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Instructive, sobering realities from German history, 1943 White Rose, the student-led German resistance movement which started in Munich in 1943
Dear Friends: This is a precious, highly instructive piece, written by courageous Germans who spoke out against Nazi tyranny and paid in short order with their lives. Thanks to all who have copied and forwarded it. Please forward on, far and wide.
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 20:52:07 -0600
Subject: Instructive, but sobering realities from German history, 1943
Friends, I was sent information on the White Rose, the student-led German resistance movement which started in Munich in 1943, started when it became obvious that no other German citizens were doing anything significant to stop fascism. The White Rose printed 7 leaflets exposing the tyrannical power of their militaristic and nationalistic regime and thus they became the target of the anti-terrorism units of the Nazis for those illegal acts of treason against flag, Volk und Fuhrer.
After their brief existance (they only lasted for about 8 months, but their important story deservedly keeps experiencing resurrection), these courageous idealists were captured and executed, beheaded by guillotine in a brief secret "military justice-type" trial.
Below are a few excerpts from two of the leaflets, which every freedom-loving world citizen should read carefully and prayerfully. The entire story can be accessed at: https://web.archive.org/web/20050228221512/http://www.jlrweb.com/whiterose/. I highly recommend that you read the whole thing and then judiciously pass on this information (at least the website) to others (maybe requesting anonymity in doing so--or is that irrational paranoia in this land of the free and the home of the brave?).
Leaflets of The White Rose -- Excerpts from the Second and Third Leaflets
It is impossible to engage in intellectual discourse with National Socialist Philosophy... At it's very inception this movement depended on the deception and betrayal of one's fellow man; even at that time it was inwardly corrupt and could support itself only by constant lies. After all, Hitler states in an early edition of "his" book (a book written in the worst German I have ever read, in spite of the fact that it has been elevated to the position of the Bible in this nation of poets and thinkers): "It is unbelievable, to what extent one must betray a people in order to rule it."
If at the start this cancerous growth in the nation was not particularly noticeable, it was only because there were still enough forces at work that operated for the good, so that it was kept under control. As it grew larger, however, and finally in an ultimate spurt of growth attained ruling power, the tumor broke open, as it were, and infected the whole body. The greater part of its former opponents went into hiding. The German intellectuals fled to their cellars, there, like plants struggling in the dark, away from light and sun, gradually to choke to death. Now the end is at hand.
Why do German people behave so apathetically in the face of all these abominable crimes, crimes so unworthy of the human race? Hardly anyone thinks about that. It is accepted as fact and put out of mind. The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals; they give them the opportunity to carry on their depredations; and of course they do so. Is this a sign that the Germans are brutalized in their simplest human feelings, that no chord within them cries out at the sight of such deeds, that they have sunk into a fatal consciencelessness from which they will never, never awake? It seems to be so, and will certainly be so, if the German does not at last start up out of his stupor, if he does not protest wherever and whenever he can against this clique of criminals, if he shows no sympathy for these hundreds of thousands of victims (exterminated Polish Jews). He must evidence not only sympathy; no, much more: a sense of complicity in guilt. For through his apathetic behavior he gives these evil men the opportunity to act as they do; he tolerates this "government" which has taken upon itself such an infinitely great burden of guilt; indeed, he himself is to blame for the fact that it came about at all! Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty! It is not too late, however, to do away with this most reprehensible of all miscarriages of government, so as to avoid being burdened with even greater guilt.
Now our eyes have been opened, when we know exactly who our adversary is, it is high time to root out this brown horde. Up until the outbreak of the war the larger part of the German people was blinded; the Nazis did not show themselves in their true aspect.
But our present "state" is the dictatorship of evil. "Oh, we've known that for a long time," I hear you object, "and it isn't necessary to bring that to our attention again." But, I ask you, if you know that, why do you not bestir yourselves, why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanized state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right - or rather, your moral duty - to eliminate this system? But if a man no longer can summon the strength to demand his right, then it is absolutely certain that he will perish. We would deserve to be dispersed through the earth like dust before the wind if we do not muster our powers at this late hour and finally find the courage which up to now we have lacked. Do not hide your cowardice behind a cloak of expediency, for with every new day that you hesitate, failing to oppose this offspring of Hell, your guilt, as in a parabolic curve, grows higher and higher.
At all points we must oppose National Socialism. We must soon bring this monster of a state to an end. A victory of fascist Germany in this war would have immeasurable, frightful consequences. The military victory over Bolshevism dare not become the primary concern of the Germans.
A quote from Aristotle, from his Politics: "... and further, it is part [of the nature of tyranny] to strive to see to it that nothing is kept hidden of that which any subject says or does, but that everywhere he will be spied upon, ... and further, to set man against the privileged and the wealthy. Also it is part of these tyrannical measures, to keep the subjects poor, in order to pay the guards and soldiers, and so that they will be occupied with earning their livelihood and will have neither leisure nor opportunity to engage in conspiratorial acts.... Further, [to levy] such taxes on income as were imposed in Syracuse, for under Dionysius the citizens gladly paid out their whole fortunes in taxes within five years. Also, the tyrant is inclined constantly to foment wars."