Statues - Hither & Thither
Block der Frauen
Block of Women
Text from the English information sign:
Rosenstrasse in what was once the Marienviertel neighbourhood is one of the oldest streets in Berlin. It is closely linked to Jewish history. From 1714 until its destruction in the Second World War, the city's first synagogue stood at the comer of Heidereutergasse - between the Berlin Jews' place of abode at Jüdengasse and the cemetery at Spandauer Tor (today: Hackescher Markt).
In 1905, the Jewish community built an administrative center beside the synagogue, at Rosenstrasse 2-4. In the National Socialist era, the building was the scene of a unique act of civil resistance to which the sculptor Ingeborg Hunzinger (1915-2009), communist and daughter of a Jewish mother, devoted her most important late work.
On 27 February 1943, the National Socialists rounded up the last Jews remaining in Berlin at their places of work and deported the majority of them to Auschwitz the following week. Those arrested included 1,500 to 2,500 Jews deemed "of mixed race" (with one non-Jewish parent) by National Socialist race laws or who had entered into "mixed marriages" with an "Aryan" partner. This group was brought to Rosenstrasse 2-4 and held there.
Hunzinger's ensemble of reliefs and sculptures addresses the protest, lasting several days, in which hundreds of non-Jewish women demonstrated for the release of their kinsmen. The first detainees were released on 6 March, others followed. The wives and mothers were taking a big risk with their protest. Since 1941, those who engaged in "public mows of friendship towards Jews" faced three months of "protective custody".
The artist develops her scenic portrayal from the centre of the ensemble: two women, supporting and consoling each other, stand opposite the arrested men. To the left, closely huddled, are women with their children, waiting and crying out in fear; to the right as the successful outcome of the protest: the release of their menfolk and reunion with them.
With her multi-part memorial, the artist addressed the persecution and annihilation of European Jews by the National Socialists beyond the historic event itself - flight, suffering, fear, desperation, the destruction of culture, but also resistance, love and hope.
Gebt uns unsere Männer wieder!
1943 die kraft des zivilen ongehorsams die kraft der liebe bezwingen die gewalt der diktatur
frauen standen hier tod besiegent
jüdische mannen waren frei
Your banner here? Click for information.