The 75th anniversary of the White Rose

75 years ago in the summer of 1942, the members of the White Rose composed four leaflets. Hans and Sophie Scholl were part of it. The White Rose circulated these leaflets on the territory of the dictatorship. With their courage they made it into our collective memory. How would the Scholl siblings break the silence today? What would they try today to free the world from tyranny?

The Bavarian State Government launched the 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 was to 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 distribute pamphlets against the regime.

Get in, please

A bus travels through Bavaria: looking for pupils to sign up as the new Scholl siblings on Munich's most expensive shopping street. 

Your leaflet

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.

Ludwig Maximilian University


Lichthof of the LMU

»I think it's utterly devastating. This is not a responsible way to interact with young people!«

Richard Quaas, CSU

»Leaflets unsettle dictatorships and are still necessary today. This is what this operation is about!«

Prof. Wolfgang Benz, Träger Geschwister-Scholl-Preis

The enlightenment of a society

New school

What the White Rose did 75 years ago is still important for a democracy in times of growing autocratic movements. Work material and tasks for the classes were sent to over 450 high schools with an order of the Bavarian Minister of Education. Two double sessions were to be scheduled immediately and the students were to be told about the possibility of a deployment abroad.

»A huge and abominable diversion from our own political problems...they send children into so-called 'dictatorships' to distribute pamphlets against the governments [...] is this a giant joke or what?«

Paula P.

»This isn’t fake news, unfortunately, but a scandal funded with tax money. I expect that the donors take responsibility, explain, and draw the necessary conclusions.«

Ruprecht Polenz, CDU

Get going!

Even beyond the official competition, the Bavarian government supports young pioneers of democracy. The information sheet »on your own account« provided important information and exciting advice for young people eager to organize their journey to a dictatorship on their own. The file includes a note of participation for the Foreign Office, emergency numbers of the German Embassies, helpful translations, forms to be excused from class, information on foreign legal protection, insurance schemes and many more.

For last-minute travellers

Available in several languages for the following autocracies:

»This campaign was so successful because it radically extended the art space and made the discussion of remembrance itself an artwork that could be described according to the rules of a critical review, a language that evades the political sphere.«

Spiegel Online

The school principal of the Sophie Scholl high school in Munich is getting queasy and banishes a faithful reenactment of the White Rose from the school. He does not want to find a new Sophie Scholl in his school yard.

Vanguard of the new resistance

Munich experienced a rush for a new kind of freedom of speech under dictatorship. By the end of the competition, 70 mostly female candidates had signed up to distribute leaflets against an autocratic government on hostile territory. In the picture on the right, the candidate for North Korea gives a press conference.

Matthias wants to show solidarity for those few critical journalists still alive in Russia.

»Dissidents are brutishly executed, there are no human rights whatsoever.« – Jonas about the regime in Pyongyang.

Veronika wants to go to Saudi Arabia. There is a lack of outrage in Germany about the injustice there, she says.

»If everyone waits until someone else begins, every last victim will have been senselessly sacrificed to the insatiable demon.«

Leaflet of the White Rose

Bavaria in a state of emergency

Remembrance vitalizes: the police busy around the clock, demonstrations for aggressive humanism march through Munich, press representatives fret, the information material for the competition is confiscated wherever it appears. Expulsion from the Sophie-Scholl-Gymnasium, workshops against Erdogan, pensioners chaining themselves and their walkers to the State Chancellery. Events against fear and appeasement, enthusiasm from the head of the White Rose Foundation. New life is breathed into the spirit of resistance.

»The public space in which this campaign is taking place is the media one. We live in a media age, and the latent self-hatred of some media people, which expresses itself towards the Center through accusations such as ›vanity‹ or ›manipulation‹, is so problematic because it does not lead to a conversation about the actual scandals pointed at in these performances. In these times of Merkeldom, apathy, apparent unity, and thoughtless consensus, many have once again become accustomed to pushing these scandals away, throwing what appears to be the worst insult these days at those who won't come to terms with them: morality.«

Spiegel Online

Alternative lessons

Two evenings in a row, historians, such as Prof. Wolfgang Benz, taught Munich school children (and their parents) about the German resistance. Experts from current dictatorships reported on the crimes these regimes committed and candidates for Sophie Scholl 2017 explained their motivation to distribute pamphlets. A show of force of defensive democracy.

»It is never too early to criticize dictatorships, but quickly too late! [...] Tyrannicide could be appropriate wherever human rights are overruled.«

Prof. Wolfgang Benz

Shake things up – Become an accomplice!

Björn Höcke has praised the Center for Political Beauty as a »terrorist group«. Get close to the action and become an accomplice to a terrorist organization so far sadly recognized only by Höcke, Erdogan, and the Free State of Thuringia! As an accomplice you will make an invaluable contribution to inciting public unrest in the service of aggressive humanism. Nowhere else will you receive more unrest and dissent for every donated Euro. 

