actual guillotine from Scholl executionSixty-eight years ago today, on Feb 22, 1943, three Christian students in Munich, Germany, were executed for their peaceful resistance to the Nazi German government. Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans, and their friend Christoph Probst (who had a wife and children) were members of the White Rose resistance – a non-violent, intellectual movement of students opposed to the policies and actions of Hitler and his government, based upon their Christian beliefs. They were decapitated by guillotine in Munich’s Stadelheim Prison for the “crime” of passing out pamphlets in opposition to Hitler and Nazism, a crime of treason.

All too often, I have heard Christians lament the lack of opposition from within the German Church to the rise of Hitler and National Socialism. Sadly, there is some truth to this, but I have found more and more stories – like those of the White Rose, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Claus von Stauffenberg and others – which show that not all of Germany, nor its Christians, were in agreement with their government’s actions.

How many of us would be comfortable standing not only for our faith, but for its teachings, in such a situation? I wish I could say I would be, but I wonder how it would be when the rubber met the road…


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