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?


  1. HarperCreekHS

    Josh S. Adv. Lit, 1st Block— Family is the most important thing in her life, this was shown when this became all she had. With being all that she had, she looked towards her family for security in the toughest times. I share the same feelings towards my family, I see them as the most important thing in my life, when one has a strong relationship with family members, everything else in life benefits. If family life is going well, this bleeds into friendships and outside relationships.

  2. HarperCreekHS

    Vanessa, 1st Blo9ck, Adv. Lit.
    1.Gerda’s family was very important to her because they were her strength. I wish I could say the same about my family.
    2.I think that Gerda’s friends meant more to her then her family because she always had friends with her. These friends kept her full of hope by simply being friends.
    3.After liberation is when Gerda finally admits the fate of her family. I think she waits till then because the thought of reuniting with her family gave her hope.

  3. HarperCreekHS

    Kathi, Adv. Lit. 1st block

    1) Her family is very important to Gerda. During the war the hope of getting together with her family again was the one aspect that kept her alive.
    For example when she thinks about jumping in front of the train and commit suicide, she reminds herself of the promise she gave to her dad, and doesn’t jump.

    I feel the same way Gerda does about my family. Even though they’re not here with me at the moment, I know they’re always there for me. I don’t know what I would do without my family.

    2)During the war her friends are like family to Gerda. Since her “real” family is not there with her, she finds a new family in her friends.
    This group of friends keeps each other going, helps each other in difficult times.
    They saved each other’s life several times when they were together.

    3) Gerda realizes what happened to her family when Kurt asks her not to go back to her home town, yet.
    She chose this moment to acknowledge the fate of her family, because she found Kurt and in him a new family.
    Now she would begin a new life, and she didn’t want to destroy her new hope with going back to her shattered hope.

  4. HarperCreekHS

    Heidi, Advanced Lit 1st block

    After leaving the Ghetto and being seperated from her family Gerda becomes soley dependant on her friends for support. Having the support from her friends, Gerda was better able to cope with the daily stress of being a victim to the most horrible Geniside in history. Even when Gerda’s friends began to lose hope and fade away, Gerda took heed of their situation and used them as an example of what she did not want to become. Gerda’s friends played an essential role in her survival.

  5. HarperCreekHS

    Jessica, Advanced Literature, 1st Block:
    1.Family is the utmost important aspect of Gerda’s life, for it is virtually all she had. I think so many people in today’s society do not value their family. I will admit, I do not get along with my family at times, however I know in my heart that they are the ones that have and always will be there for me through thick and thin, no matter what the situation.
    2.Gerda cherishes her friendships so much that she put her own life out on the line on many occasions. Her friends are who help her endure through the hardships that face Gerda along the road. They are her support system.
    3.Gerda doesn’t realize what had happened to her family completely until they were liberated. At this moment she was faced with reality and she knew she could not get to a lower point in her life.

  6. HarperCreekHS

    Sara, Advanced Lit. 1st Block,
    1. To Gerda her family meant everything to her, it is what is most important to her in her life. When she was separated she lost everything. The one thing that kept her fighting was her family and the hope that she might be able to see them again.
    2. Friendship means a lot to Gerda, having any kind of relationship will help to boost morale and keep the fight alive. When people have to face tough situations alone they are more likely to fail. These friendships are what helped Gerda to stay alive in those tough situations.
    3. She found out about her family when she was liberated, she chose this moment to acknowledge the fate of her family, because she didn’t need the hope of seeing them to keep her fighting to stay alive. She could stand the thought of letting them go.

  7. HarperCreekHS

    L.B., Adv. Lit, 1st Block – Family is very important to Gerda’s life, it helped her indure through the tough times during the holocaust. I would feel the same way, I think, because I am close to my parents. Gerda had the thought of her family, while she was seperated from them, and it helped her get through the years, all she had to do was think of the memories she had with her family.

  8. HarperCreekHS

    Grace, Advanced Lit, 1st Block
    Friendship is a great way to get through rough times. A true friend is supportive, encouraging, and a shoulder to cry on. Once separated from her family, Gerda could no longer turn to her parents for support and comfort, but had to depend on that of her friends. The relationship Gerda had with her friends helped her get through the hard times and have the strength to go on.

