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Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel

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The dramatic true story of a handful of students who resisted the Nazis and paid with their lives, now in a stunning graphic novel. With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could The dramatic true story of a handful of students who resisted the Nazis and paid with their lives, now in a stunning graphic novel. With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for. The White Rose printed and distributed leaflets to expose Nazi atrocities and wake up their fellow citizens. The Gestapo caught and executed them. Sophie Scholl was twenty-one; her brother Hans, twenty-four; Christoph Probst, twenty-three; Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, twenty-five. But the White Rose was not silenced. Their heroism continues to inspire new generations of resisters. Now, for the first time, this story that has been celebrated in print and film can be experienced as a graphic novel. Italian artist Andrea Grosso Ciponte's haunting imagery will resonate with today's students and activists. The challenges they face may vary, but the need for young people to stand up against evil, whatever the cost, will remain.


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The dramatic true story of a handful of students who resisted the Nazis and paid with their lives, now in a stunning graphic novel. With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could The dramatic true story of a handful of students who resisted the Nazis and paid with their lives, now in a stunning graphic novel. With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for. The White Rose printed and distributed leaflets to expose Nazi atrocities and wake up their fellow citizens. The Gestapo caught and executed them. Sophie Scholl was twenty-one; her brother Hans, twenty-four; Christoph Probst, twenty-three; Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, twenty-five. But the White Rose was not silenced. Their heroism continues to inspire new generations of resisters. Now, for the first time, this story that has been celebrated in print and film can be experienced as a graphic novel. Italian artist Andrea Grosso Ciponte's haunting imagery will resonate with today's students and activists. The challenges they face may vary, but the need for young people to stand up against evil, whatever the cost, will remain.

30 review for Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Not everyone in Nazi Germany was happy with what was going on. A group of students came together under the pseudonym, The White Rose. They secretly printed pamphlets denouncing Hitler and distributed them throughout Germany until they were eventually caught. I liked the photorealistic art with the airbrushed style coloring. Received a review copy from Plough and NetGalley.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ashes ➷

