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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended - an amazing story
This is a very moving story about the student resistance movement in Nazi Germany who came together to try to undermine Hitler’s grip on the country and encourage their fellow Germans to fight back against probably one of the most terrifying totalitarian regimes one could imagine. It does a very good job at capturing both their idealism and high moral principles,...
Published on 11 Mar 2006 by Richard Davidson

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read....but..
I enjoyed this book for the most part and this is due to the fact that it gives lot's of information about the events during the time that "The white rose" group was operational. This helped me to understand their feelings much better and also why they acted as they did at certain times. There were also some pieces of information that I didn't previously...
Published 5 months ago by Jondc


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended - an amazing story, 11 Mar 2006
This is a very moving story about the student resistance movement in Nazi Germany who came together to try to undermine Hitler’s grip on the country and encourage their fellow Germans to fight back against probably one of the most terrifying totalitarian regimes one could imagine. It does a very good job at capturing both their idealism and high moral principles, and their youthful courage and spontaneity which saw them throwing their anti-government leaflets over the balcony of the main hall in Munich University in broad daylight, which led to their capture, interrogation and execution.
Despite the shortness of their campaign, and its ultimate failure, there was much to admire. In an atmosphere of fear, secret police, and rigid laws controlling every aspect of the population, they tried to raise awareness about the persecution of the Jews, and drew attention to the need for freedom of expression and individualism. They decided that to save Germany from the National Socialists, it was essential that Germany lose the war, and they came up with a campaign of passive resistance and sabotage which they encouraged everyone to support in order to undermine the regime and thwart the war effort.
Various members helped write a series of leaflets that they smuggled out of Munich and sent all over the country. One of them ended up in the hands of the Allies and was reproduced and dropped by plane a year later. They also sneaked out at night and daubed anti-Nazi messages on public buildings, fully convinced that their countrymen would take heart from their efforts and throw off the shackles that kept them compliant. Captured and swiftly executed after a show trial, their defiance stands as a huge testament to the power of the individual to hold fast to their own values, even when it is illegal and even dangerous to do so.
This is a beautiful story, and it is told with lots of pace and insightful character portraits. The original photographs of the students and their professor bring home to you that this is actually a true story, and the text of the leaflets, translated from the German for this book, give you the flavour of what they were trying to do, and why. One of the leaflets is published for the first time, as it was only discovered when the Gestapo transcripts of the interrogation of Christoph Probst, one of Sophie Scholl’s fellow White Rose members, turned up in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This is an important episode in our history, and the White Rose members - who were all executed as traitors - have since quite rightly been honoured in Munich and around Germany for their bravery. A very impressive book, and one well worth the read.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant perspective, 24 May 2006
By 
KateRG31 (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book set so much in perspective for me: how did German people feel under the Nazis, how did the Nazis come to be in such a position of overwhelming power; how much did the Germans know about what their government were doing to subjugated peoples; why didn't more German people object to their tyranny; what was life like for people over there? The book's background to the White Rose group's courageous acts of rebellion helped me feel that I understood much more about it all, not least about how hard and terrifying it would be, even to criticise the Nazis, and how lonely it would be because, unlike the resistance in occupied countries, your countrymen would regard you as a traitor not a hero.

A very compelling book about an awe-inspiring group of idealistic, ultimately hopeful, young people with a great sense of atmosphere. It gives excellent background to the 2005 film ' The Last Days of Sophie Scholl' - read the book first.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book, see the movie, 10 Mar 2006
I bought this book after seeing the German film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, and wished I'd read this first - it gives all the background details on the White Rose movement, how the students set it up, who they were, and what was going on in Germany and World War II at the time.
The film is very sombre and moving. This book is a pacier read, and carries you along with the drama and excitement as Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends come together in secret to write their leaflets and scheme to send them all over the country to try to give the authorities the impression they are part of a huge national organization. As Germany suffers crushing defeats in the war, the situation at home begins to change and the students become bolder and more daring, thinking that the German people will at last rise up to overthrow the regime. Sneaking out at night to daub anti-Nazi slogans on public buildings and dropping leaflets in public around Munich University eventually lead to their capture.
This is a very important story of how a few people can follow their principles and stand up to a powerful regime. Although they were not successful, their actions remain as an inspiring example. I recommend it to everyone, whether you've seen the film or not.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story of resistance to Hitler, 12 Mar 2006
This is the most amazing story! I stumbled across this book on Amazon after hearing about the new film on Sophie Scholl which has been making waves. It is a very powerful book, and I read straight through it in one sitting, admittedly with a box of tissues at my side. There is something about stories of heroism and self-sacrifice that up the emotional levels and bring a warm feeling to the heart.
I doubt this is the only example of resistance to the Third Reich in Germany, but it is certainly one that really makes you question what you would do in a similar situation, and whether, faced with the opportunity to recant to save your life, you would choose, as Sophie Scholl does, to go the guillotine with quiet conviction and the amazing confidence that what you are doing is “right”. I was also struck by how well read and thoughtful these students were, and how focused on making a difference. The leaflets they wrote to muster support for a popular uprising are full of philosophical and political references, and make very interesting reading in their own right.
At times the writing style is a little dramatic, but all in all a very good book, and one that makes you think.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story, 25 Mar 2006
What an amazing story of courage, principle and sheer dogged heroism. Other reviewers have already described the story (thanks!) so I won't bother here, but you have to read this book!
Like everyone who comes across a story of real heroism - whether it is dragging yourself down a mountain as in Touching the Void or helping the underground resistance movement in France under the noses of the Nazis - you have to ask yourself what you would do in the same situation. I hope I would have joined the White Rose!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 20 Sep 2006
By 
Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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KateRG31 has said it well - this book puts the outstanding German film "Sophie Scholl, the last days" in context. From this book you see the beginnings of the White Rose and how it developed. You also read about the other members of the group and how they also met their ends. The courage and moral compass of these young people was outstanding, and you find yourself wishing that you also could be so brave in the face of an iniquitous regime that had turned all moral values upside-down, that rewarded and promoted thugs and murderers and imprisoned and executed honourable people. The sad thing was that it took so long to overturn the verdicts (it finally happened in the 1980s).

