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White Rose Essay


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.

Rockhold, Jessica, editor. “White Rose Student Essay Contest.” Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, 2017, Accessed 19 Jan. 2018.

2018 Essay Requirements

Research and Essay Requirements

Using at least 3 of the documents provided, plus a minimum of 2 outside resources:

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.

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?

2018 Benchmark Dates

Benchmark Dates

2/1 Notes Due

2/3 Noodle Tools Project Shared

2/7 Bibliography & Notecards Due

2/15 Comparison Worksheet Due

2/16 Thesis

2/28 Rough Draft Due at the beginning of class

3/6 Final Draft Due by Midnight-Submitted on Canvas