    Obligatory "I am Jewish" note. A lot of reviewers of books on the Holocaust are not Jewish. Please consider people's backgrounds and proximity to this content when reading reviews. (Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.) Alright, let's talk about this. I'm not only Jewish but have consistently gone to Jewish schools, so I have been through "the Holocaust unit" several times, with several types of media, and, yes, I have done my fair share of research on the White Rose. I watched the Sophie Scholl film Obligatory "I am Jewish" note. A lot of reviewers of books on the Holocaust are not Jewish. Please consider people's backgrounds and proximity to this content when reading reviews. (Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.) Alright, let's talk about this. I'm not only Jewish but have consistently gone to Jewish schools, so I have been through "the Holocaust unit" several times, with several types of media, and, yes, I have done my fair share of research on the White Rose. I watched the Sophie Scholl film in middle school and in high school I wrote a paper on Hans Scholl that required some digging. This is not to say I am an expert; just that I have some knowledge of Fictionalized Media About The Scholls and Actual Facts About The Scholls. In my opinion, if you are going to write a book on the Holocaust, you have got to be absolutely sure of what you are doing. There has been enough damage done with misinformation, and the presses are only too happy for trauma porn. Fortunately, this book avoids that very deep pitfall, but aspects of it make me feel that the author could have put more time and effort into telling this story, which really does deserve better coverage. As everyone probably knows by now, I love nonfiction graphic novels, and I find them a great way of spreading necessary information. One of my primary issues with the book is that it seems to not balance these elements-- nonfiction, entertainment-- very well. The book is an anthology of moments from the White Rose members at this time, and so rather than telling a really cohesive story where you get a sense for everyone's lives, it all feels a little disconnected. This makes it somewhat ineffective at conveying an entertaining narrative. The excerpts from different texts, including the White Rose leaflets, are a good idea but not integrated well enough to be interesting. At the same time, the lack of attention to details means that you won't learn much more here than you would on Wikipedia. Many important events in the lives of the members of the White Rose are glossed over, including the starting of the organization, and what is left is quite disorganized, so that you can't really put together what's going on and whether this bit is real or just an invention to get to the next plot point. Here come some very specific critiques. Firstly, of course we have one of those "look at the nice white gentile man helping the sickly little Jew" moments. There's a whole scene where Hans stops and gives a loaf of bread and a flower to a... well, a sickly little Jew. I mean, look at this. This reads very poorly. I Googled for whether this was at all true and could find nothing, though I'm willing to admit this might be buried in some research text in another language (we'll see why I don't think that momentarily.) What makes this even more frustrating is that it is based in the truth that Hans was sent to the Eastern Front and was horrified by what he saw there. There are lots of ways to portray this-- you could, for example, have him sent off and then return too horrified to discuss what he saw. Or you could have him talk about it! Frankly, I am sick of shock-value shots of dying Jews. Speaking of which, I do not like the trend of "guy runs into some Jews just sitting around" in Holocaust media. It's here, it's in Boy in the Striped Pajamas, it's probably in a lot of other things I can't think of off the top of my head. People in concentration camps, in case this needed to be said, didn't sit around doing nothing. I'll link two sources here that could easily have been read by the author: (1) (2) I just don't get it. It's possible, sure, that Hans just happened on some Jewish people lying against a fence, given that they occasionally had brief moments of 'free time', but it's so unlikely, and on top of that the scene is clearly there to paint Hans as a hero to these Poor Sickly Jews. Which turns said Poor Sickly Jews into props for Hans's hero moment. This is pretty obviously antisemitic. EDIT: Ciponte cited his source for this one, which I will reprint here verbatim: (view spoiler)[From Inge Scholl, The White Rose: 1942-1943 (1983) pag. 43 "During the transport to the front their train had stopped for a few minutes at a Polish station. Along the embankment he saw women and girls bent over and doing heavy men's work with picks. They wore the yellow Star of David on their blouses. Hans slipped through the window of his car and approached. The first one in the group was a young, emaciated girl with small, delicate hands and a beautiful, intelligent face that bore an expression of unspeakable sorrow. Did he have anything that he might give to her? He remembered his Iron Ration - a bar of chocolate, raisins, and nuts - and slipped it into her pocket. The girl threw it on the ground at his feet with a harassed but infinitely proud gesture. He picked it up, smiled, and said, "I wanted to do something to please you". Then he bent down, picked a daisy, and placed it and the package at her feet. The train was starting to move, and Hans had to take a couple of long leaps to get back on. From the window he could see that the girl was standing still, watching the departing train, the white flower in her hair." (hide spoiler)] I'll leave it up to the individual whether this means the focus was necessary and whether it had to be portrayed this way (notice that in the graphic novels, the 'workers' are not 'working'.) For me, a graphic novel like this takes a more objective viewpoint, so while I'm willing to go "eesh hope the Scholls understood the gravity of that moment" when it's someone narrating their own life, I have less leniency for a narrator/author. That's my opinion, though, and as I said earlier I feel the moments chosen were quite scattered-- so, for me, including this feels random, while it may seem very important to others. I personally do not like the scene as it is written. Now back to the rest of the review. In addition to this, the book omits one very important piece of information: Hans Scholl was gay. He stopped supporting the Nazi party after being arrested for being gay, and his siblings joined him. It's the sort of thing that seems fairly relevant to a history of the White Rose, and though it's not immediately apparent knowledge, again, with some small amount of research one could find this out. If you read more modern articles or books, you'd see discussion of this, particularly because once researchers found the original trial materials it was obvious. This is what I wrote a paper in high school on! It couldn't have been hard to find material on it if some random high schooler did a better job. EDIT: I had a vague suspicion that Ciponte worked mostly off of Inge Scholl's book, which is something I discussed outside of this review but wish I had raised as a possibility. Ciponte confirmed in his comment that this was his primary source, and it has me feeling mixed-- on the one hand, of course one would think that a book written by a family member would be the ultimate guide. Why go to historians from decades later when you could read from someone who was there? On the other hand, it happens in this instance that Inge, Hans's sister, wanted to protect him from public homophobia and therefore purposefully lied/obscured facts, which wind up telling an incomplete story. And in 2020, I would like enough research to be done to uncover more than one book's perspective... but, again, I see why Inge Scholl's book strikes most people as the best source. I wouldn't even disagree with that; it's just missing some major facts. The reason I didn't include this discussion in the original review is that I don't have a snappy point. The rest of this review is very snappy, and it seemed weird to meander for two paragraphs just to go "well I think you have to make up your own mind on whether it is fair to expect a writer to research using more than one book." I haven't even read this book... but then, I am not out here writing educational graphic novels. So, in the end, my opinion is that if you are writing a nonfiction text focusing on an event, you have to do a crazy amount of research to be absolutely certain of everything. You may not believe that, and feel free to imagine bonus stars on this review for that reason (though at that point you can imagine bonus stars on whatever you want.) (end edit.) So I had to knock stars off the book. I almost knocked all of them off, because if you're not researching or making your book entertaining, really, what are you doing? What's the point? Why are you writing, let alone about the Holocaust? What convinced me to add a single star back on was the art. It is genuinely very nice art. And I like the idea of a graphic novel with this art. The style is beautiful and unique, and if I was judging only based on that we'd have a full five stars here. But graphic novels are not just art. Nonfiction graphic novels in particular are very complex, and there just isn't much to convince me that it was worth making this one when it lacks the most important elements-- research, entertainment, and story. And it doesn't even manage to avoid antisemitism! So, well, there you are. Two stars. Go watch the Sophie Scholl film or, yes, read the Wikipedia page. I don't think this book is any better.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    Incredibly powerful graphic novel that tells the story of a group of young Germans in world war two who attempted to use propaganda to resist the nazi regime and lost their lives doing what they thought was right. The art was nearly photorealistic but also atmospheric, and while it was nothing like Gibbon's classic Sandman covers it put me in mind of them, that sense of hyperreal unreality. Maybe that's what living, and trying to resist, a repressive dictatorship feels like. It was also interest Incredibly powerful graphic novel that tells the story of a group of young Germans in world war two who attempted to use propaganda to resist the nazi regime and lost their lives doing what they thought was right. The art was nearly photorealistic but also atmospheric, and while it was nothing like Gibbon's classic Sandman covers it put me in mind of them, that sense of hyperreal unreality. Maybe that's what living, and trying to resist, a repressive dictatorship feels like. It was also interesting to see the full text of the pamphlets. There were honestly fairly pretentious and academic, but also powerful in their emotional call to resist the nazi regime. In the times we are in, with international resurgences of populist far right movements, with proud boys and militias, stories like this are important because they make you really think about what you would do and what you can do to resist. **Thanks to the artist, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    It's 1942 when German students (and a professor) in Munich, who have been harbouring severe doubts (to say the least) about the ruling Nazi Party for a long time, decide to secretly write, publish and distribute anti-Nazi pamphlets under the group name of The White Rose. Probably most famous of the six are brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, who also set up the group. Sadly, after publishing several leaflets, part of the group was caught, including the Scholls, and after a show trial they It's 1942 when German students (and a professor) in Munich, who have been harbouring severe doubts (to say the least) about the ruling Nazi Party for a long time, decide to secretly write, publish and distribute anti-Nazi pamphlets under the group name of The White Rose. Probably most famous of the six are brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, who also set up the group. Sadly, after publishing several leaflets, part of the group was caught, including the Scholls, and after a show trial they were executed by guillotine. The graphic novel basically retells this story, with a greater eye for detail. It's an important story which reminds us how Nazi Germany was basically a authoritarian police state, with plenty of its citizens not all supporting the Nazis but living in fear. It makes the actions of The White Rose so much braver. The art is striking, nearing photo-realism, but with an added painterly feel. I'm not entirely sure if I like the art, but that maybe because of the muted colours used. The book also includes every White Rose pamphlet, translated into English, which is a very interesting addition. 3.5 stars (Picked up an ARC through Edelweiss and NetGalley)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard Dominguez

