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The White Rose

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Last night I finally had a moment to read through The White Rose leaflets, which can be found here. The White Rose was a resistance group, an anti-Hitler group founded by students in Germany. These students and affiliates from 1942-43 secretly distributed these leaflets around various cities, doing what they could to passively resist the totalatarian government they were all under. At the time, everyone was watched to curb such resistance, but they managed to get plenty of these leaflets out there, but some were eventually caught and the main ones beheaded by Nazis. Though they were religious (Christian) in nature, some of these leaflets and their story I have found interesting.

The main leaflet that I personally like the best was the Third Leaflet where it speaks of "sabotage" which I think of as a way to not only not morally sanction the Nazis/Hitler actively, but also to try to thwart the Nazis from perpetuating their evil "war machine", of doing what they could from the inside. I was wondering, if anyone has ever heard of this group, read books about them, watched movies on them, or would like to comment on them? Here is an except from said leaflet:

Sabotage in armament plants and war industries, sabotage at all gatherings, rallies, public ceremonies, and organizations of the National Socialist Party. Obstruction of the smooth functioning of the war machine (a machine for war that goes on solely to shore up and perpetuate the National Socialist Party and its dictatorship). Sabotage in all the areas of science and scholarship which further the continuation of the war - whether in universities, technical schools, laboratories, research institutes, or technical bureaus. Sabotage in all cultural institutions which could potentially enhance the "prestige" of the fascists among the people. Sabotage in all branches of the arts which have even the slightest dependence on National Socialism or render it service. Sabotage in all publications, all newspapers, that are in the pay of the "government" and that defend its ideology and aid in disseminating the brown lie.

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I was wondering, if anyone has ever heard of this group, read books about them, watched movies on them,...
The real-life Sophie, featured in the movie "Sophie Scholl" was a member of an anti-Nazi group that pamphleteered in colleges. I do not know if it is ther same group you mention, but it's a movie I'd recommend anyway, particularly if you don't mind the historical/non-fiction genre. Edited by softwareNerd

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The real-life Sophie, featured in the movie "Sophie Scholl" was a member of an anti-Nazi group that pamphleteered in colleges. I do not know if it is ther same group you mention, but it's a movie I'd recommend anyway, particularly if you don't mind the historical/non-fiction genre.

Yes, that is definately the group. Her brother and her were the founding members of The White Rose, I think. Both, along with other "core members", were all beheaded by the Nazis. I haven't watched the movie, having just found out about this group, but I will see if I can find it in a library. Thanks for the recommendation.

Edited by intellectualammo

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While I'd read stories about individuals who spoke out courageously against the Nazis, including one man who was very intellectual and understood how bad they were, I'd never heard of such a group. I'm glad to hear of it. But what really interests me is their pamphlet. The charges made in it are strikingly similar to the charges made by the New Left against America. Yet, in the case of the new left the charges were preposterous, while in the case of The White Rose the charges were 100% true. The new left was/is delusional, while The White Rose was dealing with a real problem. I find that fascinating.

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...I was wondering, if anyone has ever heard of this group, read books about them, watched movies on them, or would like to comment on them?...

Oh yes! There is a book written about this anti-Nazi group: A Noble Treason - The Revolt of the Munich Students Against Hitler by Richard Hanser, 1979. I read it over 20 years ago and have never forgotten their story. I highly recommend it. I was quite moved that this group of students had the courage to do what so few people did in Germany: speak out against the Nazis.

When asked why they had taken their actions to distribute these leaflets during their "trial" (by the Nazis), one of them (I think Sophie Scholl) replied "Somebody, after all, had to say something." (I might not have the words exactly right.)

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Oh yes! There is a book written about this anti-Nazi group: A Noble Treason - The Revolt of the Munich Students Against Hitler by Richard Hanser, 1979. I read it over 20 years ago and have never forgotten their story. I highly recommend it. I was quite moved that this group of students had the courage to do what so few people did in Germany: speak out against the Nazis.

Yes! I will try to find this book, thank you.

When asked why they had taken their actions to distribute these leaflets during their "trial" (by the Nazis), one of them (I think Sophie Scholl) replied "Somebody, after all, had to say something." (I might not have the words exactly right.)

The last words of her brother, Hans, at the guillotine, just before it beheaded him was, "Long live freedom!" I like what is also said in the Fifth Leaflet:

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the protection of individual citizens from the abritrary will of criminal regimes of violence-these will be the bases of the New Europe.

Support the resistance. Distribute the leaflets!

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Oh yes! There is a book written about this anti-Nazi group: A Noble Treason - The Revolt of the Munich Students Against Hitler by Richard Hanser, 1979. I read it over 20 years ago and have never forgotten their story.

I just picked it up on my way to work. Interesting that you said that you had not forgotten their story after having not read in in over two decades. I was reading this on the inside cover and thought of what you had said:

Few in America will ever have heard of them, but none who read A Noble Treason will ever forget them.

When asked why they had taken their actions to distribute these leaflets during their "trial" (by the Nazis), one of them (I think Sophie Scholl) replied "Somebody, after all, had to say something." (I might not have the words exactly right.)

