Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sophie Scholl: The Real Story of the Woman who Defied Hitler” as Want to Read:
Sophie Scholl: The Real Story of the Woman who Defied Hitler
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sophie Scholl: The Real Story of the Woman who Defied Hitler

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  102 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
On February 22,1943, three students from the White Rose, a small underground resistance movement, were executed by guillotine. One of them was a 21-year-old Munich University student named Sophie Scholl, who had courageously fought against Nazi tyranny, not with bullets or bombs but with words, printed in leaflets, that proclaimed a passionate desire to live in a free and ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 2nd 2010 by The History Press (first published June 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sophie Scholl, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sophie Scholl

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 305)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
The woman herself seemed incredibly courageous, determined, and clear about what was necessary for freedom -- and she was ready to contribute her own life to the struggle. She remained to the end faithful to her belief system. Even when confronting her parents in the hour before her execution, she was calm and reconciled. And her brother's final shout as the guillotine fell was "Long live freedom!" Moving and inspiring.

I didn't find McDonough's writing very passionate or engaging, unfortunately
Kate Forsyth
Aug 02, 2014 Kate Forsyth rated it really liked it
The heart-breaking story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose, a group of young university students who protested against the crimes of the Nazi regime and paid for it with their lives.
Jerry Kaczmarowski
Oct 29, 2014 Jerry Kaczmarowski rated it really liked it
I am writing a young adult book called the Black Rose that is a fictional account of a group of young Germans caught up in World War II. It is a pivot off the real world White Rose of which Sophie Scholl was a member.

I was trying to get a sense for how German teenagers who were against the war would feel when trapped in a world not of their making. McDonough does a great job giving the reader a sense of what Sophie was thinking and feeling. Her Christian beliefs come through loud and clear as do
Jul 29, 2011 Shauni rated it really liked it
I've always been very interested in the aspects of Nazi Germany, and when the chance arose for me to study this topic in A-Level German, I jumped at the chance. The book is so interesting, and a true insight into the terror and tension felt during those years. Would recommend to anyone who is a fan of deep reading, though for some, watching the film may be an easier and more enjoyable idea.
Mrs. Hassig
Jan 23, 2016 Mrs. Hassig rated it really liked it
I'm so glad I finally finished this book. Even though I know the story, I still found new things I hadn't known before. It's also rather disheartening reading a story when you know the ending and the ending is tragic. But I perservered on and while I was finishing it in the Detroit airport a young lady next to me asked me about it. She said she had done a huge paper on Sophie and hadn't seen the book before. I loaned it to her for a few minutes and asked if she'd seen the movie "Sophie Scholl: t ...more
Jeanette Stingley
Nov 01, 2009 Jeanette Stingley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been fascinated by the history of World War 2. I think it is because the number of family members I had serve during the time combined with working at an assisted living facility when I was in my early 20's where the majority of the residents were Jewish. I used to love listening to their stories. When author Frank McDonough wrote to me asking if I would like to read and review the book Sophie Scholl: The Real Story of the Woman who Defied Hitler, I of course accepted!

Sophie Scholl
Mar 13, 2013 Iain rated it it was amazing
"It is unbelievable, to what extent one must betray a people in order to rule it." ~ Adolf Hitler (Mein Kamf, 1925)

"A book written in the worst German I have ever read, in spite of the fact that it has been elevated to the position of the Bible in this nation of poets and thinkers." ~ Hans Scholl

The White Rose resistance movement to the Nazi regime was led by Hans and Sophie Scholl and it was in the leaflets of these young German university students that Hitler found one his greatest foes. Child
Jan 24, 2013 Caleb rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
I recently finished this moving account of the life of Sophie Scholl, a German student who bravely resisted the Nazis. The book does a good job of telling the story of Sophie's life and the events that propelled her into speaking out against the Nazis.

The White Rose group of which she was a part published leaflets trying to stir the consciences of German people to resist what the Nazis were doing. They did not have clearly defined political objectives - it was a moral and philosophical protest,
Emily Squires
Oct 15, 2014 Emily Squires rated it it was amazing
I've admired the story of Sophie Scholl for years. Her courage to speak out against the Nazi Regime is one of the reasons why she is so highly regarded. I thought this book served her, much justice. I learnt alot more about, not only her life but life in general in the late 30s in Germany - which sadly isn't written alot. I highly recommend it.

A hero of Germany when they didn't have many and she unfortunately paid the price.
A fairly recent biography on Sophie Scholl, this book has details not included in the other books I've read on the White Rose. It seems that the author had access to more documentation (including Gestapo records and trial transcripts), which serves to give the book a more credible and factual feel. The author seems to have a liberal bent, though he does make a strong effort to show how important some form of Christianity was to the members of the White Rose.

