Back in 1942, a group called the White Rose Society issued a series of prophetic warnings to all humanity, warnings that fell on deaf ears and warnings that, in America’s failure to heed, have come back to haunt us and our children, possbily forever. Back in 1942, we were told exactly what was about to unfold in American society today and the warnings, to read now, are not only quite eerie but lead to a question that has to be asked: how could they have known? These men and women paid for this warning to us with their lives.
The White Rose (German: die Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. Thegroup became known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to dictator Adolf Hitler‘s regime.
The six most recognized members of the group were arrested by the Gestapo and beheaded in 1943. The text of their sixth leaflet was smuggled by Helmuth James Graf von Moltke out of Germany through Scandinavia to the United Kingdom, and in July 1943 copies of it were dropped over Germany by Allied planes, retitled “The Manifesto of the Students of Munich.”
Today, the members of the White Rose are honoured in Germany amongst its greatest heroes, since they opposed the Third Reich in the face of almost certain death. The first warning to Americans below.
The warnings of the White Rose Society to us, in America, today; this is the first pamphlet.:
Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be “governed” without opposition by an
irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is
ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will
befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes -
crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure – reach the light of day?
If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand,
frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order in history; if they surrender man’s highest principle,
that which raises him above all other God’s creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive
action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid
of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly
mass – then, yes, they deserve their downfall.
Goethe speaks of the Germans as a tragic people, like the Jews and the Greeks, but today it would
appear rather that they are a spineless, will-less herd of hangers-on, who now – the marrow sucked out of
their bones, robbed of their center of stability – are waiting to be hounded to their destruction. So it seems
- but it is not so. Rather, by means of a gradual, treacherous, systematic abuse, the system has put every
man into a spiritual prison. Only now, finding himself lying in fetters, has he become aware of his fate.
Only a few recognized the threat of ruin, and the reward for their heroic warning was death. We will have
more to say about the fate of these persons. If everyone waits until the other man makes a start, the
messengers of avenging Nemesis will come steadily closer; then even the last victim will have been cast
senselessly into the maw of the insatiable demon.
Therefore every individual, conscious of his responsibility as a member of Christian and Western
civilization, must defend himself against the scourges of mankind, against fascism and any similar system
of totalitarianism. Offer passive resistance - resistance - wherever you may be, forestall the spread of this
atheistic war machine before it is too late, before the last cities, like Cologne, have been reduced to
rubble, and before the nation’s last young man has given his blood on some battlefield for the hubris of a
sub-human. Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure.
I have not forgotten that every people gets the regime that we are willing to endure. That is why I shall fight on against fascism and tyranny until my very end…