Essay 4: The White Rose Group: Do People Have the Responsibility to Think Critically and Act Ethically?
“[H]e is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and
fights against the enemy; there can be no mistake about that.”
Plato, Laches, or Courage (380, B.C.)
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Film) 。
Timeline: Part 1, the Essay, is due by 11:59 PM on Saturday, February 2, 2019; Part 2, the Peer Evaluations, is due by 11:59 PM on Sunday, February 3, 2019.
Overview: This assignment has two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Please make sure you complete both according to directions.
Assignment Purpose: In this course, our topic is: What flaws in the critical thinking process do individuals, groups, politicians and entire governments make so that tyrants are able to rise to power?
In previous weeks, to help us answer this question, we explored (1) how Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) rose to power, (2) what “critical thinking” is, and (3) how Book VII of Plato’s Republic (“The Cave”) may help explain how Dr. Joseph Goebbels was able to facilitate Hitler’s rise to power.
In the last essay of the semester, we will use the White Rose Group as a vehicle to ponder this question: Do people have the responsibility to think critically and act ethically? Of course, this question requires you to render judgment: to decide if people are responsible for leaving Socrates’ cave–and to define what ethical behavior is.
PART 1 (150 Points)
1. Write a 6-7 page essay (1,500-1,700 words) in which you develop a clear rhetorical focus regarding this question: Do people have the responsibility to think critically and act ethically? You may use ANY of your previous writings in this course in your essay, as long as they are integrated smoothly into your essay.
How to Develop a Rhetorical Focus 。
2. Use the White Rose Group as a vehicle to help you ponder the essay topic.
3. Use four sources to help you explain who the White Rose Group was and to support your thesis; at least one source must come from the Pace Library databases at West Los Angeles College. If you do not know how to use the databases, learn how in the video below.
How to Use the West Los Angeles College Databases 。
In your essay, make sure you …
1. Explain who the White Rose Group was–name all its members.
2. Detail the transformational journey of the younger people in the group from Hitler Youth to anti-Hitler. Explain how and why their mindsets changed regarding Hitler and the Third Reich.
3. Explain what happened to each member of the White Rose Group.
4. Reveal whether their struggle against the Third Reich helped to undermine the Third Reich. (Did they sacrifice their lives in vain–because they failed to rally the German people against Hitler and the Third Reich?)