Would the White Rose Blossom Today?

A Question for the People of Germany

Monument to Hans and Sophie Scholl: the White Rose in Munich.

Largely unknown outside of Germany, but very highly regarded within it, are the members of the White Rose resistance movement of the early 1940s. They were one of the very few movements who opposed the Nazis either philosophically or politically. In 1942 and 1943, they distributed six leaflets calling on Germans to resist the Nazis in any way possible. The most famous of the White Rose are Hans and Sophie Scholl.*

Among younger Germans, they are the most highly regarded Germans of all time. One hundred ninety schools are named after Sophie alone. She is Germany’s Woman of the Century.

Why this esteem? Why this honor? Do Germans today likewise stand against injustice and for freedom of religion and conscience? They too must say that the conscience of the individual must guide him or her — even against the law when it opposes conscience — for the conscience is the very echo of God within each man and woman. For this cause, the White Rose perished. Would it blossom today?

If Germans today do not stand for freedom of conscience, even against the intimidating power of the state itself, then why do they applaud the heroism of Sophie and Hans Scholl? If they believe their government has no higher authority to which it must answer concerning its laws and decrees, then they betray their true fatherhood and their true nature. They are unlike their heroes in the most fundamental way. Indeed, they are then no different in honoring the Scholls than the Scribes and Pharisees who honored the prophets and righteous men whom their fathers murdered.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, “If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers! (Matthew 23:29-32)

Let them face the test of conscience to see whether they stand with the righteous they honor or with the fathers who murdered them. Almost certainly the overwhelming majority of Germans today, young and old, will fail this test. They already have. Is there any possibility of change?

Sophie Scholl under arrest after distributing White Rose leaflets (scene from “Sophie Scholl – The Last Days).

Consider this dialogue taken from the Gestapo transcripts of the interrogation of Sophie Scholl shortly before her execution:

Sophie: So why do you want to punish us?

Interrogator: Because it’s the law. Without law there is no order.

Sophie: The law you’re referring to protected free speech before the Nazis came to power in 1933. Someone who speaks freely now is imprisoned or put to death. Is that order?

Interrogator: What can we rely on if not the law, no matter who wrote it?

Sophie: On your conscience.

Interrogator: Nonsense! Here is the law, and here are the people. As a criminologist, it is my duty to find out if they coincide, and if not… to find the rotten spot.

Sophie: The law changes; conscience doesn’t.

Interrogator: Why do you risk so much for false ideas?

Sophie: Because of my conscience.

Interrogator: You have to realize that a new age has dawned. What you’re saying has nothing to do with reality.

Sophie: Of course it has to do with reality — with decency, morals, and God.

Interrogator: God doesn’t exist.

{Interrogation scene from Sophie Scholl – The Last Days.}

Replace “free speech” with “child discipline” and “Nazis” with “Social Democrats” and “1933” with “2000” (when for the first time in German history child discipline by parents was outlawed) and you have exactly the same judgment to make:

should men and women obey the law when in their own judgment it goes against their conscience and violates their deeply held religious beliefs?

Your answer to that question determines, whether you like it or not, your answers to the following questions:

  • Is freedom of religion possible in Germany? (including the practice of what one believes)
  • Is freedom of education possible in a socialist state?
  • Is the state now our conscience, the sole arbiter of right and wrong?
  • Or to put it more simply, is there any basis at all for freedom in Germany?

The interrogation would go like this today:

Parent: So why do you want to punish us for disciplining our children?

Interrogator: Because it’s the law. Without law there’s no order.

Parent: The law you’re referring to protected parental authority before the Socialists came to power in 1998. Spanking was only outlawed in 2000. Someone who spanks his children now has them ripped away. Is that justice? Is that order?

Interrogator: What can we rely on if not the law, no matter who wrote it?

Parent: On your conscience.

Interrogator: Nonsense!

Parent: The law changes, conscience doesn’t.

Interrogator: Why do you risk so much, your very children, for such false ideas?

Parent: Because of my conscience.

Interrogator: You have to realize that a new age has dawned. What you’re saying has nothing to do with reality. You must renounce discipline if you ever hope to get your children back. You know that, don’t you?

Parent: Of course the love I have for my children, teaching them what I know is right, has to do with reality — with decency, morals, and God.

Interrogator: God doesn’t exist.

