Excerpt from a project on Rosa Robota and the Auschwitz Uprising
Notes for the presentation:
- In Nov. 1942 at age 21, Rosa Robota was deported from Ciechaow, Poland and was sent to Auschwitz.
- She worked in a clothing supply section of the camp where she was approached by Noah Zabladowicz, a member of the Jewish underground at the camp.
- Zabladowicz asked Rosa to help smuggle schwartzpulver, which was the explosive they planned to use to blow up the crematoria and gas chambers with the help of outside partisans.
- Rosa had friends working in the Union Munitions Plant, and she had them help smuggle the explosive out through secret compartments in their dresses.
- Before the planned explosion occurred, a group called the sonderkommando (the men who handled the corpses) staged their own revolt, blowing up one of the four crematoria at Birkenau on Oct. 7, 1944. Many prisoners escaped, but they were caught, shot, and killed.
- The explosives were traced back to Rosa and three other women. After much torture to try to get information from her (unsuccessfully), Rosa at age 23 was hanged with the three other women in front of the camp. Before her death she told a friend, "I know what I did and I know what is coming. It’s easier to die when you know that there is a continuation of your actions."
- Her last message was "Hazak v'ematz"—"Be strong, have courage."
- Although the gas chambers and crematoria kept working, Rosa and the others brought hope to the other prisoners that they could stand up and resist the Nazis.
Excerpt from a presentation on "The White Rose"
Notes for the presentation:
- The White Rose stands for resistance to tyranny.
- In 1942 German students and teachers wrote seven leaflets going against Hitler.
- Hans & Sophie School (brother and sister), Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell, and Kurt Huber (professor)
- First leaflet, "Leaflets of the White Rose," talked about Germans who did not do anything but go with Hitler; they criticized the Germans. Summer/fall 1942
- Three more were written; each one made a bigger impact.
- Two more were written in Jan. 1943.
- The last was written in Feb. 1943.
- The last three were known as "Leaflets of the Resistance."
- They were sent all over Germany through a network of students and medics in Hamburg, Freiburg, Berlin, and Vienna.
- Hans and Alex were the founding members and wrote the first four leaflets.
- Willi wrote the fifth and got supplies for the documents (they were mimeographed).
- Sophie got stamps and took care of financial affairs.
- Kurt Huber wrote the sixth and seventh. (Hans helped with the seventh.)
- In Feb. 1943 Hans, Alex, and Willi painted "Down with Hitler," "Hitler Mass Murder," and "Freedom" on buildings.
- Feb. 18, 1943, Hans and Sophie went to the University to distribute more leaflets, but the two were caught by Jakob Schmidt, a janitor.
- They were executed Feb. 22, 1943. Sophie left behind the word "freedom" in her cell, and Hans said, "Hold out in defiance of despotism."
- Other members were arrested and executed too.
Students also summarized each leaflet.