to one year in prison for her involvement in the group. Upon her release, she was immediately re-arrested to be tried for her connection with Nazi resistors in Hamburg. However, before they were able to try her she was freed by Patton’s 3rd Army.
Traute eventually completed the last two semesters of her medical degree at the University of Munich. A post-war group helped her come to America, where she stayed with a friend in Berkeley, California. From that visit, she went on to an internship and residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in San Francisco. It was there Dr. Page met her husband, a fellow intern. They spent several years in California before moving to Chicago, where Dr. Page ran a successful private practice and spent 40 years devoted to building an inner-city school system for emotionally disturbed and retarded children. As director of The Esperanza School she worked to provide “hope” provided for children who had formerly been excluded from getting a quality education. Dr. now Page lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and has four children and seven grandchildren. She continues to carry her message of hope and compassion, and holds close the cherished memories of her lost friends of “The White Rose.”