The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education is pleased to announce its 23rd annual White Rose Student Essay Contest. The 2017-2018 contest theme is:

Victims of the Nazi Era

Between 1933 and 1945 the Nazis sought to create a racial state comprised of what they deemed to be a racially pure population, while at the same time attempting to bring the thoughts and values of their citizens in line with Nazi ideology. To that end, individuals of multiple groups were persecuted by the Nazis because of their political convictions, sexual orientations, religious practices, or their perceived biological identities. Though the ultimate aim of the Holocaust was the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” which resulted in the genocide of approximately 6 million Jews, the persecution, suffering, and murder of others deemed unworthy of inclusion in the Nazi state often pre-dated the persecution of the Jews and laid the groundwork for the mechanisms that would be used against the Jews.

While it is always inappropriate to compare the suffering of victims, it is appropriate to analyze the policies toward different victim groups and how those policies were implemented. By examining the experiences of other victims of the Nazi crimes, students are able to properly understand the context in which the Holocaust happened, explore what is unique to each victim group, and recognize what is universal across the experience.

Using at least 3 of the documents provided below, plus a minimum of 2 outside resources, prepare an essay that addresses all parts of the following topic:

Other victims badges
  • RESEARCH: Describe how and why one non-Jewish victim group experienced persecution by the Nazis. (You may choose from among the following non-Jewish victims groups: disabled Germans, Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, Soviet POWs.) Explain how that persecution was experienced by one individual in that group.
  • REFLECTION:  Holocaust historian Dr. Michael Berenbaum stated, “The uniqueness of the Jewish experience can best be documented by comparing it with the Nazi treatment of other persecuted populations. Only by understanding the fate of other groups, detailing where it paralleled Jewish treatment and more important where it differed, can the distinctive nature of Jewish fate be historically demonstrated.” Based on your research, what is the primary parallel and the primary difference you noted between the victim group you studied and the Jewish experience?

DOCUMENTS

You must base your research on at least three of the following documents. All documents referenced from this list are considered electronic sources and the Works Cited page should clearly denote that they were referenced from the MCHE site. That citation can take any format chosen by the teacher.

We ask students and educators to respect the privacy of the survivors and to refrain from conducting personal interviews.

ESSAY REQUIREMENTS AND MECHANICS

Read each section for important details

ENTRY FORM, SOURCES, TEACHING TOOLS
CRITERIA

Each contestant is limited to one entry per year. Previous winners may enter again. Essays will be evaluated on historical accuracy, development of content and theme, original expression, grammar, and mechanics.

Content

  • Evidence of comprehensive and accurate historical research
  • Utilization and consistent citation of at least 3 of the designated documents and 2 additional resources
  • Adherence to theme, demonstrating substantial supporting detail
  • Research section to be written in third person narrative
  • Reflects personal insight, interpretation, and unique writing style with minimal direct quotes
  • Synthesis of information gathered from a variety of both print and digital sources

Mechanics

  • Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Completed entry form, including original signatures where indicated
  • Proper citations – all citation styles are accepted, but citations must be consistent
  • Sources – The ideal essay will reflect a variety of print and digital sources. Whole books found online are considered digital sources.
  • Works Cited – Only sources cited in the body of the paper should appear on the Works Cited.
  • Typed double-spaced on 8.5” x 11” plain white paper and size 12 font. Use only one side of the paper.
  • Maximum of 1200 words. All words in the body of the essay except internal citations are counted in the total.
  • Essays must be free of plagiarism. Those with passages copied directly from other sources, without proper citations, or containing vast amounts of quoted or minimally paraphrased material are subject to disqualification.
  • One cover sheet with the student’s name, school and teacher’s name
  • Five copies of essay, each stapled in the upper left corner. To ensure blind judging, the student’s name should NOT appear on any pages of the essay.
  • Electronic copy of essay, cover sheet, and Works Cited — submitted as ONE document — in Microsoft Word format. Students may submit on an individual disc/drive labeled with student’s name, school, and teacher’s name OR teacher may submit one disk/drive with all student submissions saved as separate documents titled by students’ names.

