Rosenstrasse (2003) 




Director:    Margarethe von Trotta

Starring:     Katja Riemann (Lena Fischer - age 33), Maria Schrader (Hannah Weinstein), Doris Schade (Lena Fischer - age 90), Jutta Lampe (Ruth Weinstein - age 60), Svea Lohde (Ruth - age 8), Jrgen Vogel (Arthur von Eschenbach), Martin Feifel (Fabian Fischer), Fedja van HuÍt (Luis Marquez), Carola Regnier (Rachel Rosenbauer), Plien van Bennekom (Marian), Romijn Conen (Ben), Julia Eggert (Emily), Thekla Reuten (Klara Singer), Jutta Wachowiak (Frau Goldberg), Jan Decleir (Nathan Goldberg).

The Nazis sent millions of Jewish families to the concentration camps and their death.  But what about Jewish men married to Aryan women?  These husbands were imprisoned in a factory on a street named Rosenstrasse. But the Aryan wives started a protest against the imprisonment of their husbands. 



Spoiler Warning:




Historical Background:


early 1943  --  the final round-up of Jews in Berlin netted some 8,000 people.  Out of this number from 1,700 to 2,000 Jewish men, most of whom were married to Aryan women, were herded into Rosenstrasse, a welfare office for the Jewish community in central Berlin.

Adolf Eichman hoped that this would "reassure" the non-Jewish wives that their husbands were being sent to labor camps and not to concentration camps in Poland.  But the real plan was to board these husbands within two days onto east-bound trains. 

Wives and other relatives learned of the plan and appeared at Rosenstrasse address, increasing their numbers to 6,000.  The women courageously demanded their husbands be released, standing up to the evil of the Third Reich.

Goebbels was in charge of the nation's public morale and he was deeply troubled by what was happening at Rosenstrasse.  He could not just shoot or arrest the protesting women for fear of the negative publicity and the possible exposure of the full-extent of the Final Solution. 

Goebbels actually got Hitler to agree to the release of the Rosenstrasse prisoners.  (He even agreed to the return of twenty-five husbands already shipped to Auschwitz.)

Fortunately, almost all of those released from imprisonment survived the war.



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