We know their story well, these students who wrote the Leaflets of the White Rose
. We know their bravery, their utter courage, how they wrote death-defying words that led straight to the guillotine.
Yet we hardly know them at all. We focus so tightly on their noble deeds that we overlook who they were. We're listening so closely for those awe-inspiring retorts as the students stand before Judge Freisler that we miss the wonder of the debates that stirred them to act.
When we begin to step back to "see" them better, to grasp the whole of their work, we find that our widened lens is capturing people we don't know at all. There are new faces, new voices, new perspectives.
Before long, we realize there is so much more to "resistance" during the Shoah than just White Rose, more even than White Rose plus 20 July 1944 plus Rote Kapelle
plus the Kreisauer Circle and the handful of other groups that have made their way into the literature.
Every new story we find - whether it is Helmuth Hübener and his friends, or Helle Hirsch, or the BMW leaflet writers - demonstrates how much there is still to learn about the strength of character of so many unknown heroes.
Once that camera lens pans the landscape of thousands of courageous individuals, our spirits are lifted. We understand that even in the darkest of days, there were those who stood up for justice, those who did the right thing no matter the cost.
The Center for White Rose Studies has dedicated its resources to uncovering those stories. We began with White Rose, but we are actively documenting as many heroic acts (and heroes) as we can.
We believe that these biographies will inspire and encourage young people in 21st century America to live lives characterized by integrity and the pursuit of justice. We believe that, because we know how the stories have affected us.
Join us on this journey!
There are many ways for you to get involved with Center for White Rose Studies. You can:
- Sign up for our e-Newsletter (click on the button at the top righthand side of this page, and opt in).
- See what's happening with our 2014 conference, and talk about the conference and its topic (The Human Face of War) on the new blog dedicated to the project.
- Follow our CWRS blog, and stay current with projects, conference plans, and general information. Comment to your heart's delight - we want your input!
- Join a project worktable. To see the first one that's set up, check out the White Rose History III project. More on the way!
- Read primary source documents related to White Rose resistance (and comment!) in chronological order. It's a firsthand glimpse into their efforts, in their own words: WhiteRoseHistory.com.
- Like food? We think that Cookbook for Germans in America provides great common ground for Hillel and Stammtisch, starting conversations between Jewish and German students that can ultimately result in good things indeed (not to mention interesting meals).
- Travel! Whether you're an Israeli or Jewish American who's never been to Germany, or a German or American who's never been to Israel, let us introduce you to these two countries that have so much in common. The "Germany" side features places specific to German resistance during the Holocaust.
- Read our quarterly journal, and participate in the discussion.
And of course, you can volunteer in our archives, join us at our 2014 White Rose Conference, or support our work with your hard-earned funds or books or time.
There's plenty of work to go around, and we would love to have you working with us!