Civil Resistance in Nazi-Era Berlin
“Give us our husbands back”

Fritz and Frieda Kuhn Photo: Courtesy of Ruth Wiseman

In 1943, hundreds of non-Jewish women defied the Nazi regime. They demanded the release of their Jewish husbands who had been incarcerated by the Gestapo, only succeeding by putting their own lives on the line. They showed how ordinary people can become heroes by defying authority and taking risks, day by day.

Susan Neiman, American philosopher and board member of the Rosenstrasse Foundation, writes, “In today’s Berlin, a beautiful monument just steps away from Alexanderplatz honors the protest. Astonishingly, many Berliners have never heard of the Rosenstrasse protest, though they have often passed close by. Raised on the claims that protest against the Nazis was useless, and usually fatal, many Germans do not want to remember that another way was possible. It always is. The women who risked their lives in the worst days of tyranny should embolden the rest of us to stand up against injustice wherever it occurs.”




Produced by the Goethe-Institut Washington with the support of the German Embassy Washington and the Rosenstrasse Foundation. Find more information on the exhibit and materials here.