White Rose Exhibit Illustrates “Power of Students”

By: Elizabeth Camillieri
SALEM, MASS., Feb. 9, 2017 — — “White Rose: The student resistance against Hitler, Munich 1942/43,” opened Wednesday night in the Berry Library at Salem State with hopes to reflect the values of the school and “show the power of students,” according Chris Mauriello, head of the university’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Ralph Horlemann, Consul General, Boston German Consulate, described the exhibit as being more than about the war. It is also about one’s beliefs and standing up and protesting injustices.

“[The exhibit’s] not only about Nazi’s and the war but about values and conscience and courage,” said Horlemann.

Chris Mauriello, head of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Salem State, opens the White Rose exhibit at the Berry Library on February 8, 2017, at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. This is the first exhibit of its kind to come north of Boston according to Mauriello. Photo: Elizabeth Camilleri

The White Rose was a German student protest group that distributed a series leaflets calling for passive resistance and termination of the war during World War II. Their strength and courage to stand up for the injustices happening in Nazi Germany still has the ability to inspire people today.

“It really takes a commitment to stand up to injustices in a democratic society and today it’s worth the risks,” said Mauriello, “The university is a place for your ideas your expression your energy and we need it now more than ever”.

The exhibit is made up of several standing panels that line the lobby of the library showcasing pictures of the members of White Rose and their stories. The exhibit was beautifully arranged and looked like a series of unfolding pamphlets stretched out along the walls of the library.

“This is a very good use of space and the material is still relevant today” said Samantha Martin, a history major at Salem State.

Ralf Horlemann, Consul General, Boston German Consulate, addresses the crowd at the opening of the White Rose exhibit on February 8, 2017, at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. Horlemann shared his hopes that the exhibit will encourage students to be courageous and gather together against injustice. Photo: Elizabeth Camilleri

The library is a perfect place for the exhibit because it gives students who would not normally be exposed to displays like this the opportunity to walk through, which was one of the main goals Mauriello had when the exhibit was set to be placed in the library.

“We want the whole campus to visit and the library is a central location…the event is meant to be educational” Mauriello said.

Horlemann reached out to Salem State’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies department to see if the University would be interested in hosting the exhibit, according to Mauriello.

On February 8, 2017, students, faculty and community members walk through the newly opened White Rose exhibit in the Frederick E. Berry Library at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. The exhibit is made up of several standing panels staggered like unfolding paper down the walls of the library. Photo: Elizabeth Camilleri

The exhibit will be open from February 8 to March 8, 2017, and from there will move to another to another location to continue spreading the power of the White Rose.