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The Cougar Chronicle

Defiance of Nazi regime commemoration

Cesia Cano, Staff Writer

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In 2003 the White Rose tribute was planted on campus in remembrance of the courageous resistant group. The commemorative White Rose Memorial has great historical significance, yet it lacks the recognition that it deserves. The commemorative plaque and display of tall white roses passed by thousands of unaware students, is located in the north side of the Arts Building.

The White Rose Memorial recognizes a group of young students and their philosophy professor from the University of Munich, who formed a non-violent resistance group in 1942. This group of brave individuals called themselves the White Rose.

Horrified by the actions of Nazi soldiers, the White Rose anonymously distributed leaflets around their campus and other public areas in Germany to urge political resistance. The group actively opposed the tyranny of Nazi actions encouraging Germans to think for themselves and to fight for civil rights.

During this time, paper and envelopes were scarce, limiting the group’s efforts to reproduce the leaflets. One of their techniques was to carefully select the recipients from telephone directories of whom were mostly medics, pub-owners and scholars.

On Feb. 18, 1943, two White Rose members got caught while scattering pamphlets across their campus. Soon after, the remaining members were also caught and put on trial for treason.

Three of the White Rose members were quickly sentenced to death. Later that year, three more members were tried and executed.

The white roses stand alongside a small well of water giving CSUSM students the opportunity to water the roses and continue to keep the memory alive.

This act of defiance against Nazi policies is worthy of recognition.

So, the next time you pass by the Arts Building take a moment to water this symbolic memorial and remind yourself of the power we as students have, to be influential and leave a positive mark in history.

For more information on the White Rose, visit

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