The Sophie Scholl and the White Rose was a book written by Annete Dumbach and Jud Newborn. It is a well researched and presented book that account for the honor and bravery that was shown by young German students and their philosophy professor. These students were up against Nazism and the Nationalist Socialist movement. This was during the Second World War. The group was involved in the distribution of leaflets that encouraged people to oppose the regime of Adolf Hitler.
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The leaflets campaign was from June 1942 to February 1943. Unfortunately, the six core members of the group were apprehended by the German police and arrested. In 1943, these members faced execution by decapitation. For instance, in 1945, there was the prosecution of one of the key members of the group. Hans Conrad Leipelt was executed for having participated in the distribution of Leaflet 6 in the town of Hamburg, Germany.
The main theme in the book is the fight against oppression. In the book, we see students trying to come up with strategies that could end the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. This period marked the darkest days in Europe. Most of the oppression was seen during the deportation of the Jews in 1942. When the Jews were deported, Hans, Jurgen, Sophie and Alexander decided to do something about the oppression of the Nazi regime.
They decided to buy a typewriter and a duplicating machine. Hans and Alex wrote the first leaflet bearing the heading, “Leaflets of The White Rose. As members of The White Rose, the four did work hard, day and night, in secrecy. They produced thousands of leaflets from unknown locations in Germany. These leaflets were send to scholars and medics. In order to divert attention from their activities, Sophie used to buy stamps, as well as paper from different locations.
In the book, the theme of oppression is shown when people who are against the tyranny in the country are arrested and executed. A typical example is Sophie Scholl who is executed for her stand against Jewish deportation. Here, we see her being arrested, interrogated, imprisoned, tried and executed by the government.
Additionally, the arrest, trial and execution of Christoph Probst and Hans show the oppression that was going on at that time. The killing of more than 100,000 people in Germany showed that there was oppression. The Nazis killed mainly the handicapped, as well as the ones with generic disorders. To the Nazis, people with generic disorders were degenerates and were, therefore, not worthy living.
The major weakness of the book is that it has concentrated so much on only one character at the expense of others. The character, Sophie Scholl, takes a central part of the book despite there being other main character. For instance, her brother Hans also plays a critical role in the fight against Nazi. However, most attention in the book focuses on Sophie.
For instance, after they were done with printing the leaflets, no one was ready to do the distribution. Thereafter, we see Hans accepting to do the distribution and he was ready to take responsibility. Sophie only comes in assist in the distribution of leaflets.
The best quote that sums up this work is “I am, now as before, of the opinion that I did the best that I could do for my nation. I therefore do not regret my conduct and will bear the consequences that result from my conduct”. This shows how the students were willing to sacrifice for the good of the country. They were ready to take responsibility of whatever they did, as well as what authorities could say.
Dumbach, Annette, & Newborn, Jud. Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. New York: Oneworld Publications, 2007. Print.