    From the synopsis: "With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for." A very tragic true story that brings to light a movement to end fascism and the price they paid. Told in graphic novel layout the artwork is stunning. The use of pastel colors b From the synopsis: "With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for." A very tragic true story that brings to light a movement to end fascism and the price they paid. Told in graphic novel layout the artwork is stunning. The use of pastel colors bring a brightness to the story that is an effective antithesis to the story. As the story progresses the colors become darker a strong indication of what is to come. The full page image of the Escherian stairwell is a excellent indication of the feeling of being trapped, a feeling of hopelessness. The story engaged me from the start with it's excellent use of flash backs to briefly explain how the moment came to be. The movement known as "The White rose" is completely new to me, but what isn't new to me is the subtle reminder that not all Germans were Nazi's or that all German's were in support of the regime. The story did help me to understand who they were, what they stood for and what they were willing to sacrifice for what they believed in. I found the method used for telling the story interesting as well as informative. I also liked that the voice of the story was rather factual (little or no emotion), I thought it was a fresh and different experience. From start to finish the story is well paced and never feels rushed. Taking the time to make the story clear without risking the readers attention span. The graphic novel is not intended as an encyclopedic account of the history of "The White Rose" and it's members. I think it is meant to be a way to create an interest, to insight a need to research, to learn more about the power of peaceful resistance and the young people who gave their lives to make a difference. This is an excellent addition to any library and one I can easily see myself going back to over and over.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    German students during World War II begin printing leaflets extolling others to rebel against the Nazi order. Naturally, things don't turn out well for the students. Freiheit! is a barebones introduction to what I'm sure is a much more fascinating story than the one laid out here. We barely get to know any of the students or why they were willing to risk their lives. Instead, we get endless quotes from German intellectuals. The art is pretty drab too. German students during World War II begin printing leaflets extolling others to rebel against the Nazi order. Naturally, things don't turn out well for the students. Freiheit! is a barebones introduction to what I'm sure is a much more fascinating story than the one laid out here. We barely get to know any of the students or why they were willing to risk their lives. Instead, we get endless quotes from German intellectuals. The art is pretty drab too.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    The heartbreaking story of The White Rose (a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany led by a group of students from the University of Munich) is told in this taunt story of resistance in the face of the abyss - powerful and pertinent - highest recommendation.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    I've heard about the university students who resisted Hitler by forming the White Rose, an underground resistance movement that distributed fliers - but I really didn't know too much about them (I didn't even know they all died - I'm some history buff). This graphic novel shows how and why they banded together to speak out against Nazi Germany and it uses lots of direct quotes from the fliers and from Nazi leaders. These students knew what they were doing was highly dangerous and in fact, they a I've heard about the university students who resisted Hitler by forming the White Rose, an underground resistance movement that distributed fliers - but I really didn't know too much about them (I didn't even know they all died - I'm some history buff). This graphic novel shows how and why they banded together to speak out against Nazi Germany and it uses lots of direct quotes from the fliers and from Nazi leaders. These students knew what they were doing was highly dangerous and in fact, they all ended up being executed - but their story and heroism inspired thousands of resistors. It's not a casual, pick up for fun, graphic novel but I think it is an accessible education tool that is wonderfully illustrated. After the conclusion of the graphic novel - all six of White Rose's resistance letters are printed in their entirety.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Morris

    Words cannot really express how important this true story is both to our history and our current situation. I highly recommend this to high school students and adults. A bit of research into the White Rose Society for background will help before reading this graphic novel. The actual writings of the Society at the end are a nice and vital touch. Highly recommended. This unbiased review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erika Sarutobi

