We are delighted to announce a new book on the White Rose: Defying Hitler – The White Rose Pamphlets by Alexandra Lloyd. The book was published on 18 February 2022 by Bodleian Library Publishing.
The White Rose (‘die Weiße Rose’) resistance circle were a group of students and a Professor at the University of Munich who, in the early 1940s, secretly wrote and distributed anti-Nazi pamphlets. At its broadest, the White Rose incorporated a wide network of individuals. At its heart were five students and an academic in Munich who were executed for their part in it: Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf, and Professor Kurt Huber.
Defying Hitler outlines the story of the group and sets their resistance texts within their political and historical context. A series of brief biographical sketches, including excerpts from their letters, trace the members’ journey to take action against the National Socialist state.
The story of the White Rose is best told through the voices of the participants, in the pamphlets they wrote, printed, and distributed, and in their private letters and diaries, many of which are published here for the first time in English. It emphasises a crucial aspect of the White Rose: its collaborative nature. The pamphlet campaign was the result of small friendship groups connecting over time, of individuals reaching out to others, sounding them out with the utmost caution, assessing their safety and reliability. Each individual brought something different to the endeavour.
‘Reading their letters and diaries we are confronted with deeply thoughtful and serious individuals, extremely well-read, intelligent and reflective. At the same time, they had a lust for life and for exchange with others. They were joyful, they took pleasure in shared experiences, in the natural world, in evenings with friends at concerts, choir practice, or having drinks in a bar. They were, in essence, quite ‘ordinary’ people who did extraordinary things.’ Alexandra Lloyd, from the Overview.
The White Rose resistance pamphlets are included in full in the book, newly translated by students at the University of Oxford. These translations were undertaken collaboratively (as were the original pamphlets), and are the result of work by undergraduates around the same age as the original student authors, working together on texts, ideas, and issues.
The story of the White Rose resistance circle is a timely and hope-filled reminder of the ways in which conscience and moral courage can lead to action that challenges injustice.
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