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


  1. HarperCreekHS

    Danielle, Advanced Literature, 1st block

    I think Gerda’s friendships with Ilse and Suse were important to Gerda’s survival, however I think Suse, Ilse and the other girls that she was in close contact with depended on her far more than she depended on them. It always seemed to me that Gerda was the one who was encouraging the other girls and was constantly reminding them that they were going to be liberated. If it weren’t for Gerda, I don’t think her friends would have lived as long as they did. Through her positive outlook and uplifting spirit, Gerda reminded the others of their desire to live.

  2. HarperCreekHS

    Heather, Advanced Lit., 1st block

    2. Abek-
    Abek could be part of the reason that Gerda made it through the Holocaust. Gerda probably didn’t realize this then but Abek was always there for her. Abek didn’t let the fact that she didn’t want to be with him get to his thoughts. Abek went to what was considered one of the worst labor camps just so he could be closer to Gerda. If that’s not love then I don’t know what love is. Abek was a rock for Gerda that she knew would be there for her no matter what. I truly believe that since Abek was always there for Gerda he is part of the reason why Gerda survived the Holocaust.

  3. KCC

    elaine I think it was nice how Gerda kept Abek as a good friend even though she didn’t want him as a romantic friend. They helped each other get through the Holocaust.

  4. HarperCreekHS

    Kathi, Adv. Lit., 1st block

    5.) Frau Kuegler

    I think Frau Kuegler is really important for Gerda.
    First of all she saved Gerda’s life when she made go out to work at that particular day.
    And Frau Kuegler also treated the girls like human beings, and she really cared for them.

    Frau Kuegler is the one person who really showed Gerda, that not all Germans are bad, and that the first impression of a person can be missleading.

  5. LakeviewHS

    Ashley, World at War, 2nd Block

    2) I think Abek was part of the reason why Gerda was able to hold on to hope because Abek lost a lot of his hope and Gerda was able to see what she could be like if she lost her hope like Abek. When Gerda and Abek were in the same camp and when she saw him from time to time, she was able to see what losing her hope would do to her, physically and mentally. I think even though she wanted to not care for him like he cared for her, she still wanted to take care of her friend and she wanted to help him.

  6. LakeviewHS

    Annie, World At War, 2nd Block
    I think that all of Gerda’s family members played a very important roll in Gerda’s life. They gave her hope through awful times. When things were getting bad at home before Gerda was sent to the camps, letters from Aurthur gave her hope that maybe she would see him again someday. Also, the longing to see her family after the war gave her hope to carry on. Even though her family was taken away from her in the early stages of the war, I think that in a way they still lived on with her because her thoughts were constantly about them.

  7. LakeviewHS

    Jessica world at war:
    1. I agree with the first comment posted. Gerda was basically an inspiration to all the other girls she came encounter with at the different camps. Not only did she encourage the others to hold on and repetitively enforced the idea of liberation, but she kind of seemed like a mother figure to a lot of the girls in the camps even though she herself was very young. When worst came to worst she still was in good spirits about one day soon being free of isolation, and physical and mental torture.

  8. HarperCreekHS

    Zack, Harper. . Abek was the reason why Gerda was able to hold on to hope because Abek lost his hope and Gerda was able to see what she could be like if she lost her hope

  9. PennfieldHS

    Wilhelm Schmidt – German II – PHS

    Arthur –

    Arthur happens to be my favorite character in the novel so far. Arthur was well educated and he was an inspiration to the younger Gerda. I was excited to see him elude the Germans, at least to where I am in the novel. I really like Arthur.

  10. PennfieldHS

    Wilhelm Schmidt – German II – PHS


    Arthur has been my favorite character in the novel so far. I really like his scholastic aptitude and his ability to help others. I think Gerda really looks up to him, and I really admire him for being such a great role model.

  11. PennfieldHS

    In Gerda’s family, I feel that Arthur was the rock of the family. I feel that everyone looked to Arthur for strength, especially Gerda. Then I feel that Gerda’s mother kind of depended upon Gerda a lot to stick around. Her mom freaked out when Arthur left, and if Gerda left as well, she may not be able to collect herself again. Gerda also looked up to her father very much, which he in turn looked to Gerda for strength as well…I think it was kind of a give and take relationship.
    -Branden, German 2

  12. PennfieldHS

    Charles P., German II, 2nd block:

    I identified somewhat with the character Abek in his need for comfort during the time of war and hardship, however, overall, I found him to be creepy and his persistent confused me.
    I felt that Gerda’s feelings towards Abek to be confusing as well. I did not agree with or understand her thoughts that if Abek were more forward with her she may have felt different.