    2.5 stars I'm the kind of person who avoids reading books about WW2 (or about wars that happened in reality in general) whether nonfiction or fiction because I try to avoid reading about the horrible things that humans can do for greed and power but I decided to give this a try since it was a graphic novel and about freedom fighters. Honestly, I was disappointed with the execution because I thought it would have been more story detailed but we only get snippets of key events rather than a retelli 2.5 stars I'm the kind of person who avoids reading books about WW2 (or about wars that happened in reality in general) whether nonfiction or fiction because I try to avoid reading about the horrible things that humans can do for greed and power but I decided to give this a try since it was a graphic novel and about freedom fighters. Honestly, I was disappointed with the execution because I thought it would have been more story detailed but we only get snippets of key events rather than a retelling. We were just shown the members meeting a few times with minimal talking beyond reading the German literature that they would include in the flyers and not much about what they have done to execute the plans beyond buying stamps and mentions (not actions except for the one in the university) of throwing the flyers everywhere. Moreover, the whole graphic novel just left me confused beyond the meaning of their message since the speech bubbles made it hard to know who's speaking and most of the times, two different topics are mentioned and are often contradictory. I wasn't a fan of the blurry/air brush like artstyle, though that's personal preference more than anything. Overall, in my opinion, this book was more confusing than anything to me and could have been executed in a better way. I like my retellings to show me a linear story (or at least somewhat of the sort) since this book just shows events abruptly after the other with few ones that weren't really important. Thank you Netgalley for providing me with the digital copy for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel' by Andrea Grosso Ciponte is based on the true story of German students who stood in opposition to Hitler. The White Rose was an intellectual group that stood against fascism in Germany. The printed and distributed flyers stating their case, even though this was extremely dangerous. They worked to get their pamphlets distributed wider, but this ultimately got them caught and executed without a defense or a fair trial. There are a lot of characters which is 'Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel' by Andrea Grosso Ciponte is based on the true story of German students who stood in opposition to Hitler. The White Rose was an intellectual group that stood against fascism in Germany. The printed and distributed flyers stating their case, even though this was extremely dangerous. They worked to get their pamphlets distributed wider, but this ultimately got them caught and executed without a defense or a fair trial. There are a lot of characters which is the first problem with an attempt to tell this story. The events presented also feel a bit disjointed. What is nice is including the full text of the pamphlets at the end of the book. The art is a photorealistic style and a bit grainy which works well for this story. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Plough Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    There are many books on the resistance to the nazis, and The White Rose movement was probably important, but the way this was laid out and written, this has got to be the most boring version of resistance I have ever read. It is very text heavy, and with little context it is hard to have sympathy with the main characters and how they feel. They discuss writings and philosophy, and write pamphlets to get the people to rise up. Surely there could have been a better story here, since the story was b There are many books on the resistance to the nazis, and The White Rose movement was probably important, but the way this was laid out and written, this has got to be the most boring version of resistance I have ever read. It is very text heavy, and with little context it is hard to have sympathy with the main characters and how they feel. They discuss writings and philosophy, and write pamphlets to get the people to rise up. Surely there could have been a better story here, since the story was based on real people and real lives. Still, I'm sure it could be a good starting point for those interested in the movement, but for me, it was just hard to read. Good art though. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A great subject but the narrative suffers from a sometimes disjointed narrative and lack of context.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    To those who know the story of Sophie Scholl and her brother and friends, who sought a major revolution against the Nazi regime in wartime Germany, this is a very eye-catching treatment of it. Her gamine looks are perfectly captured in the artworks, which have a uniquely grainy, muted, pastel approach (or if not unique, then one I've never seen taken to this extreme before), and the story pacily builds from initial thoughts, to the Nazis investigating the White Rose Movement she was a part of, t To those who know the story of Sophie Scholl and her brother and friends, who sought a major revolution against the Nazi regime in wartime Germany, this is a very eye-catching treatment of it. Her gamine looks are perfectly captured in the artworks, which have a uniquely grainy, muted, pastel approach (or if not unique, then one I've never seen taken to this extreme before), and the story pacily builds from initial thoughts, to the Nazis investigating the White Rose Movement she was a part of, to – well, that would be telling. The other side of the audience, then, those who have studied the War less and haven't met with the story, well, unfortunately they might not have such a great time. In seeking some authenticity the text of this book either quotes from the pamphlets the Movement tried to bomb everyone with, at length, or has the Nazis read them out to each other in disgust, or presents the characters as rather stilted, over-privileged quoters of Victorian-years Swiss poets. One permanently has a pipe to his mouth in an attempt at teenaged decadence. More importantly that paciness comes as a result of us just jumping through everything, speeding from naivety to conviction to, well, alright, to conviction (and the world's most galling surcharge, as we find on this evidence). So I think it's easy to say I liked some of the qualities here, especially the muted graphic elements. I didn't fully appreciate the chance, even if it was my first ever, to read a translation of some of the White Rose leaflets, for the text was full of enough of their output and to be frank it was quite haranguing. (One thing it did do with its stilted language, and cultural references, was to show how low we've gone in the world of political campaigning, from this urgent samizdat publication to a "please like and retweet". Said 19th century poet has a great quote about suppression that handily mentions a plague, but any copy of that would get a "tldr" or "you wot now?" in response.) Still, this might well connect a few dots for people, and prove there were genuinely quite a few who were anti-Hitler at that time, and either way it does act as a slightly brief but heartfelt tribute to Sophie et al and all they stood for. Three and a half stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This tragic story tells the tale of a small college-centric anti-Nazi resistance group, doing so in graphic novel form. While it touches upon the story of six White Rose members who were executed, special emphasis is given to the sister-brother duo of Sophie and Hans Scholl. White Rose was largely involved in distributing leaflets to encourage others to engage in resistance activities against the Nazis. (Note: the translated text of the White Rose pamphlets is included as an appendix.) There is This tragic story tells the tale of a small college-centric anti-Nazi resistance group, doing so in graphic novel form. While it touches upon the story of six White Rose members who were executed, special emphasis is given to the sister-brother duo of Sophie and Hans Scholl. White Rose was largely involved in distributing leaflets to encourage others to engage in resistance activities against the Nazis. (Note: the translated text of the White Rose pamphlets is included as an appendix.) There is so much attention given to the truly fascinating question of how a bunch of fascist lunatics managed to run a country into such diabolical territory that it can easily be missed that there was at least some resistance within Germany. I, for one, was oblivious to the story of White Rose before reading this book. The arc of the story takes the reader from the upbeat stage during which White Rose was succeeding in distributing articulate and persuasive flyers, through some of their close calls and other frustrations (e.g. the Scholl’s father being arrested), and on to the bitter end. Much of what I’ve seen previously about resisters centered on communists. One sees in White Rose a different demographic. There are a number of religious references without the “workers of the world unite” lead that would be taken by leftist groups. I believe the author overplayed the stoicism with which the executed individuals accepted their fate. This is based upon a true story, and so this may seem an unfair criticism because perhaps that’s how it appeared in reality. However, from a storytelling perspective, it felt surprisingly devoid of emotional content [given the events provide loads of potential for it.] There is a great tragedy in young people being executed by the State for asking others to resist fascism, but as a reader I didn’t really feel an intense visceral connection to events. As I said, I suspect this had to do with the author wishing to show that the Scholls took it in all in stride, but I think some display of angst or anger might have made for a more intense reading experience. I don’t know whether it was more a textual or graphic issue that left me unmoved. All in all, the book was an interesting insight into resistance to the Nazis in an academic environment. I did find reading the pamphlet translations themselves to be insightful. The flyers give one insight into where the student-resisters were coming from, and what buttons wished to push in others. It might have been a bit more gripping, but it was an interesting telling of events. If you’re interested in learning more about Germans who resisted the fascists, this book provides a quick example of how (and by whom) it was done, and I’d recommend you give it a read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    1.5 Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital copy of this book for exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. A very short non-fiction graphic novel about the group known as The White Rose, an anti-Nazi group, who distributed leaflets of their beliefs around Germany and beyond. This is a very short history and flashes of the group's main members - specifically Sophie and Hans Scholl, Alexander Schmorell, and Christoph Probst. I usually love a good non- 1.5 Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital copy of this book for exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. A very short non-fiction graphic novel about the group known as The White Rose, an anti-Nazi group, who distributed leaflets of their beliefs around Germany and beyond. This is a very short history and flashes of the group's main members - specifically Sophie and Hans Scholl, Alexander Schmorell, and Christoph Probst. I usually love a good non-fiction graphic novel, especially about a topic I really enjoy, but this one just didn't do it for me. It was very short, less than 100 pages, and did not cover much within those pages. I knew about this group from university and another book I read a few months ago, but if I didn't, I feel like I would have been very lost. There is not a lot of actual backstory or history given in this book, so anyone who may pick this up without any previous knowledge may be very confused. This is a very serious topic and it really didn't feel like it was taken seriously, more so just a quick telling of a famous group. The art work wasn't bad, not my personal favourite style but it was done nicely. It did kind of fit the topic as it was mainly dark and dreary like the subject. Overall, just kind of meh

