Thursday 23 August 2018

Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Resistance to the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky - CTS 20th Century Martyrs

Sophie Scholl and the White Rose
Resistance to the Nazis 
CTS 20th Century Martyrs
Helena Scott
Ethel Tolansky
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781860827662

I have bene slowly working my way through the CTS books by Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky. With a little assistance I have been able to track down all eight book the two cowrote for Catholic Truth Society. Five of the books are part of the CTS Biographies series. And this and one other are part of the CTS Twentieth Century Martyrs series. I truly believe that reading books about our past are important, even if those books are hard reads. And this book is a hard read. When we read books about people like Edith Stein, Etty Hillesum, Anne Frank, and now Sophie Scholl we know the end of the story. This book starts slow but once the pace starts picking up it moves at breakneck speeds. The chapters in this volume are:

The Formidable Trial
Germany's Third Reich
School Family Life in Nazi Germany
Defiance Against the Regime
Sophie Scholl - The Thoughtful Years
Members of the White Rose
White Rose leaflets
The Second and Riskiest Phase
Last leaflet: Invoking Students
Final Days and Interrogations
Execution and Aftermath

Sophie did not look her 21 years when she died on February 22nd, 1943, but she was committed to her faith, and to the work opposing the Nazis she was involved with. The White Rose was started by her brother and as soon as she realized his involvement she was committed to the work they were doing. These young people saw the injustice of the Nazi movement and worked to stir the conscience of their fellow country men. They died for writing and distributing pamphlets. The three, Sophie her brother Hans and their friend Christoph were tried and beheaded for their efforts. To read about their bravery and courage knowing the risk they were taking is a challenge to our own faith. How can we read stories like this one and not be inspired and move to live out faith more. 

Once Sophie was arrested her courage and strength seems to grow even more. She insisted she receive the same sentence as her brother. And did everything she could to shield other members of the movement. Her interrogator, Mohr tried all he could to convince her to change her story, he seems to have tried everything to spare her life. But he realized the Depth of her convictions. When Mohr asked her is she thought she had committed a crime she stated:

"From my point of view, no. I believe I have done my best for the nation. I do not regret my conduct. I wish to fully accept the consequences of my actions."

She could not be converted to national Socialism. And She paid the ultimate price for her convictions. We are told in the book that:

"Today there are over 190 schools in Germany named after Sophie Scholl, as well as many streets and squares."

But after reading this book I am sure should would rather that peoples hearts are inspired and their lived transformed buy the same Holy Spirit that fortified her.

This book is the first about a 20th Century Martyr from CTS that I have read, but I will be tracking down more. This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.
(Picture from less than a year before her death.)

Books by Scott and Tolansky:
Pius XII
Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
Benedict XVI

Josemaria Escriva
Alvaro Del Portillo

A Pope of Surprises: The First Five Years of Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy
Sophie Scholl and The White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis
Johann Gruber and Jacques Bunel: Victims of the Nazis

Author profile and interview with Helena Scott.

Books in the 20th Century Martyrs Series:
Sophie Scholl and the White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Johann Gruber & Jacques Bunel Victims of the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Maximilian Kolbe, F. Jagerstatter, K. Leisner, R. Mayer: Victims of the Nazis - Franz Jagerstatter
Edith Stein, Marcel Callo, Titus Brandsma: Victims of the Nazis – Matthew Monk
Saint Maria Goretti: Teenage Martyr for Chastity - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
The Atlas Martyrs – Jean Olwen Maynard

Jerzy Popieluszko Victim of Communism - Grazyna Sikorski
Isidore Bankanja - Jean Maynard

Gianna Molla - Jean Olwen Maynard

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