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White Rose Memorial Essays

The Tulsa Council for Holocaust Education’s Thirteenth Annual White Rose Memorial Essay Contest

For Middle, Jr. High, and High School Students

Submission deadline: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The White Rose organization, including brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl, felt compelled to protest the frightening environment in which they lived and studied. Their protests took the form of essays published in leaflets that were distributed anonymously in Munich, and then later mailed to persons selected from the phone book. These essays challenged citizens to resist the Nazi policies and encouraged non-violent political dissent. The White Rose members knew that to be silent in the face of evil was to surrender to it, encourage it, and enable it to grow stronger. Thus, their movement united others to resist Nazi tyranny by striving to eradicate the “face of evil” before it destroyed more innocent lives. According to an exhibit on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., “Of all the groups in Germany that opposed Hitler’s dictatorship, only one, code-named ‘White Rose’, openly protested the Nazi genocide against the Jews.”

2019-2020 ESSAY PROMPT:

Consider the following: A common misconception of the Holocaust is that Jews went ”like sheep to the slaughter”. However, Jewish resistance to the Nazi onslaught came in a variety of ways. Practicing one’s faith in secret, smuggling food and weapons, forging documents, writing diaries, rebelling with no hope of success were all forms of resistance.

1. Although much is written about men, women also played a significant role in resistance. Your task is to research two Jewish women resistors; one who took up arms, and one who resisted by other means. Describe their actions and explain the significance of their accomplishments.

2. Next, research a contemporary female resistor. Describe her actions and explain the significance of her accomplishments.

3. Finally, explain how remembering these brave women can inspire you and/or your fellow students to act in the face of evil and injustice.

MIDDLE SCHOOL ESSAY REQUIREMENTS:

Length: 500-1000 words

Eligibility: Students in grades 6-8 at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year may participate. Students may win an award only once in each school category.

HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY REQUIREMENTS:

Length: 750-1500 words

Eligibility: Students in grades 9-12 at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year may participate. Students may win an award only once in each school category.

ESSAY REQUIREMENTS CHECKLIST:

Does the essay completely address this year’s essay contest topic?
Have you given your essay a descriptive title?
Is your essay the required length?
Is your essay typed, double-spaced, with left and right margins set at 1 inch, on one side of white 8.5 by11 inch paper with Times New Roman font?
Have you made sure that your name, school, or city DOES NOT appear anywhere on the essaymanuscript (only on the attached entry form)?
Did you include parenthetical citations of sources used?
Does your essay have a standardized Works Cited page?
Did you completely fill out the entry form provided by your teacher?

WHITE ROSE AWARDS: Ten students from grades 6-8 and also from grades 9-12 will be honored with a symbolic white rose. From these top essays, first, second, and third place cash prizes will be awarded as follows:
Grades 6-8                                                  Grades 9-12
First prize       $250                                     First prize   $250
Second prize  $150                                     Second prize  $150
Third prize     $50                                       Third prize     $50

All students selected for outstanding essays will be inducted in to the Friends of the White Rose – Tulsa Region at a special recognition ceremony on Sunday, April 26, 2020. Winning essays will be posted on our website: jewishtulsa.org.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Each essay will be judged using the following criteria:
Depth of research

Quality of writing

Fulfillment of the prompt requirements

Accuracy of factual information

Responsible citation of sources consulted

Fulfillment of contest requirements concerning topic, eligibility, guidelines, and endorsement

Note: Any essay that does not address the ENTIRE prompt will be disqualified.
SUBMISSIONS: Sponsoring teachers may hand deliver, submit by US mail, or electronically submit their students’ essays. A completed entry form for each student’s submission must also be included. These must arrive no later than Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Essays should be delivered or mailed to:

The White Rose Essay Contest
The Jewish Federation of Tulsa
2021 East 71st Street
Tulsa, OK 74136

For more information, contact npettus@jewishtulsa.org or 918-495-1100. 

Download an entry form.

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