It is always a delight any time I get to chat with or host Amanda Barratt & today I’m excited because she’s hear to talk about her new historical fiction that released yesterday – The White Rose Resists!
THE WHITE ROSE RESISTS
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2020
Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil
The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie Scholl in a maelstrom of patriotic fervor–that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler’s machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife’s edge of discovery by the Gestapo.
Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she’s been brought up to believe in the Führer’s divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda.
Soon Annalise joins their double life–students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they’re all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.
A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminates the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent-no matter the cost.
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Ordinary Heroes: The Story of the White Rose
by Amanda Barratt, author of The White Rose Resists
Author and scholar Joseph Campbell defines a hero as an ordinary human being who does “the best of things in the worst of times.” The greatest heroes aren’t those who mount a stage or boast a list of accolades and awards. Often the most extraordinary heroes journey through life unnoticed and unremembered. Their courage isn’t born out of a desire to be viewed as someone of note, rather it flows from a life spent quietly following their convictions and living for a purpose greater than themselves.
While researching and writing The White Rose Resists, I discovered many who personified Campbell’s description. Students whose unbridled courage held me in awe. Men and women who declared “Enough!” when faced with a world lulled by the rise of evil. The resistance of these lonely few earned them the title of traitors, but they left behind a legacy that resonates through generations to reach us today.
In the summer of 1942, Hans Scholl, a twenty-three-year-old medical student at Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University acted upon plans that had unfolded in his mind since the day his family discovered an anonymous leaflet in their mailbox—a copy of a sermon denouncing the Reich’s horrific euthanasia program. As a teenager, Hans had enthusiastically joined the Hitler Youth, rising to the rank of squad leader and earning the privilege of carrying a banner at the 1935 Nuremberg Rally. But the mind-numbing conformity and simmering of a deeper evil behind the speeches, marching, and cries of “Sieg Heil!” soon turned Hans against the regime with greater fervency than he’d ever felt when embracing it.
Working with his close friend, Alexander Schmorell—a fellow medical student who’d refused to take the oath of loyalty to Hitler at the beginning of his requisite military service—Hans drafted the first leaflet of the White Rose. As plans for leaflet production continued, Hans’s twenty-one-year-old sister, Sophie, arrived in Munich to begin her first semester at the university. Sophie knew firsthand the cost of opposing the regime. The Scholls’ father was awaiting trial and probable imprisonment for an unguarded anti-Hitler remark made in the hearing of his secretary. But when Sophie discovered her brother’s plans to write and distribute leaflets, she unflinchingly joined him. Motivated by her deep Christian faith and spurred by a desire to act, instead of merely feel, Sophie believed resistance was worth the risk. “We will not remain silent. We are your guilty conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!” formed the closing statements of the fourth leaflet, words lived out by the group’s members.
As months went on, the White Rose expanded to involve others, including Willi Graf, who’d taken a stand as a teenager when he wrote a list of all his friends and crossed out those who’d joined the Hitler Youth, never to associate with them again; Professor Kurt Huber, whose thinly veiled remarks against Nazism simmered beneath the surface of his philosophy lectures; and Christoph Probst, who was a husband, a father of two young sons, and a man whose values went against everything Nazism stood for.
Between June 1942 and February 1943, the group authored six leaflets and distributed thousands of copies across Germany and Austria. In the end, those six leaflets, fiery words filling sheets of cheap paper, led to the Gestapo extinguishing both the resistance of the White Rose…and the lives of many of its members. In the space of several months, the Nazis effectively eliminated the threat posed by this student-led dissidence. Or so they thought.
In the summer of 1945, a copy of the group’s sixth leaflet reached England. Bearing a new heading, Manifesto of the Munich Students, Allied aircraft dropped the leaflet over German cities by the tens of thousands. Today the White Rose is honored in Germany, with streets and schools named after the group’s members, including the square in front of Ludwig Maximilian University. In 2003, Hans and Sophie Scholl took fourth place (above Bach, Goethe, and Einstein) in a survey conducted by the German television channel ZDF, choosing the ten greatest Germans of all time.
But no member of the White Rose sought heroism or acclaim. Their aim can be summed up in words penned by Hans Scholl in 1941, “I’m weak and puny, but I want to do what is right.”
Determined to uphold human dignity, with quiet courage, the men and women of the White Rose did simply that.
Amanda Barratt is the ECPA best-selling author of over a dozen novels and novellas including The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler and My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader’s Choice Award finalist. She and her family live in northern Michigan. Connect with her at www.facebook.com/amandabarrattauthor and visit her at www.amandabarratt.net.
Amanda Barratt is offering a print copy of The White Rose Resists to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt? What interests you most about the heroes she mentioned in her post?