Roses at Noon: Not the usual name for a journal that wishes to be taken seriously, a serious journal dedicated to a serious topic. But it perfectly expresses the image of young Germans who found themselves in the bloom of youth, yet chose to forego life itself to defend the idealistic notion of “liberty and justice for all.”

A handful of these students picked the moniker Leaflets of the White Rose to describe their seditiously patriotic thoughts. They were taken by the words of Fritz Rook, penpal of the lovely Lilo Ramdohr. From the Russian front, he wrote her:

Yesterday, late in the evening, I spied a white rose. It is said that white flowers are for the dead – but death, love, and youth are all one and the same. (The dead, insofar as they really live inside of us, live transformed as the image of shining youth!) Therefore it is precisely the white rose with its fragrance and its fragile purity that is the symbol of eternal youth. I thought of that this very moment. I love to give people white flowers (and all Christians make the sign of the cross when they see one). I am sending a white rose petal to you with a kiss. F.

Though the name of this journal would seem to elevate the White Rose friends above other German resistance movements, that is not our intent. The resistance group we call the White Rose should only be a starting point to explore others who similarly risked everything for that pesky notion that crimes against humanity debase all of us.

In 2002, the Center for White Rose Studies began publishing a mostly-monthly newsletter. We called it Roses at Noon, for the reasons stated above. Once we had a functional Web site, those newsletters were uploaded to that site; we also developed an opt-in electronic version of the newsletter that has been distributed to anyone who’s asked.

A few years ago, we added Leaflets of Our Resistance, focusing on stories about Holocaust survivors and those who resisted. We added another anthology entitled Common Ground, seeking to define the values and ethics that make human beings live beyond their flaws to perform magnificent deeds of kindness.

In the summer of 2012, we noticed that the content of these three publications frequently overlapped. We therefore merged all three into Roses at Noon: The Quarterly Journal of the Center for White Rose Studies. Simultaneously, we moved the content off our static Web site to this blog, enabling you our readers to comment and enhance our knowledge.

  • To subscribe to the print version of the journal, click here.
  • To underwrite the cost of providing the printed journal to public high schools and state universities, click here.
  • To subscribe to the free monthly e-Newsletter of the Center for White Rose Studies, click here.
  • And if you’ve never heard about the White Rose friends, and would like to know more, read their story here.

Finally: With this journal we intend to publish essays, articles, works in progress, and “opinion pieces” that meet strict criteria for accuracy and good research. We wish to adhere to every measure of the historical process, never accepting oral history at face value, never discounting oral history as irrelevant.

Yet we intend to do so in a manner that is usable by students ages 14 – 24. Seventh graders should be able to read and understand these essays as easily as tenured professors. We’ll avoid highly technical language, even as we refuse to dumb down texts. We remember what it was like to be seventh graders who were capable of rational thought!

Our writers will footnote their manuscript submissions so we can fact-check their work. But we’ll dispense with footnotes in favor of hyperlinks. Between Google Books and Amazon.com, not to mention the rest of the ocean that is the Internet, most of those sources are accessible in that less formal medium.

If you, our readers, doubt or question any assertion of fact, challenge the writer and editor in a comment! Get a discussion going! And if you learn something new, thank the writer publicly for making your day.

But most of all, join the conversation. That’s why we’re here.

To contact us with questions or suggestions, complaints or compliments, click here.


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