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The White Rose Memorial Lecture 2014

Remembering resisters

Munich, 01/31/2014

Bishop Susanne Breit-Kessler spoke of the need to resist and the forms resistance can take. In her talk, she not only recalled those who resisted the Nazi regime, but underlined the relevance of their example to current political crises.

Ausschnitt aus dem Denkmal zur Weißen Rose: In den Boden eingelassene Steintafeln mit den Flugblättern der Widerstandsgruppe.
Part of the White Rose Memorial at LMU: The plates embedded in the pavement are inscribed with the texts of the protests written by the resistance group.

“It is not enough to bind the wounds of the victim broken on the wheel. The wheel itself must be stopped in its tracks.” These words were spoken by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Protestant theologian and implacable opponent of the Nazis, in April 1933, and Susanne Breit-Kessler placed them at the head of her lecture. In the course of her talk, she explained that, for her, the quotation expresses the moral imperative that guided the actions of the White Rose, the student resistance group headed by Hans und Sophie Scholl. Brother and sister were arrested 71 years ago after they had left copies of the sixth of the protests against Nazi terror, which they had written secretly printed, scattered around the Main Building at LMU. They had been observed by a caretaker, who promptly denounced them to the Gestapo. Four days later, on 22 February 1943, together with their friend and comrade Christoph Probst, the Scholls were executed in Stadelheim Prison.

Susanne Breit-Kessler’s White Rose Lecture can be heard here (in German):

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The White Rose Lectures delivered in recent years, including that given last year by Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic, are now available as podcasts.

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