  17. 5 out of 5

    Isaiah

    I got an ARC of this book. This will not be my normal length review, because everything that needs to be said has been said in this review and this reivew. I hadn't heard of the White Rose before. This graphic novel did not help. It was disjointed and confusing. There was little to no explanation of things, little to no plot. I needed something to make this make sense. The best part of this graphic novel, outside of the pretty wonderful art, is at the end the leaflets were printed in English so I I got an ARC of this book. This will not be my normal length review, because everything that needs to be said has been said in this review and this reivew. I hadn't heard of the White Rose before. This graphic novel did not help. It was disjointed and confusing. There was little to no explanation of things, little to no plot. I needed something to make this make sense. The best part of this graphic novel, outside of the pretty wonderful art, is at the end the leaflets were printed in English so I could read them. This book didn't teach me anything that makes it so I will remember that the White Rose existed. I will have to do research to get even the bare essential details about the organization.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    I wasn’t sold on this one for about the first third. I found the text too heavy and the artistry too muted for a graphic novel. However, I should have had more faith in the author because I was drawn in covertly, without even knowing it myself. Suddenly, I was gripped by the intensity of the situations and the incredible strength of this group of young people. The ending was certainly not unexpected, but it still struck me violently. As it should have. Thank you to Andrea Grosso Ciponte, Plough P I wasn’t sold on this one for about the first third. I found the text too heavy and the artistry too muted for a graphic novel. However, I should have had more faith in the author because I was drawn in covertly, without even knowing it myself. Suddenly, I was gripped by the intensity of the situations and the incredible strength of this group of young people. The ending was certainly not unexpected, but it still struck me violently. As it should have. Thank you to Andrea Grosso Ciponte, Plough Publishing, and NetGalley for an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    Graphically an interesting take on the story of Die weiße Rose, but the telling of the story was rather disjointed, and erratic and not in a good way. The story is told in snippets, and jumps and is probably hard to follow if you are not familiar with the Scholl´s story. Visually, it had some very impactful pages, p77 had a very good, Escher-esque illustration, and is a personal favourite. Also, the use of darkness and light was visually very interesting. So, 4 stars for the art, minus 1 for sto Graphically an interesting take on the story of Die weiße Rose, but the telling of the story was rather disjointed, and erratic and not in a good way. The story is told in snippets, and jumps and is probably hard to follow if you are not familiar with the Scholl´s story. Visually, it had some very impactful pages, p77 had a very good, Escher-esque illustration, and is a personal favourite. Also, the use of darkness and light was visually very interesting. So, 4 stars for the art, minus 1 for storytelling. I received a copy for review through Netgalley, opinions are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I had heard of White Rose, a group of college students who resisted the Nazi regime by distributing pamphlets and fliers. Now that I've read the Freiheit! graphic novel, that's still about all I know. There wasn't really a coherent story presented here, just snippets or vignettes of different moments without a lot connecting them together. There was no information on how or why the group formed even! The artwork was interesting, but that's about all the good I can say here. I had heard of White Rose, a group of college students who resisted the Nazi regime by distributing pamphlets and fliers. Now that I've read the Freiheit! graphic novel, that's still about all I know. There wasn't really a coherent story presented here, just snippets or vignettes of different moments without a lot connecting them together. There was no information on how or why the group formed even! The artwork was interesting, but that's about all the good I can say here.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erikka