Memorials for the victims of the dictatorship

Gap in consciousness

The last witnesses who had to spend their nights in the basement because of a dictatorship beware the beginnings. Alexander Kluge writes about a woman who crouches on the ground of a bomb shelter in 1944: ›She might have been able to do something in 1928, if she had organized with others before a development that would lead to Papen, Schleicher and Hitler. So the organizational question is in 1928 and the corresponding consciousness is in 1944.‹

Out of conviction, these last witnesses chained themselves and their rollators to the Bavarian State Chancellery. The silence must be broken.


From the documents of the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Culture and Democracy: the document BSAI 2017/13/473B - The commandments of the State Government.

1. Dictatorships are bad.

2. Dictatorships cannot be believed.

3. Cooperation with dictatorships has 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. It is undemocratic to interact with dictatorships in a serious or polite manner.

10. Dictators are inferior spirits. They must humiliate other people. Nobody with integrity will become a monarch or a tyrant. 

Pamphlets are subsonic explosions of totalitarian states

The police are investigating: Germans call for Erdoğan to be overthrown in Turkey

Istanbul: The police are looking for German citizens who have called for the toppling of Erdogan on leaflets in the center of Istanbul. According to Turkish Press and the independent news agency DHA, electronic equipment has been seized in a hotel room at Gezi Park that printed and distributed more than 1,000 leaflets against the regime by remote control.

»The activists struck a nerve. They flooded Gezi Park with leaflets without endangering a single human being - in a country where a totalitarian regime disenfranchises and imprisons thousands of people. Such a sophisticated performance has not been seen at an art festival in a long time.«

Die Welt

Overthrow Erdogan!

»It’s no easy feat to distribute hundreds of leaflets critical of the regime in the middle of Istanbul, more precisely at Gezi Park, Turkey's most politically charged place since the 2013 protests, without getting caught.«

Süddeutsche Zeitung

»I think that German diplomacy is throwing its hands up in horror. But again, that's not CPB's problem.«


»Best of« the White Rose

(Most content in German)

»The image, both charming and banal, is that of a lone printer whose messages are flying through an open window. Who would have thought such a lonely and abandoned but hardly aggressive apparatus an item of resistance before? The Center for Political Beauty documents the mundane workings of a printing job - essentially a quite innocuous thing, even if carried out internationally, made explosive only by the fact that the printer operates at the intersection between inside and outside, between public and private space.«

Samira El Ouassil

»We call upon you: Do not be a weak-willed herd of followers who allow neighbors to be imprisoned or killed. Defend democracy. Fight racism. Overthrow the dictatorship!«

Excerpt from the winning leaflet


English, Turkish, and Russian

CNN Turkey angered by German protest artwork ahead of G20 summit


Deutsche Welle G20: Artist activists provoke with 'Kill Erdogan' banners


Intelligencerpost Erdogan Lashes Out at Germany Once Again, This Time over Rally Ban during G-20 Summit

Hürriyet daily news Turkey sends diplomatic note to German Foreign Ministry over artist’s ‘provocative act’

rte haber Alman kuruluşundan ikinci Gezi provokasyonu

odatv Altından hangi örgüt çıktı

Sputnicknews Gezi Parkı'na bakan oda tutan Alman, bildiri düzeneği kurmuş

ABC Gazetesi Enden Morius S Haberleri

Hürriyet Polis inanamadı!.. Otel odasına otomatik bildiri makinesi kurmuş

Siyasi Haber Gezi Parkı'na otelden otomatik düzenekle bildiri: Direnmek yaşamaktır!

Sabah Gezi Parkı'na bakan oda tutan Alman bildiri düzeneği kurdu

daily sabah German man hides machine dropping anti-Erdoğan leaflets from hotel room window

Milliyet Esrarengiz Alman’dan bildiri atan düzenek!

Diken Şüpheli aranıyor: Taksim’de otelden otomatik düzenekle siyasi bildiri ‘yağdı’

the local Turkey condemns Berlin 'kill dictatorship' artwork featuring Erdogan

Yahoo News Turkey protests to Germany over 'kill dictatorship' installation

Breitbart News Turkey protests to Germany over ‘kill dictatorship’ installation


artdaily Turkey protests to Germany over 'kill dictatorship' installation

uproxx A Horde Of Zombies Descended Upon Hamburg, Germany To Protest This Weekend’s G20 Summit

turkse media Turkish embassy in Berlin protests over Erdogan banner


Deutsche Welle Türkisch Türkiye'den Almanya'ya "diktatörlüğü öldür" pankartı nedeniyle nota