    Arthur to me seemed to be an amazing person. Smart, able bodied, and responsible; Arthur seemed to make an ideal role model for Gerda growing up. News from Arthur after he left always had a strong impact on the family’s morale.

  13. PennfieldHS

    1) Frau Kugler was very important to me because she suprised me the most out of all the characters. Her effect on Gerda and her friends really made then stronger

  14. PennfieldHS

    Kiley, German II, 2nd Block

    Arthur was a good solid rock to sit back on for the family. Knowing that he was okay during the beginning must be nice to know, and give hope that things will be okay.
    Abek was, I think, afraid. He wanted something to help him through the war and having someone to come back to was his idea of it. Gerda’s Mother and Father were amazing as well. To have children during this war, who were sent away from them must have been very tough.

  15. HarperCreekHS

    Josh S. Adv Lit 1st Block— Gerda’s mother played a strong role in the survival of Gerda. Her mother remained strong at all times, and gave the right words at the right times to Gerda, words that she would remember and focus on in hard times. Her mother gave her the hope she needed to stay strong through the Holocaust.

  16. HarperCreekHS

    Jessica, Advanced Lit, 1st Block:
    I completely agree with comment number twevle from Charles P. I beleive that had it not been for Abek, things would not have turned out the same for Gerda. He was her rock in times of need and his influence in Gerda’s life truly helped to mold Gerda into the young lady she became.

  17. HarperCreekHS

    Justin, Advanced Literature

    I agree with all of the attributes of Arthur but overall his bravery and courage in confronting a beast he knew he was going to face amazed me. By far he was the calmest of the family during the duration of the tyranny. Personally I would absolutely despise the idea of being the first one of a family to leave and would definately not be as calm as he was about the ordeal.

  18. HarperCreekHS

    Nikki, Advanced Lit. 1st block
    #14, Kiley, I agree with what you said. I especially liked how you viewed Abek. You talked about him being scared and that’s why he wanted someone to come back to.

  19. HarperCreekHS

    Grace, Advanced Lit

    I agree with comments one and seven. I think that Gerda played a huge role in the survival of her friends. Had it not been for her encouraging spirit, I don’t think any of the girls would have been as motivated to press on and regain freedom.

  20. HarperCreekHS

    Heidi, Advanced Lit. 1st block

    I really agree with the light in which Arthur is put. I think he was an outstanding character who always stayed strong for his family. I think Arthur gave Gerda something to hold onto during the hardest times of her confinement. Arthur played a kew role in keeping Gerda alive. There were times when all Gerda had to live for was the occasional letter written in her borther’s handiwritng. I can’t imagine the pain it must cause Gerda to never have closure for her brother’s death.

  21. HarperCreekHS

    Mary Jane, Adv. Lit. 1st Block
    For one, I liked Gerda because she is an incredibly strong woman and a role model for all people going through tough times. I also liked Frau Kugler because she was able to act humane in these tough times and be courageous enough to act this way instead of going along with all the other Germans. She actually cared for the young Jewish girls and did what was best for them. Both characters showed extreme courage and that’s why I appreciated their parts in the book.

  22. PennfieldHS

    Charles P, German II, 2nd block:
    Gerda is an interesting character. She seems strong minded and during the book she grows and changes a lot. She seems somewhat headstrong and impulsive.

    Gerda’s father is an admirable character. He is very responsible and caring for his family. He seems like an ideal father figure.

  23. PennfieldHS

    Wilhelm Scmidt – PHS – German II
    Gerda’s father always tried to be strong, but I think it would have been really hard. It seemed to me that he wanted to show his family everything would be okay.

    Gerda’s mother was a great role model for Gerda. Gerda really looked up to her. She was very sad to leave her mother.

    Gerda is a very strong woman, and she exhibited her strength all throughout the book. I think she is a great role model.


