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


  1. mlincoln

    Many people commented on the importance of family to both Gerda and to themselves. In comment # 14 under the Family and Friendship post, Abbey also pointed out that the idea of home played a major part in helping Gerda get through her ordeal. The themes of family and home are further reflected in Gerda’s other books which you will find as powerful and beautifully written as All But My Life.

    The Hours After: Letters of Love and Lonzging in the War’s Aftermath can be viewed as a sequel to All But My The Hours AfterLife. Forced to separate just weeks after the liberation and hours after their engagement, Gerda and Kurt began a correspondence that lasted until their reunion and wedding in Paris a year later. Their poignant letters reflect upon the horrors of war and genocide, but above all, upon the wonder and miraculous power of their love for each other.

    A Boring Evening at HomeA Boring Evening At Home is a collection of essays providing a glimpse into Gerda’s life in the post war years while drawing parallels to events of the past. She shares her impressions of September 11 and recounts her experience in counseling the students at Columbine High School. Especially moving are Gerda’s memories of her late husband and hero Kurt Klein. She is grounded in her belief that the most treasured place on earth is home, and that the most beautiful and desirable aim for people is to spend “a boring evening” there with family.

  2. LeggMS

    The holocost was a time of war, death, murder, descrimination, and sacrifice. Approximately 6 million Jews were killed by Germany and its collaborators. I learned that Holocaust is a word of greek orgin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” As I learned all of these things I learned what it was like during the Holocaust. I learned of the courage, strength, and love needed to survive, and lucky for Gerda she carried all of these characteristics. She had hope and friends to lift her spirts. As I read books on the Holocaust I hope to learn more, and understand the lives of those who went through this tragic or even the people who reached out with an open mind and helped others in need. -opal-

  3. LeggMS

    Im reading the book Auschwitz. The acts that the SS men did were unhumane. Nobody should have to experience what happened there. It was a terrible place. If the acts that the SS men did then were terrible I would hate to imagne what they could do with today’s technology.-Ture-

  4. LeggMS

    During the Holocaust many bad things happenned. The story of Gerda Wiessmann Klein is one of these examples. The Death Walk was horrible. When the Nazi people abandoned the women they were very malnourished. The soilder was very kind to the woman. I don’t think I could be that civil in such a famine and horrible place even though I would try my hardest.-Bob-

  5. LeggMS

    The Holocaust was one of the worst times in the history of the world. Living in that time would’ve been unbelievable. The people that lived through these ridiculous conditions are, quite simply, amazing. It would take an incredible amount of courage, perseverance, and immense of strength. The people who lived through it have witnessed what nobody should. I feel in-vain sorrow for these people.

    -Doug 8th Grade Advanced English LMS

  6. LeggMS

    I don’t understand how the Jewish community could have gone threw so much ridicule from their friends and country. I also find it amazing that some Jews took the ridicule and embarressment and didn’t argue for their rights.-nick-

  7. LeggMS


    That’s pretty much all i can express in words. I was and am very moved by what you and your family went through. i think i could never do that. If i was in your position i would probably cave and give up. The way you stayed “alive”
    and kept others alive was very influential that i could do anything ever that comes to me. Since you survived the whole thing i know that i can do any little meaningless thing that happens.again, wow

    Nathan Ford, LMS 8th grade advanced english

  8. LeggMS

    Legg Middle School
    8th Grade Advanced English

    The Holocaust was one of the worst experiences ever. I don’t know how anybody could stand it. I hope that nothing like it ever happens again. However, I do believe that something like it will happen again. I don’t believe that it will happen to the Jews, though. Humanity will find another scapegoat.

  9. LeggMS

    Kaity Adv. English

    I have read many books about the Holocaust, and it never ceases to horrify me. I cannot comprehend the conditions that people had to bear. Their corage and strenth inpires us all

  10. LeggMS

    8th Grade Advanced English

    The Holocaust was a horrible time period. Six million Jews died. It took determination, strenth, and hope to survive. Lucky for Gerda, she had these traits. Even while she and other girls were starving, she had the will to survive, and that saved her. She had friends who helped her stay hopeful, but she didn’t have any family. I would’ve needed the support that she had or else I would’ve died. I can’t believe what happened to the Jews and I hope that nothing like it happens again. As I read more about the Holocaust, I want to learn more so I can understand what they went through.

  11. PennfieldHS

    Rachel Burton, German II

    I agree with nick from Legg Middle School. I know the Holocaust and the whole Nazi movement was a very hard time for Jews and it was very difficult to have your freedom as a Jew but I don’t see how there could not have been some huge Jewish movement to regain their freedom and keep all those dreadful things from happening to them. I know if my rights were being taken away from me I would put up a fight because I would not want to be embaressed by my fellow country.

  12. PennfieldHS

    Kiley, German II, 2nd Block

    I agree with Hayley of Legg Middle School. Traits such as determination, strength, and hope are needed to get through something like the Holocaust. Gerda’s hopes and dreams of seeing her family again is what helped her survive.

