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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Tales of the White Rose

I learned about the White Rose Society while reading a biography of Hitler last year and was completely intrigued by the group's story. The White Rose Society was formed by a group of students at the Universiy of Munich to protest the Nazi Goverment. The members of the group distributed leaflets between 1942-1943 encouraging ordinary Germans to resist Hitler and the National Socialist government. "We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace! " reads one of their leaflets.

In February 1943, most of the student leaders of the White Rose Society, Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, Cristoph Probst, and Willi Graf, were arrested by the Gestapo and soon thereafter executed by guillotine. The other principals in the group were also soon arrested and executed. The story of the White Rose Society answers the question "What did the German people do to resist the Nazis?" Their fate may explain why there was so little internal resistance to the Nazis.

The members of the White Rose Society were incredibly courageous. It could not have been an easy decision for them to stand by their convictions. They must have known how dangerous it was to resist the notoriously brutal Nazi regime. Nevertheless, they persisted and paid the ultimate price for their actions. I'm struck by just how young they look in pictures.

I am amazed that the story of the White Rose Society is little known outside of Germany. The story is just an incredible tragedy. The White Rose Society may have a slightly higher profile though as a new film about one of its members will soon be released. The film is "Sophie Scholl -- the Final Days" and I for one look forward to seeing it. I hope this German language film is soon shown in the United States and finds an audience.


At Saturday, February 19, 2005 at 8:08:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never knew that the White Rose System had such an illustrious history.


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