Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: At The Heart of the White Rose by Inge Jens

Title: At The Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl
Author: Inge Jens
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 331
Rating: 5/5 Stars

If you're looking for a book that delves into the resistance activities of the White Rose in Germany during WWII, this is not the book for you. If you're looking to know more about Hans and Sophie Scholl, the siblings who died together for their beliefs, this book is perfect.

The collection of letters and diaries are in the Scholl sibling's own words and depict two like-minded individuals who believed above all in the beauty of Nature and strove to forge a relationship with God.

Despite the fact that everyday, Hans and Sophie were faced with atrocities that flew in the face of Nature and the God they so desperately longed to know, they maintained their faith. They believed that the German people, and humanity as a whole, deserved better than Hitler and the Nazi regime.

What I loved most about this book was the unabashed honesty with which Hans and Sophie expressed themselves. Whether in a diary entry for no eyes but their own or in a letter to their parents, the Scholls expressed their frustrations, joys, fears and longings with incredible candor that I found humbling. As I reached the entries just before Hans and Sophie's arrest, I was teary-eyed because I knew with each dated entry that their demise was imminent.

The book is set up very well, switching between Hans and Sophie in chronological fashion. Jens includes copious notes to give the reader additional information that fleshes out the world Hans and Sophie lived in, as well as the people in their lives. On its own, this book isn't enough to satisfy my curiosity about the White Rose, but it's a wonderful companion to other books on the topic. Hans and Sophie Scholl were amazing and inspirational and I've learned a great deal about myself having read their thoughts and feelings.

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