In 1940’s Germany, as Hitler and the Nazi regime lusted after world conquest while committing unspeakable crimes against humanity, one small voice attempted to rise up to dispel the darkness. Brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, students at the University of Munich, helped to form an underground resistance against the evil chokehold that was strangling their country. Called “The White Rose,” this small band of students secretly wrote and distributed leaflets condemning the Nazi invasion of sovereign nations and, most of all, the degradation and murder of human beings deemed unfit or undesirable.
Writing and making copies of these leaflets in a secret location, members of The White Rose knew all too well what the consequences of their actions would be if they were caught. Using their own funds to purchase paper, ink, envelopes, and stamps, Hans, Sophie, and other White Rose members printed and distributed thousands of leaflets to anyone they could. (This was long before the Internet, so getting information to large numbers of people involved a great deal more effort and expense than it does today.) One fateful day, while placing stacks of a leaflet in strategic locations around their campus, Hans and Sophie were caught and turned in to the police by a university employee. This led to their interrogation by state officials, a one-sided trial without fair counsel, and their execution by means of the guillotine. To even say anything critical of the regime was considered treason and a capital offense.
Those in the pro-life movement today can certainly draw connections to and inspiration from the courageous deeds of The White Rose. For what we recognize, something that far too many in our country do not, is that the legalization of abortion-on-demand constitutes nothing less than a holocaust right here on our soil. Even while the state requires teaching in our schools about the evils of genocide (and rightly so), it fails to see its own hypocrisy in the 50 million babies who have been slaughtered since the Supreme Court’s fateful decision in 1973.
During her long and intense interrogation, one of the many things Sophie Scholl described was a day when she witnessed mentally retarded children being loaded onto a bus by soldiers. Though other children at the school were told that the handicapped children were being “taken to heaven,” Sophie knew the horrific truth about what was being done to these “inferior” human beings. Abortion is not merely some political football, nor is it simply a matter of personal preference or choice. The innocent victims of this most violent and abhorrent act are not mere clumps of lifeless tissue. They are our brothers and sisters, our fellow citizens, our neighbors, our classmates … who were never given the chance to be. Until abortion-on-demand ceases to be the law of the land, the words “with liberty and justice for all” will always ring hollow.
As did the heroic members of The White Rose, those in the pro-life movement see the cause as something well beyond a social campaign – it’s a mission to save human lives. It’s a mission that will continue to require courage, fortitude, and diligence against a regime whose judgment and morality are clouded by the darkness of sin. We must continue to do what we can to inform, educate, engage, and act, even when doing so might be seen as an act of civil disobedience. Of all the atrocities committed in the history of mankind, abortion presents the starkest example of a case in which the laws of man violate the laws of nature, which is to say the laws of God.
“Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes– crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure– reach the light of day?” – excerpt from White Rose leaflet
“No one, regardless of circumstances, can pass divine judgment. No one knows what goes on in the minds of the mentally ill. No one knows how much wisdom can come from suffering. Every life is precious.” –Sophie Scholl