Moyra Turkington, Jessica Hammer
2023 Diana Jones Award nominee
Rosenstrasse is a roleplaying game about the loss of civil liberties in Berlin under the Third Reich, and a historical women's protest.
1933 Berlin. As the Nazi party rises to power, lines are drawn in the sand to separate who is German and who is not. This line runs straight through marriages between Jewish and “Aryan” Germans. Over an in-game decade, players explore how the Reich’s racial policies, restrictions, and violence strip away liberty, security, and dignity for these families. Though their marriages initially shelter them, the Jewish men in these partnerships will not escape. When they are finally seized for deportation, the women in their lives have one last chance to keep them alive. To do so, they must stand up and defy the Third Reich.
In the very heart of darkness, is such resistance even possible?
Rosenstrasse is an elegaic, immersive historical roleplaying game for 2-4 players and one facilitator. It runs in one session of two to five hours, depending on group size. and can be played as either a tabletop role-playing game or a semi-live larp. No historical knowledge is required to run or play the game, but players will leave play with a rich, accurate, historical understanding of what it was like for people like their characters in Germany's Third Reich. It has been designed to be usable in Holocaust education settings, and as such, is structured to be friendly to both new role-players facilitators.
This deluxe boxed set comes with everything needed for play:
What People are Saying:
“Over a span of ten years under the Nazi regime, you follow four German couples, who are all faced by the brutality of the Holocaust. The arbitrary laws break apart the families, but in a surprising turn of events, resistance also finds its place in this tragic and moving story.” – Fastaval 2017 Jury
“It showed me that in a cataclysm of this magnitude there are a myriad of stories — every one of which is very real. I also learned that horror, when based on facts, leaves one especially vulnerable and raw. I have played many RPG’s, but the War Birds series games cut deep.” – Bruce Neiger, playtester Metatopia 2017
“What made this game so beautiful for me was the power of love in the face of pure horror. Getting to play the pure love, trust and respect between Josef and Klara is what made playing going through the laws of the Holocaust entirely heart wrenching, and the protest so powerful. Although I’ve been taught about the Holocaust very much through the eyes of empathy for as long as I can remember, I don’t think I’ve ever felt the Holocaust the way I felt it playing Rosenstrasse.” – Sarah Judd, playtester, Metatopia
“[Games can help] us realize that, even in our own present and future moments, there may be other interpretations of how to act, how to respond and how to think through ethical issues. Therefore, games like Rosenstrasse might also spur us to, in the future, seek out those other perspectives.” Karen Schrier, Director of the Games and Emerging Media program at Marist College
Rosenstrasse is a game about the Holocaust. It addresses antisemitism, systemic neglect, persecution, and genocide. State violence, depression, suicidal ideation, sexual harassment and (non-violent) child endangerment may be encountered in specific scenes. Although Rosenstrasse can be used in educational and academic settings, it should not be used as a mandatory part of a curriculum, and is intended for players that are 18+ due to the difficulty of the material.