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Thursday, June 25, 2009

History: January through December 2004

September 30, 2004
I had hoped to be able to update this on a weekly basis after June 30. Obviously, that has not happened. Oh sigh.

Glad to report that my energy levels are at a twenty-year high. I've heard from others who have gone through a similar surgery that I should expect to feel even better in another six months. I can hardly wait! It's been such great fun, getting back to a more normal life without constantly worrying about my health.

We shipped the 2003 update on September 1. What a relief. I have to say, while I'm excited about it, I'm also a little nervous about people's reactions. I think I pretty much slaughtered every sacred cow that exists in White Rose legend in this update. What I wrote is the truth, and I've got the database to back it up.

But I'm aware that many folks don't enjoy seeing haloes removed. They prefer the fiction, because they can comfortably pretend they are not responsible for the same level of justice-doing that our White Rose friends undertook, because they are not as "good" as our heroes.

When all along, the reality is that Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl, Willi Graf and Traute Lafrenz, Alex Schmorell and Kaethe Schueddekopf, Prof. Huber and Dr. Muth, Wilhelm Geyer and Harald Dohrn, Christl Probst and Gerhard Feuerle ~ and all the rest ~ were every bit as flawed as you and I. They accomplished their great and noble deeds despite their gut-wrenching flaws.

And as we face that truth, we understand all over again that we cannot wait until we are "good" before we face injustice head-on and right the wrongs that are in our faces every day. That is a decidedly uncomfortable place to be (I speak from experience). Life's easier when our idols stay on stage with makeup intact.

End soapbox.

I also just got a partial timeline posted to the Center for White Rose Studies Web site. So you can have a tiny taste of how rich the full story is,
check out that site. So far I've only been able to create a complete timeline for February 18 and 22, 1943, and even these days are not fully fleshed out. Nevertheless, prepare to have your socks knocked off.

9/30/04 newsletter went out this week. If you did not get a copy and would like to receive one, please email me and I'll make sure it goes out to you. It's chock full of good stuff, including excerpts from my recent research and a new set of White Rose cheers & jeers.

Finally, I'd like to put in an unabashed plug for our affiliate and benefactor, DEHeap Enterprises, Inc. They keep your Center for White Rose Studies going, and at great personal cost.

Please please please support their "for-profit" work. It underwrites everything we do here. If you need someone to write procedures to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 regulations, they can do that for you and save you money on your auditors' invoices. If you need trouble-shooting for your accounting procedures or employee handbook, they are the ones to call. Get the scoop on the Business Services section of their Web site ~ the same Web site that hosts your source for CWRS information.

June 30, 2004
It's about time I catch up on the first half of this year, and then start weekly updates to the journal. Wish me luck!

On March 19, I had surgery to clear up health issues that have been plaguing me for the last twenty years, and that had rendered me all but incapacitated since April 2002. Within 48 hours of the surgery, two of the four medical issues had cleared up completely, and despite the pain of major surgery, I felt better than I had in a long while.

Despite the almost miraculous results of surgery, recovery has been slow and difficult. It's now primarily a matter of regaining strength. My body can no longer tolerate sugar, caffeine, fatty foods, or carbonated beverages (nooo beeeer), and the usual crutches we use as pick-me-ups through the day generally contain one or more of those ingredients. By 3:30 or 4 pm, I tend to have petered out. Nevertheless, the work I get done before that time is far more concentrated and of better quality than it was pre-surgery, simply because I feel better.

I've also had to take a temporary job to pay some of the bills incurred since April 2002. This has slowed my White Rose work to a crawl, since I do not have the energy to work evenings as planned. So any writing gets done on weekends.

But my old optimism has returned, which is more than half the battle. All four medical issues are now resolved, and as my body gets stronger, my mind follows suit. If nothing else, this experience has taught me how important it is for us in this terribly wealthy American society to ensure that children born to poverty get nutritious meals and regular medical treatment. If we don't do that, we are guaranteeing that the cycle of poverty continues. Health affects ability to think and learn far more than we understand at present.

White Rose news to report from the past six months: The new group in Munich has not yet demonstrated that they are genuinely willing to be as open and committed to truth as they initially said. They've invited Detlef Bald to participate in some of their "scholarly" events, although Bald has been completely discredited by real scholars. In my opinion, anyone who is interested in pursuing the truth about German resistance and the White Rose will steer clear of Bald, at least until he breaks his ties with Dr. Wittenstein (Nazi Party member #7667868).

Despite the delays, my work on the "2003 Update" is progressing nicely. I think it's going to be worth the wait, because the information from new sources is just too fascinating. In the update, Willi Graf comes off better than anyone else, because it's now perfectly clear that his father was not a German who flew under the radar and tried to get along to make a living for his family. Instead, Willi Graf's father was a serious, committed Nazi who helped found the Nazi Party in the Saarland and hobnobbed with people who were close, personal friends of Adolf Hitler. That Willi Graf came out of that environment as perhaps the White Rose person most committed to resistance, is nothing short of mindboggling.

In contrast, the 2003 update will shatter even more illusions about Hans Scholl. Not only is there more information about his sexual orientation in general and his sexual abuse of boys in his Hitler Youth/d.j.1.11 squad specifically, but new (and reliable) material paints him as a weak, malleable person, instead of the leader most people envision him to be.

I am also grateful to Philippe Willocx for his extraordinary digging into White Rose minutiae even I had not thought to question (Philippe, that is a huge compliment!). He has found so much new stuff that it cannot go into the 2003 update, but will have to wait for 2004 (although a great deal of what he sent me will affect White Rose History Volume II, May 1942 - October 1943). Philippe's darling daughter Sophie was confirmed on May 9, 2004 ~ the date was unplanned, but the significance of the date was not lost on either Philippe or Sophie!

And finally, an essay worth posting. Rabbi Michael Singer begins his short essay with the following question: "'Where there are no worthy persons, strive to be a worthy person.' (Hillel, Pirke Avot 1:6). Lately I have been struggling with a difficult question: if I was not Jewish and was living in Germany during the time of the Shoah, would I have risked my life by hiding Jews or actively resisting the Nazis?" The entire essay is posted on this blog, with Rabbi Singer's permission.

Reading his powerful but simple words made me realize that if more people in my German community were willing to say "We did not do enough", and if more people in my Jewish community were willing to ask Rabbi Singer's question, there could finally be healing and reconciliation. But as long as people in my German community say, "We didn't know" (pffft), and as long as people in my Jewish community refuse to quit throwing stones long enough to understand what resistance cost, we will continue to hurt one another.

And most importantly, those of us in the German-Jewish-American community ~ and indeed, the global community at large ~ will have missed the whole point, which is what Rabbi Singer is trying to say. Wherever there is injustice, it is up to us, not someone else, to right those wrongs. If we focus on the past without learning its lessons, all of us will be condemned to repeat it.

January 8, 2004
On a very positive note, received a letter from Dr. Erich Schmorell today. He had not commented on White Rose History Volume I when we sent it to him in the summer of 2002. He apologized for his tardiness and noted that he had had to work through the text with a German-English dictionary at hand, which had required a great deal of time.

But he was determined to read every word, because of the vilification my work has received from people like the Scholls and Wittenstein, who have their own agenda in the "version" of the White Rose legend they perpetuate. He wanted to see for himself why everyone was so angry.

And he loved the book. Said it was very well researched and presented the White Rose friends accurately. Yea!

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