White Rose International
Museum & Visitor Center:
“If you know, why don’t you act?”
That question was posed by a small group of students who dared to challenge the Nazi regime.
Would you have acted? Here’s a good test.
Do you act now?
If not, then perhaps it’s time you started. We invite you to become a part of the White Rose International Visitor Center where student groups will be challenged to learn, and to act.
If you would like to be a part of this effort, add your name below.
Coming, Spring 2023
Founded in 1997, White Rose International is a public foundation dedicated to preserving the memory of the White Rose anti-Nazi resistance group, as well as the principles of civil and religious liberty that inspired them to act. While there are many stories to be told, and many lessons to be learned from this tragic era, our goal is to ask why some resisted, when the vast majority did not.
It is our goal to present the White Rose story so that future generations of young people can learn from their struggles and their sacrifice.The Visitor Center will feature permanent exhibits telling the stories of the White Rose resistance, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Paul Schneider, notable for the courage of their actions, as well as their rarity.
Do you want to help? Add your name
Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans were leaders of the White Rose, a group of young people who conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign against the Nazis. Along with other White Rose members, they were arrested, tried and executed. They are notable, not only for their sacrifice, but for the simple fact that public opposition inside Germany was so rare. Most, but not all of the White Rose members were Christians, and asked the question in their leafleting campaign, “If you know, why don’t you act?”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was living overseas when he heard the news of Paul Schneider’s death, deciding immediately that it was time to return home. Bonhoeffer immediately began building relationships with church groups around the world, in hopes that they would get the word out about what was actually happening in Germany. While theologians disagree on his theological writings, they agree that his courageous labors against the Nazi state were all too rare. Years later, only days before the war came to an end, Bonhoeffer would also be executed on orders from Hitler himself, implicated in a conspiracy to assassinate the Fuehrer.
Paul Schneider was the first pastor to be executed by the Nazis, executed at Buchenwald. He was a simple village pastor who took his faith seriously, and paid for it with his life. He had opposed the “Aryan laws” which required churches to expel members with Jewish heritage. He refused to let the Nazis participate at the funeral of a church member.
But it was his decision to place a church member under discipline for sending his son to Hitler Youth meetings instead of catechism class that directly challenged the Nazi claim of authority over the church. Jailed and released, he immediately set about the same task. His unwillingness to yield to Nazi dictates sealed his fate. He was placed in Buchenwald prison camp, where he yet may have survived. His conscience, however, compelled him to do what he was called to do – preach.
Each day, he would proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ from his cell, resulting in constant beatings. When the prisoners were ordered to assemble, he refused to offer the stiff-armed Nazi salute. He comforted his fellow prisoners, and told the guards that they would stand before the judgement seat of God for what they were doing to them.
Schneider, himself a soldier before heeding the call to the ministry, would be put to death by lethal injection. When his body was returned to his family, virtually the whole village joined the funeral procession, defying the authorities. Pastors from the anti-Nazi “Confessing Church” risked arrest by traveling to the funeral. As they passed the Catholic Church, the local priest stepped down from the church steps and joined the procession in honoring the courageous Protestant pastor.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Collection
The Library is intended to be a working resource for those pursuing theological studies, and in particular, the study of biblical languages. At its core is the Strugnell Collection, the personal library of Dr. John Strugnell, Professor Emeritus of Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Strugnell was the head of the Dead Sea Scrolls translation team, and his library contains among its 4,000 volumes many rare books important to Hebrew scholarship. Among them is one of only eight codexes in the world containing copies of every fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, along with centuries old Judaica.
The B’nai Israel Collection
When three local Sacramento synagogues were firebombed by Anti-Semitic extremists, the library at B’nai Israel suffered the most damage. Replacement volumes and other gifts poured in from around the nation. Many of these volumes were duplications or were New Testament commentaries. B’nai Israel graciously donated more than 1,100 Of these volumes to the Schneider Library, for which we remain deeply grateful.
The Library is also home to the library of City Seminary of Sacramento and will feature state-of-the-art study stations, audio-visual resources, and more than 100,000 volumes in its digital collection.