Sophie Scholl
What we said is believed my many others, only they don't dare speak up.
why? Tower White Rose monks machines more

white rose

In Nazi Germany a love of the arts led a few German students to sacrifice their lives to publish an underground newsletter. Sophie Scholl (shown above & below) was one of those students and their resistance group was named The White Rose. Our CD library’s newly revised volume on The White Rose features the memoirs of one of the surviving members, the first uncensored English translations of their leaflets, and a moving look at the relationship between art and resistance. It is illuminated by the art of the German Expressionists and the music of Bach, Beethoven and Schubert.

Sophie Scholl


I believe that the artist has a responsibility to engage, not retreat from the world. Therefore, it seems a strange irony that I chose to engage the world with a project organized around the symbol of a religious "retreat" from the world — a monastery cloister. This decision of mine has led to a lot of misunderstanding that I would like to clear up right now.

First off, I believe that the true monk hidden away in the cloister is engaging the world in a profound and important way (this is explored in quite an amazing way on the Monks CD when you get to play a monk in the adventure game, Meat & Conversation.) Second, before I began If Monks had Macs I truly was retreating into my art -- I was staying in my room and photographing nothing but still lifes. However Shattered, the library volume pictured below, displays the best of those photos and explains why I abandoned photography for nearly two decades to build Monks.



The image above is a self-portrait (I'm playing Death) from an April Fools Day anti-war protest. This edition of Monks includes a greatly expanded However Shattered which displays and critiques my return to photography as well as my introduction to filmmaking. After many false starts I found a way to not just photograph protests, but to take my passion for art & ideas out of the cloister and into the streets. However Shattered asks and answers the question, "How do you take pictures of a protest without taking yourself out of the protest?" A different version of the last of the photo narratives included in the latest edition of Monks and several newer ones are now on online in my new photography gallery.


NEXT page: books that actually have got something to do with monks

© Brian Thomas, 2009
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Excerpts from the 6 leaflets that the White Rose published in Nazi Germany before the Gestapo caught them:

Who among us can conceive the extent of the shame that will descend upon us and our children, when finally the veil drops from our eyes and the ghastly crimes beyond human measure are visible to the whole world?
- 1st leaflet

For it is [the average citizen's] apathy which has afforded these sinister men the opportunity to act as they have; ... indeed, [each citizen] is himself guilty, for the fact that it could have come to power in the first place! Each person wishes to exonerate himself from this complicity, and each then does so and can then sleep again with a clear conscience. But he cannot exonerate himself, each person is guilty, guilty, guilty!
- 2nd leaflet

Many, maybe even most, of you reading this leaflet are not sure how to resist. You don't see any opportunities. We'd like to show you that anyone is in a position to help bring this system down. Individual opposition, in the style of an embittered recluse, is not going to help prepare the ground for this "government's" fall, or bring about the revolution as quickly as possible; rather, what is needed is the coordinated vigorous activity of many dedicated people, people who agree on the means by which to realize their goal...
- 3rd leaflet

We will not shut up, we are your bad conscience; The White Rose will not leave you in peace.
- 4th leaflet

Imperialistic power ideology, no matter where it arises, must be banished forever. … Workers must be freed from their base servitude by means of a rationally thought-out socialism.
- 5th leaflet

Freedom and honor! For ten long years, Hitler and his comrades have sickened us with their overuse and misuse of these two magnificent German words, squeezing all meaning out of them, as only dilettantes can, casting a nation's highest values before swine. ... Germany's name will be forever dishonored if German youth does not finally rise up, in vengeance and absolution, to destroy its tormentors and establish a new spiritual Europe. Fellow Students! The eyes of the German people are upon us!
- 6th leaflet

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