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

Nathan Stoltzfus, Author, Nathan Stolzfus, Author W. W. Norton & Company $30 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-03904-7
In early 1943, the Gestapo rounded up most of the Jews remaining in Berlin, the majority of whom were married to German gentiles, and interred them in a facility on Rosenstrasse, a street in the heart of the city. In the following days, their non-Jewish spouses congregated spontaneously on Rosenstrasse and demanded the return of their mates. Despite threats from the SS to shoot anyone gathering around the building, the spouses held their ground, and eventually Joseph Goebbels agreed to release the 1700 intermarried Jews. Stoltzfus, who teaches history at Florida State University, has written a powerful, exhaustively researched report on that rare episode of open, successful resistance to the regime and reaches a telling conclusion: the Nazi state was so concerned with popular acceptance that public protest could have stopped many of its murderous policies. For a significant example, he cites the Catholic Church's successful opposition to the Nazi's euthanasia program: ""[I]t seems beyond any doubt that if the churches had opposed the killing... of the Jews as they opposed the killing of the congenitally insane and sick, there would have been no Final Solution."" Interwoven here are the poignant, compelling histories of couples from mixed marriages who opposed the Nazis--and survived the regime. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1996
Release date: 11/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 386 pages - 978-0-8135-2909-7
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