The White Rose will not leave you in peace!


When I was researching for my novel, Resist, I noticed something similar in all the books I was reading—The White Rose leaflets were always in the back of the book. I'm sure there are people who read them, but I imagine there are many readers who don't. So when I began writing Resist, I didn't want to just stick those amazing intellectual works in the back. I wanted them to be a part of the story because Hans, Sophie, Alex, Christl, Willi, Professor Huber ... they all died for these leaflets. They shouldn't be hidden in the back of a book.

These students were so different than us twenty-somethings now. They were deep thinkers, discussed philosophy late into the night, listened to classical music, recited poetry. Their intellect shines in these leaflets. I'll admit that the first time I read them, I was completely overwhelmed. But as I read and re-read them, I see the beauty of their literary minds and the thought provoking points that can be applied to our world right now.

So when you're reading Resist, please take a moment to soak in their words. The White Rose resistance group believed in their cause so much that they were willing to risk their lives to write and distribute these leaflets. We should take a minute to read them.


It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes—crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure—reach the light of day? If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order of history; if they surrender man’s highest principle, that which raises him above all other God’s creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass—then, yes, they deserve their downfall.



Why do German people behave so apathetically in the face of all these abominable crimes, crimes so unworthy of the human race? Hardly anyone thinks about that. It is accepted as fact and put out of mind. The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals; they give them the opportunity to carry on their depredations; and of course they do so. Is this a sign that the Germans are brutalized in their simplest human feelings, that no chord within them cries out at the sight of such deeds, that they have sunk into a fatal consciencelessness from which they will never, never awake?


Up until the outbreak of the war, the larger part of the German people was blinded; the Nazis did not show themselves in their true aspect. But now, now that we have recognized them for what they are, it must be the sole and first duty, the holiest duty of every German to destroy these beasts.



Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right—or rather, your moral duty—to eliminate this system? But if a man no longer can summon the strength to demand his right, then it is absolutely certain that he will perish.


Mourning takes up her abode in the country cottages, and there is no one to dry the tears of the mothers. Yet Hitler feeds with lies those people whose most precious belongings he has stolen and whom he has driven to a meaningless death.


Every word that comes from Hitler's mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed.


Has God not given you the strength, the will to fight? We must attack evil where it is strongest, and it is strongest in the power of Hitler. “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead than the living which are yet alive.” Ecclesiastes 4.


But out of love for coming generations we must make an example after the conclusion of the war, so that no one will ever again have the slightest urge to try a similar action. And do not forget the petty scoundrels in this regime; note their names, so that none will go free!


It has become a mathematical certainty that Hitler is leading the German people into the abyss. Hitler cannot win the war; he can only prolong it. The guilt of Hitler and his minions goes beyond all measure. Retribution comes closer and closer. But what are the German people doing? They will not see and will not listen. Blindly they follow their seducers into ruin. Victory at any price! is inscribed on their banner. "I will fight to the last man," says Hitler—but in the meantime the war has already been lost.




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



Fellow Fighters in the Resistance!

Shaken and broken, our people behold the loss of the men of Stalingrad. Three hundred and thirty thousand German men have been senselessly and irresponsibly driven to death and destruction by the inspired strategy of our World War I Private First Class. Führer, we thank you!  The German people are in ferment. Will we continue to entrust the fate of our armies to a dilettante? Do we want to sacrifice the rest of German youth to the base ambitions of a Party clique? No, never! The day of reckoning has come—the reckoning of German youth with the most abominable tyrant our people have ever been forced to endure. In the name of German youth we demand restitution by Adolf Hitler's state of our personal freedom, the most precious treasure we have, out of which he has swindled us in the most miserable way.


We grew up in a state in which all free expression of opinion is unscrupulously suppressed. The Hitler Youth, the SA, the SS have tried to drug us, to revolutionize us, to regiment us in the most promising young years of our lives.


The name of Germany is dishonored for all time if German youth does not finally rise, take revenge, and atone, smash its tormentors, and set up a new Europe of the spirit. Students! The German people look to us. As in 1813 the people expected us to shake off the Napoleonic yoke, so in 1943 they look to us to break the National Socialist terror through the power of the spirit. Beresina and Stalingrad are burning in the East. The dead of Stalingrad implore us to take action. "Up, up, my people, let smoke and flame be our sign!"



We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!


-Emily

16 comments

  1. When I read your book (WHICH WAS AMAZING by the way - I reviewed it on Goodreads) I have to admit I skimmed some of the White Rose bits, but then I stopped and read them... and you're right. They ARE amazing.

    Did you translate them from the German, or did you find the English copies somewhere?

    Resist is a WONDERFUL book! I take my hat off to you, Emily, for writing such an amazing story. The research you must have put into writing it baffles me. Fantastic job.

    ~ Naomi

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    1. First of all, thank you so much for being an advance reader and for your wonderful review!! Thanks also for being honest about the White Rose parts. It is a lot to take in, but they're so full of beauty and truth.

      No, I didn't translate them. I found the English copies online. I wish I could speak/write in German! That would be awesome!

      Thanks for commenting, Naomi! =)

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  2. So very powerful, especially in light of what these words cost them.

    Emily, I am so excited for Resist; I can't wait to learn more about The White Rose!

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    1. I agree ... their words are so powerful.

      Thanks, Mary! I'm happy that you're excited! =)

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  3. Wow. This left me breathless. Amazing.

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    1. I get chills every time I read the leaflets. <3

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  4. What courage it must obviously take to write these things, but the way these leaflets are written, it seemed like courage was an after thought. I also admire the fact there death was caused by a painful execution, rather than a less painful,less scary suicide like Hitler's was.
    (P.S You've officially made my mind "OH MY GOODNESS A RESISTANCE GROUP?!?!?!?!?, OH MY GOODNESS THIS REMINDS ME OF HITLER!!!! THE STORMTROOPERS ARE NAZI'S," during the whole Star Wars movie)

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    1. Yes, they were so brave.

      I think I'm the only person who has never seen Stars Wars! =)

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  5. I'm enjoying RESIST so much. The leaflet bits are one of my favourite parts. By pairing your amazing historical fiction with the actual leaflets, I feel like I can almost hear Hans and Alex reading them out to me. Very powerful stuff!

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    1. Awww! I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying it and that it feels real. =)

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  6. Have you ever distributed pamphlets like they did? Reading this snippet makes me want to go down to the Georgia Southern Campus and distribute anti-abortion pamphlets. If they had courage, why can't I? Our American Holocaust has already reached 7 times the scale of Germany's.

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    1. You're so right. We should do it.

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    2. Wouldn't it be amazing to have a modern day White Rose group who distributes anti-abortion pamphlets throughout America? We should totally start something ...

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  7. I've always wanted to, ever since I heard about the White Rose. But I wouldn't know how to start.

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    1. Hmmm ... we'll have to think it over. A 2016 White Rose might be blooming. =)

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  8. Melody Green has written some very excellent pamphlets.
    http://www.lastdaysministries.org/Groups/1000021287/Last_Days_Ministries/Melody_Green/Writings/Writings.aspx
    Miss Melody was actually arrested for her protests.

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