American women have been a galvanizing force in opposition to the retrogressive policies of the Trump administration. From grassroots organization of the global Women's March in January to the present time, women have been leaders in the Resistance. They have forged relationships with other like-minded women and men. They have gained strength from each other, comforted and cared about each other. They have become sisters in the cause.
There is precedence for this phenomenon. As Hitler rose to power and his inhumane policies and laws were enacted, women resisted. They played important roles, both directly and covertly, in defying the Nazi regime. Many joined armed partisan units or worked as information couriers. Some worked clandestinely to gain freedom for others. In the forced-labor camps, women formed mutual assistance groups: two or more women joined in a reciprocal, tightly-knit social bond, increasing their chances of survival by sharing information, food and clothing. They protected their humanity against a merciless system.
We can learn very much from these women who walked the difficult road we now face. In most cases, they sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. For too many, their biographies are lost to a brutal history. For a very few, we have their courageous stories to strengthen our purpose. They will, I hope, remind us of our power and resilience, our compassion and dignity. Their stories may give us courage during this dark period in American history.
May our own record show the same fearless devotion to liberty and unwavering hope for a gentler world.
Find Lily Von Shtupp on Twitter @Lily_v_Shtupp