IV. Leaflet of the White Rose

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Leaflets of the White Rose
IV

There is an ancient maxim that we repeat to our children: “He who won’t listen will have to feel.” But a smart child will not burn his fingers on a hot stove more than once.

In the past few weeks Hitler has chalked up successes both in Africa and in Russia. Consequently, optimism on the one hand and distress and pessimism on the other have grown within the German people with rapidity quite inconsistent with traditional German apathy. From all sides one has heard among Hitler’s opponents – the better segments of the population – lamentations, words of disappointment and discouragement, often ending with the question: “Will Hitler now after all…?”

Meanwhile the German attack on Egypt has ground to a halt. Rommel has to hold out in a dangerously exposed position – but the advance in the East is still proceeding. This apparent success has been purchased at the most horrible expense of human life, and so it can no longer be counted an advantage. Therefore we must warn against all optimism.

Who has counted the dead, Hitler or Goebbels? – certainly neither of them. In Russia thousands fall daily. It is the time of the harvest, and the reaper cuts into the ripe grain with broad strokes. Mourning is moving into our country cottages, and no one is there to dry the mothers’ tears. Yet Hitler is lying to those whose most precious possession he has stolen and driven to a meaningless death.

Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is accursed at bottom. True, we must conduct a struggle against the National Socialist terrorist state with rational means; but those who still doubt the existence of demonic powers have failed by far to understand the metaphysical background of this war. Behind the concrete, the perceptible events, behind all objective, logical considerations, we find the irrational element, i.e. the struggle against the demon, against the messenger of the Antichrist. Everywhere and at all times demons have been lurking in the dark, waiting for the moment when man is weak; when unauthorized he leaves his place in the order of creation, founded for him on freedom by God; when he yields to the force of evil, separates himself from the powers of a higher order; and after voluntarily taking the first step, he is driven on to the second and third at a furiously accelerating rate. Everywhere and at all times of greatest need, men have stood up, prophets and saints who cherished their freedom, who pointed to the One God and urged the people to a reversal of its downward course. Man is surely free, but without the true God he is defenceless against evil. He is a like rudderless ship, at the mercy of the storm, an infant without its mother, a cloud dissolving into thin air.

I ask you, you as a Christian struggling with the preservation of your greatest treasures, whether you hesitate, whether you incline toward intrigue or procrastination in the hope that someone else will take up arms in your defence? Has God not given you the strength, the courage to fight? We must attack evil where it is strongest, and it is strongest in the power of Hitler.

“So I turned and considered all the wrongs that were done under the sun: and behold there were the tears of such as were wronged, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was too much power, so they had no comforter. Wherefore I praised the dead who were already dead more than the living who were still alive…” (Dicta)

“True anarchy is the generative element of religion. Out of the annihilation of every positive element she lifts her gloriously radiant countenance as the founder of a new world… If Europe were about to awaken again, if a state of states, a teaching of political science were at hand! Should hierarchy then… be the principle of the union of states? Blood will stream over Europe until the nations become aware of the frightful madness which drives them in circles. And then, struck by celestial music and made gentle, they will approach their former altars together in a colourful mixture, undertake the works of peace, and hold a great celebration of peace with fervent tears on the smoking battlefields. Only religion can reawaken Europe, establish the rights of the peoples, and install Christianity in new splendour visibly on earth in its office as guarantor of peace.” Novalis

We wish emphatically to point out that the White Rose is not in the pay of any foreign power. Although we know that National Socialist power must be broken by military means, we are trying to achieve a renewal from within of the severely wounded German spirit. This rebirth must be preceded, however, by the clear recognition of all the guilt with which the German people has burdened itself, and by an uncompromising battle against Hitler and his all too many accomplices, party members, quislings, and the like. With all brutality the chasm that separates the better part of the nation from everything that has to do with National Socialism has to be opened wide. For Hitler and his followers there is no punishment on earth that commensurates with their crimes. But out of love for coming generations we must make an example after the conclusion of the war, so that no one will ever again feel the slightest urge to try out anything similar. And do not forget the petty scoundrels in this regime; remember their names, so that none will go free! They shall not succeed in rallying to another flag at the last minute, after having contributed to these abominable crimes, and act as if nothing had happened!

To set your minds at rest, we would like to add that the addresses of the readers of the White Rose are not recorded anywhere. They were picked out at random from telephone directories.

We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!

Please copy and send on!

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