Here is PopCultHQ’s Spoiler-Free Review of…
FREIHEIT!: THE WHITE ROSE Graphic Novel
With an entire nation blindly following an evil leader, where did a handful of students find the courage to resist? The university students who formed the White Rose, an undercover resistance movement in Nazi Germany, knew that doing so could cost them their lives. But some things are worth dying for.
The White Rose printed and distributed leaflets to expose Nazi atrocities and wake up their fellow citizens. The Gestapo caught and executed them. Sophie Scholl was twenty-one; her brother Hans, twenty-four; Christoph Probst, twenty-three; Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf, twenty-five.
But the White Rose was not silenced. Their heroism continues to inspire new generations of resisters. Now, for the first time, this story that has been celebrated in print and film can be experienced as a graphic novel. Italian artist Andrea Grosso Ciponte’s haunting imagery will resonate with today’s students and activists. The challenges they face may vary, but the need for young people to stand up against evil, whatever the cost, will remain.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
FREIHEIT!: THE WHITE ROSE Graphic Novel
World War II was a time of great struggle. For six long years, the world was held in a grip of terror thanks to the efforts of the Nazis and their allies. Yet within that iron-gripped nation, there was resistance. People willing to look past the loud, angry messages of Adolf Hitler and work to open the eyes of fellow Germans to what was happening. The White Rose group gave the full measure of their devotion to Germany to try and help their homeland. This is their story.
Writing: History is a patchwork of events large and small. They are woven together in a tapestry that remains fixed for all time, as both a warning and story for future generations. Writer Ciponte has taken one of stories of World War II, a story of bravery, of youth rising up against evil, and brought it back into the light for new audiences. His story touches not only on the efforts of the students as they work to enlighten the German people about the evils of the Nazis, but also the broader implications of their actions. Not only within their own circle of friendship, but their families and friends as well. He highlights their bravery and the uncompromising nature of their mission to try and wake their country up from the nightmare it had fallen into.
Art/Colors: Artistically speaking, Ciponte could have gone in any number of directions with this book. His decision to frame the narrative using art that is three different parts is very unique. One part observation of the White Rose students, one part newsreel footage, and one part letters/papers pertaining the story; this allows readers to view this point in history from multiple angles. By granting audiences this level of access from a creative perspective, he highlights the internal efforts of the group and the external events, both past and present, happening in Germany. With regards to color choices, they reflect the nature of the book, a look at the past. There is a grainy quality to the colors, not unlike the graininess of a photograph or old newsreel footage. This not only serves to enhance the artwork, it elevates the overall tone of the book.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
Andrea Ciponte’s retelling of the White Rose is exactly the sort of graphic novel that is needed in the modern age. Amidst political strife, social injustice, and economic toil, stories like this not only can give new generations of activists heroes to emulate, but also gives readers and history a window into the past for them to look through, see, and learn from. Let this book not only be a new addition to anyone’s bookshelf, let it also embolden and empower all who want to make a difference in the world for future generations.
5 out of 5 Stars
Purchase FREIHEIT!: THE WHITE ROSE Graphic Novel online:
Publisher – Plough Publishing House