Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler” as Want to Read:
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,718 ratings  ·  460 reviews
In his signature eloquent prose, backed up by thorough research, Russell Freedman tells the story of Austrian-born Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie. They belonged to Hitler Youth as young children, but began to doubt the Nazi regime. As older students, the Scholls and a few friends formed the White Rose, a campaign of active resistance to Hitler and the Nazis. Risking imp ...more
Hardcover, 104 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Clarion Books
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 We Will Not Be Silent, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mary Lou This is a non-fiction book about German college students who started a resistance movement against Hitler and the Nazi government in WWII.
Mary Lou I think so. This book talks about real young people who were jailed and ultimately decapitated by their government for speaking out against the holoca…moreI think so. This book talks about real young people who were jailed and ultimately decapitated by their government for speaking out against the holocaust. Why hit kids with the horrors of the holocaust and Hitler at that age? Let them have their innocence as long as you can. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,718 ratings  ·  460 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Please visit my blog for reviews on children's books like this regarding the Holocaust and WWII

We Will Not Be Silent by Russell Freedman is a book about The White Rose Student Resistance Movement in Germany. Hans and Sophie were members of Hitler's Youth, until they got wise and learned what was unfolding right in front of them. They decide that they want to expose Hitler and the Nazi regime. Their siblings also became involved. The courage and perseverance of this gr
I hope this wins the YALSA award for Nonfiction, or the Sibert Award! I hope this is not Freedman's final book, but if it is, it certainly closes the circle of his writing career. His first book was about teenagers who affected history. This one was about young adults in their early 20s who affected WWII. Both the Scholl siblings as well as others they worked with were in their early 20s when they did their acts of heroism and died for their bravery. Sophie was 21 years old. Her brother, Hans, w ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5.0 Have you ever picked up an unassuming and modest looking gift and opened it only to reveal a present that took your breath away? That is exactly what this short, young adult story about resistance to the Nazi's within Germany, did to me. This is such a well done non-fiction story and it flows flawlessly like an amazingly crafted story. Unfortunately, the contents are anything but a fictional story and that is why this book is so important. It is hard for people to fathom a whole nation being ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
This beginning of this book was slow and hard for me to get into, but at the end it got sort of better!
Barb Middleton
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My interest in World War II youth resistance groups started when I read, "The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club" by Phillip Hoose. I can add this to another terrific children's book on a little-known topic. Or at least, little-known to me. Hans and Sophie Scholl were members of the Hitler Youth organization before they became disillusioned with the anti-Semitism and rigid group's ways. They organized a resistance group at the University of Munich and decided to pro ...more
L. McCoy
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone interested in history and young readers who need inspiration.
Alright, I read a lot of nonfiction about history because I’m into history stuff, mostly when it involves war and/or the wild west, I gotta say this is amazing and I can’t believe I never heard of this book or subject.

What’s it about?
There’s a family living in Germany in WW2. At first the kids of the family were tricked by Hitler’s bulls*** but eventually realized how wrong the Nazis are and they decide to start a resistance movement that many people, especially teens and young adults, participa
Alex  Baugh
Russell Freedman has written a wonderfully succinct history of the short-lived White Rose resistance movement the formed in Nazi Germany after some friends became disillusioned with the whole National Socialist government and its leader Adolf Hitler.

Freedman highlights the White Rose's history through the lives of siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl. Hans, once a willing participant in the Hitler Youth and a natural born leader, quickly began to realize that within the youth organization and Germany
Edward Sullivan
Excellent account of the White Rose resistance movement founded by siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl who were arrested for treason and beheaded by the Nazi regime. An inspiring story of young people making the ultimate sacrifice to resist evil.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am very into WWII, specifically the resistance against the evil that was happening. I like to see the good, those trying to help others, even at the risk of their own lives. The horrors of WWII show the world that the light can't be snuffed out, no matter how hard the darkness tries.

