75 years ago in the summer of 1942 the members of the White Rose composed four of six leaflets. Hans and Sohie Scholl were part of it. The White Rose put these leaflets into circulation on the territory of the dictatorship. With their courage they invaded the collective memory. How would the Scholl siblings break the silence of the present? What would they try today to free the world from tyranny?
The Bavarian State Government launched a student competition "Scholl 2017 - learning from the Past". On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the White Rose, the resistance of the Scholl siblings should be translated into the present. The State Ministers Joachim Herrmann and Ludwig Spaenle were looking for young people who were ready to travel to a dictatorship of their choice to spread flyers against the regime.
A bus travels through Bavaria: The pupil's registry was looking in public on Munich's most expensive shopping street for young people who register as the new Scholl siblings.
„May now indignantly cry out the apostles of morality that this is all outrageous, impudent and irresponsible. But I say: rarely enough the anti-fascist legacy is conjured and revitalized for current social disputes in this country.“
Karlen Vesper, neues Deutschland
Based on the motto "take part" young people wrote leaflets against dictatorships.
Below: Promotion of an exceptional competition. The Bavarian state government's search for the new Scholls takes place in and around Munich. Information desks in front of the Ludwig-Maximilian-University, at the Lichthof, on school yards, at the White Rose Memorial, in Kaufinger- and Maximilianstreet.
„Leaflets unsettle dictatorships and are still necessary today. This ist what the action is about!“
„This action also was so succesful because it radically extended the space of art and made the discussion of the memory itself an artwork that could be described according the the rules of criticism, a language that withdrawns from the sphere of politics.“
What the White Rose did 75 years ago is still important for a democracy in times of growing autocratic movements. Work materials and tasks for the classes were sent to over 450 high schools with an order of the Bavarian Minister of Education. Two hours of class should be applied immediately and the pupils should be pointed to the possibility of an international assignment.
Two evenings in a row coryphaes, such as Prof. Wolfgang Benz, teach the Munich school children. They initiate the pupils in the background of the resistance. Experts from current dictatorships report on the crimes. Candidates introduce themselves. The inveterate democracy shows it's power.
For short-term take-away.
The flyers are available for these autocracies:
„What happens, and what does it mean when, regularly and with ever greater allergic reactions, some of those who are supposed to explain what is happening, lose their peace, their consistency, their dignity, and their ambivalence only to roar in the case of an artists' association such as the Center for Political Beauty? Ambivalence is the essence of art. Surviving ambivalence is a prerequisite for the survival of modernity. Illuminating ambivalence is ideally and at least a task of criticism.“
Even beyond of the official competition, the Bavarian government supported young pioneers of democracy. The information file "On your own" gave important information and exciting tips for young people who wanted to organize their journey to a dictatorship on their own. The file includes a warning to the Foreign Office, emergency numbers of the German Embassies, helpful translations, form sheets for the exemption from education, information on foreign legal protection, insurance schemes and many more.
From the documents of the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Culture and Democracy: the document BSAI 2017/13/473B - The Dogmas of the State Government.
1. Dictatorships are bad.
2. Dictatorships cannot be believed.
3. Cooperations with dictatorships have never worked and will never work. Give a dictatorship your little finger and you will lose your whole arm. Common security or economic interests of democracies and dictatorships are an illusion. There are no common interests.
9. Dealing with dictatorships, seriously or politely, is undemocratic.
10. Dictators are lower spirits. They must humiliate other people. Nobody with integrity will become monach or tyrant.
Munich experiences a run on the possibilities of free speech in the dictatorship. By the end of the competition, 70 mostly female candidates, who wanted to distribute flyers against an autocratic government on hostile territory, were registered. In the picture on the right the candidate for North Korea gives a press conference.
"A huge and abominable diversion from our own political problems...they send children into so-called 'dictatorships' to distribute flyers against the governments [...] is this a giant joke or what?"
"Unfortunately no fake news, but a scandal financed with tax funds. I want the donors to take their responsibilities, clarify how this statement in the leaflet could happen and draw the necessary conclusions."
Matthias wants to set a sign of solidarity for the still living critical journalists in Russia.
"Oppositions are bestialized, there is no human right." – Jonas about the regime in Pyongyang.
Veronika wants to go to Saudi Arabia. There is no indignation about the injustice in Germany.
"If everyone waits until the other one begins, the last sacrifice will be senselessly thrown into the throat of the insatiable demon."
Leaflet of the White Rose
This is active remembrance: the police in constant use, demponstrations for aggressive humanism, cursing press representatives, confiscation of information material, information about education, school rallies, workshops against Erdogan, retirees with a walker who attach themselves to the Staatskanzlei, Appeasement, Enthusiasts of the White Rose Foundation. Resuscitate the spirit of resistance.
"The tree of freedom must be poured with the blood of the patriots and the tyrants from time to time. This is the freedom of natural fertilizer."
The last ones who had to spend their nights in the cellars because of dictatorship. Alexander Kluge writes about a woman who crouches on the ground of a bomb cellar in 1944: "She might have had means in 1928, if she had organized with others before a development that would then go on to Papen, Schleicher and Hitler. So the organizational question is in 1928 and the corresponding consciousness is in 1944."
The last witnesses chained themselves out of conviction to the Bavarian State Chancellery, including a Rollator. The silence must be broken.
