Tags

, ,

A Question for the People of Germany

420px-Scholl-Denkmal,_MünchenLargely unknown outside of Germany, but very highly regarded within it, are the members of the White Rose resistance movement of the early 1940s. They were one of the very few movements who opposed the Nazis either philosophically or politically. In 1942 and 1943, they distributed six leaflets calling on Germans to resist the Nazis in any way possible. The most famous of the White Rose are Hans and Sophie Scholl. Among younger Germans, they are the most highly regarded Germans of all time. One hundred ninety schools are named after Sophie alone. She is Germany’s “Woman of the Century.”1

Why this esteem? Why this honor?

Sophie and her brother helped the cause of the White Rose by distributing leaflets secretly at their university, knowing the great penalties they would face if they were caught. Nearly everyone was a supporter of the Reich and the risk of being seen and reported was great. Bad luck worked against them, and they were seen and arrested.2 We can’t help but honor Sophie now for her personal courage and conviction through the torture, interrogation, judgment and, finally, execution by beheading.

Her words are not the hollow phrases of a mere wordsmith, writing about justice and conscience. Her words were backed up by her life.3

How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause?

These words were spoken to her executioner.

Do Germans today stand against injustice? Is anyone willing to give himself up for freedom of religion and conscience? But we must say that the conscience of the individual must guide him or her — even against the law when it opposes conscience — for the conscience is the very echo of God within each man and woman. For the cause of standing for what they knew is right in the conscience, the White Rose perished. But, would the White Rose bloom today? In Sophie’s estimation:

The real damage is done by those millions who want to “survive.” The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe.4

If Germans today do not stand for freedom of conscience, even against the intimidating power of the state itself, then why do they applaud the heroism of Sophie and Hans Scholl? If no one will make waves, freedom, honor, truth and principles are only literature.

If Germans believe their government has no higher authority to which it must answer concerning its laws and decrees, then they reveal their true fatherhood and their true nature. Indeed, they are no different in honoring the Scholls than it was for the Scribes and Pharisees who honored the prophets and righteous men whom their fathers murdered.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, “If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” Consequently you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers! (Matthew 23:29-32)

Let today’s Germans face the test of conscience to see whether they stand with the righteous they honor or with the fathers who murdered them. They may honor the heroes of the past, but almost certainly the overwhelming majority of Germans today, young and old, will fail this test. They already have. Who do you know that will stand for his conscience, for freedom of speech?

sophiescholl.photo04

Sophie Scholl under arrest after distributing White Rose leaflets (scene from “Sophie Scholl – The Last Days).

Consider this dialogue taken from the Gestapo transcripts of the interrogation of Sophie Scholl shortly before her execution:

Sophie: So why do you want to punish us?

Interrogator: Because it’s the law. Without law there is no order.

Sophie: The law you’re referring to protected free speech before the Nazis came to power in 1933. Someone who speaks freely now is imprisoned or put to death. Is that order?

Interrogator: What can we rely on if not the law, no matter who wrote it?

Sophie: On your conscience.

Interrogator: Nonsense! Here is the law, and here are the people. As a criminologist, it is my duty to find out if they coincide, and if not… to find the rotten spot.

Sophie: The law changes; conscience doesn’t.

Interrogator: Why do you risk so much for false ideas?

Sophie: Because of my conscience.

Interrogator: You have to realize that a new age has dawned. What you’re saying has nothing to do with reality.

Sophie: Of course it has to do with reality — with decency, morals, and God.

Interrogator: God doesn’t exist.5

Could this happen again, in our time? Let us replace “free speech” with “child discipline” and “Nazis” with “Social Democrats” and “1933” with “2000” (when for the first time in German history child discipline by parents was outlawed). Now, you have, in the present day and in your own lifetime, exactly the same question to judge. Should men and women obey the law when in their own judgment it goes against their conscience and violates their deeply held religious beliefs? Whether you like it or not, how you answer that question determines your answers to the following questions:

  • Is freedom of religion, meaning the practice of what one believes, allowable?
  • Is freedom of education allowable in a socialist state?
  • Is the state now our conscience, the sole arbiter of right and wrong?
  • Or to put it more simply, is there any basis at all for freedom in Germany?

Today, the interrogation would go like this:

Parent: So why do you want to punish us for disciplining our children?

Interrogator: Because it’s the law. Without law there’s no order.

Parent: The law you’re referring to protected parental authority before the Socialists came to power in 1998. Spanking was only outlawed in 2000. Someone who spanks his children now has them ripped away. Is that order?

Interrogator: What can we rely on if not the law, no matter who wrote it?

Parent: On your conscience.

Interrogator: Nonsense!

Parent: The law changes, conscience doesn’t.

Interrogator: You must renounce discipline if you ever hope to get your children back. You know that, don’t you? Why do you risk so much, your very children, for such false ideas?

Parent: Because of my conscience.

Interrogator: You have to realize that a new age has dawned. What you’re saying has nothing to do with reality.

Parent: Of course the love I have for my children, teaching them what I know is right, has to do with reality — with decency, morals, and God.

Interrogator: God doesn’t exist.6

Does God exist? Or is He dead? Did He really speak to the consciences of Sophie and Hans and the rest of the White Rose resistance movement about the family, about freedom of speech, and of religion? Did they lay down their lives in that belief that their deaths would lessen the guilt of their nation before the world? Maybe they shouldn’t have bothered.

O German people, do you really stand with Sophie Scholl and the White Rose movement? Or do you stand with your fathers who executed them? What do you say about parents who believe it is love to discipline their children for wrongdoing? Consider the opening words of Leaflet 47 from the White Rose about the normal, everyday wisdom of child discipline!

