(Review) The White Rose Resists: A Novel of the German Students Who Defied Hitler by Amanda Barratt

Publisher and Publication Date: Kregel. May 26, 2020.
Genre: Christian historical fiction.
Pages: 336.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers of the underground movement during World War II.
Rating: Excellent.

Amazon link

In German: Weiße Rose.

Christian fiction can be undeveloped in areas and this is a negative for some readers. This is the first thing I want to mention, because a reader may see this book and realize it’s Christian fiction and immediately dismiss it. Please give this book a chance. It does not have a thinly veiled storyline and plot. If you know the history about the White Rose underground/resistance movement in Germany during World War II, then you know how the story ends for several of the people involved. Instead, the people involved in the White Rose is the focus of their story. How they came to know one another? How they became willing to sacrifice their young lives for the cause? How they interacted with one another and the deep relationships that developed? All these questions are answered in this beautiful and moving story.

Several other books have been written. One of them I’ve read, Long Live Freedom! Traute Lafrenz and the White Rose by Peter Normann Waage. The link is for my review at Goodreads.

Other books on this subject (links to Goodreads):
A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Revolt Against Hitler by Richard Hanser
The White Rose Munich 1942-1943 by Inge Scholl, Dorothee Solle, Inge Aicher-Scholl
At the Heart of the White Rose, Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl by Hans and Sophie Scholl, Inge Jens, J. Maxwell Brownjohn
Sophie Scholl and the White Rose by Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn
We will Not Be Silent, The White Rose by Russell Freedman
Defying Hitler: The Germans Who Resisted Nazi Rule by Gordon Thomas and Greg Lewis
An Honorable Defeat: The History of German Resistance to Hitler 1933-1945 by Anton Gill
Alexander Schmorell: Saint of the German Resistance by Elena Perekrestov
The Short Life of Sophie Scholl by Hermann Vinke and Hedwig Pachter

Additional links of interest:
The Holocaust Encyclopedia
Jewish Virtual Library
National World War II Museum

Monument to the White Rose at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Several students at the University of Munich work together in secret to create pamphlets that are distributed to the public. These pamphlets describe a movement of people rising up against Hitler’s ideology. They condemn Hitler and all people who act inhumane, oppressive, and violent.

My Thoughts:
~Beautiful and enticing front cover.
~Great opening sentence: “My future is waiting, a spark in the distance burning steadily brighter as the train approaches the city.”
~The Scholl family is independent-minded and intelligent. This gave the brother and sister team an edge from other young people. Amanda Barratt gave a solid view of the Scholl family that is convincing, necessary, and believable.
~Strong descriptions. I love the descriptions of two mothers. One smells like “fresh bread and soap.” The other has skin smelling “like faded lavender.” It’s in the olfactory of sense that the young women feel a comfort.
~I easily visualized the young people. Whether it was a young man who smoked a pipe or cigarettes, or a change in how the girls wear their hair after attending the university. The students transition from children to young adults in a short period of time.
~After a young man shares what he witnessed, the group began to make plans to actively rise up against Hitler’s regime. They will not just talk among themselves in secret but actively do something. This created for me the building up of their courage and resistance. It is also a pivotal point in their lives and the story. This leads to my favorite reason for loving this book: it captures the characters unique calling.
~A second favorite reason for loving this book is the special bond-perfect unity-strong connection in the group. This wasn’t an average type group of friends who hung out together, but a special group of people. I kept thinking about a verse from the book of Esther: “…for such a time as this.”
~Lastly, the book showed me the group understood (as best they could) the tragic and unfair loss of their young lives.

Scripture reference from Bible Gateway.


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