Sophie Scholl was a young German student who wanted to see the end of Hitler and the Nazi regime. She gave her life for that cause.
As children, Sophie and her brother Hans were enthusiastic members of Hitler Youth organizations. But as the Nazis’ chokehold increased and the roundups and arrests of dissenters and Jews escalated, they became determined to resist. After conscription into the National Labor Service, Hans, Sophie, and trusted university friends formed the secret White Rose resistance group. Hans began to compose treasonable leaflets, promoting an uprising against Hitler. Sophie helped get the leaflets out to influential people as well as to other university students. Their work attracted the attention of Nazi sympathizers, who informed the Gestapo of suspicious activities—and they were ultimately caught by a university custodian. Intensive interrogation and imprisonment, followed by a sham trial led by a fanatical judge, led to the sentence of death by guillotine. Organized in repeated sections that move forward and backward in time, readers hear Sophie’s thoughts in brief, pointed, free-verse poems in direct, compelling language. Other poems give voice to individuals such as her boyfriend, Fritz, who served in the German army, and the Gestapo interrogator, adding to readers’ understanding of the inevitability of the outcome and the tragic futility of their sacrifice.
Real events made deeply personal in an intense, bone-chilling reading experience. (dramatis personae, glossary, author’s note, sources) (Verse historical fiction. 12-adult)