Last modified on 2 November 2014, at 02:35

White Rose

Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct...

Die Weiße Rose [The White Rose] was a German resistance group whose members were imprisoned and executed during Hitler's reign for creating and distributing anti-Nazi leaflets.

See also:
Sophie Scholl

LeafletsEdit

It is impossible to engage in intellectual discourse with National Socialist Philosophy … At its very inception this movement depended on the deception and betrayal of one's fellow man; even at that time it was inwardly corrupt and could support itself only by constant lies.
  • Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. 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?
  • 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 recognised them for what they are, it must be the sole and first duty, the holiest duty of every German to destroy these beasts.
  • It is impossible to engage in intellectual discourse with National Socialist Philosophy, for if there were such an entity, one would have to try by means of analysis and discussion either to prove its validity or to combat it. In actuality, however, we face a totally different situation. At its very inception this movement depended on the deception and betrayal of one's fellow man; even at that time it was inwardly corrupt and could support itself only by constant lies.
    • Second leaflet
Many, perhaps most, of the readers of these leaflets do not see clearly how they can practice an effective opposition. They do not see any avenues open to them. We want to try to show them that everyone is in a position to contribute to the overthrow of this system.
  • Many, perhaps most, of the readers of these leaflets do not see clearly how they can practice an effective opposition. They do not see any avenues open to them. We want to try to show them that everyone is in a position to contribute to the overthrow of this system.
  • 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. True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but whoever today still doubts the reality, the existence of demonic powers, has failed by a wide margin to understand the metaphysical background of this war.
  • Though we know that National Socialist power must be broken by military means, we are trying to achieve a renewal from within of the severely wounded German spirit. This rebirth must be preceded, however, by the clear recognition of all the guilt with which the German people have burdened themselves, and by an uncompromising battle against Hitler and his all too many minions, party members, Quislings, and the like. With total brutality the chasm that separates the better portion of the nation from everything that is opened wide. For Hitler and his followers there is no punishment on this Earth commensurate with their crimes. 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.
    • Fourth Leaflet
  • Wir schweigen nicht, wir sind Euer böses Gewissen; die Weiße Rose läßt Euch keine Ruhe!
    • We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!
      • Fourth Leaflet
  • Der imperialistische Machtgedanke muß, von welcher Seite er auch kommen möge, für alle Zeit unschädlich gemacht werden.
    • The imperialist ideology of force, from whatever side it comes, must be shattered for all time.
  • Freedom and honour! For ten long years Hitler and his coadjutor have manhandled, squeezed, twisted, and debased these two splendid German words to the point of nausea, as only dilettantes can, casting the highest values of a nation before swine. They have sufficiently demonstrated in the ten years of destruction of all material and intellectual freedom, of all moral substance among the German people, what they understand by freedom and honour. The frightful bloodbath has opened the eyes of even the stupidest German — it is a slaughter which they arranged in the name of "freedom and honour of the German nation" throughout Europe, and which they daily start anew.
  • 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!
    • Variant translation: Our People stand shocked in front of the downfall of the men of Stalingrad. Three hundred thousand men were hounded into death and doom without sense or responsibility by the work of the world-war private. Führer, we thank you!
    • Sixth leaflet

Quotes about the White RoseEdit

Nearly all their peers were completely won over by the Führer, whereas Hans and Sophie had other, higher expectations of human nature, not shared by their comrades, against which they could measure Hitler. ~ Alice Miller
Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did. ~ Sophie Scholl
  • It is possibly the most spectacular moment of resistance that I can think of in the 20th Century... The fact that five little kids, in the mouth of the wolf, where it really counted, had the tremendous courage to do what they did, is spectacular to me. I know that the world is better for them having been there, but I don't know why.
  • Of course, the terrible things I heard from the Nuremberg Trials, about the six million Jews and the people from other races who were killed, were facts that shocked me deeply. But I wasn't able to see the connection with my own past. I was satisfied that I wasn't personally to blame and that I hadn't known about those things. I wasn't aware of the extent. But one day I went past the memorial plaque which had been put up for Sophie Scholl in Franz Josef Strasse, and I saw that she was born the same year as me, and she was executed the same year I started working for Hitler. And at that moment I actually sensed that it was no excuse to be young, and that it would have been possible to find things out.
  • The tolerant and open atmosphere of their childhood had enabled them to see through Hitler's platitudes at the Nuremberg Rally, when the brother and sister were members of Nazi youth organizations. Nearly all their peers were completely won over by the Führer, whereas Hans and Sophie had other, higher expectations of human nature, not shared by their comrades, against which they could measure Hitler.
  • You can't really measure the effect of this kind of resistance in whether or not X number of bridges were blown up or a regime fell... The White Rose really has a more symbolic value, but that's a very important value.

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