Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April 16, 2007

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Faith in humanity,World of today // 3:05 pm

Photo courtesy of Battle Creek Enquirer (John Grap)

The Battle Creek community was fortunate to have hosted such a courageous and remarkable individual as Gerda Weissmann Klein. Her powerful message of hope, love and humanity made a profound impact on both students and adults. Even amid the tragic events of April 16 and the shootings in Blacksburg, Virginia, Gerda Klein reminded us about the resiliency of hearts to heal, and the need to sustain hope and freedom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gerda Klein speaks to students

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Michigan,Video conference // 3:02 pm

Photo courtesy of Battle Creek Enquirer (John Grap)

Gerda Klein’s morning presentation to over 1900 Michigan students was also streamed live and archived on the Internet by Merit Network in Ann Arbor. During a follow-up luncheon, students shared with Mrs. Klein their plans for service projects that will be undertaken as a result of having read All But My Life. 

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Days of Remembrance

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Days of Remembrance // 11:35 am

Battle Creek Enquirer announces Gerda Klein's visit

As we look forward to the visit of Gerda Weissmann Klein, the Battle Creek Enquirer previews this milestone event and reminds the community that today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 27th of Nissan on the Hebrew calendar.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Responding to blog comments

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Project background // 7:16 pm

We greatly appreciate the participation of students from area schools, Kellogg Community College and contributors Darryle Clott and Bill Younglove. As discussion continues, please be sure to respond to the comments of other bloggers. Submit your remarks while referring back to a previous topic and specific comment number. As an example, see the first comment to this post.

LHS students read All But My Life

Lakeview students and Willard Library Trustee Glenn Holmwall

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Merit to stream April 16 presentation

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Michigan,Project background,Video conference // 5:27 pm

Merit NetworkWhen Gerda Weissmann Klein speaks at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium in Battle Creek on Monday, April 16, 2007, 10:30 AM EDT, students from all over the state of Michigan and throughout the United States will be able to view her presentation. The event will be streamed LIVE over the Internet and Internet2 by Merit Network and will be available in RealMedia, Windows Media, Quicktime, and MPEG2 Multicast format.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Family and friendship

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Cultural heritage // 2:46 pm

Discussion posts for this week focus on family, friendship and individual characters in All But My Life.

  1. How important is family to Gerda?  Do you share in her feelings with respect to your own family?
  2. What does friendship come to mean to Gerda?  How instrumental is it in keeping her alive and full of hope?
  3. When does Gerda finally realize what has happened to her family?  Why did she choose this moment to acknowledge the fate of her family?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Individual characters in All But My Life

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Faith in humanity,Rescue // 2:30 pm

Write your feelings about or reactions to the following individuals who appear in All But My Life.  Please respond at anytime during your reading, especially after an especially important event in the memoir:

  1. Arthur
  2. Abek     
  3. Gerda’s mother
  4. Gerda’s father
  5. Frau Kügler
  6. Gerda’s friend Ilse
  7. Gerda’s friend Suse
  8. Gerda herself

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Historical relevance

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Historical time period // 9:48 am

After last week’s excellent start to the blogging project, online discussion continues with posts focusing on historical relevance, life and religion, the power of good, and the power of evil. We look forward to your comments.

  1. How would you describe the lives of European Jews (such as the Weissmann family) before the onset of World War II?
  2. In what ways were daily lives changed following the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939?
  3. What major events of World War II occurred while Gerda was in custody?
  4. What would Gerda’s reaction have been if she had known about these events?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Life and religion

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Religious aspects // 9:47 am
  1. How do Gerda’s religious beliefs change during the course of the book? Why, during the final march through Czechoslovakia, does Gerda stop praying?
  2. Has religion provided solace and strength to you during difficult times of your life?
  3. What might be some consequences for giving up a religion you have believed in your entire life?
  4. Gerda writes, “Why?  Why did we walk like meek sheep to the slaughterhouse?  Why did we not fight back?” (p. 89). What answer does she give?  Does that answer seem sufficient to you?  What other reasons might you give?
  5. Gerda writes, “Throughout my years in the camps, and against insuperable odds, I knew of no one who committed suicide,” (p. 250).  Why do you think these people, who suffered great loss and pain, did not resort to suicide, when many individuals take their lives for seemingly lesser reasons?
  6. Gerda writes: “Survival is both an exalted privilege and a painful burden,” (p. 247).  What does she mean by this?  Do you agree?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The power of good

