Dr Alex Lloyd (Fellow by Special Election in German, St Edmund Hall) will be taking part in this year’s Oxford Literary Festival on 30 March, speaking about her new book, ‘Defying Hitler: The White Rose Pamphlets’ (Bodleian Library Publishing, 2022). Find further information and book tickets here.
The White Rose (‘die Weiße Rose’) resistance circle was a group of students and a professor in Munich who, in the early 1940s, secretly wrote and distributed anti-Nazi pamphlets. Lloyd looks at the history of the group and sets their resistance texts in the political and historical context of the day. A series of brief biographical sketches trace the members’ journey to take action against the National Socialist state. The book includes modern translations of the pamphlets – as well as excerpts from the White Rose group’s letters – done collaboratively by undergraduates at the University of Oxford.
The book emphasises a crucial aspect of the White Rose: its collaborative nature. The pamphlet campaign was the result of small friendship groups connecting over time, of individuals reaching out to others, sounding them out with the utmost caution, assessing their safety and reliability. Each individual brought something different to the endeavour. The story of the White Rose resistance circle is a timely and hope-filled reminder of the ways in which conscience and moral courage can lead to action that challenges injustice.