White Rose Student Research Contest

The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education is pleased to announce its annual White Rose Student Research Contest, open to 8th-12th grade students.
Submit Your Entry
Questions about the contest?

Contact Shelly Cline, MCHE’s Director of Education, via email or 913-327-8194.

Contact Shelly
Questions about the contest?

Contact Shelly Cline, MCHE’s Director of Education, via email or 913-327-8194.

Contact Shelly

About the Contest

The 2022-2023 contest theme is
JEWISH RESISTANCE IN THE GHETTOS

The enormity of the Holocaust was such that no victim response to it would have stopped the Germans from implementing genocide. Jews under Nazi control faced various and overwhelming obstacles to effective resistance. Despite this, Jews repeatedly sought to oppose Nazi policy in various ways. While armed uprisings or partisan activities are often held up as examples of successful Jewish resistance, not all resistance was armed. Often the only course of action available was an act of unarmed resistance.

Successful acts of resistance took many forms, ranging from personal acts to preserve dignity; social acts to preserve the community such as organizing clandestine schools, soup kitchens and underground record keeping; political acts such as the sabotage of the German war industry; and eventually, armed uprisings. Nowhere was resistance more robust than in the ghettos where Jews last lived as families and communities and resistance activities occurred amidst extreme conditions and against enormous odds.


Contest Instructions

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

RESEARCH: Describe the goals and obstacles to one specific form of Jewish resistance in the ghettos. Explain how that method was used by one Jewish person or group.

REFLECTION:  Consider the Kansas City Holocaust memorial and Nathan Rapoport’s Memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After researching several types of resistance, why do you think that memorialization disproportionately focuses on armed resistance? How might you elevate forms of non-armed resistance in memorialization efforts.

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.

Documents

Though not one of the required document, all students are encouraged to read the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Resistance During the Holocaust booklet for reference. Please note this does NOT count as one of the 3 required documents from the list below.

Resources for the Reflection

Essay Requirements

Criteria

  • 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
  • Proper citations – all citation styles are accepted, but citations must be consistent
  • Essays must be free of plagiarism.
  • Works Cited – Only sources cited in the body of the paper should appear on the Works Cited.
  • Maximum of 1200 words.
  • Submitted through the MCHE Website

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.

Guidelines for Educators

  • MCHE encourages teachers to utilize this writing contest as a classroom exercise.
  • Sponsoring teachers are limited to submitting no more than 10 essays and 10 documentaries per age division.
  • Educators must submit their finalists names and certify their participation through entry form.
  • Each essay should reflect the student’s own work, guided and reviewed, but not edited in detail by the sponsoring teacher.
  • Entries must be submitted by the published deadline.
  • Finalists and their sponsoring teacher 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.
Documentary Requirements

Criteria

  • A documentary is an audio/visual presentation that uses multiple source types such as images, video, and sound to communicate your historical argument, research, and interpretation of your response to this year’s topic. The reflection portion of your documentary should not exceed two minutes.
  • Your documentary must be an original production.
  • Documentaries should be at least seven minutes and not exceed ten minutes in length.
  • The last portion of your documentary must be a list of acknowledgments and credits for sources of moving footage, interviews, music, and images that appear in the documentary. These source credits must be brief—not full bibliographic citations and not annotated.
  • MP4 format submitted as a YouTube link.
  • If selected as a finalists students must submit the mp4 file to MCHE.

Process Paper

  • Your entry must include a process paper. A process paper is a description of how you conducted your research and created your entry.
  • The process paper must be 500 words and must not include quotes, images, or captions. Your process paper must answer the following questions:
  1. How did you choose your topic and how does it relate to this year’s theme?
  2. How did you conduct your research?
  3. How did you create your project?
  4. What is your historical argument?

Works Cited

Your Works Cited must meet the following requirements:

  •  List all sources that you utilized in developing your entry.
  • Separate your Works Cited into two sections: one for sources from the required set of documents and one for sources you found to supplement your research.
  • Do not attach materials to your Works Cited.

Submission

  • Entries must be in mp4 format and can be submitted via a YouTube link. Finalists will need to supply the original file.
  • Submitted through the MCHE Website

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.

Guidelines for Educators

  • MCHE encourages teachers to utilize this writing contest as a classroom exercise.
  • Sponsoring teachers are limited to submitting no more than 10 essays and 10 documentaries per age division.
  • Educators must submit their finalists names and certify their participation through the entry form.
  • Each essay should reflect the student’s own work, guided and reviewed, but not edited in detail by the sponsoring teacher.
  • Entries must be submitted by the published deadline.
  • Finalists and their sponsoring teacher 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 & Entry Information

The White Rose Student Research Contest is open to 8th-12th grade students.

  • Each contestant is limited to one entry per year.
  • Previous winners may enter again.
  • Projects will be evaluated on historical accuracy, development of content and theme, and original expression according to this rubric.
  • 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.
  • Entries are accepted in two categories – documentary or essay.
  • Entries are accepted in two age divisions – 8-9th grade and 10-12th grade.
  • We ask students and educators to respect the privacy of the survivors and to refrain from conducting personal interviews.

Prizes & Sponsors

Prizes

  • Finalists will be identified by a panel of Blue Ribbon judges and honored at a reception in May.
  • The top prize winner in each category and age level will be awarded a $300 prize.
  • The sponsoring teacher of each first prize winner will be awarded a voucher worth $150 for use on professional development and/or Holocaust resources.

Last Year’s Winners

Sponsors

The contest is sponsored by members of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education’s White Rose membership society.


Submit Your Entry

Entries must be submitted by March 31, 2023.

The White Rose Resistance

The contest is named in memory of the White Rose, a resistance movement consisting of German university students. Among them were Hans and Sophie Scholl, along with several friends and their professor, were arrested and executed for distributing leaflets denouncing the policies of the Nazi regime. The project commemorates the efforts of these brave young people who gave their lives for what they believed in. May their memories inspire us to reflect upon our own responsibilities as citizens in a democratic nation.

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