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Faith in humanity,Resistance // 9:47 am
  1. Can events like the Holocaust bring out extraordinary and unexpected qualities of individuals?  Please explain.
  2. Have there been other tragic events during your lifetime which allowed individuals to show their extraordinarily kind and generous sides?
  3. What is Gerda’s first impression of Lt. Kurt Klein?  What does he represent to her?  Why does she feel compelled to tell him they are Jews?  What is his response?
  4. How does Lt. Klein make you proud he is an American?
  5. List as many small deeds that were done for Gerda during WWII which took little effort yet had a significant positive impact on her.  Has anyone done such small deeds for you that had a significant positive impact on you? Have you done such deeds for others?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Power of evil

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Bystanders,Persecution // 9:46 am
  1. Can events such as the Holocaust bring out evil qualities of individuals? Have there been other tragic events during your lifetime which allowed individuals to show their evil sides?
  2. Why did Gerda’s neighbors display a Nazi flag when Bielitz was invaded?  How would you have reacted in a similar situation?
  3. Should the German nation be held collectively responsible for the Holocaust?
  4. What role does apathy play in the spreading of evil?
  5. Was there an event during your lifetime when you were treated unfairly or inhumanely (bullied, made fun of, etc.)?  How might such an event affect you for years to come?

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Project background // 4:56 pm

Welcome to this online discussion of All But My Life by Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein.

  1. Please introduce yourself. Tell us about any previous class in which you have studied the Holocaust or comment briefly on a Holocaust-related book that you have read. 
  2. Are there school-related or community service projects in which you would like to be involved? Please share this information.

A sincere thank you to all blog participants for introducing yourselves and for joining in this project with enthusiasm and interest! Pease see comment # 48 from Darryle Clott and comment # 57 from Bill Younglove in response to your questions about suggestions for other Holocaust books to read. Recommended fiction, biographical, and historical titles (with reviews) can also be found on the Museum Fellowship Teaching Resources Website.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Unanswered Questions

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Historical time period,Literary images // 11:52 am

USHMM 14th StreetHas our reading of All But My Life raised additional questions about the Holocaust? Are you interested in learning more about the life and work of Gerda Weissmann Klein? United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellows Darryle Clott and Bill Younglove look forward to joining the discussion and responding to questions.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Michigan schools join blog

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Michigan // 11:42 am

USHMM profile of Holocaust education in MichiganMichigan students discuss All But My Life and look forward to Gerda Klein’s visit to Battle Creek in April. The schedule below previews discussion topics and activities taking place in the community.

  • February 1: Begin reading All But My Life.
  • February 28: Complete introduction section on blog.
  • March 7: After-school showing of One Survivor Remembers at Lakeview High School.
  • March 8: Post to blog sections on Historical Relevance, Life and Religion, the Power of Good, the Power of Evil.
  • March 13: Complete blog postings on Family and Friendship, Individual Characters PLUS respond to at least five other previous comments by other bloggers.
  • March 20: Read and respond to previous postings.
  • March 23: Begin brainstorming ideas for service project.
  • March 27: Complete service project planning.

In addition to participants from Lakeview HS and members of the Lifelong Learning program from Battle Creek’s Kellogg Community College, we welcome the following schools and individuals to the All But My Life blog:

Harper Creek HS
Legg MS
Pennfield HS
Starr Commonwealth
US Holocaust Museum Teacher Fellows Darryle Clott and Bill Younglove

The Blog User Guide provides basic instruction on how to login and navigate the site.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gerda Klein’s letter to students

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Community service // 3:37 pm

Following the recent Stand Up! Speak Out! Lend A Hand! videoconference, Gerda Weissmann Klein wrote a most moving and eloquent letter to student participants. We are grateful to the Klein Foundation for permission to share this message with school groups who will have the privilige of hearing Mrs. Klein speak in Battle Creek, Michigan on April 16, 2007.

January 17, 2007  (Evening) 

Dear Young Friends,

I am very tired but sleep does not come. I close my eyes and the images of today come vividly alive. You, how many are there of you?? Are you hundreds, thousands—- so young, so beautiful, so vital? Where are you? Are you asleep in your beds with the strong sleep of the young? How can you possibly know what you have done for me today? What you have given me…a gift of undreamed proportions— not only reaching out to others but its keen understanding that made you do it.

To the child who never rode a tricycle before, the cookies you baked for an old man perhaps without teeth to taste the sweetness of sugar and the sweetness of your caring. The website you built to let it be known that you are ready to listen to those who need help, who cry out in despair that you have listening ears and keen understanding of what their problems might be. The old lame deaf veterans you have visited who once were as young and nimble as you climbing the cliffs of Normandy to free Europe from the scorch of hatred. How much pride they must have taken in your visit of caring.