  9. HarperCreekHS

    Jenna, 1st block, Advanced Lit.
    During the Holocaust, family and friendship were extremely important to Gerda. When times got hard, Gerda would become closer to her friends because she realized that they were all she had left. I believe that when people are going through rough times they cling to things and people that comfort them. This is why Gerda became so close to the people she became friends with. They helped restore hope and keep her moving forward. In my life, family and friendship are very important to me. Sometimes I don’t know what I would do without them. It is hard for me to comprehend everything Gerda went through without her family, because I know that I would be nothing without mine.

  10. KCC

    Phyllis , Harper creek school district. Family and friends are very important. They were what kept Gerda going and they are what keeps us all going. We need to remember that when they do things we don’t like and be more tolerant of them.

  11. KCC

    elaine Phyllis I agree with you about the importance of family and friends. I don’ t know how people survive without this support ,To many people have a chip on their shoulder and miss the fun of life.Gerda sure keep a postive attitude which helped her survive so much pain,lack of food ,and knowledge of her future life. If she had jumped in front of that train she would have missed so many future rewarding times.

  12. KCC

    Jo – KCC/LLL. Vanessa of Harper Creek, I really feel for you with you not having the kind of relationship you would like to have with your parents. Let’s hope that as you get older, those bonds will get stronger as they frequently do. All of us need someone, whether it’s family or friends, who will love us unconditionally. As an adult with grown children, I can see the other side of the coin with an adult daughter who has yet to get her act together and has alienated herself from the rest of her family. I do hope you have some really close friends as I do – they can help to fill in those gaps when your own family lets you down.
    But then we all let each other down at some point and have to admit that it takes two to make & keep good relationships.

  13. KCC

    Jo – KCC/LLL. With Gerda being separated as a teenager from all of her family, in spite of all the horrific experiences she had as a Nazi prisoner, it’s good she made friendships with girls her age. I doubt that she could have made it through those terrible years if she had been utterly alone. It’s just so sad that some of those friends came so close to being liberated but then died just before that time.

  14. HarperCreekHS

    Abbey, Advanced Literature, 1st block:

    I truly believe the idea of home is a major part of what got Gerda through her agony. Her memories of family and friends were all that she had. If she didn’t feel as though she had something to live for; something to look forward to, the ending of All But My Life would have come sooner, and been much more tragic. Through personal hardships, and we’ve all had them; some more severe then others; I have found that friends, and more importantly family, was my rock, and I feel it was the same for Gerda.

  15. HarperCreekHS

    Nikki, Advanced Lit. 1st block:
    1. Family is everything to Gerda. Gerda kept the hope that her family was still alive and that they would be reunited after their liberation. That hope kept her going. That hope made her want to live and to survive the treatments/trails that she was put through. I love my family and am so thankful for everything that they’ve given me. The love and care that I’ve received and the lessons that I’ve been taught, have and will help me through life.
    2. Friendship came to mean everything to Gerda. Without her friendships I don’t believe that Gerda would have made it through the war. They were there to lean on, to help each other survive, and to push each other when they start getting down. They put hope and strength in each other’s hearts. Without that it would have been easy to give in.
    3. Gerda finally realized what happened to her family in the hospital. She was talking to Kurt about going back “home” but he didn’t recommend it. Shortly after the discussion, Gerda allowed herself to realize that she had lost her family a long time ago. Gerda chose this moment because she didn’t need to fight to live anymore. She didn’t need the hope of her being reunited with her family to go on. And she did have someone to take care of her that she could rely on.

  16. LakeviewHS

    Lani-World at War
    1. Gerda’s family was the most important part of her life. During these tough times that she was going through, the thought of being with he family again made her keep going. There were times she thought about doing bad things to end her life and then remembers what she promised her father and that she would get through it. Her family was all she had and her strength to prevail.
    – Family to me is very important as well. I feel, as Gerda does, that it is the most important thing to keep you going. My family has been though some tough times, nothing like what Gerda has experienced, but we have had some tragic deaths that have reminded us that family will always be there. No matter what, your family will always love you and that is why they should be first in your heart and the most important aspect in your life.

  17. LakeviewHS

    Jessica world at war:
    1. Gerda’s family was very important to her. During her torture through the concentration camps the thought of one day being with her mother, brother, and father again is what kept her going. Her family meant everything to her. I’m very close to my own family. Without their guidance, love, and supported I don’t think I would be as successful and happy as I am today.

