Episode 271:

4 Hours of Sacred Pausing

Sophie Scholl & the White Rose Youth Resistance


The Survival Story of Ada Blackjack


Episode 271: 4 Hours of Sacred Pausing

On this week’s episode, Karen and Georgia cover Sophie Scholl & the White Rose youth resistance, and the survival story of Ada Blackjack.

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Sophie Scholl & the White Rose Youth Resistance

Sophie Scholl & the White Rose Youth Resistance Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Darshan Gajara on Unsplash 

Other Image: Sophie Scholl (via findagrave)


"The date was February 22, 1943. Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, along with their best friend, Christoph Probst, were scheduled to be executed by Nazi officials that afternoon. The prison guards were so impressed with the calm and bravery of the prisoners in the face of impending death that they violated regulations by permitting them to meet together one last time. Hans, a medical student at the University of Munich, was 24. Sophie, a student, was 21. Christoph, a medical student, was 22.

This is the story of The White Rose. It is a lesson in dissent. It is a tale of courage, of principle, of honor. It is detailed in three books, The White Rose (1970) by Inge Scholl, A Noble Treason (1979) by Richard Hanser, and An Honourable Defeat (1994) by Anton Gill.

Hans and Sophie Scholl were German teenagers in the 1930s. Like other young Germans, they enthusiastically joined the Hitler Youth. They believed that Adolf Hitler was leading Germany and the German people back to greatness.

Their parents were not so enthusiastic. Their father, Robert Scholl, told his children that Hitler and the Nazis were leading Germany down a road of destruction. Later, in 1942, he would serve time in a Nazi prison for telling his secretary: “The war! It is already lost. This Hitler is God’s scourge on mankind, and if the war doesn’t end soon the Russians will be sitting in Berlin.” Gradually, Hans and Sophie began realizing that their father was right. They concluded that, in the name of freedom and the greater good of the German nation, Hitler and the Nazis were enslaving and destroying the German people.

They also knew that open dissent was impossible in Nazi Germany, especially after the start of World War II. Most Germans took the traditional position, that once war breaks out, it is the duty of the citizen to support the troops by supporting the government. But Hans and Sophie Scholl believed differently. They believed that it was the duty of a citizen, even in times of war, to stand up against an evil regime, especially when it is sending hundreds of thousands of its citizens to their deaths.

The Scholl siblings began sharing their feelings with a few of their friends, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf, as well as with Kurt Huber, their psychology and philosophy professor.

One day in 1942, copies of a leaflet entitled “The White Rose” suddenly appeared at the University of Munich. The leaflet contained an anonymous essay that said that the Nazi system had slowly imprisoned the German people and was now destroying them. The Nazi regime had turned evil. It was time, the essay said, for Germans to rise up and resist the tyranny of their own government. At the bottom of the essay, the following request appeared: “Please make as many copies of this leaflet as you can and distribute them.”

The leaflet caused a tremendous stir among the student body. It was the first time that internal dissent against the Nazi regime had surfaced in Germany. The essay had been secretly written and distributed by Hans Scholl and his friends..."

The Survival Story of Ada Blackjack

The Survival Story of Ada Blackjack Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash 

Other Images:

Ada Blackjack (via All That Is Interesting)

Ada Blackjack (via Atlas Obscura)


"Ada Blackjack was an Iñupiat woman who lived for two years as a castaway on the uninhabited Wrangel Island, north of Siberia.

In 1921, she joined an Arctic expedition across the Chukchi Sea to Russia's Wrangel Island, led by Canadian explorer Allan Crawford but financed, planned and encouraged by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. She was recruited to the expedition to sew fur clothing for the team.

Stefansson sent five settlers (one European Canadian, three European Americans, and one Iñupiat, Ada) in a speculative attempt to claim the island for Canada. The explorers were handpicked by Stefansson based upon their previous experience and academic credentials. Stefansson considered those with advanced knowledge in the fields of geography and other sciences for the expedition.

On 15 September 1921, the team was left on Wrangel Island north of Siberia, to claim the island for Canada or the United Kingdom. Ada had many misgivings about joining the expedition, especially because she had been misled to believe she would be only one of many Alaska Native people to join the crew. The team included five people: Ada, who had been hired as a cook and seamstress; the American men Lorne Knight, Milton Galle, and Fred Maurer; and Allan Crawford. Maurer had spent eight months on the island in 1914 after surviving the shipwreck of the Karluk.

The conditions soon turned bad for the team. Rations ran out, and the team was unable to kill enough game on the island to survive. Four months later, on 28 January 1923, three of the men finally attempted to cross the 700-mile frozen Chukchi Sea to Siberia for help and food, leaving Ada and the ailing Lorne Knight behind. Knight was afflicted with scurvy and was cared for by Ada until he died on June 23, 1923. The other three men were never seen again, and so Ada was alone, except for the company of the expedition's cat, Victoria.

Ada used her traditional Iñupiat skills to survive in the extremely cold conditions until she was rescued almost eight months later on 19 August 1923 by a former colleague of Stefansson's, Harold Noice. Some newspapers hailed her as the real "female Robinson Crusoe".

Ada used the money she saved to take her son to Seattle, Washington to cure his tuberculosis. She remarried and had another son, Billy. Eventually, Ada returned to the Arctic, where she lived until the age of 85..."