"The public space where this action takes place is of course the medial space, we are living in a mediaeval age, and the latent self-hatred of some media men, who express reproaches like 'vanity' or 'manipulation' to the CPB is problematic, especially because it does not lead to a discussion about the scandals addressed in these actions. Many have once again become accustomed to brush the scandals aside in these times of Merkelism, formerly known as the phlegm, the apparent unity and the more thoughtful consensus, and put the seemingly worst abuse of these days to those who do not want to accept this: morality. "
Istanbul: The police is looking for a German citizen, who has been called to overthrow Erdogan on leaflets in the center of Istanbul. According to Turkish Press and the independent news agency DHA, electronic devices have been found in a hotel room at the Gezi Park, which had spread over 1,000 flyers against the regimeby remote control.
„The activists hit a sore point. They released flyers to the Gezi Park without endangering a single human being - in a country where a totalitarian regime incapacitates and imprisones thousands of people. We have not experienced such a refined action for a long time at the art festivals . “
„As a start try to distribute hundreds of regime-critical flyers and distribute in the middle of Istanbul, or more precisely, at the Trappark, the most politically charged place in Turkey since the 2013 protests, without getting caught.“
„I think that the German diplomacy is crushing hands over the head. But this again is not the problem of the CPB.“
"The charming and banal picture is that of a lonely printer whose messages fly through an open window. Who would have thought such a lonely, but hardly aggressive device to be repulsive? The Center for Political Beauty documents the profane functioning of a quite harmless print job, even if it is carried out internationally, which becomes critical only because the printer operates at the 'interface' between inside and outside, between public and private space. "
Samira El Ouassil
"We are calling out to you: Do not be a willless flock of followers who will allow neighbors to be imprisoned or killed. Defend democracy, fight racism. Bring down the dictatorship!"
Excerpt from the winning leaflet
English, Turkish and Russian
Deutsche Welle G20: Artist activists provoke with 'Kill Erdogan' banners
ABC Gazetesi Enden Morius S Haberleri
Deutsche Welle Türkisch Türkiye'den Almanya'ya "diktatörlüğü öldür" pankartı nedeniyle nota
Memurlar Erdoğan korkusu faşistleri çıldırttı
DHA Enden Morius (1)
show haber Enden Morius (2)
aksam Enden Morius (3)
„It started as a local farce and ended first off with a coup in Turkey.“
„I believe that German diplomacy clasps their hands over the heads. But this again is not Philip Ruch's problem.“
„The fun is ending already.“
„Composed until the last stage of escalation.“
„This is an impermissible regime change attempt.“
„The media turns up their noses at the spectacle.“
„Is beauty merely the spectacle of moral spiritual life? But the thought does not end here, but with the question: do we still need beauty?“
„The Center For Political Beauty wanted to reflect in Munich with Scholl 2017 about the resistance in the present and reaped aggressive mockery. Why does the feuilleton have such a problem with morality?"
„What is all this about? I say: go through the internet and inquire. I don't know whether it is reasonable. But what is reasonable? Mankind not at all, as Oscar Wilde knew.“
„Quarrel around art action.“
„Mistrust prevails in the end .“
„Troublemaker from conviction.“
„You can argue yes and you should argue about the actions of the CPB. But this controversy should be constructive. At least try to use art and ambiguity to make your own presence visible.“
„And the scandals are real. But in these times of Merkelism, aka the phlegm, the apparent unity and the more thoughtful consensus, many have become accustomed to push away these scandals and throw the seemingly worst cuss in these days to those who do not want to accept it: morality.“
„Where in this time and in this society does the tendency to judge art according to rules which one does not observe and miss the burning core, the actual scandal come from?“
„Of course this is not true. It is art. We do not kill tyrants. We carry out wars. We can be sure that Erdogan and Putin can visit us without the fear of someone killing them. (...) Erdogan and Salman ibn Abd al-Aziz can be sure that Germany will serve the weapons they need to keep their own population in check."
Arno Widman, Berliner Zeitung
"I almost lost my Gin-Tonic when I saw - without any satire (or am I already totally drunk?) - 'Center for Political Beauty' and 'CSU' in a cooperation. Are you serious? Seehofer, the Donald of Germany, is involved in an indulgence trade with you? How am I supposed to understand this? The 'partner' in the post makes me shudder!"
"One of the most stupid actions by people who do not understand anything of the political situation in Turkey. With this action you are using the same channels as the Turkish forces, which are more and more authoritarian and nationalist."
"At first glance a great action. To be judged very critically on the second glance: Young people and young adults are called upon to risk their lives, their health and their freedom for an action with dubious exploits here. Protest against dictatorship by risking your own life is honorable, but I consider it to be questionable to instigate young people, who often do not fully appreciate the implications and consequences of such an action."
"Great. And I believe the students are very good at estimating the consequences."
"As expected, the various responses in DE and Turkey legitimize your daring action - to 100%."
"What about a bread baking machine in Sudan. It would not have to be remotely controllable. This is all simulated 'beauty'."
"Thank you! A great case, gives me a piece of faith in humanity!"
"[...] Have you been at least - quite rightly - arrested?"
"I must confess I do not advocate any action, but I am glad that your existence in this country is possible."