So this book was an incredibly powerful read for me. The pictures are so poignant and while what ended up happening was tragic, it was powerful and didn't stop when those responsible were "dealt with" by the evil
I'm really glad I read this. It's hard to find stuff about the White Rose that's still available, so I was thrilled to find this in the first place. It's a pretty simplified version - understandably considering who it's written for - but it meant the general WWII stuff was noting really new, but I learned a lot about the White Rose and the young people behind it. It's a really timely book, especially with how the ending was written. I'm definitely going to be seeking out some of the books and ma ...more
The story of The White Rose should never be forgotten. They could have thrown bombs. They raised their words. I first learned of The White Rose in high school when we read some of their leaflets. Then I watched the movie Sophie Scholl. This book is a very good way to introduce young readers to these amazing men and women.
Michelle Glatt
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very accessible account of the White Rose Resistance. Freedman's research is impeccable as always, and primary sources included throughout add to the impact of this work. A solid addition to middle and high school collections. ...more
Sadly, I'd never heard of the White Rose movement before! My loss, because this book was fascinating. The author tells their story clearly and thoughtfully, without focusing on the details of their arrests and executions. It's an inspiring story of youth-lead resistance within the greater picture of World War II. ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a very slight read. The photographic evidence is probably the best part; it's pretty amazing how many photographs exist of these people. This book touches on the Holocaust but it isn't nonfiction about the Holocaust, at least to me: it's nonfiction about German people during Hitler's rise to power. And it's less - graphic - than it could be, because it's for young readers, but it is still powerful in places. ...more
Ms. Yingling
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Whenever our 8th graders do a Holocaust project, one of the topics assigned is the White Rose Movement, so I am glad to finally have a great book on the topic! In this well-illustrated and cleanly formatted book, Freedman tells the story of Sophie and Hans Scholl's family, and the teens involvement in resisting the Nazis. Not only are there lots of family photos, but there are pictures of buildings and other people who are tangential to the story. Unfortun
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, I love this book, I love this book! This is aimed towards children aged 11-14, but everyone should read it.
I had only heard of the White Rose movement, but knew very little if anything. I don't think I ever realized they were German students. I don't think you hear enough about the *German* people fighting back (or attempting to). The book keeps your interest with photographs and not a huge amount of text. Little snippets of these people's lives and why they did what they did.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I first read about Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Student Resistance Movement in German psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut's chapter On Courage in his The Search for the Self, and she is one of my all-time life heroes. Even her Nazi interrogator was much struck by her courage prior to her execution, by guillotine, for making and distributing a series of scathingly true leaflets against Hitler and his Nazis. At the time of her execution, Sophie was just 21 years old.

This slim volume, with footnotes, in
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-caudills
Wow. I am so happy that this is a Caudill nominee you have no idea. It was a really powerful story about World War ll and Hitler. I love that it focuses more on the German vs German Nazis, because usually WWll books are about the Jews vs Nazis. It was really cool to see that perspective. Overall, very good book and highly recommended for everyone.
Sonia Crites
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a small but powerful book. It beautifully tells the story of a group of college students who stood up to Hitler and ended up losing everything. The White Rose was brave and based on there internal integrity. I recommend it.
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a great story that I really didn't know existed. The pictures really added to it. I would've preferred a first person narration, though. It would've been a bit richer in my opinion. ...more
Katelyn Evert
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Freedman, R. (2016). We will not be silent. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

This book could be used during History while covering World War II.

Level 1 – Remembering
- Why do you think so many people wanted to join the Hitler Youth Movement? (pg.2)
- Why did Hans join the d.j.1.11 (Deutsche Jungendschaft)?
- Why did Alex help write the White Rose campaign pamphlets, even though he could lose his life? (p. 61)
- What caused a riot at Munich University? (pg. 65)

Level 2 – Understanding
- Can you ex
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I chose to read this book after having listened to "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson. Nazi Germany was on my mind when I stumbled across this book in the library, and having never heard of the White Rose Student Resistance Movement, I decided to educate myself.

