OPINION – They weren’t really extremists. But only those who know their story understand why.
Sophie came of age in 1930’s Germany. Like all youth her age, she joined the national youth organization. Her schooling was to serve the purposes of the Fatherland.
Sophie was training to become a nurse. Her brother Hans was an army officer training to be a physician.
They loved their country.
But one day a friend, who served as a nurse in a local hospital, told them what had happened to the children she attended.
The children were mentally disabled. One day they were loaded onto buses and taken away.
When the children asked where they were going, they were told, “To heaven.” And they sang as the bus took them away to their deaths.
Sophie, her brother, and a core group of friends founded the White Rose Society to speak out against these atrocities. They knew full well that their dissent would place them in danger. The narrow range of allowable debate was ruthlessly enforced.
In great secrecy, they distributed leaflets urging their fellow Germans to recognize the great evil being done in their names.
They called upon as many as would listen to resist the tyranny tightening upon their nation like a python. They pleaded for their countrymen to stop supporting what had become a murderous regime.
They became the national conscience that too many Germans had chosen to ignore until it was too late to speak freely. They were caught, denounced as traitors, tried, and executed within days.
“Somebody had to make a start,” Sophie said at the trial.
She knew that other Germans believed as the White Rose did that something in their nation was terribly wrong. They simply didn’t dare to speak up.
I wonder which side of history we would have stood on then. I wonder which side of history we’ll stand on today.
Our government is not liquidating undesirable segments of the populace, but it continues taking ominous steps toward total control.
Perpetual war, warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, kill lists, and a growing police state confirm this trend.
Speaking out is not yet considered treason, but it still carries a cost that few wish to pay. Those who notice things they’re not supposed to see are labeled as conspiracy theorists. Those who call for resistance to tyrannical laws are smeared as seditionists.
Will Americans wake up while there’s still time? I pray that they do.
I’ve grown used to being called an extremist and accused of hating my country. Like Mike Vanderboegh, I’d rather be despised by the despicable than admired by the admirable.
I write to provide intellectual and moral ammunition for those whose moral compasses remain true — for those who comprehend and dare to stand for correct principles.
I write for the benefit of those who do not wish to see America make the same kind of mistakes that 1930s Germany did.
I write for those who love their country enough to speak out before it is no longer safe to do so.
I write for those who understand that freedom matters.
Sophie Scholl and other members of the White Rose exemplified the courage needed in our day.
They were executed as traitors. But Germans today recognize that the White Rose was the best that remained of their society during those dark years. The sacrifice of the White Rose was not a worthless gesture.
Their example is proof that our best efforts to preserve liberty are never in vain.
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