Günes Erdoğan korkusu faşistleri çıldırttı

Hürriyet Şok görüntüler! Otel odasına otomatik bildiri makinesi kurmuş…

Memurlar Erdoğan korkusu faşistleri çıldırttı

Mepa News Başbakanlık önünde Erdoğan'a tehdit: 'Bu arabayı istiyorsan diktatörü öldür'

haber10 Alman ajan, bildiriyi Taksim'de böyle dağıtmış

Cumhuriyet Esrarengiz bildiri eylemi baskıcı liderlere karşıymış

makfax Турција ѝ упати протестна нота на Германија поради уметничка инсталација поставена во Берлин

DHA Turhish Television (1)

show haber Turkish Television (2)

aksam Turkish Television (3)

»It started as a local farce and ended for now with a clever coup in Turkey.«

Alex Rühle, SZ

»I think German diplomacy is throwing its hands up in horror. But that, again, is not Philipp Ruch's problem.«

Elke Buhr, Monopol

»Slowly, the fun stops.«


»Composed to the last level of escalation.«

Klas Libuda, RP

»This is an inadmissible attempt at regime change.«

Martin Lejeune

»The media turned up their noses at the spectacle.«

Alex Rühle, SZ

»Is beauty merely the spectacle of moral intellectual life? But this thought does not end there but with the question: do we need it anyway?«

Philipp Bovermann, nachtkritik

»The Center for Political Beauty wanted to reflect on contemporary resistance in Munich with Scholl 2017 and reaped aggressive ridicule. Why does the feuilleton have such a problem with morality?«


»What's the point of all this anyway? To that I say: stride through the internet, inquire. Whether it's reasonable, I don't know. But what is reasonable? Man, at any rate, is not, as Oscar Wilde knew.«

Karlen Vesper, neues Deutschland

»A lot of noise over art performance.«

S.Rohrmeier, tz

»In the end, mistrust wins.«

Christiane Lutz, SZ

»Troublemakers by conviction.«

Petra Hallmayer, SZ

»You can and you should argue about the performances of the CPB. But this argument should be constructive, one should at least make the attempt to use art - and ambivalence - to make one's own present visible.«


»And the scandals are real, after all. In these times of Merkeldom, apathy, apparent unity, and thoughtless consensus, many have once again become accustomed to pushing these scandals away, throwing what appears to be the worst insult these days at those who won't come to terms with them: morality.«


»Where does the tendency come from in this time and in this society to judge art according to rules that one does not abide by oneself, and to overlook the burning core, the actual scandal?«


»What happens, and what does it mean, when some of those at the Center for Political Beauty who are supposed to explain what is happening, lose their calm, their composure, their dignity, and can’t help but roar in the face of ambivalence? Ambivalence is the essence of art. Enduring ambivalence is a prerequisite for the survival of modernity. To illuminate ambivalence is, at least in part and ideally, the task of reviewers.«

Spiegel Online

Tyrannicide 2017

»This is not truth, of course, but art. We don't kill tyrants, after all. We are fighting wars. We can be sure that Erdogan and Putin will come to us without fearing that someone will eliminate them. [...] Erdogan and Salman ibn Abd al-Aziz can rely entirely on Germany to supply them with weapons they need to keep their own populations in check.«

Arno Widman, Berliner Zeitung

»I almost dropped my gin and tonic when I saw - without any satire (or am I already totally drunk?) - the ›Center for Political Beauty‹ and the ›CSU‹ in a cooperative venture? Are you serious? Horst Seehofer, the Donald of Germany, gets involved in a sale of indulgences with you? What do you mean by that? The ›partner‹ in the post makes me shudder!«

Roman Berger

»One of the most stupid campaigns by people who don't understand a thing about the political situation in Turkey. With this campaign you cater to precisely those Turkish channels that stand for a more and more authoritarian and nationalistic path.«

Re Ne

»At first glance, a great performance. But on the second it must be evaluated very critically. Here, teenagers and young adults are called to risk their lives, health, and freedom for an act of dubious benefit. Protesting against dictatorship by risking one's own life is very honorable, but I consider it questionable to incite young people to do so, who often do not yet fully understand and assess the consequences of such action, by offering them prizes.«

Julian Fischer

»Great. And I think the students are already very good at making that assessment.«

Carsten Gerloff

»As expected, the broad array of reactions in DE and Turkey legitimize your daring act 100%.«

Georg Hollinetz

»How about a bread baking machine in Sudan. That wouldn’t have to be remotely operable either. This is only feigned ›beauty‹.«

Mario Bauer

»Thanks! A great cause, gives me back a bit of faith in humanity!«

Martin Kraft

»Have you at least - and with good reason - been arrested?«

Nina Hallmann

»I must confess that I don't support every operation, but I'm glad that your existence is possible in this country.«


Dictatorship top of the pops

Overthrow Putin!