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With You There Is Light: Based on the True Story about Sophie Scholl and Fritz Hartnagel
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With You There Is Light: Based on the True Story about Sophie Scholl and Fritz Hartnagel

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  9 reviews

He told her what he witnessed. What she did with the truth changed history.

As a founding member of the White Rose student resistance in Munich during World War II, Sophie Scholl helped write, produce and distribute thousands of anti-Nazi leaflets all over Southern Germany and Austria.
Paperback, First Print, 306 pages
Published April 17th 2017 by L&L Media (first published July 16th 2016)
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Alexandra Lehmann Hello Ann, hallo. My father settled in Donauschingen after the war (from Schlesien) and gave me a copy of the Sophie Scholl's letters (in English) for…moreHello Ann, hallo. My father settled in Donauschingen after the war (from Schlesien) and gave me a copy of the Sophie Scholl's letters (in English) for my 16th birthday. My book is about Sophie and her boyfriend, Fritz (not her brother, Hans). I felt motivated to share the love story between a hero in the resistance and an officer in Hitler's Army. Their six year relationship, told mostly through translated letters, perfectly and perhaps timelessly demonstrates the moral complexity of living in a totalitarian state. Even today, most people cannot understand that Fritz was not a member of the party and stayed in the military in order to lead his men to safety (and not to serve a sick ideology). Still and yet, this is a concept that people can still strive to understand, and I believe rightly deserve.(less)
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I think that the idea of showing a lesser-known side to Sophie Scholl, that of her relationship with Fritz Hartnagel in the context of her evolution from childish support for Hitler to informed resistance as a grown-up, is very neat and one that would interest many other readers, as it did me.

But Alexandra Lehmann didn't handle this premise well. Historicity here is correct, for the most part, but the way the author presents Sophie and Fritz's story is terrible. The writing itself is bad enough,
Bill P
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well worth reading, enjoyed it very much.
I found this to be an excellent story
with a good pace and strong imagery that had me feeling that I was eavesdropping on Sophie’s life as well as a terrible point in history. I also found the story to be timely and a chilling reminder of what can happen to a society when free speech is suppressed, the press aligns with a government and people are afraid to speak out about the abuses of power. It’s all here.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
While I am (variously) interested in the Second World War and the German resistance movements therein, included but not limited to the White Rose, I struggled to finish reading this book, i.e. The primary issue(s) for me were the style of writing and approaching this story through a romantic lens and/or as historical fiction in the form of a romance novel. Unfortunately, I think the writing style and romantic approach diminished the story of the White Rose and, therein, the stories of Sophie Sch ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: goodreads giveaway winner

I really enjoyed this book, and as always, stories of those standing up to evil is inspiring. The use of diaries and letters add authenticity to the story. Unfortunately, sticking to that also leaves holes in the story and I don't see a way to fill them.

It did leave me with questions (what happened to the other members of the White Rose?).

Also, considering it was the basis for a grad student's paper, I was disappointed in the number of spelling and grammar mi
Alison Woods
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it was first released, and was captivated by the historical depth and texture, the way in which the author finely elaborated on deeply interior sense-feelings of the characters throughout their development. I enjoy the interpersonal aspects of their history, for me, in the end, this is so much a part of the story, it fills in so much and makes these events live on far beyond the reading of the book. Highly recommend.
Lucinda Quinn
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read!

Such a sad but very inspiring story. Hard to imagine living under Nazi rule but through Sophie's eyes we learn the terror ..... & then feel the strong determination of one young German woman who has a strong belief in God and her country..
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters. I am very interested in the White Rose movement and Sophie Scholl, but this book is very disjointed and poorly written. I will need to find another book on this topic. Any recommendations? ...more
Richard Hessney
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I confess to a certain bias because I know the author and how hard she labored on this historical novel. Still, I've read a lot of historical fiction and With You There Is Light is a high-quality work in terms of its themes (resistance to an evil regime and romance doomed by the ravages of war), memorable characters, dramatic tension, historical accuracy, creative imagination and readability. The role of Fritz Hartnagel in laying the groundwork for Sophie Scholl's active resistance, along with h ...more
Lavonna Phillips
I'm so glad that I stumbled upon this book...not only was it a very engaging, active narrative of Sophie and Fritz's experience as told by letters and diary entries, but it also gave a glimpse into the perspectives of other notable White Rose members such as Hans, Alex, Willi and Christoph. This book quickly held my attention, was easy to read and offered wonderful insights into a few of my favourite Germans. I am going to share this with my German clubs at University - it is highly recommended. ...more
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Alexandra Lehmann received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Albany in Political Science and German. Her German fluency is born of heritage and studying Germanistik at universities in Wuerzburg, Braunschweig, and Munich.​​ After nearly a decade of working in New York City as a copywriter and in Munich as a translator, Alexandra continued her Masters of Fine ...more

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