The 75th Anniversary of the execution of Sophie and Hans Scholl, leaders of The White Rose, a youth anti-Nazi student organization raises the focus of the youth's inspiration they received from John Henry Newman's writings on conscience. Between June 1942 and February 1943, the White Rose produced and distributed six leaflets urging others to nonviolent resistance against the Nazi regime.
George Weigel shares his insights on how the youth in 1940's Germany gained strength to resist the Third Reich and it's unthinkable movement.
"The garish brutality of the Nazis, not least at its Nuremberg party rallies, was a first hint to serious young people that something was wrong here. The White Rose youngsters were also thinkers, and studied Socrates, Plato, and Pascal under the tutelage of Kurt Huber, a philosophy professor who despised the Hitler regime. The leaflets that were their primary resistance tool included references to Goethe, Aristotle, Schiller, and Lao Tzu—further signs of deep and broad reading.
The fourth pamphlet made a promise: “We will not be silent. We are your bad consciences. The White Rose will not leave you in peace.” And therein lies a clue to another inspiration for the Scholls and their friends: John Henry Newman and his writings on conscience."
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