The White Rose Project is a research and outreach initiative at the University of Oxford. It aims to bring the story of the White Rose resistance group, ‘Die Weiße Rose’, to an English-speaking audience. The project was launched on 12 October 2018, the 75th anniversary of White Rose member Willi Graf’s execution. Although the White Rose is a household name in Germany, it is relatively little known elsewhere. It is an important story in its own right and forms part of a larger discourse about resistance writing and how culture can inform political action.
The White Rose Project is led by Dr Alex Lloyd. Alex is a Fellow by Special Election in German Studies at St Edmund Hall, and Lecturer in German at Magdalen College and Trinity College, University of Oxford. She teaches German language and literature from the mid-eighteenth to the twenty-first century, translation between German and English, and film studies. Her main research interests lie in twentieth-century literature and visual culture, and her book Childhood, Memory, and the Nation: Young Lives under Nazism in Contemporary German Culture, will be published in Legenda’s Germanic Literatures series in 2020.
In 2019 Alex was awarded a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) to support a collaboration with the Munich-based Weiße Rose Stiftung (White Rose Foundation). She also received a Teaching Excellence Award from the university’s Humanities Division for her work with students on the White Rose Translation Project.
2018-2019 | Year One
The first year of the project, which began with an exhibition at the Taylor Institution Library, involved translation work with students and resulted in a book publication and a display on the White Rose at the Bodleian Library.
October 2018: The Project was launched at the Taylor Institution Library, University of Oxford. At the same time an exhibition on the White Rose was opened, co-curated by Alex Lloyd and the German Subject Librarian, Emma Huber. The exhibition (‘The White Rose: Reading, Writing, Resistance’) introduced the group members and their activities and explored their lives and legacy through examples of what they read and wrote, using books from the Taylorian and Bodleian holdings. You can watch Dr Alex Lloyd’s talk at the project’s official launch on 12 October 2018 here:
October 2018-April 2019: Fifteen students from ten colleges participated in a collaborative translation of the White Rose resistance pamphlets. They attended an introductory seminar at which they discussed the pamphlets, translation theory, and the aims of their new translation. Students were provided with support mateirals including historical information abotu the White Rose. They then worked in groups, with two or three students taking responsibility for each of the pamphlets. They discussed their drafts together in seminars and refined their versions according to this feedback. There was a final meeting to make decisions about formatting, footnotes, and the glossary. Their work was edited by Alex Lloyd and any amendments were sent to them for their approval.
May-July 2019: Student members of the White Rose Project contributed to a display in the Bodleian Library’s Proscholium from 18 May to 7 July 2019, ‘White Rose: Writing and Resistance’. The display explored how the White Rose Resistance used the political power of the written word. The students wrote one of the text-panels and worked with Dr Alexandra Franklin at the Bibliographical Press to create posters with slogans from, and inspired by, their translations of the pamphlets. The display also displayed two of the original pamphlets alongside the students’ translations.
June 2019: A new book, The White Rose: Reading, Writing, Resistance (Oxford: Taylor Institution Library, 2019), edited by Alex Lloyd, was published. The publication includes the White Rose resistance leaflets in German as a parallel text alongside new translations undertaken by the Oxford undergraduate student translators. The leaflet texts are framed by a series of articles by experts on the White Rose, and the catalogue from the Taylorian exhibition. The foreword was provided by the director of the White Rose Foundation (Weiße Rose Stiftung) in Munich, Hildegard Kronawitter. The book was launched at an event at St Edmund Hall.