When Anneliese Brandt comes to Munich in 1942, her only purpose is to have one year of relative freedom, studying at the university until she has to marry the man picked out for her by her father, an officer in the SS. Resistance was rare in Nazi Germany and ruthlessly put down, and although Anneliese chafes at the restraints put on her by the Nazi regime, she would never consider resisting.
Then she meets fellow student Sophie Scholl, Sophie’s brother Hans, and their friend Kirk Hoffmann. The circle of friends revolving around the Scholls is different. Kind. Free-thinking. Risk-taking. Kirk and Anneliese are drawn to each other, but Kirk is the son of a pastor in the illegal Confessing Church, and their romance seems doomed.
As Anneliese gets to know these friends, her interest in joining them in doing something against the regime increases. But can they trust her? And dare she take the risk?
The real-life story of the White Rose Resistance Group fascinates many, and with good reason. We all like to believe that we would be as brave and principled as these university students who risked their lives – and many gave their lives – for the sake of truth and freedom. Or would we? Would we choose to stay silent to save our lives, our homes, and the lives of those we love?
The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt brings this dilemma to life through the eyes of the real-life members of the White Rose and the fictional eyes of Anneliese and Kirk. Having researched Munich and the University of Munich for my upcoming novel, When Twilight Breaks, I was impressed by the depth and accuracy of the author’s research. However, the intriguing characters and the beautiful writing made an even deeper impression. This novel drew me in and made me ponder. This is not an easy book to read, nor should it be. But it is a good read, a necessary read. And a highly recommended read.