White Rose Memorial Essays

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

For Middle, Jr. High, and High School Students

Submission deadline: March 31, 2017

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.”


Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel dedicated his life to speaking out against injustices around the world. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he stated: “I swore to never be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victims. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Why is it important to speak out when injustices are happening? Research and write about an individual or group from the Holocaust and one other individual or group from history, contemporary society, or personal experience who chose not to remain silent in the face of persecution. Explain how these examples inspire you.


Length: 500-1000 words

Eligibility:  Students in grades 6-8 at the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year may participate.  Students may win an award only once in each school category.


Length: 750-1500 words

Eligibility:  Students in grades 9-12 at the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year may participate.  Students may win an award only once in each school category.


  • 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 by 11 inch paper with Times New Roman font?
  • Have you made sure that your name, school, or city DOES NOT appear anywhere on the essay manuscript (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             $500                                                               First prize             $500

Second prize       $250                                                                 Second prize       $250

Third prize           $150                                                                Third prize          $150

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

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 March 31, 2017.  Essays should be delivered or mailed to

The White Rose Essay Contest

The Jewish Federation of Tulsa

2021 East 71st Street

Tulsa, OK  74136

Download an entry form.


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