Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Mar 28th, 2019

The main theme in the story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose is resistance and oppression. The book revolves around the German resistance to the Third Reich, a military body used by Hitler to carry out his atrocities against the Jews and the German people.

The story follows the lives of five young German students who in 1942, together with a University of Munich professor mounted a campaign against Hitler rule. By doing so, they risked being tortured and killed by the Gestapo, but this did not deter their resolve to fight the atrocities being committed by Hitler’s regime.

Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans initially supported the Hitler’s rule and were former Youth leaders for the Hitler Youth wing. After seeing, the atrocities being committed by the government they decide to form a resistance group that tried to have the German people revolt against Hitler rule.

The White Rose group rose and protested in the name of the principles Hitler tried hard to kill. In their protest, they issued six leaflets that called for the Germans to rise and face up to the atrocities that were being committed by the Nazi regime. In the first leaflet, they pointed out the reasons why the people should rise against the government.

They wrote, “Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized 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” (Dumbach and Newborn 186).

In the ensuing leaflets, they continued their campaigns against the regime until February 18, 1943 when Hans and Sophie were arrested while distributing the sixth leaflet on campus. The sixth and last leaflet was written by their philosophy professor, Dr. Kurt Huber.

While distributing the leaflets a janitor in the school saw Hans and his sister Scholl and called the Gestapo. Hans and Scholl in an attempt to protect their friends claimed responsibility for the leaflets and were taken into custody. Another member of the group, Christoph Probst was arrested and the three were tried after four days in custody.

The three were summoned in front of a people’s court convicted and then beheaded. The authors are able to portray oppression in the Nazi regime when they write of the ensuing beheading of Hans. In his last words, before the knife of the guillotine is released, Hans screams “Long Live Freedom!” (Dumbach and Newborn 161). This showed the oppression being suffered by the people and Hans death was an inspiration to many to rise and fight against the regime.

After the death of Hans, the authors continue to tell of the rise of various revolution groups including a group of people in Hamburg who were inspired by the leaflets. From the beginning to the end of the book, the story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose is thrilling and the authors are able to capture the oppressions and revolution that took place during the Nazi regime.

The major falling of the book is that the authors rely heavily on the accounts of Scholl and Hans. They depend on the accounts of Hans and Sophie Scholl and the letters they wrote. The story is given on the accounts of this letters and, therefore, there is no verification on the reliability of the information.

The quote that sums up the book is the words uttered by Sophie Scholl during her trial, “Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare to express themselves as we did” (Dumbach and Newborn 157). The quote sums up the book in that it shows that the people had realized the oppressions caused by the regime and marked the start of resistance against the oppression.

Works Cited

Dumbach, Annette and Jud, Newborn. Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. Oxford: One world, 2007. Print.




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