by Richard Hanser
Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans were handsome, bright university students in 1942 Germany. As members of the Hitler Youth, they had once been enthusiastic supporters of the German renewal promised by National Socialism. But as their realization of Nazi barbarism grew, so did their moral outrage.
Hans and Sophie formed a small group of like-minded friends, which initially included two medical students, a student of philosophy, and a fifty-year-old professor. They self-identified as Christians from various traditions-Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox-and they called themselves the White Rose. In a darkened studio lent them by an artist, they printed eloquent anti-Nazi leaflets, which they ingeniously spread throughout Germany.
A Noble Treason tells the true story of this underground group at the University of Munich that instigated, organized, and carried out the first overt resistance to Hitler's regime. What gives A Noble Treason its unforgettable and inspiring quality is the personality, character, and courage of the White Rose members, as they resisted the pull of wartime patriotism and overcame their fear of the terrible price they would pay for their dissidence.
The story of the White Rose is one of faith-inspired idealism in deadly conflict with ideological tyranny. Its theme is the ultimate victory of that idealism despite its bloody-and seemingly final-destruction by the state.
Richard Hanser served as a psychological warfare specialist in Europe during World War II. He was a reporter and feature writer for newspapers in Buffalo, Cleveland and New York before the war. Afterward he wrote for documentary films and authored several books.
"I thought I knew the story of the White Rose pretty well, but Richard
Hanser provides detail, context, and insight that I have not previously
encountered. A Noble Treason is an exciting read and a tribute
worthy of the defiance and the sacrifices made by those students at the
University of Munich when they were under the thumb of Hitler's
- Ronald J. Rychlak, Author, Hitler, the War, and the Pope
"This vivid account gives witness to the true spirit of man. One can only marvel at the patience, ingenuity and determination of these students as they pit themselves against Hitler and his Third Reich. Undeterred by the price to be paid if they were caught, their story reminds us of what true courage is and of our responsibility to do what is right...despite the odds."
- Kurt von Schuschnigg, Author, When Hitler Took Austria