I’ve finished this book this week. I’m in a historical period again and next week we are discussing Holocaust for one of my classes so it is kinda fitting to have one of these periods right now.
In the spring of 1942 five German students and one professor at the University in Münich decides that something has to be done to stand up to Hitler and his regime. They start to produce resistance pamphlets and spread them around in different German towns. In the pamphlets, they write about freedom and how Hitler’s regime is destroying Germany. They want this to end, they want a change in their everyday lives, and they know that Germany is facing defeat in the war. Sophie School, her brother Hans Scholl and Christopher Probst stood up to the regime and got punished for it, but they had planted a seed. A seed that would grow and shed hope for the German public who did not believe in Hitler and his companions.
I have never read a book like this. In all my years reading books about WW2 I’ve never found a book that speaks from a native, not-Hitler-supporting point of view. Maybe I haven’t looked close enough, but this book was given to me as a present a few years ago. The White Rose was an incredible organization that didn’t want to stay silent. Several of the members were medical students and worked as medics in military units, a way to serve the military service they had to do. Most of them were sent to the Eastern Front and saw what the war did to their troops. They saw the horrors that only a war can bring with them and that made them even more determined to speak up against the Nazi-regime. Sophie is seeing an officer that is fighting on the Eastern Front for the regime and during the book, we get to read her diary or some of her letters to Fritz as the officer’s name is. Sophie is quite reflected for a girl of 21 years old. She is not afraid to speak her mind which makes her so important in The White Rose.
There is a movie called Sophie Scholl – The last days. As usual, I’ve added in the trailer further down in the post so you can have a look. This movie isn’t based on the book, but it is based on historical facts. It goes deeper into the interrogation process of The White Rose. The book isn’t too specific in this area. The book and film compliment each other. The book takes it all from the beginning; how The White Rose was created, how the members came to be members and also how they manage to spread their pamphlets around to different German towns. The book also does background on the Nazi-regime according to different teen-societies like Hitlerjugend and Bund Deutscher Mädel (The German girl’s society) which I found very useful to understand the regime more as a political structure. The movie starts out just the day before Sophie and Hans is captured by the Gestapo and like I said it includes the interviews with interrogators at the Gestapo headquarters in more detail than the book. It is one thing to read the book and imagine what the courtroom could have looked like and how The White Rose might have felt. I think it is impossible for me who live in the 21st century to even imagine it, but it helps to see it portrayed on screen. I think the actors did a marvellous job! The book and movie are really recommended together!
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days – Trailer
Theme: Bravery, WW2, Nazi-Germany, resistance
– The Book Reader