White Rose Project Activities

2019-2020 | Year Two 

The second year of the project began in June 2019, when Dr Alex Lloyd was awarded a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) to support the work of the White Rose Project. Knowledge exchange is defined as ‘the mutually beneficial sharing of ideas, data, experience, and expertise, and involves collaboration between researchers and external organisations or the public’. Alex’s external partner was the Munich-based Weiße Rose Stiftung (White Rose Foundation), whose mission is to uphold the resistance group’s memory and ‘to contribute to civic courage and individual responsibility and to promote democratic consciousness’.

September 2019: Following the success of the translation project in its first year, we launched a second translation project in September 2019. Again, students applied by submitting a short statement about their motivation and a sample translation. We had a number of very strong submissions and eighteen students received places. They were joined by one of the student translators from last year’s project.

November 2019: Alex Lloyd spent a week at the White Rose Foundation in Munich. The purpose of the visit was to get a better sense of the Foundation’s work, its approaches to disseminating the history of the White Rose, and to meet individuals connected with the history and memory of the group, including academics and family members. This was a very productive and rewarding week and contributed much to the ongoing development of the project.

December 2019: The project was awarded a generous grant from the Humanities Cultural Programme Project Fund (TORCH, University of Oxford) to develop a programme of spoken word and music in collaboration with the award-winning vocal ensemble SANSARA, led by Artistic Director Tom Herring. Alex and Tom’s project was the very first to be awarded this grant.

January – February 2020: This year the translation seminars began in January. Students worked on excerpts from the letters and diaries of the White Rose members. In groups of three or four, the translators researched their lives and discussed the purpose and challenges of working on these particular texts. The seminars were lively and productive, and in addition to Alex Lloyd, the students were joined by Jenny Lemke (DAAD Lektorin, University of Oxford) who was able to offer valuable insights into issues of style and tone in German. On Friday 21 February Alex Lloyd was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight. She spoke about the White Rose group and the project’s collaboration with SANSARA, ahead of the 22 February concert, held on the 77th anniversary of the first White Rose trials and executions. 

March 2020: We were due to hold an international symposium on the White Rose on 17 and 18 March 2020 at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Sadly, this fell on the cusp of the lockdown and we had to postpone the event. Instead, we hosted a digital symposium on our website. The programme included academics, a visual artist, a professional storyteller, and students. Read, view, and listen to their contributions here.

July 2020: This year the White Rose Project partnered with the Oxford German Network for its nationwide competition the Oxford German Olympiad. We offered two prizes: one for sixth formers (or equivalent) and one for university students. We had an extraordinary response to our inaugural White Rose Project Writing competition with nearly sixty entries from 45 schools across the UK. Entrants were asked to write a short essay in German in response to the question „Was können wir heute noch von der Weißen Rose lernen?“ [What can we learn from the White Rose today?].  

On 16 July Tom Herring (Artistic Director, SANSARA) and Alex Lloyd took part in the Big Tent Live Events series hosted by TORCH. Their discussion was streamed live from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.