Does God exist? Or is the Gestapo Interrogator correct? He is dead, then. You decide. A prophet, one of your own, said, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. [He] has bled to death under our knives.” {Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125: The Madman, 1882.}

Did God really speak to the consciences of Sophie and Hans and the rest of the White Rose about the family, about freedom of speech, and of religion? Did they lay down their lives in that belief, to attenuate the guilt of their nation before the world? Maybe they shouldn’t have bothered.

So, do you really stand with Sophie Scholl and the White Rose movement, O German people? Or do you stand with your fathers who executed them? What do you say about parents who believe it is love to discipline their children for wrongdoing? Consider the opening words of Leaflet 4 from the White Rose about the normal, everyday wisdom of child discipline!

There is an ancient maxim that we repeat to our children: “He who won’t listen will have to feel.” (Wer nicht hören will, muss fühlen.)

{Text of Leaflet 4 is at http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/revolt/wrleaflets.html}

White Rose Leaflet 4, page 1

Maybe you would arrest Sophie and Hans Scholl today, as your fathers did! Your Jugendamt ripped our children out of their parents’ arms because they disciplined them. Did you applaud? If so, then that is your answer. The white rose of freedom is freezing to death.

Ponder the role of the family in civilization as seen by the brave souls of the White Rose. It precedes in time and in importance the state itself.

White Rose Leaflet 3, page 1

We must not forget that at the starting point of every civilization the state was already there in rudimentary form. The family is as old as man himself, and out of this initial bond man, endowed with reason, created for himself a state founded on justice, whose highest law was the common good. The state should exist as a parallel to the divine order, and the highest of all utopias, the civitas dei, is the model which in the end it should approximate. (Leaflet 3 – available at same site as Leaflet 4 above.)

Can a state, as seen by these visionaries, both model itself on the City of God and also outlaw His word, as Germany has done? It must outlaw the whole Bible, too! Do not stop at half measures, O Germany!

Are you one, then, who calls good evil and evil good, as Isaiah 5:20 prophesies of those who reject Proverbs 13:24?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently. (Proverbs 13:24)

No one who calls hatred love and love hatred will escape the just judgment of God.

A Final Word

A higher court judge in Germany recently wrote about the “Legal Aspects of Chastisement.” In it he quoted a letter from more than twenty years ago, one written by a Christian, a theologian, and a father of six. He was protesting, futilely it seems, the demise of fundamental spiritual and political rights. His focus: controlled chastisement of children by parents.

Whoever punishes every form of physical punishment without differentiation, evens out the profound pedagogical difference between child abuse and clear, child-rearing guidelines of controlled chastisement which are aimed at the welfare of the child and are not administered in anger. No one can argue that the Bible agrees with chastisement as long as it is done within measure and as long as it serves to raise a child lovingly. A state that forbids Christian parents all forms of physical discipline intrudes in a God-given, inalienable right, and restricts not only parental rights but also the freedom of religion that is protected by the German Constitution. {Friedrich, M. (pseudonym), Juristische Aspekte koeperlicher Zuechtigung, (Gemeindegründung Nr. 110, 2/12, p. 21-27), p. 22.}

It remains to be seen whether Germans will continue to forfeit what remains of their “God-given, inalienable rights.” Among these, certainly, are parental rights and freedom of religion. These rights, like almost all others, are principally lost through non-use, through not standing up for them: forfeiture.

State-controlled education is the most powerful influence persuading people that the State, not God, is the giver of rights. Permissions granted by the state are never inalienable.

This loss of rights and the view of God and man that stands behind them is a world-wide phenomena, by no means limited to Germany. An ignorant people can never be free, a famous American said long ago (Thomas Jefferson). Inculcating this ignorance concerning human rights is the very purpose of modern state-controlled education.** At stake is the future of freedom.

Who will tend the tender, fragile white rose of freedom?





*About Hans and Sophie: In a nation-wide competition to determine Germany’s best, people were asked to list the most important Germans of all time. If the votes of young viewers alone had been counted, Sophie and Hans Scholl would have been ranked first — before Einstein, Bach, Bismark, and Goethe. Several years earlier, readers of Brigitte, a German magazine for women, voted Scholl “the greatest woman of the twentieth century.” Wikipedia entry: “Sophie Scholl.”

**This is not limited to the gymnasium (high school), but extends to the highest levels of education and society in Germany. “Writings by legal authors who have written positively about spanking have not been distributed among universities or the court system.” (Friedrich, M. “Juristische Aspekte koeperlicher Zuechtigung”)

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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