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The White Rose


'It is my firm belief that no one raised in the United States can fully comprehend what it is like to live under an absolute dictatorship. For it is quite different from what we generally associate with this term as it relates, for example, to the typical Latin American situation. Never before has there been such absolute control, except for Soviet Russia, which Hitler actually emulated to a large degree. The government - or rather, the party - controlled everything: the news media, arms, police, the armed forces, the judiciary system, communications, travel, all levels of education from kindergarten to universities, all cultural and religious institutions. Political indoctrination started at a very early age, and continued by means of the Hitler Youth with the ultimate goal of complete mind control. Children were exhorted in school to denounce even their own parents for derogatory remarks about Hitler or Nazi ideology. My own teenage cousin, for instance, threatened to denounce his father; and I was barely able to deter him by pointing out to him that he himself might end up destitute, if his father were arrested and incarcerated'

Jürgen (George) Wittenstein, member of the  German resistance movement The White Rose.

The 20st century saw different totalitarian states. For example communist Russia (1917-1989) and - after the Second World War - a lot East-European states who were under the influence of the Soviet Union as Russia was called when it was communist. China, which turned communist in 1949, was (and more or less still is) a totalitarian state.

Adolf Hitler's National-Socialist Third Reich - which would, supposedly, last for a thousand years, but in actuality lasted only twelve - also was a totalitarian state.

The White Rose, the subject of this task, was a German student resistance movement. Using excerpts from the book The White Rose by Inge Scholl (sister of two members of this group, Hans and Sophie Scholl) you are going to study characteristics of  a totalitarian state and what it means to live in a totalitarian state.


 The White Rose

 Sophie Scholl

Copyright:  Albert van der Kaap, 2010  

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