Schlösinger, Rose (1907–1943)

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Schlösinger, Rose (1907–1943)

German anti-Nazi activist and social worker. Name variations: Rose Schloesinger or Schlosinger. Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on October 5, 1907; executed at Berlin's Plötzensee prison on August 5, 1943; married Bodo Schlösinger (a translator at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin), in 1936; children: Marianne Schlösinger.

Born into a working-class Social Democratic family in Frankfurt am Main on October 5, 1907, Rose Schlösinger grew up with ideals that were diametrically opposed to those of the Nazi regime that took over Germany in 1933. Because her mother was a prominent member of the Social Democratic Party, Rose was banned from her career in social work by the Nazis; she eventually found work as an executive secretary in a factory in Chemnitz, Saxony.

In 1936, Rose married Bodo Schlösinger, who worked as a translator at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. A member of an anti-Nazi circle led by Arvid Harnack since 1932, he shared her feelings that all means should be used to topple Hitler and his henchmen, and the couple worked with underground cells. By 1937, Rose had become active in the underground work of a group of Berlin Communists who cooperated with the Schulze-Boysen-Harnack group (the "Red Orchestra" organization). In time, Nazi intelligence was able to penetrate these groups, and in October 1942 Rose was arrested. She was sentenced to death by the Reich War Tribunal on January 20, 1943. When her husband, who was at the time serving on the eastern front as an interpreter, received word of her sentence, he committed suicide on February 22, 1943, in a Russian farmhouse. Rose Schlösinger was executed by decapitation at Berlin's Plötzensee prison on August 5, 1943.


Biernat, Karl-Heinz, and Luise Kraushaar. Die Schulze-Boysen-Harnack Organisation im antifaschistischen Kampf. Berlin: Dietz, 1970.

Gollwitzer, Helmut, Käthe Kuhn, and Reinhold Schneider, eds. Dying We Live: The Final Messages and Records of the Resistance. NY: Pantheon, 1956.

Kraushaar, Luise. Deutsche Widerstandskämpfer 1933–1945: Biographien und Briefe. 2 vols. Berlin: Dietz, 1970.

John Haag , Associate Professor of History, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

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Schlösinger, Rose (1907–1943)

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