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White Rose: Background information when reading Lessons

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A novel

by Ian McEwan

Lessons by Ian McEwan X
Lessons by Ian McEwan
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  • Published:
    Sep 2022, 448 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Jacob Lenz-Avila
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About this Book

White Rose

This article relates to Lessons

White Rose Public Memorial: Display of leaflets fanned out on ground with bouquet of white flowers on top In Ian McEwan's Lessons, Roland Baines, a member of the English baby boomer generation, who "as they turned adult" began "to wonder at the dangers they never had to face," contrasts his own achievements disparagingly with his German father-in-law's association with the White Rose anti-Nazi movement during World War II. This nonviolent resistance group was formed in Munich in 1942 and consisted mainly of students, including siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, Willi Graf and Alexander Schmorell.

As Heinrich, Roland's father-in-law, insists, not wanting to be misrepresented by those who prefer their heroic legends simple and clean, there were other scattered efforts to resist National Socialism. Yet those who refused to comply with the monstrous regime were but a tragically minuscule fraction of those who did. And the White Rose remains the post-war German government's favorite example of a minority of its citizenry clinging to the humane values the rest were dutifully destroying, to ...

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