    While I felt the story lacked some of the details that make the story of the White Rose rebellion such a powerful story of strength and resistance, it was more than compensated for with the gorgeous art and the emotion conveyed by it. I honestly can't say enough about the art: it gets darker as moments get more serious, the facial expressions are so expressive and tell the story perhaps better than words can. I also love that the text (in English) of the six leaflets is at the end. If anything, While I felt the story lacked some of the details that make the story of the White Rose rebellion such a powerful story of strength and resistance, it was more than compensated for with the gorgeous art and the emotion conveyed by it. I honestly can't say enough about the art: it gets darker as moments get more serious, the facial expressions are so expressive and tell the story perhaps better than words can. I also love that the text (in English) of the six leaflets is at the end. If anything, that may be the coolest feature. I would recommend buddy reading this with White Rose by Kip Wilson and We Will Not Be Silent by Russell Freedman. By the end of that series, you'll have a pretty good story of some of the most amazing young people of the German WWII resistance. Young people can make a difference and I can't imagine the publication of these books isn't relatively timely to what's going on in our nation and world right now.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bill Cass

    This felt like the Cliff Notes version of an actual story. There were no elements of a story. The was no real pacing, it was kind of haphazard and jumped around more than a kangaroo on coke. The characters had nothing memorable about them. They worked against the Nazis. Cool. Thats awesome. But thats literally all we know about them. We never get to know them at all so when they're killed (not a spoiler, it says it in the description) i didn't feel a thing. This was a really bad graphic novel and This felt like the Cliff Notes version of an actual story. There were no elements of a story. The was no real pacing, it was kind of haphazard and jumped around more than a kangaroo on coke. The characters had nothing memorable about them. They worked against the Nazis. Cool. Thats awesome. But thats literally all we know about them. We never get to know them at all so when they're killed (not a spoiler, it says it in the description) i didn't feel a thing. This was a really bad graphic novel and I feel like the people who wrote this got bored halfway through and just phoned in the rest. This story deserves a book or a movie. Not some half assed graphic novel.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Peyton

    The pamphlets were amazing to read, especially the first one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jean Huber Bookmama789

    Thank you to Ploughing Publishing and @netgalley for the ARC of Freiheit! by Andrea Grosso Ciponte. This is a great choice if you are looking to add a quick read for #nonfictionnovember This graphic novel is the dramatic true story of a group of students who resisted the Nazis and formed a group/newsletter knows as The White Rose. This graphic novel shows not only their story but also provides copies of the actual newsletters that they printed and distributed. This book was very well done and I Thank you to Ploughing Publishing and @netgalley for the ARC of Freiheit! by Andrea Grosso Ciponte. This is a great choice if you are looking to add a quick read for #nonfictionnovember This graphic novel is the dramatic true story of a group of students who resisted the Nazis and formed a group/newsletter knows as The White Rose. This graphic novel shows not only their story but also provides copies of the actual newsletters that they printed and distributed. This book was very well done and I learned a lot from reading it!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    A rather dull version of a story I think should have showed more emotion and vigor. The grainy appearance takes you back, but overall, little more than a drawn-out history lesson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I'm here with a book review for Freiheit!, the White Rose Graphic Novel by Andrea Grosso Ciponte. I requested the arc from Netgalley after the cover caught my eye. I am not Jewish, so I have read other reviewers who are Jewish and have more knowledge of this to ensure my review is thorough. About The Book 📚 Title: Freiheit! Author: Andrew Grosso Ciponte Publication Date: February 16, 2021 Publisher: Plough Publishing Suggested Reader Age: 16+ Genre: Biography, Memoir, History, World War II, Holocaust I'm here with a book review for Freiheit!, the White Rose Graphic Novel by Andrea Grosso Ciponte. I requested the arc from Netgalley after the cover caught my eye. I am not Jewish, so I have read other reviewers who are Jewish and have more knowledge of this to ensure my review is thorough. About The Book 📚 Title: Freiheit! Author: Andrew Grosso Ciponte Publication Date: February 16, 2021 Publisher: Plough Publishing Suggested Reader Age: 16+ Genre: Biography, Memoir, History, World War II, Holocaust About The Author "Andrea Grosso Ciponte works in Belvedere M.mo, Italy, as an artist and filmmaker, professor of art at various High Schools and as professor of computer graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts, Catanzaro, Italy, where in 2000 he graduated in painting. In his paintings Grosso Ciponte works since 2000 on paintings produced in a single session “alla prima” originated from images that passed through the filter of different mediums, such as photography, video and computer. A couple of years ago he also started creating “life” paintings. 2011 Grosso Ciponte showed his work at the 54th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale. In the areas of video and computer art there are numerous collaborations with artists and musicians." https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13458810.Andrea_Grosso_Ciponte My Review › The White Rose was a German anti-Nazi group that formed in 1942. Medical students Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf, and Hans Scholl formed the group with Hans's sister Sophie, and Christopher Probst. These young adults used their knowledge to write leaflets against the Nazis which they helped distribute to the masses. In 1943, Hans, Sophie, Christopher, Willi, and Alexander were all executed for their involvement with the White Rose leaflets. › The art is breath-taking. The colour palette conveys what I can only imagine would be the dire life of living during the Holocaust. I'm not an art expert, so take this with a grain of salt. The pages looked like paintings, and I could feel the atmosphere with each page. Reading this on a tablet was wonderful, the pictures were clear, however, reading the physical book would be a much better experience. Another thing I did like was the fact the actual White Rose leaflets are included in this book, translated to English. › While reading Freiheit! I felt incredibly confused. The story was being told in snapshots that didn't flow together like a story, which is incredibly disappointing considering this is an extremely important story to get right. While reading reviews I learned that Hans Scholl was gay, and for some reason, that was left out of the book. This is yet another example of how this book simply didn't live up to its potential. › Sadly, I don't remember learning about the White Rose group before. You'd think reading a graphic novel about them would have left me feeling like I learned what I needed to know about it, but I had to go read websites and reviews in order to gather more information so I could truly understand just how courageous these young people were. › I use the CAWPILE method to rate books. 0-3 Really bad 4-6 Mediocre 7-9 Really good 10 Outstanding › Characters: 4 › Atmosphere: 5 › Writing Style: 4 › Plot: 5 › Intrigue: 5 › Logic: 5 › Enjoyment: 6 Average 4.9 1.1-2.2 = ★ 2.3-4.5 = ★★ 4.6-6.9 = ★★★ 7-8.9 = ★★★★ 9-10 = ★★★★★ My Rating ★★★ › Final Thoughts • Freiheit means freedom and this nonfiction graphic novel is all about a group of courageous young people who put their life on the line for the liberty of others. While this isn't a complete picture of the White Rose group, it does give an overall feeling and somewhat tells their end. Some reviewers have said this would be suitable for younger readers, however, I would have to disagree. The way that this is written is confusing and I would recommend it to readers 16+ who already have prior knowledge of the White Rose group. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. *Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change* Connect With Me 😊 Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Gurinskas

