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Year in Review: 2021-2022

The fourth year of the White Rose Project began in October 2021 with the launch of our new Graduate Committee. The student members of the committee – Shivani Chauhan, Ro Crawford, Ombline Damy, Cailee Davis, Stephanie Franklin, and Hannah Scheithauer – co-organised and supported the year’s events. This included helping to supervise undergraduates’ work on the Project. In November 2021 Dr Alex Lloyd gave a virtual lecture at Oakham School in Rutland on the White Rose, followed by a workshop on the fifth White Rose pamphlet. The fourth annual White Rose Translation Project for undergraduate students at the University of Oxford was launched in November 2021. Over the course of the year, fifteen undergraduate students from several colleges across the university worked together to research the history of the White Rose and study their resistance pamphlets. For the first time the project was opened up to students who did not speak or were not studying German. This made for interesting discussions and multiple new perspectives on the material. The students produced ‘creative translations’ of the pamphlets, including imaginative writing and artwork. The students’ work was displayed in a window on the High Street in Oxford, thanks to the generosity of St Edmund Hall. The White Rose Window showcased the students’ translations and provided information about the White Rose resistance. It was launched in June 2022, exactly eighty years since the first White Rose pamphlets were written, printed, and disseminated. A publication of the Oxford students’ work is in preparation.

In February 2022 Alexandra Lloyd’s new book on the White Rose was published: Defying Hitler – The White Rose Pamphlets (Bodleian Library Publishing, 2022). The book tells the story of the White Rose, foregrounding the resistance circle’s collaborative nature, and includes the work of thirty-three student translators. It was launched at an event at St Edmund Hall on 15 March. Later that month Alex spoke at the Oxford Literary Festival and recorded an episode of History Hit’s Warfare podcast. In May, Alex appeared in conversation with Samuel Fanous, Head of Bodleian Library Publishing, in the Friends of the Bodleian YouTube series.  

In June 2022, Alex and two student members of the Project – Amy Wilkinson and Rachel Herring – spoke at the Chalke Valley History Festival. The same week the interdisciplinary graduate conference ‘Rethinking Resistance’ was held at the University of Oxford, organised by the White Rose Project Conference Committee. The conference was very successful indeed, with a series of fascinating papers on many aspects of resistance, from poetry to contemporary activism. The conference was launched with an evening of song and concluded with a reading by the author Rachel Seiffert. The Project was also delighted to partner again this year with the Oxford German Network for the Oxford German Olympiad, sponsoring a White Rose Prize for school-aged students of German. Students were asked to write a blog post in German about a quotation that inspires them.

In July 2022, Alex ran a session at Oxford’s UNIQ Summer School for state school students on the White Rose pamphlets, and later that month she travelled to Germany and visited the White Rose Foundation (Weiße Rose Stiftung) in Munich. She met with the Foundation’s Director, Dr Hildegard Kronawitter, and she was also able to meet with Wolfgang Huber (son of Professor Kurt Huber) and had the privilege of delivering a copy of Defying Hitler in person. This has been another very busy year for the Project. Plans are now underway for the academic year 2022-2023 which includes the 80th anniversary of the trials and executions of the core members of the White Rose resistance.

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