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?