Close, she said, "Somebody, after all, had to make a start."

I am sick right now, and have 3 shifts to work this weekend too, so it may take a while to get through this book, but I can already tell that this is exactly what I wanted, besides the those leaflets.

Edited by intellectualammo

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I just picked it up on my way to work....

Good - I hadn't thought it would necessarily be easily available after all these years.

As I remember, I found out about the book because it was offered by an Objectivist book service many years ago, so I decided to buy it. Otherwise, I would never have heard of it. (That's yet another benefit of being an Objectivist - finding out about new values.)

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Good - I hadn't thought it would necessarily be easily available after all these years.

As I remember, I found out about the book because it was offered by an Objectivist book service many years ago, so I decided to buy it. Otherwise, I would never have heard of it. (That's yet another benefit of being an Objectivist - finding out about new values.)

I would not have found out about this group, had I not been looking up a question an actress had about white roses. I typed in "white roses" into Google and this group was the first site. I instantly became interested, and then found the leaflets. After I had found the answer to my initial question, I went back, and eventually read all the leaflets, then wondered whether or not anyone had heard of them here.

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I just finished reading A Noble Treason tonight and also read through The White Rose: Munich 1942-1943 by Inge Scholl. I really enjoyed the former the best, although the latter actually had the leaflets included, and also some documentation at the end, including ones from the "trials". I am next going to find the movie to watch.

Here are a few quotes from A Noble Treason that I had marked off, and there are many more throughout, but these are from the first few chapers, to give the forum more of an idea of the group, and also the writer of this book, Richard Hanser:

Now the state itself was reacting as if the whole National Socialist system were suddenly in mortal danger. And not from the massive assaults of the Red armies in the East, or from the invasion that was sure to come in the West, but from these three - a girl and two young men - […]

What was most disturbing to the judge and the prosecution was that all three of the accused had grown up under the aegis of National Socialism and had been schooled, trained, and nurtured by it. The National Socialist state had indoctrinated them from their earliest youth, shaping their views of the world and saturating their minds with the philosophy of Adolph Hitler and his political movement.

This was not the reaction of a normal government which had merely caught a few of its young citizens agitating against the status quo, as young people so often do. It was, rather, as if the authorities, to their horror, had accidentally uncovered a coven of witches and warlocks capable of bringing the whole structure of the state crashing down with the dark magic of their abominable incantations - those forbidden words that were being scattered to the four winds of Germany on scraps of paper called leaflets.

What made the shock to the Nazi heirarchy so jolting was that this is the first opposition to the rule of Adolf Hitler that had broken through to the light of day. It was the first public break in the universal lockstep imposed on German society by its leaders.

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The real-life Sophie, featured in the movie "Sophie Scholl" [...]it's a movie I'd recommend anyway, particularly if you don't mind the historical/non-fiction genre.

I just finished watching it. I cannot tell you how many times I was brought near to tears in this movie. I still think said novel is the best on The White Rose group, that I have read so far, but this movie made what happened to her sooo vividly real. Thank you for recommending it.

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I also read A Noble Treason some 20 years ago and have never forgotten it. I have always been fascinated by the stories of people who protest dictatorship with often mortal consequences. The young Scholl siblings are true heroes.

A book by another resistance hero I enjoyed even more was the autobiography, To Build a Castle: My Life As a Dissenter, by Vladimir Bukovsky. He lived to write his book and give testimony to the 12 years he spent in the Soviet gulag including psychiatric prisons that housed dissidents.

The amazing thing about Bukovsky's story is how in simply wanting to pursue his rational life goals, he came into inevitable conflict with the Soviet state, which treated him with the same out-of-proportion horror that the Nazis treated the Scholls. In Bukovsky's case, his conflict began when he started a satiric literary magazine in high school making fun of Western literature. Although his Soviet teachers made fun of "decadent" Western writers such as Faulkner, when Bukovsky roped his friends into mocking these same authors in a skit, the Soviet state came down on him hard. Even though he expressed an opinion that was consistent with the Soviet opinion, the independent manner in which he expressed it could not be tolerated. On that day he was told by the school authorities that he could not go to college. He passionately wanted to be a biologist, which required going to college. This was how one of the greatest modern-day Soviet dissidents was born.

The other thing that amazes me about his book is the detached way he writes it. He observes his experiences sparsely and elegantly as if he were writing about someone else. As a result, the horrors he describes become that much more horrific. He does not need to exaggerate, only to be objective.

Unfortunately, the Scholls never survived. It is the world's loss. I am thankful that Bukovsky managed to survive the Soviets and write his books. He is still alive today. In fact, when he finally got out of the Soviet Union, he finally earned his Masters degree in biology. The Soviet state could not stop him. Today, he continues as an activist and is a protest candidate for president in Russia.

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I came across a review of another Nazi-resistance book that sounds interesting. I have not read the book, but thought I'd share the review with those who are familiar with the "White Rose". The book is called "Memoirs of a Jewish Resistance fighter in Nazi-occupied France".

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