The Rosenstrasse Protest of 1943 was held against the incarceration and potential deportation of roughly 2,000 people who were arrested by the Gestapo on February 27, 1943. With their loved ones held at Rosenstraße 2-4 in Berlin, family members, many of whom were women, kept their protest going for a week until Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels ordered the prisoners’ release on March 6, 1943. This program marks the 80th anniversary of the protest and the context of the mass arrest which targeted “exempted” Jews, a term used for those who were married to a non-Jew or had one non-Jewish parent.
Nathan Stoltzfus, the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University; Ruth Wiseman, daughter of Dr. Rita Jenny Kuhn, who was detained at Rosenstraße; and Mordecai Paldiel, former head of the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem; and Jessica Hammer and Moyra Turkington, creators of the educational role-playing game Rosenstrasse, will discuss the history and why it is important to study today.
Nathan Stoltzfus is the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University and the author or editor of seven books including Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany; Protest in Hitler’s National Community: Social Unrest and the Nazi Response; and Courageous Resistance: The Power of Ordinary People. His work has been translated into several languages and has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, the Daily Beast, Der Spiegel, The American Scholar, and Die Zeit.
Ruth Wiseman graduated from U.C. Davis in 1992 with a B.A. in International Relations and Russian. She spent a year in post-Communist Russia from 1992-1993, where she interviewed Jews who were born in pre-Soviet times and maintained a strong sense of Jewish identity while paradoxically embracing communist ideology. Upon returning to her hometown of Berkeley, CA, she interviewed Russian survivors for the Holocaust Oral History Project. She was later approached by Survivors of the Shoah to be an interviewer and conducted more than three dozen interviews for the organization. Ruth is the daughter of Dr. Rita Jenny Kuhn, a Shoah survivor from Berlin. Dr. Kuhn was detained at Rosenstrasse and was released through the brave efforts of the women who protested the arrests. Ruth is the author of How the Moon Became Dim. She is working on a version of the Rosenstrasse Protest for children.
Mordecai Paldiel was born in 1937 in Antwerp, Belgium. During the war years his family fled to France, and in 1943, crossed into Switzerland. From November 1982 to March 2007, Paldiel headed the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, researching and honoring non-Jewish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. He has written extensively on rescue during the Shoah and lectured widely on the theme of the Righteous honored by Yad Vashem. In January 2013, he was the keynote speaker at the UN annual Holocaust commemoration. He has taught at Yeshiva University, Touro College and Stern College, as well as at Drew University. Paldiel is also a board member of the Sousa Mendes Foundation and the Israel-based Committee for Honoring Jewish Rescuers of Jews.
Jessica Hammer is the Director of the Center for Transformational Play at Carnegie Mellon University, with a joint appointment in the HCI Institute and the Entertainment Technology Center. Her research focuses on transformational games, which are games that change how players think, feel or behave. She is also an award-winning educator and game designer.
Moyra Turkington runs the game studio Unruly Designs and is the creator of the War Birds Collective. She makes games which bring forgotten histories alive, uncovering lessons from our past to inform our urgent future. She lives in Toronto, Canada.