  18. LakeviewHS

    Katie, Lakeview, World at War

    Everyone has basically said what i was going to. Family was the most important thing in Gerda’s life. They ment the world to her. She believed that nothing was more valueable than the relationships you make in life. That beliefe transfered to her friends, when she realized that friendship was all she had left in life. Her friends gave her the strength and hope to cary on through all of the tragedy that she had to go through.
    She finally knew that her family was gone when she agreed to go to America to start a new life with her new family, to form new relationships. Relationships are what is important in life. With the bonds you create with people, there’s nothing left when they break.

  19. LakeviewHS

    Beth, World at War-
    I think Gerda’s family was very important to her and the thought of them is what kept her alive and without her friends she wouldn’t have been able to make it. I believe that family and friendship is essiental in anyone’s life. Personally without my family, I don’t know if I would be writing this today. I don’t know what I would do without my mother, she has helped me in so many ways each and everyday. Friendship is also very important and if you have just one friend that you can tell everything, that’s all you need. I have a best friend since 2nd grade and she knows everything about me. I don’t know what I would do without her friendship. Gerda turned to friendship and family, just like many of us do everyday and it helped her survive.

  20. HarperCreekHS

    Zack, Harper. . When everything els has been taken away the family unit is the last resort. the only show of hope, so you can tell in the story that when gerda lost her family she was crushed. as i would be if my family was taken away from me.

  21. PennfieldHS

    I agree with Jessica from Harper Creek. Her family and friends are very important to Gerda, as they are with myself. Like Jessica said, although I may not get along with them all the time, they are all that I have got.
    -Branden, German 2

  22. PennfieldHS

    Charles P, German II, 2nd block:
    Throughout the book it is very evident that Gerda deeply values and cares for her family. I can relate closely to Gerda’s feelings to her family. They are very important to her as my family is too me. If I had lost my family I would be deeply affected as Gerda was when seperated from hers. Friendship comes to mean a great to Gerda as her life becomes harder to survive and keep hope.

  23. PennfieldHS

    Jaime, German II

    1) Gerda’s family is very important to her. I think she feels she would be nowhere without them in her life. Basically, family is all she has at this point. I somewhat agree with this in relation to my own family importance. They are truly important and very supportive of me. I could not imagine being in Gerda’s situation, her family could be taken away at any unexpected moment.
    2) Right now, Gerda has a few close friends she can remain in contact with. A few is plenty enough though. Her friends are people who get her through this all and help encourage her to keep holding on. They give her the strength and good influence she needs.
    3)When Gerda discovers what has happened to her family, she slowly accepts the fact. She seems to be an overall very positive person, so she doesn’t let this destroy her faith in surviving. Gerda didn’t want to dwell on losing her family for long, because there was no point to do so.

  24. PennfieldHS

    Rachel Burton, German II BABY!!

    1) I think that Gerda’s family is very important to her because just like Zack from Haper explained that when everything else is gone the family is what Gerda always false back on. There are times where she actually depends on its and lives to see another day and wait for lettes from Arthor and her father. Even when she talks about having to stay alive and live through long marches and watching people get killed right in front of her, she talks about needing to live through all of this because she thinks that if her family survived they would be waiting for her at her home. I share in the same feelings about family that Gerda feels the same way.

    2) Friendship seems really important to Gerda because keeping Ilse by her side is very relivant to her story. Also finding new friends along the way are very important because she thinks that it is important to have somebody to love and make sure other people have someone to love because who knows when you will. She wants to make sure that she is loved by someone in case her life ends.

    3) I think Gerda finally realizes what has happened to her family when she has recieved a letter from Erika about how her family was taken away from her and killed. She then realizes that maybe she will never see her family again.

  25. PennfieldHS

    Wilhelm Schmidt – German II – PHS

    1) Gerda’s family was really important to her, and I think this is true with most people. One’s family teaches a person many things about life.
    2) Friendship is also very important to Gerda, as it is to most people. Her friends help keep her alive; they give her hope for the future.

  26. PennfieldHS

    Kiley, German II, 2nd Block

    Family is extremely important, being together during something this bad helps. When being afraid, people normally like to be together so they know they’re not alone.
    Having friends is also good, so you can be comforted, and it might be easier to relax, if your around someone you like.

