“And yet their spirit lives on”
This project was aimed at remembering the resistance group The White Rose against National Socialism and was planned and implemented by Senior Fellow Yasmin Hoffmann in Ulm, a city in Southern Germany.
Inmany of the latest elections in Europe, a sentiment of alienation has become salient, leading to the rise of the populist right wing in many European countries.
This goes to show that now more than ever, societies need to remember how important it is to defend democratic values with courage and belief. Next to the historical need to remember the resistance and motives of the White Rose, their courage holds a large number of messages for the present times.
Before her participation in the Humanity in Action Fellowship, Yasmin has been interested in The White Rose and their actions. Growing up in Ulm, which was also the home to the family of Hans and Sophie Scholl, two of the groups founders, as well as many friends and supports of the resistance group. This made The White Rose a powerful history she was drawn to.
Participating in the Copenhagen Fellowship of Humanity in Action strengthened Yasmin’s idea to choose the resistance of The White Rose as the overarching topic of her action project.
To her, the humanistic motives and actions of those young people have always been impressive and incredibly touching examples of taking responsibility to act in advocacy for a minority entrapped in inequality.
Yasmin knew this was the topic she wanted to focus on for her Action Project during her Humanity in Action Fellowship. Thus, she used her fellow session to present her project draft to the group and initiate a fruitful brainstorming session to continue gathering ideas.
Yasmin ultimately decided to design the project as a re-run of the leaflet actions which The White Rose performed 75 years earlier.
She then started gathering money through the crowdfunding platform betterplace.org to finance the costs for postage and stationery as the leaflets were sent via mail. She designed a leaflet and a cover letter to inform the recipients about the project and included extracts of the former original leaflets of the resistance group in a fashion that made it relatable to the present-day situation. To integrate the recipients actively into the project, they were given the opportunity to respond to the letter they received via the project website (in German). As the last phase of her project, Yasmin transformed the recipients’ replies into pieces for an art installation which opened in a local history museum in Ulm, Germany.
For the project, Yasmin relied on the help of Senior Fellow Eva Degler who proved a great mentor and talented graphic designer throughout the process.