  13. PennfieldHS

    I agree with Darryle Clott on his views of why the book “All But My Life” should be read by people everywhere. He spoke of another lady who was an author about the Holocaust, and she wrote of the ways that the Jewish Community changed after the Holocaust. Yeah……..
    Branden, German 2

  14. mlincoln

    Thank you for referring back to Darryle Clott’s comment about Holocaust survivor Vladka Meed who teaches an appreciation of the vibrant, flourishing Jewish society that existed before the Holocaust and the importance of to putting names and faces on people rather than just portraying them as numbers and victims. I also mentioned that you can learn more about Vladka Meed and her own heroic story through a powerful first-person account of resistance and survival in the Warsaw Ghetto at Darryle herself is an outstanding teacher of Holocaust studies and has brought both Gerda Klein and Elie Wiesel as guest speakers to her community of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

  15. BYounglove

    from Bill Younglove, California State University Long Beach:
    I realize that the blog responses/work are winding down, even as the anticipation of Gerda’s visit to Battle Creek heats up. I want to add one last thought, though. Many of you responders have written about the importance of family. No one has mentioned, however, a scene that Gerda herself has remarked upon a number of times. In the book, it occurs on page 86. The scene is when Gerda’s father inexplicably orders her to wear her skiing shoes–in June(!)–on the verge of their departure from home. Gerda noted that these were the same shoes that were removed from her feet after the death march some three years later. What thoughtfulness/insight?/love was expressed by her father’s concern for Gerda’s well-being…

  16. KCC

    Phyllis: I certainly agree with Gerda that being home with family is very important. I also think that Jason is probaby right when he states that it will happen again. The United States as the world’s super power has an obligation to try to prevent a similar happening.

  17. HarperCreekHS

    In response to BYounglove’s comment, I agree that people have been talking a great deal about the importance of family yet no one has seemed to touch on the fact that Gerda’s father made her wear the boots that eventually saved her life. I think the fact that Gerda’s father made her wear the boots tells readers that he must have been very intelligent and constantly thinking about Gerda’s well being. He obviously thought a lot about the safety of his daughter and had considered the actions he could take to improve Gerda’s chances of survival.

  18. HarperCreekHS

    Harper Creek, Danielle, Advanced Lit, 1st block

    In response to BYounglove’s comment, I agree that people have been talking a great deal about the importance of family yet no one has seemed to touch on the fact that Gerda’s father made her wear the boots that eventually saved her life. I think the fact that Gerda’s father made her wear the boots tells readers that he must have been very intelligent and constantly thinking about Gerda’s well being. He obviously thought a lot about the safety of his daughter and had considered the actions he could take to improve Gerda’s chances of survival.

  19. HarperCreekHS

    In response to Phyllis comment. I do not believe that the Holocaust will occur again, if we do not let people forget about what happend to people during the Holocaust. The whole point in studing the Holocaust and history is to help prevent making the same mistakes over again. The only the way I believe that the Holocaust could occur again is if everyone forgot about it was was not educated about the Holocaust. E

  20. HarperCreekHS

    Abbey, Advanced Lit, 1st block:

    In response to Nick from Legg Middle School (comment #6); you say you are so taken aback by the fact that so many Jews did not fight for their rights, but what you have to remember is that if they would have spoken up, a severe punishment , or worse, would have been the consequence.

  21. HarperCreekHS

    Justin Hubbard, Advanced Lit.

    There will never be another Holocaust, it is designated as a specific event in history, however there is ongoing and has been several acts of genocide parrallel to the holocaust. None have been to the extremes of the Holocaust, but still horrifying none the less. Those who do not know about the conflicts in Darfur but talk about how amazing it was that the Holocaust was ignored, need to consider what you believe in before you take a stance.

  22. HarperCreekHS

    Calvin, Adv Lit

    I think that this web blog gives everyone a chance to see different sides and viewpoints on what happened during the Holocaust. I think its good that people can respond and conversate with each other on these topics.

  23. HarperCreekHS

    L.B., Advanced Lit

    I agree with Justin Hubbard, there is many acts of genocide going on throughout the world, and the most commonly known onw is in Darfur. It’s amazing to think that people could actually commit these horrible acts, but the fact is: they do. Our theme for our class is mans inhumanity to man, and these are all perfect examples of this.

  24. HarperCreekHS

    Josh Adv Lit. 1st Block—

    It takes a great deal to get through something like the holocaust. One thing that fueled Gerda’s determination and gave her strength is simply her love for her family and friends. She loved them so she kept on fighting to see them again.

  25. HarperCreekHS

    Ashlyn Harper Creek High School
    Adv. Literature 1st block
    I am very anxious to hear Gerda speak because its an experience that alot of people do not get the privalage to have. Most people just get to read books and watch films on the Holocaust but I believe that listening to an actual survivor speak about her expencience will bring a whole new vision to what happened to the Jews during that time period.

  26. HarperCreekHS

    Danielle, Advanced Literature, 1st block

    In response to Mlincoln’s first comment, I think that the books, The Hours After: Letters of Love and Longing in the War’s Aftermath, and the essays in A Boring Evening At Home would be a nice way to follow up after reading All But My Life. I think it would give the readers a better understanding of what Gerda’s life was like after her liberation and how she dealt with the scars the Holocaust left her with. I would also be interested in learning about how her relationship with Kurt Klein progressed after the war ended.

  27. HarperCreekHS

    Steven, Adv. Lit, 1st block

    I say I have to agree with josh on the contemplation that gerda’s love for family was the underlying factor for her survival.

  28. HarperCreekHS

    Josh Harper Creek
    Adv. Lit. 1st Block

    I agree with Ashlyn, seeing Gerda’s expression as she describes certain events has a greater impact than any reading can give. I believe that hearing Gerda speak will give me a different perspective than the ideas i have formed myself. Hearing Gerda’s description of things will be a great experience for all of us.

  29. HarperCreekHS

    Vanessa, 1st Block, Adv. Lit.
    I agree with Ashlyn (comment 25). By hearing Gerda speak, we’re hearing history from a survivor of the history it self.