Thursday, January 31, 2013

Episode 118, White Rose

What happens in a hard tyranny when a small group of people resist?

White Rose was a tiny resistance movement in Nazi Germany that began in June 1942. A small group of medical students at the University of Munich conspired to issue six anti-government leaflets over a brief period of nine months, urging readers to wake up and resist the regime.

Many other students and citizens silently cheered them on, but when they were caught in February 1943 and put to death (by guillotine!) days later, their movement was crushed as swiftly as it began. And as we know now, it had no lasting effect on the German populace, or on the Nazi regime, which continued until the country was overrun by the Russians from the East and the Americans and British from the West over two years later.

White Rose is a story about the rarity of dissent in Nazi Germany, and how ineffective it was against a well-established hard tyranny. The German people never escaped the regime until it was destroyed from the outside.

What's the lesson for us? It can only be this: Do not allow tyranny to gain a foothold in the first place. Rise up before it is too late.

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