    I was really excited when I first heard about “Freiheit! The White Rose Graphic Novel,” in part because it’s a part of World War II history that I’ve been interested in, but haven’t had the opportunity to read much about. I’d previously read several short articles about Sophie Scholl—one of the book’s lead protagonists—but they had been sparse with the details about her involvement with a larger group, making her seem like a lone martyr figure. I hadn’t even heard the name “White Rose” until I p I was really excited when I first heard about “Freiheit! The White Rose Graphic Novel,” in part because it’s a part of World War II history that I’ve been interested in, but haven’t had the opportunity to read much about. I’d previously read several short articles about Sophie Scholl—one of the book’s lead protagonists—but they had been sparse with the details about her involvement with a larger group, making her seem like a lone martyr figure. I hadn’t even heard the name “White Rose” until I picked up this graphic novel, which, I think, makes the book all the more important and timely given the importance of history in resisting fascism. The book is very engaging and pulls you into the story immediately right in the middle of the action with Sophie and her brother Hans dropping a stack of leaflets down from the top floor a building into the main hall, before jumping back to a flashback that shows you how everything began, how a small group of friends (Sophie and Hans Scholl, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf) eventually became the White Rose. The story then moves quickly, following Sophie, into her discovery of her brother’s and their other friends involvements with the White Rose, and how they continue that through their military service, until they are eventually caught. Despite how quickly things move, it doesn’t feel in anyway rushed. The book has a very artistic flow to it, there’s no real background exposition to speak of, drawing your focus to the art, dialogue the limited quotations the serve as background for various scenes. My particular favorite quotation used is the English translation of the song “Die Gedaken sind frei,” (“Thoughts are Free”), that is overlaid on a scene of Sophie working in an ammunitions factory. I will say I was a touch confused by that scene as I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was supposed to take away from it. It’s a lovely scene and gorgeously illustrated, as is the whole book, but it wasn’t clear to me if it was meant to imply that Sophie was doing sabotage work. There is discussion earlier in about encouraging sabotage in their leaflets alongside passive resistance, so I had wondered if this was tying into that, but I can’t say I know for sure since there’s no background exposition to explain the scene. I think some added points of additional exposition would have been nice, but as a narrative the story does hold up just fine without them. Something that I’ve always found true when it comes to World War II studies is how angry and upset and heartbroken I feel when presented with personal narratives, be they biographical or autobiographical. That emotional pull is something that “Freiheit!” does incredibly effectively. There is an incredible amount of characterization for such a short book, we see Sophie living her life as a regular student, we see Christoph with his wife and children, we see the Scholl family’s response to their father being arrested, and you know through all of it how it’s going to end. Arrest and execution. But the book doesn’t leave you on a sad note, it ends on a hopeful one, with the fact that the British took the final pamphlet produced by the White Rose and used airplanes to drop 5 million copies across German cities. This drives home that what the White Rose did mattered and, especially in todays day and age, that activism matters. Not everyone can make the sort of sacrifices that the White Rose did, but what they preached, passive resistance against a terrible “norm” is something anyone can do. Crossposted from Snap Book Reviews blog.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved. There’s a tendency, in World War II scholarship, to almost entirely concentrate on Hitler and the battles of the war, keeping some of the more human aspects of the war in the background. Even the Holocaust is usually spoken about in vague terms if its not explicit something like a diary or journal of one the NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved. There’s a tendency, in World War II scholarship, to almost entirely concentrate on Hitler and the battles of the war, keeping some of the more human aspects of the war in the background. Even the Holocaust is usually spoken about in vague terms if its not explicit something like a diary or journal of one the victims. Something I knew almost nothing about, prior to this book, were internal German resistance groups. I knew they absolutely had to be a thing, but seeing as they did not overthrow Hitler on their own, it’s usually relegated to a footnote in many books. The White Rose was one such group, and this graphic novel tells their tragic story. With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for. The White Rose printed and distributed leaflets to expose Nazi atrocities and wake up their fellow citizens. The Gestapo caught and executed them. Sophie Scholl was twenty-one; her brother Hans, twenty-four; Christoph Probst, twenty-three; Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, twenty-five. But the White Rose was not silenced. Their heroism continues to inspire new generations of resisters. Now, for the first time, this story that has been celebrated in print and film can be experienced as a graphic novel. Italian artist Andrea Grosso Ciponte’s haunting imagery will resonate with today’s students and activists. The challenges they face may vary, but the need for young people to stand up against evil, whatever the cost, will remain. -- Description The story in Freiheit! is told largely from the point of view of Sophie Scholl, who has become disillusioned with the government of Germany due to their strong-arm policies and mistreatment of Jews. Prior to the events of the book, her brothers were arrested by the Gestapo, setting in motion their membership into an underground resistance movement of intellectuals that produced subversive pamphlets calling the Nazi leadership into question. One nice touch, is that translations of these documents are included in the book. The art style and overall composition by Andrea Grosso Ciponte was very moving and vibrant despite the book’s muted color palette. Each panel, even the most subdued, is treated like a scene in a film – interesting transitions, camera angles, and blocking are all well-done. It gives this book a VERY cinematic feel. I enjoyed this a lot, and plan to look at some other books by the same publisher pretty soon. The book has served it’s purpose of making me interested in The White Rose, and I may also look into a book about the Scholl siblings at some point. Having historical documents in the back of the book was a great touch, and immediately elevates this to the status of being a teaching tool. I once took a class in college about The Holocaust, and I honestly really wish this was out at that time. This would have been a great story to share with my class. Solid book, definitely recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

