Rosenstraße Berlin today - source Wikimedia
The Rosentrasse Protests
I concluded my previous post The White Rose of Munich with:
For all the world’s peoples, not just the German people, the Nazi state, the Holocaust, represents an important lesson to be learned about being human and how we as peoples have to learn how to deal with events of such enormous terribleness as the Holocaust or other genocides. The example of the White Rose of Munich help us all see how it is possible.
Well, this is the thesis I have been working on since 2006, the German people working through their collective guilt and collective shame as time passes, new scholarship emerges and new art is produced. Why should we begrudge the German people a few generations to work through one of the darkest chapters in human history when in America, a hundred and fifty years after the fact, we are still trying to figure out what happened to us as a people with the issue of slavery and our own little Civil War.
Then I watched the movie Rosenstraße and I was sent back to the drawing board.
So far so good – I have developed the thesis that The White Rose as a resistance movement, and so poignantly symbolized by the martyrdom of Sophie Scholl, was fundamentally a failure in its own time, but gained its true significance only in the post-war years, initially in Germany and for the Germans, and more recently in the rest of the world, and with profound implications for the evolution of human society.
I will now attempt to extend my line of thinking, though I must point out this is merely a first pass with this new version of the thesis. Again, this discussion is not meant to be a movie review, nor is it strictly a scholarly discussion of the history. This discussion deals with the notion that the movie, which while inspirational to my thinking, isn’t the history, but is a mirror of the development of modern German attitudes about their history.