The book is well-written and very well documented with photographs, quotations, and references. Russell Freedman intends this book for upper-elementary and middle-school students, so if you're looking for a great deal of depth and d
Anna Ryckman
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book opened my eyes to a different perspective of the Holocaust that I was not aware of before. This is an extremely well-written and well-researched book on a group of students who resisted the Nazi regime, called the White Rose. The book focuses mainly on the perspective of two siblings, Hans and Sophie Scholl, who wrote and distributed leaflets that encouraged people to open their eyes to what was really happening and take action. The two were eventually arrested and put to death, but th ...more
Jolleen Ortiz
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informative-text
I think this was a great book. I originally wanted to read a book about the Salem Witch Trials but this one was next to it on a list of informative texts for children. What caught my attention the most was that this book was about The White Rose. I know a decent amount about Hitler and his reign but I had no idea what The White Rose was. What was most interesting was the pictures within this book. There are all real pictures from real-time and events in that time period which I really appreciate ...more
Joyce Koelliker
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love books written by Russell Freedman! This book introduced me to the White Rose student resistance movement within Germany, which I had never before read about. This book was a very comprehensive history of how and why these students felt moved to defy Adolf Hitler, through the personal stories of mainly Hans and Sophie Scholl. So many lessons we need to pay attention to from this time in history, and how such a great evil was brought about. (I would like to insert so many political opinions ...more
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This is the story of brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, as well as some of their friends, who were beheaded by the Nazis for leading the White Rose resistance movement which involved sending out leaflets in many places in Germany, especially at the University of Munich where they were students. Though they were brought up in the Hitler youth, they came to see that their government was evil and that they had a responsibility to resist it in whatever ways they could.

I had never heard of th
Freedman's nonfiction is as much a biography of the White Rose students including the brother and sister pair as it is a monument to the resistance movement. He paints a portrait of life as a Hitler Youth but then moves into the tragic territory of their untimely deaths in their early twenties after being caught, tried, and beheaded via guillotine by the courts because resistance could not be tolerated. It was a fascinating story that was easy to follow, had plenty of pictures including one that ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
No wonder this won the Sibert Award for best non-fiction for teens! The White Rose Movement is a tragic and heroic story from a horrific time in history. The strength and determination of young people in times of crisis never ceases to amaze me, and I only wish we would see a White Rose type movement spring up in America at this turbulent time in our fractured history. I love Russell Freedman's mix of photojournalism and poignant writing, as I think that is appealing to all ages, widening his au ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
So much in history is pushed aside in favor of facts, dates, and statistics. This non-fiction account of a student resistance against the Nazis is a fascinating study in human courage. So often today young people are criticized for being over-idealistic when it comes to politics or world view. This is the true story of students who were compelled to do what they knew was right while all around them others looked the other way. These German students can be held up as examples in conscience and ri ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of the student resistance movement called The White Rose, and I cannot believe I only heard about it this year via the Mighty Girls FB page.

Sophie Scholl was only 21 years old when she was executed for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. Her brother Hans was 24.

I nearly took a star off because this book is slightly simplistic and I wish it would have gone into a bit more depth, and then I remembered it's a kids' book, so five stars it is. Well worth a read to get a general overvi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
  • Sea Otter Heroes
  • The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
  • Paper Things
  • It Ain't So Awful, Falafel
  • Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued
  • White Rose
  • I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980 (I Survived, #14)
  • Red, White, and Whole
  • Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story
  • Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps
  • The Sandwich Swap
  • Mapping the Bones
  • The Seventh Most Important Thing
  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March
  • The Traveler's Gift: A Story of Loss and Hope
  • Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere
  • In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Russell A. Freedman was an American biographer and the author of nearly 50 books for young people. He may be known best for winning the 1988 Newbery Medal with his work Lincoln: A Photobiography.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press and as a publicity writer. His nonfiction books ranged in

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
61 likes · 28 comments
“We have a large circle—all of them anti-Hitler,” one participant told Inge. “And each of these friends has his own separate circle which is anti-Hitler, and so on and so forth: a great underground network against Hitler. If only someone could get them to act collectively.” 2 likes
“The Fuhrer himself was the target of the fourth leaflet: "Every word that comes from Hitler's mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed." This leaflet ended with the words "We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace.” 1 likes
More quotes…