    The White Rose movement operated between 27 June 1942 and 18 February 1943 in the South of Germany. Through its representatives, among which Hans and Sophie Scholl, Alexander Schmorell and Christoph Probst, they distributed manifests encouraging ´passive resistance´ against the National- Socialism and expressing their suspicions regarding the ideological relevance and values of the Nazi regime in general. Caught by the Gestapo while distributing the manifests within the Munich University on 18 F The White Rose movement operated between 27 June 1942 and 18 February 1943 in the South of Germany. Through its representatives, among which Hans and Sophie Scholl, Alexander Schmorell and Christoph Probst, they distributed manifests encouraging ´passive resistance´ against the National- Socialism and expressing their suspicions regarding the ideological relevance and values of the Nazi regime in general. Caught by the Gestapo while distributing the manifests within the Munich University on 18 February, Hans and Sophie Scholl, together with Christoph Probst are condemned to death three days after. Freiheit! - Freedom, are among the last words written by Sophie Scholl. The movement is considered as an example of German resistance against the Nazi regime, with institutions and steets all over Germany being given the Scholl name. The members of The White Rose were middle class, on different religious and sexual orientations. Some of the texts wroten by them were used by the British Army when was spreading from airplanes the anti-Nazi manifestoes. Freiheit!, the graphic novel by Andrea Grosso Ciponte concentrates in 113 pages the profile of the movement, in its historical and intellectual context. From the visual point of view, the dramatic pastels and the predominantly black graphics create the perfect effect expected for a graphic novel treating this very serious topic. Published by Plough Publishing House this February, it offers basic information about the movement through the graphic story, as well as the content fo the manifestoes, part of the annexes. If you are completely ignorant about this episode of German history, and of the WWII politics and stories in general, this book helps to figure out the basics. Written in English, it offers a good information support to a wide range of readers, from teenagers to adults looking for an entertaining approach to history. However, if you are knowledgeable of the topic, there may be at least a couple of objections to the approach. There are references to the concentration camps and the deportations of Jews - the fact that the average population was not familiar with is a horrible lies, given that there were many concentration camps in the near vicinity of populated areas, as it is the case of Sachsenhausen for instance, among others. However the general references and dialogues attributed to the characters are very basic, robotic and vaguely philosophical sometimes. I had the feeling of just reading some texts that are there because expected to include them, without any clear personal human touch and fiction add-on. The topic may be overwhelming, indeed, but the role of the story-teller is to find the right narrative and wording which make your story different from all the other stories and unique. Unfortunately, I felt through the over 100 pages of Freiheit! as exposed to a standardized historical account, the only difference being made by the visual form - which, again, is appropriate to the topic and aesthethically successful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I was first introduced to ‘The White Rose‘ (The Weiße Rose was a non-violent German resistance movement during the Nazi regime) through Plough and so I was excited to learn that Plough had published ‘Freiheit! The White Rose Graphic Novel’ and was looking forward to reading this latest; if not intrigued by the graphic novel format – a medium I’m not too familiar with. Unfortunately, I did find the content a little lacking. Now, I am by no means an expert on The White Rose, but I did find that the I was first introduced to ‘The White Rose‘ (The Weiße Rose was a non-violent German resistance movement during the Nazi regime) through Plough and so I was excited to learn that Plough had published ‘Freiheit! The White Rose Graphic Novel’ and was looking forward to reading this latest; if not intrigued by the graphic novel format – a medium I’m not too familiar with. Unfortunately, I did find the content a little lacking. Now, I am by no means an expert on The White Rose, but I did find that the content was shallow and perhaps a thin basic overview of the tail end of the short lives of the Scholl siblings and their friends. I am certainly not advocating for a whole lot of made up narrative to fill out the story – but could the narrative have explored some of their earlier lives a little more? In order that I am also fair to the publisher, I am still glad that this book is published and available, since people need to know about the stand of The White Rose, the risks they took, and ultimately the lives they laid down during the great struggle in the last century. For many people a graphic novel is the very medium that will introduce them to this great story – perhaps an ‘ordinary’ print book would simply not appeal; never mind an ‘academic’ essay or article. So I do applaud Plough for taking the decision to publish this. As I said earlier, the graphic novel genre is new to me. I enjoyed the artwork by Andrea Grosso Ciponte and the stylistic decisions taken help set the tone and time period, helping to transport the reader somewhat. Personally, I did find parts of the narrative disjointed and ‘jumpy’ – but this may in part be part of my unfamiliarity with the medium – although because the plot line is fairly straightforward it shouldn’t be an issue for folks less familiar with the story of The White Rose. Possibly the most sombre and moving piece of the whole work is the inclusion of the little execution reports which very much make the reading real. The book also includes every White Rose pamphlet, translated into English, which is a great addition. Read it. Share it. Introduce it to young folks. Then go deeper if you want to and find out more. Personally, I enjoy revisiting the story of The White Rose often. This book may be ideal for teens and young adults (I’m not sure if that was the intended audience) and would be great for starting a conversation about the topics raised. More information about the book can be found here at the Plough webpage. I received a digital copy of this book from the Publisher in return of an honest review. I was not obliged to post a positive review.

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