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We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler is the story of brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, as well as some of their friends, who were beheaded by the Nazis for leading the White Rose resistance movement which involved sending out leaflets in many places in Germany, especially at the University of Munich where they were students. Though they were brought up in the Hitler youth, they came to see that their government was evil and that they had a responsibility to resist it in whatever ways they could.
I had never heard of this story before hearing of the book, so I'm glad to have discovered it and thought it was timely to read about the actions of citizens who had the courage to resist what they knew was wrong, knowing what it could cost them. The Scholls gave their lives for something that they had decided was more important than they were, and by the time the war was ending, their leaflets continued to be distributed far and wide -- their actions have truly outlived them and that is a powerful legacy to leave.
This book is geared toward middle school/high school ages, and so is not a long read but includes plenty of detail, not only about the primary events, but also the timeline and context of World War 2. There are also many photos, though mostly of the period in general rather than of the Scholls themselves. One of my favorite photos was of a memorial to the White Rose Resistance Movement in Germany which is built to look like a bunch of leaflets spread out on the ground.
Author: Russell Freedman
Content Advisory: Since this is a war story, it references acts of war, and also describes the beheading at the end, though not in gratuitous detail.