I'd have given it a much higher ratin
Nov 16, 2013 Chelsea rated it did not like it
I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. Though it was mostly factually correct, it was told in such a tepid, awkward, detached manner that it was unbearable. The translations of quotes were especially cringe-worthy, written in a very stilted manner of speech. There were numerous grammatical and factual errors that could have been easily corrected with just a bit of editing, editing Frank McDonough evidently thought his book was above. One such error mentions that there was a farewell party ...more
Lauren Hopkins
Aug 04, 2011 Lauren Hopkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a very good biography about Sophie Scholl, going beyond the White Rose, digging into bits left unsaid by other historians...though the book is RIDDLED with typos! Some are quite important, like names being spelled inconsistently throughout (Ernst Reden is a victim of multiple misspellings). In some sentences, entire words are left out. How embarrassing for the author, who has otherwise written a fine work...he should be ashamed at his editors! Otherwise it's an honest look into Sophie's lif ...more
Nov 21, 2009 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I've read just about anything "Sophie" I could get my hands on since I was a kid. This book was a welcome addition to my knowledge of Sophie's life. This one seemed to emphasize her humanness and documents the path that led to both her readiness and willingness to die for what was right. Her faith in God and the pleasure she received by seeking God through creation and thought was inspiration. Much was revealed about her brother Hans as well. Some of what Sophie was credited for actually was an ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Alison rated it really liked it
This was more a factual account than I was expecting. I enjoyed it and found it inspiring and challenging but it did rather break up the narrative when I had to flip to the notes section every few lines!
Frank Peters
Jul 02, 2011 Frank Peters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The topic of the book was outstanding. While people from Germany all know about Sophie Scholl already, most of the rest of us do not. She is worth reading about and worthy of a massive amount of respect. The author was clear about his purpose: to present Sophie as she was, not as a saint. I appreciate this greatly. The largest problem with the book was the editor. The number of grammatical errors and other typos was shocking for a published book.
Jan 03, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
An excellent book about a remarkably courageous young woman, who spoke out against the Nazi regime. However, the book was spoilt by the numerous typographical, grammatical and other errors, which could have been eliminated at the proof reading stage.
Dianne Burton
Aug 16, 2013 Dianne Burton rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing story of the determination of a few to influence many and with such courage and faith. I loved this book and it brought me to tears and I had not heard of Sophie Scholl prior to reading it.
A must read.
Michael Kage
May 27, 2012 Michael Kage rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Sophie School and her brother Hans have a remarkable story. Who knows if their actions really changed anything but their courage in Germany is astounding.
Aug 05, 2012 Graham rated it it was amazing
Very moving. Definitely on a par with the Dumbach/Newborn biog. Highly recommended.
Jan 26, 2011 Kip rated it really liked it
It was great to see a new book in English about Sophie Scholl. I've been studying the White Rose for years and am always interested in reading a new perspective on this tragic story.

There are many amazing sources in German, such as Barbara Leisner's excellent biography, but I don't believe that or many other works about the resistance group have been translated into English.

I was impressed with McDonough's research and the new details he presented. While meant for an adult audience, it should
Oct 17, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2012-new
Natasha marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Denise marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Emily rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2016
Heidi Walton
Heidi Walton rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2016
Kate marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2016
Michael marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
Rhonda Walker
Rhonda Walker rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2016
Maria marked it as to-read
Jan 19, 2016
Rano added it
Jan 18, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sophie Scholl and the White Rose
  • At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl
  • Irena Sendler: Mother of the Children of the Holocaust
  • Your Name Is Renee: Ruth Kapp Hartz's Story as a Hidden Child in Nazi-Occupied France
  • The White Rose
  • Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust
  • The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust
  • The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation
  • The Final Journey
  • I Am a Star: Child of the Holocaust
  • The Nazis: A Warning from History
  • Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe
  • Mud, Blood, and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War
  • Forgotten Victory. The First World War: Myths and Reality
  • Into the Tunnel: The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931-1943
  • Farewell to Prague
  • Wallenberg: Missing Hero
  • Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II
Professor Frank McDonough is a British historian of 20th century Germany and International History. Born in Liverpool, England, he worked as a shipping clerk and an insurance clerk before he joined Liverpool John Moores University as a Professor of International History in the School of Humanities and Social Science.
His major areas of research are: international history, particularly Anglo-German
More about Frank McDonough...

Share This Book