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Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany Paperback – February 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; New edition edition (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813529093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813529097
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #510,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

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 these, about 2000 were married to non-Jews. These 2000 were herded to a collection center on the Rosenstrasse, the street that was a former center of Jewish life. Word spread quickly among the Christian spouses and relatives, and a public protest ensued, lasting a week. The author's work is groundbreaking in documenting the sensitivity of the Hitler regime to public opinion. After initial vacillation, a decision was made to release the prisoners. Stoltzfus has done an impressive job of presenting this unusual episode. He emphasizes that if the church had protested against the treatment of the Jews as it did, successfully, against the euthanasia program, the Holocaust would not have occurred. He examines issues pertaining to, among other things, intermarriage between gentile and Jewish Germans and adds an extra dimension to his account with poignant, compelling interviews with survivors, which provide the backbone of the book and make it very readable for generalists. Highly recommended for large public and academic libraries.?Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., Ill.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By eiramesor@aol.com on March 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent explanation of how mixed marriages between Aryans and non-Aryans (Jews as well as Christians with "Jewish blood") were affected by the Nazi laws. The offspring of these marriages were half-Aryans, half-Jews or Mischlinge. My father, a pure Aryan lost his job as a high school teacher in 1937, my brother was killed in Auschwitz.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating account of one of the most successful protests during the Nazi regime,spurred by the many couples who were intermarried Germans (one spouse Jewish, one not). When the Jewish partners in the marriage were taken away by the Germans, the remaining spouses reacted angrily, culminating in the Rosenstrasse protest of February 1943. This book is a very detailed and powerful look at the heart of a nation - and its peoples. The author interviewed survivors and looked at literally thousands of Nazi records that had never before been examined. I found this book to be very inspiring and couldn't help wondering: what if more people had protested the injustices of Hitler's regime even earlier- could the Holocaust actually have been prevented?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
An account of the protest wages by the Protestant spouses of German Jews. Because of the tumultuous emotions of my surviving relatives, so much of this history was never discussed in my home. Now I know that the reason for my grandfather's survival was the protest in which my grandmother participated. This book created a starting point to open discussion with my mother on this part of her life. I found the book so powerful that I am purchasing another as a gift.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fred M. Blum on March 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Resistance of the Heart : Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany by Nathan Stoltzfus is a well written book about the unsuccessful attempt by the Nazi's to exterminate Jews who married Germans of the Christian faith. The fact that the attempt was unsuccessful and that the overwhelming majority of the intermarried Jews were never sent to the death camps and survived the war leaves one with a withering feeling of "what if."
The central thesis of the book is that Hitler and Goebbels worry about the reaction of the Christian spouses led them to refuse to forcibly remove the Jewish spouse. They instead resorted to social pressure to force a divorce, so that the Jewish spouse could then easily be sent to the death camps. The social pressure was unsuccessful not because it was not intense, but because the Nazi's failed to give sufficient consideration to the bond between the spouses and the German antipathy toward divorce.
A central part of the story focuses on the attempt to round up the intermarried Jews in Berlin for transport to the camps. After the round up, but before their transport, they were housed in a building on Rosenstrasse. When word of this got back to the Christian spouses they surrounded the building and refused to leave until their husband or wife was freed. Amazingly, the Nazi's who murdered millions of Jews, Poles, Gypsies and others let thier prisoners go free. Goebbels reasoned that it was better to not force a confrontation with Christian Germans.
What is clear is that the Nazis were extremely concerned about German public opinion and were willing even to ignore their plans for the final solution where it ran counter to the public opinion of even a small part of Germany's populace.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was very impressed by this book. The author has done much needed work on a little known subject. I was moved by the interviews with survivors.It was inspiring to hear of the faithfullness of these intermaried couples and their devotion to each other. The Rosenstrasse Protest made me realize that even evil people, such as the Nazi authorities, can be forced to listen to protesters. I was able to picture what the hardships of life for these families in Berlin. It's a wonderful book and should be read by anyone interested in Holocaust Studies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a remarkable book on an even more remarkable event: the
public protest, in Berlin, in 1943, of the German ("Aryan") women married with Jews against their deportation to the East. A notable history of resistance and courage that saved the life of some seventeen hundred jews by preventing their deportation and by forcing the Nazi leadership to return to Germany a few that had been already deported to Auchwitz.
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