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New Exhibition: "The White Rose"

"The White Rose" is the name that was given to a group of German university students from Munich that wrote and distributed flyers throughout Germany between the years 1942-1943.  These flyers contained humanistic content and words of protest against the repression, the war and Nazi crimes.  The Weisse Rose Stiftung, situated in Munich, was established in order to commemorate the memory of these brave-hearted young Germans.

In 2014, the Weisse Rose Stiftung turned to the Ghetto Fighters' House with a request to display an exhibition that deals with the underground group "The White Rose."  The foundation explained that for years they had unsuccessfully tried to find a partner in Israel that would be willing to display the exhibition.  The foundation was worried that the Israeli public would see the exhibition as an attempt to mask German society's support of Nazi policy.  The German Ambassador, Dr. Clemens von Goetze, touched upon this subject at the opening of the exhibition on November 15th.  The Ambassador emphasized how Germany recognizes the terrible moral collapse during the Nazi period and the country's responsibility for the outcome.  In fact, in light of this awful collapse, we should look to the exceptional bravery of the young members of the underground movement "The White Rose."

The exhibition, which is on display at the Center for Humanistic Education at the Ghetto Fighters' House, presents the biographies of the underground movement's members, as well as flyers that they dispersed in an attempt to rouse the German public to act against the Nazi regime.  The adaption of the exhibition for the Ghetto Fighters' House, including translation to Arabic, Hebrew and English, was sponsored by the Weisse Rose Stiftung and the Goethe Institut in Israel.

The educational activities that were developed for the exhibition are meant to connect between place and meaning, between the rationale of the Center for Humanistic Education and the humanistic values that motivated the members of the White Rose.  Two workshops were written as activities in the exhibition.  Both workshops are based on getting acquainted with the extraordinary life story of seven members of the underground movement and the content of the flyers that they distributed.  These same flyers were the reason for the White Rose members being tried and sentenced to death.  The historical story is the starting point for a different discussion on current events.

The workshop "Was it worth it? – Between the biographical story and the historical story in the White Rose affair" deals with the indecisiveness surrounding the ethical question of whether or not to be a part of a moral resistance or to consider one's personal benefit.  Is it justifiable to risk one's life in order to disperse an idea?  The second workshop, "Are they betrayers? -  The White Rose affair as a catalyst for dialogue on morals and loyalty," uses materials from the exhibition in order to allow participants to think over questions about loyalty to values and rules and the possible clash between them. 


Article in the Jerusalem Post

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