To Rose Nägele, Munich, January 25, 1942
My promise was a rash one. Several weeks have gone by without my writing to you, but that’s the way it is. I can never compel myself to write.
I’m now a homo viator in the best sense, a man in transit, and I hope I always will be. After a lapse of many largely wasted years, I’ve finally learned to pray again. What strength it has given me! At last I know the inexhaustible spring that can quench my terrible thirst.
That’s the main thing I have to tell you.
All else is secondary!
I read your letter and rejoiced at your ideas. I too despise hard-hearted people, far more than grievous sinners. Spiritual harshness is the most abominable human trait. It stems from an extreme incapacity for life and robs people of their essential humanity. Courage is something altogether different. The meaning of courage is being utterly distorted at present.
Wasn’t Christ the most courageous of all? Yet he asked for water when he was thirsty.
What a lot of harm Kant inflicted with his categorical imperative! Kant, harshness, Prussianism – the death of all spiritual life.
I’ve no idea what will happen to us when the semester ends in a month’s time, nor do I care in the least. I’ve dropped anchor, come what may, and nothing can really trouble me from now on.
I wish you all the best and God’s blessing in the coming days. Expect another letter from me soon!
P.S. I’m enclosing a picture for you. Study it. I’ll be writing to you about it before long.
Inge Jens (Ed.), At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl, translated by J Maxwell Brownjohn, Plough Publishing House, 2017, pp. 204-205.