Rosa Kohl is the grandmother of Cornelia and one of her role models for attitude and civil courage. In the bleak days of National Socialism, she put herself and her family at risk by repeatedly throwing the government dictated Hitler portraits out the living room window. She took a similar stance with regard to the education of her four children. In school, in response to the greeting “Heil Hitler”, they had only one answer: “My mummy said that is not ‘Heil Hitler’, but ‘good morning’.”
Aryan families with many children were especially welcomed at this time. Womanhood itself was supposed to be limited to the role of mother. In gratitude for giving birth to children, as many and as blond as possible, Hitler came up with a very special ‘prize’: the ‘Cross of Honour of the German Mother’, or simply ‘Mother Cross’. Rosa was to have been awarded the cross. She declined with these words: “I refuse to accept this. Surely you don’t seriously believe that I would allow myself to be given a distinction like a prize cow” It was fortunate that the official responsible for administering the award kept quiet about it.