In the spring of 2020, The Garden of the Righteous Worldwide (GARIWO) dedicated the annual celebration of Europe’s “Day of the Righteous” to the women of the Rosenstrasse, in concert with the city of Milan and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. On Rosenstrasse in February and March of 1943, these noisy protesters rescued their husbands from Gestapo procedures to murder them. The Nazi practice was to deport any Jewish marriage partner whose non-Jewish mate agreed to divorce. The Rosenstrasse Protest was one of a long succession of acts of defiance against threats and seductions of the Nazi state and German society. For the entire duration of Hitler’s rule, the overwhelming majority of these non-Jews refused to separate themselves from their Jewish family members and the fate of the Jews. As a result, 11,150 of the 11,359 Germans the Nazis defined as “full Jews” who survived without being deported or going into hiding were married to non-Jews.
Education about the significance of this wide-scale street protest in Berlin during the Nazi period through the accumulation of an archives of personal narratives, documents, and texts. The Rosenstraße protest serves as a model and an inspiration concerning the importance of protest and the capacity and responsibility of individuals to try to make a difference – and especially, the role of women in civil disobedience.