All entries become property of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will not be returned. Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to reprint entries. Decisions of the judges are final.

PRIZES

PRIZES

  • The top ten essayists in each division will be recognized at a reception in May
  • First, second and third place winners in each division will be awarded cash prizes
  • First, second and third place sponsoring teachers will be awarded vouchers for professional development or classroom resources
  • The first place school in each division will be awarded a resource collection

 

1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Students $300 $200 $100
Sponsoring Teachers $150 voucher for professional development or resources $100 voucher for professional development or resources $50 voucher for professional development or resources
GUIDELINES FOR EDUCATORS
  • Entries are limited to 1,200 words. This includes the body of the paper only. It does not include the cover sheet, title, footnotes, or Works Cited. Papers exceeding this limit may be disqualified. Students should use the “Word Count” function on their computers.
  • MCHE encourages teachers to utilize this writing contest as a classroom exercise. To ensure that each essay receives the full attention of our judges, however, sponsoring teachers are limited to submitting no more than 10 essays per division.
  • Each essay should reflect the student’s own work, guided and reviewed, but not edited in detail by the sponsoring teacher. Teachers should take care in attesting to compliance with contest requirements. A completed entry form with original signatures must accompany each essay.
  • We strongly recommend that students link to reliable web sites through www.mchekc.org and visit MCHE’s Library and Archive, which houses nearly 3,000 titles available for free loan. Hours are 8:30 until 5:00, Monday through Friday and on Wednesdays until 7:00 pm by appointment only.
  • Plagiarism results in disqualification.
  • Entries must be postmarked NO LATER THAN the postmark deadline, or delivered in person to the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education office by 5:00 PM that day. Essays postmarked after the deadline, those brought to MCHE after the designated time, or essays sent by fax or e-mail will not qualify for judging.
  • Up to 10 finalists in each division will be recognized at a reception in May.
  • All entries become property of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and will not be returned.
  • Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to reprint entries.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.
ELIGIBILITY

The White Rose Student Essay Contest is now open to 8th-12th grade students in the eastern half of Kansas and the western half of Missouri. Please see the map and list of counties below to determine your eligibility. Educators who teach in Kansas and Missouri who fall outside of this geographic range may contact MCHE at 913-327-8195 or jessicar@mchekc.org to discuss an exception to the geographic boundaries.

 

KANSAS

Kansas county map shaded

Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, Woodson, Wyandotte

MISSOURI

Missouri County Map shaded

Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Barton, Bates, Benton, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Camden, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Charlton, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Dade, Dallas, Davies, De Kalb, Douglas, Gentry, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Linn, Livingston, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Newton, Nodaway, Ozark, Pettis, Platte, Polk, Ray, Saline, St. Clair, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Vernon, Webster, Worth, Wright

SPONSORS

Members of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education’s White Rose Chai Society:

  • Ann and Kenny Baum
  • Herb and Bonnie Buchbinder
  • Larry and Donna Gould Cohen
  • Katherine DeBruce
  • Ed and Sandi Fried
  • Mike and Karen Herman
  • Bill and Regina Kort
  • Allen and Debra Parmet
  • Morton and Estelle Sosland
  • Patricia Werthan Uhlmann
  • David and Ellice Vittor

Additional generous support is provided by MCHE’s White Rose Society Patrons and Benefactors.

POSTMARK DEADLINE: MARCH 29, 2018
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Questions? Contact Jessica Rockhold, MCHE’s Director of Education, at jessicar@mchekc.org or 913-327-8195.

Members of the White Rose

The contest is named in memory of Hans and Sophie Scholl, German university students who, along with several friends and their professor, were arrested and executed for distributing leaflets denouncing the evils of the Nazi regime. The project commemorates the heroic efforts of these brave young people, members of the White Rose, who gave their lives for the causes of understanding, tolerance, and freedom. May their memories inspire us to reflect upon our own responsibilities as citizens in a democratic nation.

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