The Case of Rosenstrasse
Resisting the Nazis was the main theme of this case. One of the strengths of the Nazis was their military capability that had shaken several parts of Europe. However, a force more powerful was experienced when in February 1943, spouses of incarcerated Jews took to the streets to ensure that their spouses were set free. It started as a force of 150 women and eventually amounted to thousands and thousands include some pure Germans who had no Jewish spouses. All this was triggered by the Nazis’ decision to ensure that Germany was Judenfrei (free from Jews). The final round-up was being done to ensure that those Jewish people who had survived the onslaught for two months based on the fact that they were married to Germans were cleared. These included Jewish spouses and children born between Germany and Jewish parents (Ackerman, Peter and Jack Duvall 48).
We will write a custom Essay on A Force More Powerful by Peter Ackerman specifically for you
301 certified writers online
As Charlotte Israel puts it, she arrived at Rosenstrasse in Berlin on the first day of the demonstration and found 150 women. The number swelled to 600 on the second day. Fearing jeopardy on the state of secrecy in the cleansing of the Jews, vocal demonstrations in Berlin, which was a cosmopolitan city that housed several media outlets would have detrimental repercussions. Besides, the Nazis wanted to ensure that they maintained their image as ‘protectors of women.’ Opening fire on these women could mean that they sacrifice their identity. After one week, Joseph Goebbels was forced to release the prisoners. 35 men were released from concentration camps. This was done to ensure that social order was maintained. The Nazis preferred having the society to cleanse it of the Jews. Apart from releasing 35 Jews in Rosenstrasse, hundreds of other Jews in mixed marriages in Paris were released.
This is a clear indication of a force more powerful than what was thought powerful. The violence of the Nazis all over Europe had been known by many. But a few women who could not stay quiet overcame this violence and freed several innocent people.
It should be noted that this event had a great impact on the lives of many. Ruth Gross, a ten-year-old then, had the effect of the situation till her old age. Her father who was one of the prisoners waved at her behind the gates to console her and show her that everything was alright. Even after his release, he maintained the tradition of waving at her to show her that everything was alright.
A Force More Powerful
The case study in China where democracy was arrested led to a rallying cry by university students. As students, they were well informed of the events that were being unfolded in other countries such as Palestinians who had resisted Israel’s occupation in its territory by launching a military attack in 1989. This forced the students in Beijing to demand democratic freedom from their communist government (Ackerman, Peter, and Jack Duvall 34).
On April 17, university students from the city gathered at the Tiananmen and placed wreaths at the monument to the Martyrs of the people [Hu Yaobang]. Under the support of civilians, thousands of students demonstrated against the government demanding reforms in the political arena, media being allowed freedom, and killing corruption in the government. Marches and protests became the order of the day in Tiananmen. Without expecting it, the students and civilians involved in the demonstrations were shocked by the reaction of the government which opted to use force and military crackdown. The square turned into prison cells where many were arrested for disturbing the peace.
As the government imposed tighter rules on students, their solidarity increased pressure on the government. After five demonstration days, university strikes were inevitable. The students wanted to have word with the premier. Fearing a revolution, the government dubbed the demonstrations ‘disturbance.’ This was done with the help of the People Daily. This enraged students who eventually came up in even bigger numbers (100,000) assisted by civilians (400,000). This followed several days of hunger strike as students called for reforms. A well-timed demonstration that took advantage of the availability of international media due to the impending visit of Gorbachev enabled students and civilians to push forward their reform agenda.
Wu’er Kaixi, Chai Ling, Wang Dan, and Li Lu managed to mount a force of students and civilians that we’re able to shake communist China to its roots. Making calculated strategies and moving the mass through speeches, the student force was able to hold continuous demonstrations that forced the government to comply.
Although the government used a military crackdown to crash demonstrators, it is clear that the force was able to shake and divide the oppressive regime of China. Despite the ability to amass tanks and military weapons, to crush the demonstrators, the unrelenting force of the people still managed to push for reforms. The decision of the people was able to be understood despite having no weapons and armor. This student-led force was able to defeat a force as powerful as the government.
Ackerman, Peter and Jack Duvall. A Force More Powerful. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000. Print.