Die Weiße Rose

November 20, 2014 — 8 Comments

In February, 1943, along with her brother, Hans and friend Christoph, Sophie Scholl was executed by guillotine after a trial before the ‘Peoples Court’.

Their crime?

Writing and distributing leaflets which spoke the truth, and called for non-violent resistance against Hitler and Nazism.

Inge, Sophie’s eldest sister recalls:

‘I believe that at such times the students were able to converse freely with God, with that Being whom they gropingly sought in their youth, whom they tried to find at the end point of all study, action, and work.
At this time Christ became for them in a strange way the elder brother who was always there, closer even than death. He was their path which allowed of no return, the truth which gave answer to so many questions, and life itself, the whole of splendid life.
Sophie said at one point (though she spoke very, very little), “What we said and wrote is what many people are thinking. Only they don’t dare to say it.”
{After her arrest}, Sophie had been chiefly concerned in those days whether her mother would be able to bear the ordeal of losing two children at the same moment. But now, as Mother stood there, so brave and good, Sophie had a feeling of sudden release from anxiety.
Again her mother spoke; she wanted to give her daughter something she might hold fast to: “You know, Sophie— Jesus.” Earnestly, firmly , almost imperiously Sophie replied, “Yes, but you too.” Then she left— free, fearless, and calm. She was still smiling…
…Such rigor of thought was doubtless closely related to their discovery of Christianity, which in the case of my brother and sister paralleled the development of their independent political stand.
The church hierarchy in those years had compromised itself by its initial alliance with National Socialism, and it was silent. But countless Christians had gone underground and some had joined the resistance.[i]
Munich Station 1942 Sophie_ Hans_ Christoph 2

(Left) Hans Scholl, (Centre) Sophie, (Right) Christoph Probst.

 

Christoph Probst was 25; a husband and father to three small children. His wife ‘did not learn of his fate until after his execution.’ [ii]

Sophie Scholl was 22 and Hans, 25.

Sophie, Hans and Christoph were Germans. From Inge Scholl’s account, they were also Christians.

I’ve pointed to some of the emerging parallels between then and now, on this blog before. Those in this case, I think, speak for themselves.

‘To mature to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, no longer children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Christ.’
– (Paul, Ephesians 4:14-15)


Sources:

[i] Scholl, I. 1947 The White Rose: Munich, 1942–1943 Wesleyan University Press. Kindle Ed. (Loc.831-832; 867-869 & 1380-1381)

[ii] ibid, Loc. 872-873

Video excerpt is from the movie ‘Sophie Scholl: The Final Days‘ (2005, Germany), Fred Breinersdorfer (Writer), Marc Rothemund (Director).

8 responses to Die Weiße Rose

  1. 

    Those crazy Christians 🙂 We’re studying Germany this week, I’m not sure how deep to go with the war, the kids are so interested. We are staying with an overview right now, details later. They know it was truly horrible and that many innocent people died in Germany. I liked the video.

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    • 

      The Jewish Holocaust, Christian Resistance against Nazism, and war in general is never an easy topic to cover. I’ve wrestled with how much is too much, when it comes to teaching about them. Not sure if it will help, but I started with introducing people like Corrie Ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I slowly built on it from there by working with the children’s book ‘I am David’ by Anne Holm. Oddly enough, I’ve found that the TV series Hogan’s Heroes also helps in making the important distinction between Nazi’s and Germans. We also visited a traveling exhibit which contained primary documents and personal stories. Three of our kids are still young, but it’s been enough to create interest, awareness and momentum. They end up asking the what, who and why, questions and once that happens, it gets a bit easier to teach. I’d be interested in hearing/reading about how you went in this journey. All the best with it.

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      • 

        We’ve touched on WWII several times over the years, each time with increasing depth. Our children’s gentle hearts broke merely looking at pictures of empty camps and suitcases stacked in rooms.

        I find that it’s the images which upset our children most. Reading and hearing touches them, but the images break their heart, making the experience that more real. Thus, I limit the visual aspect of our learning, along with certain facets of the horrors (such as breeding hospitals). As we will inevitably cover this in yet more detail in the future, certain things can wait.

        There are several museums here in Cali dedicated to The Holocaust. Some we’ve had the blessing of seeing, while others are on the list to come.

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      • 

        I like your approach. We’ve taken a similar one, whereby we stretch them, but only within their level. E.g.: What T is capable of processing, D certainly isn’t. There is a need to filter the specifics wisely for each age group. We don’t have a lot of opportunity for visits like yours, so, we’re working on creative alternatives.

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  2. 

    I never fail to learn something new from your articles. This is an amazing story; one, I’m sorry to confess, I have never heard before. I can’t wait to share this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 

      Thanks! 😊I get energised by sharing things I pick up along way. Part of that is finding genuine connections between theology, society, politics, philosophy and history then forming an argument based around them. My hope is to one day do some post-graduate work, with a focus on the 1933-1945 political theology of that era. Looking at the current relevance of the White Rose movement, Albert Camus, The Catholic Church, Karl Barth, D.Bonhoeffer and the confessing church movement.

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