The White Rose

My family has the strange habit of buying books whenever possible, so sometime in 1984 or so I read the 1983 edition of The White Rose: Munich, 1942-1943 (1952). What you do doesn’t need to be large or dramatic; everyone can do something.

Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and a handful of others started and led the White Rose. On Thursday, February 18, 1943, they were arrested by the Gestapo, and executed on the following Monday. She was 21. The day before her arrest, she wrote a friend:

I’ve just been playing the Trout Quintet on the phonograph. Listening to the andantino makes me want to be a trout myself. You can’t help rejoicing and laughing, however moved or sad at heart you feel, when you see the springtime clouds in the sky and the budding branches sway, stirred by the wind, in the bright young sunlight. I’m so much looking forward to the spring again. In that piece of Schubert’s you can positively feel and smell the breezes and scents and hear the birds and the whole of creation cry out for joy. And when the piano repeats the theme like cool, clear, sparkling water – oh, it’s sheer enchantment.

Sophie Scholl, to Lisa Remppis, Munich, February 17, 1943
(At the Heart of the White Rose, Inge Jens, ed., J. Maxwell Brownjohn, trans.)

Franz Schubert, Quintet in A Major, Op. 114 “Trout”