  27. HarperCreekHS

    Ashlyn, Adv Lit
    Gerdas familly played a huge role in keeping her alive through the Holocaust. The main thing that her familly did to play an impact in keeping her alive was her father telling her to not give up and to not commit suicide no matter what. She also kept the thought in her mind that after the Holocaust she would be able to see her familly, and this encouraged her to keep going because the most important thing in her life was her familly and it meant alot to her to be able to be with them again. My familly also is very important to me by i would be willing to sacrifice anything to be able to be with my familly if we where ever seperated. I think that Gerda also sacrificed alot to be able to hopefully see her familly.

  28. HarperCreekHS

    Conor, Adv Lit, 1st Block

    I agree with Kiley, family is extremely important. Without family, you have nothing but friends to look out for you. And considering the situation, I would imagine it would have been difficult to make friends during the war. All they had were the family members that survived, and the few, if any, friends they made.

  29. HarperCreekHS

    I agree with Conor, and Kiley from Pennfeild, Gerda’s family did play a huge role in her life and they were the reason she pushd so hard to get through the holocaust.

  30. HarperCreekHS


    I agree with Conor. Family is very important, especially when you are going through a tough time. Its also important to choose good friends to have around you so that you have someone to rely on when your family might not be around.

  31. HarperCreekHS

    Danielle, Advanced Literature, 1st block

    I think Gerda’s family was essntial to her survival through concentration camps because although they weren’t with her throughout the majority of the war, the memories of her mother, father, and her brother were her escape from the mass horror that was occuring around her. If she didn’t have her memories as an escape from the things around her, I think it would have been even more of a challenge for her to survive.

  32. HarperCreekHS

    Adam J., Adv. Lit., 1st block

    1) I think friendship was instrumental in saving Gerdas life through out her struggles during the holocuast. It was friendship that kept her hopeful for so long before she had entered the camps, and was also friendships in the camps coupled with her hope for her family and her own dreams that kept her fighting for survival. furthermore, i thnk it is this i all of us that keeps us fighting.

  33. LakeviewHS

    World at War, Ashley , 2nd Block

    Family was very important to Gerda. The reason why I believed she survived is because of the glimmer of hope that she may see her family again. When she was thinking about going to sleep and never waking up again, she decided not to because she thought about her family and thought she may see them again.

    I agree with Gerda’s respect towards her family because I feel the same way. If I’m dying and I’m away from my family, I would try to survive to see my family again because my family give me strength, just like Gerda’s did.

  34. LakeviewHS

    ethan 2nd block— Family is the most important thing in Gerda’s life, you can see this when family became all she had. when her family was all taht she had Gerda looked towards them for comfort during the hard times. I have the same feelings towards my family, i think they are one of the most important things in my life, when someone has a good relationship with their family, everything else in life is easier. If your relationship with your family is going well, then other relationships go good also.

  35. LakeviewHS

    Annie, World at War, 2nd Block

    I agree with what everyone else has said about how important family was to Gerda. They are one of the main reasons that Gerda survived during the war. They gave her hope to go on when she no longer thought that she could.

  36. LakeviewHS

    Joel-2nd Block world at war
    I think that maybe her friends would be more improtant to her then her family. Her family made promises and gave her hope and power to try and survive the holocaust but it was her friends that were there to help her through the actual things. They had responses to actual events that were happening to all of them together which made all of them stronger.

  37. PennfieldHS

    Jaime, German II
    I agree with Beth from Lakeview. I really like the way she seems to value family most out of everything else. And it is true, we wouldn’t be who we are today without family by our side.

  38. PennfieldHS

    Wilhelm Schmidt
    This last blog from Jaime echoes my sentiments exactly

  39. PennfieldHS


    Comment 33, from Ashley, was one of the best comments I have seen. Her characterization of Gerda was spot-on, I think it was very well thought out. I hope others can blog at her amazing level.

    Wilhelm Scmidt – PHS – German II

  40. HarperCreekHS

    Kristen, Avd. Lit,
    To me Gerda’s family seems to be the most important thing in her life. I really like the fact that family is her most important value of her life. Friendship is also a big part of her life, because being friends with those people she was with helped her to not lose hope for survival.

  41. HarperCreekHS

    Grace, Advanced Lit.

    I agree with Kathi. I think the reason Gerda waited so long before finally realizing the fate of he family because it helped her get through the Holocaust. Once she found Kurt she had a new hope, and could finally let go of the old one.