“Sophie Scholl and the White Rose” is a historical book describing the cruel politics in Germany during the 20th century. In their non-fictitious story, Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn give a vivid description of young people who were against the Nazi regime.
Controlled by superiority, greed, and cruelty Hitler stamped out all forms of democracy in Germany. However, Sophie, her brother, Hans, and other friends courageously established a resistance group against the Nazi party. By using a secret service, the young people initiated and spread a campaign against Hitler.
Consequently, they faced the demeaning law, which mercilessly passed a death sentence to shut them down. Analytically, the perpetrators of the white rose group express the theme of courage. Although Hitler had established a barbarous and oppressive regime, Sophie and her friends courageously endangered their lives for the sake of the nation.
Sophie, Hans, and their friends are young university students with a bright future ahead. On the other hand, Hitler is the most renowned vicious leader in the world. During his rule, he did not hesitate to kill his opponents whether it was lawful or not. He had silenced all the people who were against his rule.
Therefore, the society did not expect remarkably young people to stand against him. Hitler’s dictatorship inspired the young minds to form a resistance group against his regime. Clearly, the group had the courage because they were not only sacrificing their lives but also their future.
For instance, Hans as a member of the Nazi youth decide to form an opposition group within people who are loyal to the regime. If his colleagues had reported him to the authority as a traitor, then he would have faced treason charges. Despite knowing the risks involved, he selflessly resists Hitler’s laws amid his loyal supporters. Nazi spies were everywhere; therefore, everybody had to weigh his or her words adequately before speaking.
Hitler’s racial discrimination and brutality against the Jews sparked Hans and his friends to oppose the Nazi party openly. First, the group resorted to passing messages using leaflets. The leaflets called for the Germany people to rise fearlessly against Hitler to gain their freedom and lost glory. Knowing of the impending danger, they supplied the leaflets in public places like telephone booths, mailed them to their professors, students, and to other universities (Dumbach and Newborn150).
Surprisingly, spies and collaborators of the regime were all over the country to impound anybody who looked suspicious. Besides, their lives they were also putting their careers in jeopardy because they forfeited their studies to concentrate on the political and social welfare of the German citizens. Secondly, the process of writing, composing and distributing the leaflets was both tedious and dangerous. Acquisition of many postage stamps, printing papers and envelopes was risky.
Distributing the leaflets in other towns was challenging because of the tight security in the transport systems. The police officer frisked every passenger checking his or her luggage. The young officers concentrated on young men, especially those who qualified as military officers, so Hans, and most of his male friends, risked arrest every time they transported the leaflets to other towns. Intellectually, they used female members to distribute the leaflets.
`Thirdly, the content of the leaflets openly condemned Hitler’s regime. For example, part of the fourth leaflet read, “We shall not be silent – we are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace” (Dumbach and Newborn 200), which showed their solidarity in fighting inhumanity. Sophie and Hans’ decision to distribute openly the leaflets within the university led to their capture. The lack of fear from the members of the white rose was clear.
While some of the students demonstrated on the university streets, others had the courage to face senior personalities in the institution like the president. Authentically, the courage of the white rose group members originated from sympathy especially for the Germans. Most of the citizens’ experienced forced labor incurred ruthless whipping or lost their harvest due to dictatorship. Instead of the students enduring the sufferings, they single-handedly called for mass action against Hitler, which was an outrageous step to take.
Finally, Sophie and Hans were the first people to face the Nazi laws followed by Schmorell, Graf, and Huber. Consequently, the judges sentenced them to death for distributing leaflets against the Nazi regime.
Stunningly Huber did not have sympathy for himself because before execution he called for the freedom of the German people. Similarly, Sophie and her brother fearlessly accepted their fate putting on heroic face before going to the guillotine. In brief, courage, selfless and sacrifice are the virtues Sophie and the members of the white rose instilled in the contemporary society.
Critically, Dumbach and Newborn’s book draws some weaknesses and flaws because the authors do not mind the sensitive nature of the topic. The book can lead to emotional and psychological imbalance in a person who has not experienced or heard high level of cruelty. The authors give a vivid description of the execution of the anti-Nazi perpetrators.
Secondly, the authors should have enlightened the reader or the audience that the details of the book may draw some tears especially among emotional people. Thirdly, the title of the book gives more emphasis to Sophie, yet the main coordinator of the resistance group is Hans.
Therefore, as the only woman in the group the authors give more attention to her, which seems as gender biasness. Finally, although the book is an inspiration for students to fight for their rights, it may also motivate them to form unlawful groups to resist against the authorities. Students especially those in Universities may use the contents to plan and hold strikes in their institution, eventually disrupting peace and unity in the country.
In summary, Dumbach and Newborn’s book is an inspiration book, which enlightens the current generation on ways in, which Hitler promoted his dictatorship. Highlighting the theme of courage, the authors display ways in which the youths use to enhance exemplary leadership and freedom in their country.
Sophie, Hans, and their friends give up their bright future to pursue politics, which leads to their death. They forego their education and bravely caution people against obeying Hitler, yet he was the cruelest leader ever on earth. They had the option to suffer silently in the hands of the regime until the nature takes it course. Although the book, has received support from the audience as the best because of its inspirational nature, there are some weaknesses.
Besides, leading to emotional breakdown, the book might also motivate university/college students to form secret groups against leadership. Finally, the authors focus on Sophie yet the members of the white rose group were more than one. According to the members of the White rose social freedom is inevitable hence, “long live freedom” (Dumbach and Newborn 240).
Dumbach, Annette, and Jud Newborn. Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. United Kingdom: Oneworld Publishers, 2006.