The Center for White Rose Studies is dedicated to preserving the memories of those who courageously opposed the crimes of National Socialism, using their lives and work as a springboard to address the issues of informed dissent in a civilized society.
When our research into the life stories of the friends known as the White Rose began in 1994, we had no intention of doing anything beyond publishing a simple novel about their heroic deeds. The idea: Research and write, start to finish, within six months, or at most a year.
The deeper we dug, the more rabbits we chased, the more we listened, we learned that what has passed for "scholarship" in terms of recording the history of German resistance is anything but. There was (and remains) a dearth of critical thinking on the topic. Too often, journalists and historians have shunned the basics of their craft, not asking the hard questions, accepting legend at face value.
In 2001/2002, we began publishing primary source documents in English translation to cement historical accuracy. Still focused solely on White Rose resistance, we believed that access to actual history would change the way the story is told. While that has not happened yet - there is still far too much regurgitation of sugar-coated legend - we are beginning to see a paradigm shift, thankfully among young scholars who are more inclined to ask the "why" questions missing from earlier works.
Primary goals of our organization include setting up archives that are accessible to everyone, holding annual conferences to further research regarding German (and other) resistance during the Holocaust, making materials available to public schools on the topic, and bringing people together to talk about the notions of informed dissent and civil disobedience in the 21st century.