RESISTANCE OF THE HEART by Nathan Stoltzfus

RESISTANCE OF THE HEART

Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An event buried in the past is resurrected here to shed light on the nature and character of the Nazi regime, the Holocaust, and the German people themselves. Unknown except to specialists in the field of Holocaust studies, the Rosenstrasse protest occurred in February 1943, when the SS and Gestapo launched the Final Roundup of the Jews in Berlin. While some 10,000 were arrested and most immediately sent to their deaths at Auschwitz, approximately 2,000 were brought to Rosenstrasse in the center of Berlin. These were Jews--mostly men- -married to non-Jews. Consequently, there was some confusion over their status as prisoners. As word spread through Berlin of the final roundup and the detention at Rosenstrasse, hundreds of women converged on the street and demanded that Nazi officials release their loved ones. Despite assaults by the SS and the police, the demonstrations continued for a week; even Radio London broadcast information on the unfolding developments. Finally, the men were released. What happened to these Jews, and what it reveals about the larger issues of power, compromise, and propaganda, make for an interesting study of the Third Reich. Stoltzfus (History/Florida State Univ.) skillfully combines larger historical themes with the minute and powerful recollections of participants and eyewitnesses. Based on dozens of interviews with survivors, the work forces us to reconsider aspects of Holocaust history. As the last chapter so tellingly asks: What possibility was there for protest, rescue, or resistance within the Third Reich, and why did some people undertake those actions while others fell silent and did nothing? An important work that refracts larger political issues and ethical questions through the prism of a unique event: a heroic stand against the Nazi regime. (30 photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-393-03904-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1996