I heard the noise of your hammers with which you built homes for the homeless. Of the 440 in one school who brought mountains of canned goods who are hungry. You were wise to choose January and February to bestow your cares on the needy and hungry knowing that the holidays would be over and often the bounty of giving forgotten. You the angels in the attic creating SAFE HAVEN to fulfill the needs, the often unspoken needs of those you have found in need of caring. You, the high school students who went to grade schools to open their eyes and hearts of your small sisters and brothers to other cultures and joys of understanding. You who are planning a rally in support of celebrating diversity in your community.

You all standing up, speaking out, making a difference. Leaving your handprints not only on the wall you have created but on humanity’s needs and fulfilling my dream lifting community service to the noblest deed one can perform.

The breathtaking dance of the women imprisoned in burkas, gave eloquence in their silence and lifting their veils as if a promise of a new spring. But the greatest and most cherished gift you gave me is the understanding of your own lives gifts and the appreciation of the life you are privileged to live.

I embrace you and your teachers with gratitude and love,

Gerda Weissmann Klein

Thank you and my eternal gratitude for the gift of the exquisite book which you gave me. It will find a treasured place in my home and always in my heart.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Project Collage Videoconference Event

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Community service,Video conference // 12:18 pm

On January 17, 2007, Lakeview High School World at War students had the extraordinary opportunity to be linked once again with Gerda Weissmann Klein in a videoconference originating from the University of Pennsylvania. It was a privilege to participate in this project and to share our community service activities with Mrs. Klein and with the other schools. The presentation has been archived on the MAGPI site.

Helping with Habitat for Humanity   Gerda Weissmann Klein responds to students  Gathering school supplies for children in Iraq

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Student Service Projects

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Video conference,World of today // 8:41 pm

  Stand up conference logo Lakeview High School World at War classes have undertaken several service projects in connection with the follow-up MAGPI videoconference on January 17. We are looking forward to hearing about activities in which other schools have been involved.

What we are doing here at Lakeview High School is three different projects. First, we spent a day creating Christmas Cards for veterans and will be delivering them to a VA Hospital in our town where we will spend some time with the Veterans there.

Second, we are working with our local Habitat for Humanity and a group called the Haven of Rest to help redevelop some housing for individuals who have been homeless and who have gone through a program to get back on their feet. The housing we are working on will be permanent housing for them.

Finally, we are putting together 30 packets of school supplies for Iraqi children…

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Stand Up! Speak Out! Lend A Hand!

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Video conference,World of today // 1:15 pm

On November 16, 2006, Lakeview High School students in both World at War classes participated in an interactive Internet2 (I2) video conference featuring Gerda Weissmann Klein. The video conference originated from MAGPI at the University of Pennsylvania and involved some 30 sites from around the world. Lakeview was proud to have been selected to ask a question of Gerda Klein during the conference.

Are there lessons from the Holocaust that can help us confront issues that face us today (i.e., Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Hurricane Katrina)?

All school groups have now been challenged to engage in a community service project and to report back to other conference participants in a follow-up video conference scheduled for January 17, 2007. 

LHS students view videoconference Gerda Weissmann Klein speaks to students LHS students ask question

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

World at War class discussion

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Understanding by design // 2:43 pm

As part of a World War II/Holocaust unit involving the reading of All But My Life, Lakeview HS students in the World at War class will post to this Weblog. The Big Ideas and Essential Questions addressed by the unit are listed below: 

Big Ideas – A big idea is a “conceptual anchor or key organizing principle” (a main underlying idea or an idea that serves as a central focus). Big ideas are meant to initiate inquiry, dialogue, and debate and are difficult to define. 

  • Governments can do great harm and great good. 
  • Individuals can do great harm and great good. 

Essential Questions – An Essential question is a question that engages and potentially motivates students. 

  • How did governments act to protect and/or violate basic human rights during the WWII era? 
  • What were the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and indifference as well as courage, valor, and faith within the context of the Holocaust? 

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Individual characters in All But My Life 1

Posted by: Margaret Lincoln // Category: Faith in humanity,Rescue // 2:21 pm

Write your feelings about or reactions to the following individuals who appear in All But My Life.  Please respond at anytime during your reading, especially after an especially important event in the memoir:

  1. Arthur
  2. Abek     
  3. Gerda’s mother
  4. Gerda’s father
  5. Frau Kügler
  6. Gerda’s friend Ilse
  7. Gerda’s friend Suse
  8. Gerda herself
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