  24. PennfieldHS

    Jaime Probol, German II
    1) First off, Gerda is my favorite character in the book so far. She is very stong willed and will do anything to survive. I think that is a great quality to possess.
    2)Gerda’s mother is also a very unique induvidual. She seems to look for the good in things and to keep her head up in even the worst situations. She’s gone through so much, and yet she still has the motive to keep holding on. wow..
    3)Abek is another interesting character. He seems to get along with everyone (even though he can get creepy at times). He is also there for Gerda when she needs to feel safe and turn to a friend.
    4)Gerda’s father was an amazing person. He basically kept everyone in line and led them all to safety when he was able to do so. The family was heartbroken to see him go. Gerda’s father meant so much to her.

  25. PennfieldHS

    Willhelm Scmidt-PHS-German II I agree strongly with comment #21, Gerda is a great role model for anyone struggling

  26. LakeviewHS

    Heather, world at war

    I think the loss of arthur is the most tragic part of the book. Gerda had always looked up to her older brother. In her mind, everything he did was right. It sounds like she really admired Arthur. He looked out for her and protected her. It’s sad because she has no idea what happened to her brother. He could have died during the war or he could have been looking for her all these years.

  27. LakeviewHS

    Sean-2nd block world at war
    I think that Frau Kugler was a big part in Gerda’s survival, because she gave her some special care. Even though she made Gerda work when she was sick, it saved Gerda’s life. so special privelages, and work is what helped Gerda live on and then to tell her story

  28. LakeviewHS

    Heather – world at war

    While reading the book, I felt really bad for Abek. If you read the book you can tell he really cared for Gerda. It seemed like she only viewed him as a friend. He wanted to marry her. Abek’s family even tried to get Gerda in a camp with them. In the end, Abek died. Maybe Gerda was his hope and inspiration to get through the war. She was the one bright spot in his life.

  29. LeggMS

    Molly- Advanced English

    I think Gerda is a great inspiration to everyone. She had so many things thrown at her at a young age, and she can still tell the story today. It had to have taken alot of courage to write her book, and I’m thankful that she did.

  30. LeggMS

    Chasity- 8th grade Advanced english
    Gerda was very brave during the whole Holocaust. i think most of her friends were willing to go on during the Death March because she had enough hope to share with everyone. In the beginning the Weissmann family was all together and in the end Gerda was the only to survive. During the book, i could picture everything that Gerda went through. She helped me through her words understand many of the hardships the Jewish people had to go through. I myself could not go one minute without family by my side, and she had to go so much longer without any clue whether they are alive or not. She lost so much, but I believe in the end it only made her stronger. One thing I really did not understand is why she would say yes to marriage if she did not want to be married to Abek. That was probably one reason he had hope, but in the end going to the harsh men’s camp he lost hope. I was so sad when Ilse had died, telling that Gerda should keep going. In the beginning I felt that when she was thinking about suicide, her father had told her not to even think about it,that was probably another reason through out the war she never tried to kill herself or let herself be killed. the help from her friends also kept her alive, when she was sick. Gerda is a hero for making hope be possible among such a trying time. I trully enjoyed her book about her life during the Holocaust, and I just could not put it down.

  31. LeggMS

    4. Gerda’s father
    I believe that the things that Gerda’s family had to go through in the time before the concentration camps were the hardest on Gerda’s father. Being the man of the family he would feel responsible for their safety. Many of the things that happened to the Jews were out of any one person’s control. This makes me think of my Dad and how he always will try to make things nice for my family. My Dad is also very protective of my siblings and me. He would do anything if he thought that it would make me safer. I cannot imagine the stress and hopelessness that Gerda’s father would have felt. His family had nothing and there was danger looming in their future. Even though these terrible events were hard on him he still kept his cool. I admire him for his bravery even in situations that no person should ever have to go through.

  32. PennfieldHS

    Charles P., German II 2nd Block:
    I agree quite strongly with comment #19 from Grace. I think that Gerda was vital to the survival of the other girls as long as they survived.

  33. PennfieldHS

    Willhelm Schmidt, German II, 2nd Block:
    Jaycie’s view of Gerda’s father’s struggle was hard.

  34. KCC

    I agree with Jaime that Gerda was strong-willed and determined to survive and when she thought about throwing herself from the train she remembered her promise to her father. He was, as Charles stated, admirable, responsible and caring. Also, his telling Gerda to wear her ski boots was probably a big factor in her survival.