Freiheit!: The White Rose Graphic Novel HC
Publisher: Plough Publishing House
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Price: $24.00
Creator: Andrea Grosso Ciponte
Format: 112 pgs., Full-Color, 7.75" x 10", Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-8748-6344-4
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

This book is an oddity, thanks to the artwork of Andrea Grosso Ciponte.  The graphic designs of the pages, which sometimes include unusual visual viewpoints and imagery, seem an odd fit to tell this grim and dark story.  This is the tale of a small group of would-be resisters, fighting the Nazi regime with literature and leaflets, and from the way the story is told here, it is only because of their own carelessness that they were caught.

On the other hand, the leaflets that they created were so powerfully written that one of them was used by the British in a major propaganda leaflet program, with White Rose leaflet quotes being printed on 5 million copies dropped by air onto Germany.  Not bad, considering that’s more than a thousand times the biggest print run that the White Rose managed, according to this book.

Not everyone will like the style of the artwork, and some may want a more in-depth story than this graphic work provides.  Still, for those interested in how German citizens viewed the Nazi movement, this provides a different insight than most other studies have managed.  One of the key elements to the story is that this book contains the text of the six major leaflets that the White Rose group produced.

"Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct."  Would the actions of Germany have been different if more people had expressed similar sentiments?

A good starting point for teens and adults who want to learn about the German resistance movement.

--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.