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.
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. In addition, you are expected to obtain–through research–at least two additional sources of information. A Works Cited page should be included that credits all and only the sources of information used in your essay or documentary. All information beyond common knowledge must be cited. Citations must follow MLA, APA, or Chicago style manuals and be consistent within the paper or documentary and Works Cited page.
Though not one of the required documents, all students are encouraged to read the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Resistance During the Holocaust booklet for reference. More information on Oneg Shabbat can be found here. Please note these do NOT count as one of the 3 required documents from the list below.
We recognize that writing bibliographic entries for Holocaust sources can be challenging; they might not match the examples given in style guides. Therefore, we have tried to help! The document linked here shows citations for all of the MCHE-provided documents for 2022-23 White Rose contest. Approximately one-third of the sources are formatted in each of the three required citation styles — MLA, APA, and Chicago. If pdfs of the research documents are missing a piece of information needed for a complete citation, check the bibliographic entry. You are expected to reformat citations as needed so that all of your paper and Works Cited use one citation style consistently.
Resources for the Reflection
Entries will not be returned. Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to publish winning entries. Decisions of the judges are final.
Your Works Cited must meet the following requirements:
Documentary entries will not be returned. Applicants give the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education permission to publish documentary entries and process papers. Decisions of the judges are final.
The White Rose Student Research Contest is open to 8th-12th grade students.
Last Year’s Winners
The contest is sponsored by members of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education’s White Rose membership society.
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