Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany

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Rutgers University Press, 2001 - History - 386 pages
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In February 1943 the Gestapo arrested approximately 10,000 Jews remaining in Berlin. Most died at Auschwitz. Two thousand of those Jews, however, had non-Jewish partners and were locked into a collection center on a street called Rosenstrasse. As news of the surprise arrest pulsed through the city, hundreds of Gentile spouses, mostly women, hurried to the Rosenstrasse in protest. A chant broke out: "Give us our husbands back."

Over the course of a week protesters vied with the Gestapo for control of the street. Now and again armed SS guards sent the women scrambling for cover with threats that they would shoot. After a week the Gestapo released these Jews, almost all of whom survived the war.

The Rosenstrasse Protest was the triumphant climax of ten years of resistance by intermarried couples to Nazi efforts to destroy their families. In fact, ninety-eight percent of German Jews who did not go into hiding and who survived Nazism lived in mixed marriages. Why did Hitler give in to the protesters? Using interviews with survivors and thousands of Nazi records never before examined in detail, Nathan Stoltzfus identifies the power of a special type of resistance--the determination to risk one's own life for the life of loved ones. A "resistance of the heart..."

 

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Resistance of the heart: intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse protest in Nazi Germany

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Stoltzfus (history, Florida State Univ.) has written about an unusual and striking episode of the Holocaust. In February 1943, the remaining 10,000 Jews of Berlin were rounded up by the Gestapo; of ... Read full review

Contents

Hitlers Theory of Power
3
Stories of JewishGerman Courtship
17
The Politics of Race Sex and Marriage
41
Courage and Intermarriage
50
Mischlinge A Particularly Unpleasant Occurrence
57
Society versus Law GermanJewish Families and Social Restraints on Hitler
65
Society and Law GermanJewish Families and German Collaboration with Hitler
76
Kristallnacht Intermarriages and the Lessns of Pogrom
98
The Price of Compliance and the Destruction of Jews
162
Plans to Clear the Reich of Jews and the Obstacles of Women and Total War
192
Courageous Women of Rosentrasse
209
Protest Rescue and Resistance
258
EPILOGUE
279
NOTES ON SOURCES AND DISCOVERY
289
ENDNOTES
299
BIBLIOGRAPHY
355

At War and at Home Mischlinge in Hitlers Army
112
Racial Hygiene Catholic Protest and Noncompliance 193941
124
The Star of David Decree The Official Story and the Intermarried Experience
150

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About the author (2001)

Stoltzfus is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Florida State University.

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