“The White Rose” Exhibit Travels to Salem State University

Salem, Mass., Feb. 8, 2017 — Salem State University welcomed the Berry Library’s first traveling museum exhibit Wednesday Feb. 8th. The exhibit, “White Rose: The Student Resistance Against Hitler, Munch 1942/43” represents student courage and heroism.

The “White Rose” exhibit tells the story of a group of students who risked their lives to publish and distribute anti-Nazi leaflets. The leaflets encouraged nonviolent resistance to the Nazi regime and an immediate termination of the war.

Ralf Horlemann, Consul General or Boston German Consulate joined the University for the opening and launched the reception with a speech about the significance of the exhibit and the courage of human spirit.

Ralf Horlemann, Consul General for Germany in Boston, addresses the audience on Feb. 8, 2017. Photo: Britney Jackson

When asked what he wants visitors to learn, Horlemann said: “I hope that people start to think about resistance to a dictatorship and how difficult it can be, of course they should think about the greater context of the Nazi dictatorship and the holocaust and should think about what it means also in our times and in our societies to stand up for your values.”

Guests gazed through panels of powerful images, photographs and text that represented the heroism displayed by the White Rose Society.

Guests view “White Rose” exhibit in Salem State University Berry Library on Feb. 8, 2017, in Salem, Mass.

Founded by Hans and Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, and Alexander Schmorell, the society was a student resistance group that was responsible for distributing six self-published anti-Nazi leaflets in 1942 and 1943. In 1943 Hans and Sophie Scholl were arrested while distributing the sixth and final leaflet. Members of the White Rose Society were arrested and jailed, most were executed.

Taliah Rodriguez, a freshman at Salem State University, found the exhibit to be personally inspiring and learned “that despite the leader that there’s always going to be people that are going to speak up even when other people won’t there’s just always going to be someone that’s going to be out there.”

Rebecca Green and Samantha Martin, both Salem State University students, found the exhibit to not only be inspiring but also empowering and emotional.

“The movement is so relevant, even in 2017,” said Martin.

Speaking to the audience, Chris Mauriello, Academic Coordinator for the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) stressed the relevancy of the exhibit’s subject.

“The university is yours, it’s your community, it’s your values, it’s your system,” he said. “I hope that students take this and understand that the university really is a place for your ideas, your expression, your energy and we need it now more than ever.”

CHGS aims to deepen the education about “the destructive power of antisemitism, racism and ethnic and religious violence,” according to its website.

Previously displayed at Bentley University, Salem State University welcomes all to walk through this powerful display of heroism and perseverance during library business hours Feb. 8th through early March. Admission to the exhibit is free, the event is open to the public.