The White Rose Student Research Competition
The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) White Rose Student Research Contest is open to 7th-12th grade students in the greater Westchester County NY area. The 2021/2022 contest theme is Auschwitz and the Hungarian Deportations. This contest is sponsored by the HHREC, and it is named in memory of the White Rose, a resistance movement consisting of German university students. The project commemorates the efforts of the brave young people who gave their lives for what they believed in.
The HHREC is encouraging teachers to utilize this contest as a classroom exercise. Participating students who choose to compete in the project will submit essays or original documentaries based on research of primary source and secondary source materials.
About the 2022 Contest
The 2021-2022 contest theme is Auschwitz and the Hungarian Deportations.
Seventy-seven years ago, in the spring of 1944, the Germans occupied Hungary. Between May 14 and July 9, approximately 440,000 Hungarian Jews—the last remaining intact Jewish community in Europe—were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most were subsequently murdered. This swift, concentrated destruction was aided by local collaborators, the Hungarian government, and law-enforcement agencies. It occurred when the Vatican, the International Red Cross, the Allies, and the neutral powers already knew details of the Holocaust, especially the Hungarian situation.
Using at least 3 of the documents provided below, plus a minimum of 2 outside resources, prepare an essay or documentary that addresses all parts of the following question:
Essential Question: As witnessed by the Hungarian deportations of 1944, what role did Auschwitz play within that time and what value is there today to maintaining and preserving its presence.
- Research: Describe preparations made by the Germans for the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau and place the experiences of one Hungarian Jewish person or family in historical context, explaining how that individual or family was affected by these circumstances.
- Reflection: Today the former site of Auschwitz is a memorial and museum where artifacts are preserved and displayed. Discuss the importance of preserving sites like Auschwitz. In your opinion, what role can preservation play in maintaining the memory of the Holocaust?
You must base your research on at least three of the following documents. All documents referenced from this list are considered electronic sources and the Works Cited page should clearly denote that they were referenced from the HHREC site. That citation can take any format chosen by the teacher.
Additional Resources for Student Research
Essay Requirements: Criteria
- Evidence of comprehensive and accurate historical research
- Utilization and consistent citation of at least 3 of the designated documents and 2 additional resources
- Adherence to theme, demonstrating substantial supporting detail
- Proper citations – all citation styles are accepted, but citations must be consistent
- Essays must be free of plagiarism.
- Works Cited – Only sources cited in the body of the paper should appear on the Works Cited.
- Maximum of 1200 words.
- Submitted through the HHREC Website
All entries become property of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center and will not be returned. Applicants give the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center permission to reprint entries. Decisions of the judges are final.
Documentary Requirements: Criteria
- A documentary is an audio/visual presentation that uses multiple source types such as images, video, and sound to communicate your historical argument, research, and interpretation of your response to this year’s topic. The reflection portion of your documentary should not exceed 90 seconds.
- Your documentary must be an original production.
- Documentaries should be at least seven minutes and not exceed ten minutes in length.
- The last portion of your documentary must be a list of acknowledgments and credits for sources of moving footage, interviews, music, and images that appear in the documentary. These source credits must be brief—not full bibliographic citations and not annotated.
- MP4 format submitted as a YouTube link.
- If selected as a finalist, students must submit the mp4 file to HHREC.
- Your entry must include a process paper. A process paper is a description of how you conducted your research and created your entry.
- The process paper must be 500 words and must not include quotes, images, or captions. Your process paper must answer the following questions:
How did you choose your topic and how does it relate to this year’s theme?
How did you conduct your research?
How did you create your project?
What is your historical argument?
Your Works Cited must meet the following requirements:
- List all sources that you utilized in developing your entry.
- Separate your Works Cited into two sections: one for sources from the required set of documents and one for sources you found to supplement your research.
- Do not attach materials to your Works Cited.
- Entries must be in mp4 format and can be submitted via a YouTube link. Finalists will need to supply the original file.
All entries become property of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) and will not be returned. Applicants give the HHREC permission to reprint entries. Decisions of the judges are final.
Guidelines for Educators
HHREC encourages teachers to utilize this contest as a classroom exercise.
Sponsoring teachers are limited to submitting no more than 10 essays and 10 documentaries per age division.
Educators must submit their finalist names and certify their participation through the entry form.
Each essay or documentary should reflect the student’s own work, guided and reviewed, but not edited in detail by the sponsoring teacher.
Entries must be submitted by the published deadline.
Finalists and their sponsoring teacher will be recognized at a reception in May.
All entries become property of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center and will not be returned.
Applicants give the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center permission to reprint entries.
Decisions of the judges are final.
Eligibility & Entry Information
The White Rose Student Research Contest is open to 7th-12th grade students.
- Each contestant is limited to one entry per year.
- Previous winners may enter again.
- Projects will be evaluated on historical accuracy, development of content and theme, and original expression according to this rubric.
- All entries become property of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center and will not be returned.
- Applicants give the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center permission to reprint entries.
- Decisions of the judges are final.
- Entries are accepted in two categories – documentary or essay.
- Entries are accepted in three age divisions – 7-8th grade, 9-10th grade and 11-12th grade.
- We ask students and educators to respect the privacy of the survivors and to refrain from conducting personal interviews.
- Finalists will be identified by a panel of Blue Ribbon judges and honored at a reception in May.
- The top prize winner in each category and age level will be awarded a $300 prize.
- The sponsoring teacher of each first prize winner will be awarded a voucher worth $150 for use on professional development and/or Holocaust resources.
Student Competition Guidelines
Each participant is limited to one entry per year, and all projects will be evaluated on historical accuracy, development of content and theme, and original expression.
Entries are accepted in three age divisions – 7-8th grade, 9-10th grade and 11-12th grades, and sponsoring teachers are limited to submitting no more than 10 papers and/or documentaries per age division.
Winning entries for the HHREC White Rose Student Research Contest will be identified by a panel of Blue-Ribbon judges and honored at a (virtual) reception in May. The top prize winner in each age level will be awarded a cash prize, and the sponsoring teacher of each first prize winner will be awarded a voucher for use on professional development and/or Holocaust resources.
Deadline for Submissions
The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2022. Teachers should email a list of participating students to the HHREC by February 4th, 2022.