This film is based on a true story. In 1943, after the defeat of Stalingrad. The tables were turning for the Nazis and it was the beginning of the end. However, that did not deter the Nazis from their persuing of the ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question’. The Nazis rounded up the remaining jews from Berlin, from this group approximately 1,800 were housed in Rosenstraße (Rose Street). There was something special about this group, because they were an inter-marriage. The majority of the men were married to German or Aryan women. This had to some point protected the men from being deported earlier. Although they were still subjected to the rest of the Jewish laws, such as having to give up their jobs, being refused entry to the cinema and being forced to wear the Star of David – marking them clearly as a Jew.
This round up would have almost certainly marked them to go to the East, almost certainly to a death camp, such as Auschwitz. However the wives of these men did something remarkable, the never divorced their husbands, even though it would have been incredibly easy for them to do so. Even more, when their husbands were taken, they found them in Rosestraße and they waited – day and night, they waited. Faced with opposition against the regime and their plan to remove the Jews from Berlin, what will they do?
This is a lovely retelling of the story, seen through the eyes of one of the women who helped save her husband. Although, it must be noted that this is a fictional retelling, and whilst the event did occur – it did not occur exactly as how it did in the film. It is very much worth reading about it.
The film also gives the sense and the hope that it was seemingly relatively easy to get the Nazi’s to back down, simple stand in the cold for a week, resist the fear of standing in front of a machine gun and voila, you will defeat the Nazis. It was not that easy in reality – the regime was big and thousands of people who protested and resisted against the Nazis were sent to Concentration Camps and killed, such as outspoken members of the Church and he White Rose group to just name a few.
It does pose an interesting question though, if faced with an injustice such as a stranger losing their husband because of their religion or whatever the reason – to see his deportation. Would you, a stranger, stop and say this is not right. Would you help fight to right an injustice even if it was not an injustice against you. Or would you walk past Rosenstraße and go about your day?