Sisters Maria and Anna live together. Maria is a most proficient executive secretary, encouraging Anna to finish her studies and start a career. Anna broods, threatens to quit university, ... See full summary »
Olga and Ruth become friends. Olga is independent, separated from her husband, living with an immigrant pianist, and teaching feminist literature. Ruth is withdrawn, a painter, possibly ... See full summary »
Margarethe von Trotta
When Ruth's husband dies in New York, in 2000, she imposes strict Jewish mourning, which puzzles her children. A stranger comes to the house - Ruth's cousin - with a picture of Ruth, age 8, in Berlin, with a woman the cousin says helped Ruth escape. Hannah, Ruth's daughter engaged to a gentile, goes to Berlin to find the woman, Lena Fisher, now 90. Posing as a journalist investigating intermarriage, Hannah interviews Lena who tells the story of a week in 1943 when the Jewish husbands of Aryan women were detained in a building on Rosenstrasse. The women gather daily for word of their husbands. The film goes back and forth to tell Ruth and Lena's story. How will it affect Hannah?Written by
Goebbels motivation in backing down was not explored. In the aftermath of Stalingrad the Reich had decided to go for 'total war'. This is referred to in the film. Part of this was to use women in the war effort, which Germany had not previously done to any great extent. An SS massacre of women would have faced Goebbels with a public relations disaster of massive proportion. His preference was to make the problem go away as quietly as possible, on the basis that the Jewish men could always be rounded up later. I understand the majority survived the war.
His other problem was that the 'Red' Berlin had never been very enthusiastically behind the Nazi cause and had to be handled cautiously. Again a massacre of women could have cost the Nazis what mediocre level of support they had in their capital city.
It was interesting that the majority of SS uniforms showed patches which indicated that the men wearing them were not of German nationality, but were from German origins in other countries such as Lithuania or Latvia
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