The "Rosenstrasse Protest" and the "Us-Ism" of the Aryan Spouses

Published: 1992-10-01

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Atlantic Monthly (September 92) has printed an article by Harvard graduate student Nathan Stoltzfus on "Dissent in Nazi Germany." The article focuses on the "Rosenstrasse Protest." Rosenstrasse 2-4 was an administrative center of the Jewish community in central Berlin.

On 27 February 1943 the German Government decided that their pristine concept for the mass-murder of the European Jews was being muddied by the fact that 10,000 Jews were still living and working in Berlin factories, helping their fatherland win its war against the Evil Empire. These were Jews who, sensibly, had marrieg Aryans, unlike those tasteless Jews who had self-indulgently married among themselves.

If you have read in a hundred or so scholarly volumes about how the Germans were so obsessed with genociding all the Jews in the world that they would sacrifice their own soldiers and their monumental war against immense odds, it may seem odd to learn that in 1943 10,000 of these despised Semites were still laboring for the German war effort and laying their German women right under the Fuehrer's nose. It's difficult to believe that maniac would have allowed his own neighborhood to go to hell like that. Live and learn.

Stoltzfus writes that of the 10,000 Berlin Jews arrested by the SS in the final roundup and concentrated in the Rosenstrasse, 8,000 were murdered at Auschwitz, but that 2,000 were to "experience a different fate." He doesn't tell us how the 8,000 were offed at Auschwitz. One wishes he would. Does he want us to believe they were "gassed"? Some of us would like to see how Stoltzfus would demonstrate that.

With regard to the 2,000 who experienced a different fate (most were men, Stoltzfus tells us), they were saved by their women. "The Aryan spouses... hurried alone or in pairs to the Rosenstrasse, where they discovered a growing crowd. A protest broke out when the hundreds of women at the gate began calling out: 'Give us our husbands back!' Day and night for a week they staged their protest, and the crowd grew larger." Stoltzfus describes the moving display of courage and loyalty on the part of the Aryan spouses for their Jewish spouses. He notes: "A few bursts from a machine gun could have emptied the square. But instead the Jews were released."

Good God! Is that all it took? A couple hundred broads kvetching about getting their husbands back? Is this the fearsome SS we're talking about? Is this the demonic we'll-gladly-jump-into-our-own-graves-so-long-as-we-genocide-all-the-Jews-first Hitlerians? Incredible! What's the answer to this odd lack of backbone in the loathsome Nazis? Stoltzfus tells us that Goebbels was fearful that if the State did not cave in to the demands of the Aryan spouses "...the secrecy surrounding the Final Solution..." would have been threatened.

On the surface of it, and I'm a very surfacey guy, this reasoning appears unusually torpid, even for a fellow trained at Harvard. We're told by scores and maybe hundreds of holocaust historians that thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of Germans had personal knowledge that the genociding of the Jews was barreling full steam ahead... (see Raul Hilberg in the eight-hour documentary, ShOah, explaining it all to you, the lower half of his face taking on the cold intensity of a python obsessing over the image of a piglet.)... Millions and maybe tens of millions of Jews had already been taken from their homes to ghettos and camps and genocided with gas and steam and electricity and, most-diabolically of all, by making them climb trees and then chopping the trees down so that the hapless Jews fell to their deaths. Nevertheless, Goebbels had been confident that none of it would ever get out. Until the Rosenstrasse Protest, that is. The unexpected protest of the Aryan spouses appears to have unnerved the little shouter.

So, thanks to the their Aryan spouses, a couple thousand Berlin Jews "survived the war, officially registered with the police, working in officially authorized jobs, and official1y receiving food rations." Which other high mucky-mucks were in on this disgraceful affair? On 18 March Heinrich Himmler himself recorded in his telephone diary: "No deportation of privileged Jews [those related to Aryans]." Here we begin to see corruption in the highest ranks.

"About the same day twenty-five Jews from intermarriages who on March 6 had been sent from the Rosenstrasse camp to Auschwitz work camps were released…(!) …The Berlin Gestapo, not wanting to risk information leaks about Auschwitz, forced these twenty-five to… sign statements that swore them to secrecy concerning their Auschwitz experiences… they were then put under 'protective custody' and sent to the Grossbeeren 'work-education camp,' near Berlin."

Well, so long as those Jews were sworn to secrecy about the on-going mass murder of the Jewish people, no problem. Their word was their bond, eh? Sometimes a little "re-education" relaxes the conscience considerably.

On 21 May "Himmler's deputy Ernst Kaltenbrunner issued a memorandum ordering the immediate release from concentration camps of all intermarried Jews... 'I order expressly that Jewish intermarriage partners... are to be successively released.'" From the camps, that is. From Auschwitz? Treblinka? Chelmno? Belzec? Did these Jews too swear themselves to secrecy for the SS?

Stoltzfus has a point to make with all this. It's to demonstrate that, while it appears that the Aryan spouses who took part in the Rosenstrasse Protest were courageous and even admirable women, in fact their heroic actions were severely compromised by what they did next. The Aryan spouses "displayed primarily what the late Primo Levi, a survivor of Auschwitz, called 'selfishness extended to the person closest to you... us-ism. '" So while these German women behaved well one time, it was for selfish purposes. Once they got what they wanted, their husbands, they "withdrew to safety, one by one, the moment their loved ones were released. Their protests bring home to us the iron limits, the tragically narrow borders, of us-ism."

So those German women who saved a couple thousand Jews under the barrels of SS machine guns are morally compromised by "withdrawing" to safety once they had accomplished their immediate task. At schools like Harvard, Germans are held to the most rigorous moral standards. Much less is demanded of Jews. For example, the 2,000 Jews who swore oaths to the SS not to reveal what they knew of the "death camps" in order to be able to withdrew to the safety of Nazi re-education camps. Does Nathan Stoltzfus see the irony of this? The double standards? Does he understand somehow, instinctively, that at places like Harvard and in publications like Atlantic Monthly there's a gentlemen's agreement that Germans will always be held to higher moral standards than Jews and the rest of us because that's the primary moral weapon that the progressive forces use in their attempt to maintain a moral hegemony in Western culture?

At Harvard University The Crimson refuses to publish an ad calling for open debate on the Holocaust, refuses to publish an opinion piece arguing the reasons for publishing revisionist theory, refuses to publish an ad demonstrating that the Jewish Soap story is an unclean hoax, and refuses to publish an announcement of a little book of mine containing four new chapters from Part 11 of Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist. How are we to distinguish Harvard, then, in any serious way from those Nazi re-education camps that the Berlin Jews were so fond of! Is Harvard to be merely a place where professors and students alike can gather to ride out the storm of the cultural wars by withdrawing to the safety of suppression and censorship? What distinguishes Harvard primarily from an SS "re-education" camp, then, is that at Harvard no one is holding a gun to anyone's head. At Harvard, you volunteer to live by the principles of the "re-education" camp.

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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: The "Rosenstrasse Protest" and the "Us-Ism" of the Aryan Spouses
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 11, September/October 1992, pp. 1f.
Published: 1992-10-01
First posted on CODOH: Aug. 30, 2015, 1:41 p.m.
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