In a world where torture, murder and injustice are still practised, even by allegedly civilised countries (no names, no pack drill...), the Scholls shine out as examples of what humans and humanity can be.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Background information, 18 Jan 2007
By 
Francisco (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
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The book gives background information to the members of the White Rose, their closest friends and the times they lived in (and ideas in German thought). It explains how the family background of the Scholls and how they went from enthusiastic supporters of the Nazi regime to actively resisting it, how the group formed and recruited, and what happened after they were caught. The book tries to do that for all the members of the White Rose group but it, out of necessity, concentrates on the core members. It then explains the aftermath.

What is surprising is that they were able to operate so long, and find so many like-minded associates, in such a despotic regime.

Now my memory maybe wrong but it seems that one of the exchanges in the court, which in the film Sophie Scholl -- Die Letzten Tage was said by Sophie, turns out actually to have been said by her brother, Hans.

The book is very slow at the beginning as it goes through the background information needed to help the reader put the events into context. As the book progresses it tells us what happened.

In the middle of the book there are photographs of the members of the White Rose resistance group and a photo of their first leaflet. There are several appendices at the end (pages 186-227):

Appendix 1: A translation of all their leaflets

Appendix 2: A list of trial dates for all the members

Appendix 3: A translation of Indictment of Hans and Sophia Scholl, and Christoph Probst

Appendix 4: A translation of the transcript of the sentences for Hans and Sophia Scholl, and Christoph Probst

Appendix 5: A translation of the article in the Münchener Neuste Nachrichten (Munich Newest News) of the result of the trial of Hans and Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst

Appendix 6: A translation of the article in the Völkischer Beobachter (People Oberserver), Munich edition, following the trial of Alexander Schmorrell, Kurt Huber, Wilhelm Graf and others

Appendix 7: Translation of excerpt from Deutsche Hörer (German Listeners) Radio Series by Thomas Mann

Appendix 8: Translation of a leaftlet issued by the National Committee for a Free Germany after the trial of Hans and Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst

Appendix 9: Articles on the White Rose from The New York Times in 1943
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story, 22 April 2006
I really loved this book! It takes you right to the heart of Germany in World War II, and this incredible student resistance movement, with all their passion and bravado. A very moving story. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars this story should not die., 20 Jun 2014
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We need to be reminded in our day of the terror the Nazis brought to the world so that it is not allowed to happen again. The events in Iraq and Syria in these last months should wake us to the the possibility.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most Inspiring story of courage I have ever read, 6 May 2014
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This book tells the story of a group of students in Munich during the Second World War, who could not let their consciences be silenced by terror. Although they themselves were not targets of the Nazi machine, they nevertheless spoke out against what they knew to be happening, especially regarding the killing of mentally ill and Jewish people, throughout the areas occupied by Germany. Sophie Scholl stands out in particular, because she was offered a way out by the Gestapo when they were finally caught. They told her that, if she said that her brother had led her into the distribution of anti-Nazi leaflets, she would escape with a prison sentence. However, she refused to cooperate, saying that she knew exactly what she was doing and was proud of it. The leaders of the non-violent resistance Group known as the White Rose, including Sophie, were executed, but their name lives on. They stand for the supremacy of conscience over law, when that law is unjust and perverted. A brilliant book, which tells a story that everyone should learn.
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Sophie Scholl and the White Rose
Sophie Scholl and the White Rose by Jud Newborn (Paperback - 12 April 2007)
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