There is an ancient maxim that we repeat to our children: “He who won’t listen will have to feel.” (Wer nicht hören will, muss fühlen.)

WhiteRoseLeaflet4_p1

White Rose Leaflet 4, page 1

Maybe you would arrest Sophie and Hans Scholl today, as your fathers did! Your Jugendamt ripped our children out of their parents’ arms because they disciplined them. Did you applaud? If so, then that is your answer. The White Rose of Freedom is freezing to death.

Ponder the role of the family in civilization as seen by the brave souls of the White Rose. It precedes in time and in importance the state itself.

WhiteRoseLeaflet3_p1

White Rose Leaflet 3, page 1

We must not forget that at the starting point of every civilization the state was already there in rudimentary form. The family is as old as man himself, and out of this initial bond man, endowed with reason, created for himself a state founded on justice, whose highest law was the common good. The state should exist as a parallel to the divine order, and the highest of all utopias, the civitas dei [the city of God], is the model which in the end it should approximate. (Leaflet 3)8

Can a state, as seen by these visionaries, model itself on the City of God and also outlaw His word, as Germany has done? It must outlaw the whole Bible, too! Do not stop at half measures, O Germany!

Are you one, then, who calls good evil and evil good, as Isaiah 5:20 prophesies of those who reject Proverbs 13:24?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently. (Proverbs 13:24)

No one who calls hatred love and love hatred will escape the just judgment of God.

A Final Word on Conscience and Law

Die Redaktion

Translation:This article is the transcript of a lecture. The author is personally known to the editorial team, but would like to remain anonymous. Thus the author’s name and some place names were changed. The Editors.

Whoever punishes every form of physical punishment without differentiation, evens out the profound pedagogical difference between child abuse and clear, child-rearing guidelines of controlled chastisement which are aimed at the welfare of the child and are not administered in anger. No one can argue that the Bible agrees with chastisement as long as it is done within measure and as long as it serves to raise a child lovingly. A state that forbids Christian parents all forms of physical discipline intrudes in a God-given, inalienable right, and restricts not only parental rights but also the freedom of religion that is protected by the German Constitution.9

Some twenty-three years ago a Christian theologian and father of six wrote these remarkable words. Two years ago (2012) a higher court penal judge in Germany wrote about them… anonymously. Why would he do such a thing? Why does his picture and name not appear with his article, “Judicial Aspects of Corporal Punishment”?

One must conclude that he is afraid that his God-given, inalienable right to speak from his conscience has been effectively curtailed. Freedom of speech is being forfeited.10

It remains to be seen whether Germans will continue to forfeit what remains of their “God-given, inalienable rights.” Among these, certainly, are parental rights and freedom of religion. These rights, like almost all others, are principally lost through non-use. Through not standing up for them they are forfeited.

The White Rose is a radiant page in the annals of the 20th Century. The courage to swim against the stream of public opinion, even when doing so was equated with treason, and the conviction that death is not too great a price to pay for following the whisperings of the conscience.”11

There are loud voices ringing out over the Earth demanding that all must bow to what they believe is right, forcing compliance to their word. Who will take a stand against such pressure and say what they really believe? Who will say that people must be allowed the freedom to follow the whisperings of their conscience?

Who will tend the fragile White Rose of Freedom?

To the Scholl family loyalty meant obeying the dictates of the heart. ‘What I want for you is to live in uprightness and freedom of spirit, no matter how difficult that proves to be,’ her father told the family.12

If Robert and Magdalene Scholl were alive today would they also not discipline their children just because it is the new morality? If each generation defines morality, then prepare for more Adolf Hitlers, because that’s what his generation did. Germans are now appalled at their actions, their wars, and their persecutions, but then, most applauded.

If each generation does redefine morality, than Sophie Scholl was quite wrong, morality does change, and Gestapo Inspector Robert Mohr was quite right, God doesn’t exist.

When people believe God doesn’t exist, then anything is possible for them…because nothing they do—nothing they have the power to do—is wrong. This is the shadow of the past that lies not just over Germany, but over every nation that believes natural law is obsolete. That, by simply passing laws it can redefine right and wrong, good and evil, and change love to hate and hate to love.

1In a nation-wide competition to determine Germany’s best, people were asked to list the most important Germans of all time. If the votes of young viewers alone had been counted, Sophie and Hans Scholl would have been ranked first — before Einstein, Bach, Bismark, and Goethe. Several years earlier, readers of Brigitte, a German magazine for women, voted Scholl “the greatest woman of the twentieth century.” Wikipedia entry: “Sophie Scholl.”

2 Jakob Schmidt, University handyman and Nazi party member, saw Hans and Sophie with the leaflets and reported them. They were taken into Gestapo custody. Sophie’s ‘interrogation’ was so cruel, she appeared in court with a broken leg. http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/holocaust/articles-20/sophie-scholl-white-rose/

3 Sophie Scholl As quoted in Seeking Peace: Notes and Conversations Along the Way (1998) by Johann Christoph Arnold, p. 155.

4 https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/801549.Sophie_Scholl

5 Interrogation scene from Sophie Scholl – The Last Days, based on Gestapo transcripts from her interrogation.

6 As a prophet, one of your own, said, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. [He] has bled to death under our knives.” Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125: The Madman, 1882.

7 http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/revolt/wrleaflets.html

Ibid.

9 See the post, Orwellian Doublespeak.

10 Freedom of the press is also being encroached up by the banning of any books advocating spanking. http://theaquilareport.com/the-question-not-asked-in-germany-to-spank-or-not-to-spank/

11 Quoted on http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/holocaust/articles-20/sophie-scholl-white-rose/ Chris Zimmerman: The White Rose: Its Legacy and Challenge