Art / The Bridge Gallery, within the Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus, will exhibit photos chronicling the bloom of The White Rose, a gentle, nonviolent resistance movement during Nazi Germany. In 1942, a group of young college students and their philosophy professor stood up against Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. The group was known for its graffiti and leaflets bravely denouncing the country’s politics and criminal actions.
In eight short-lived months, these German youths distributed their call to non-arms across the country, using words and bold ideas as their artillery. Gaining the attention of the Gestapo, six of its core members were arrested and executed in the spring of 1943.
Their final text was eventually smuggled out of Germany, and in July 1943, Allied planes released copies of the document, renamed “The Manifesto of the Students of Munich,” throughout Germany–a display that nonviolent resistance outlives brutal force.
A military fleet dropping books, not bombs, is a cinematic sight (in fact, up until 2006, a film was in development to star Christina Ricci as Sophie Scholl, one of the group’s founders). Instead, witness this story with the touring exhibition of powerful images and artifacts. Perhaps most befitting is the exhibit’s location, an environment that inspired the movement: a college university. If every rose has its thorns, these roses are sharp with the legacy of a group not forgotten.