Ilse dies on the march, as do most of the other prisoners. One night, in a town called Volary, they are locked into a factory building and left there by the SS with a bomb outside.
The bomb does not go off, however, and the Czech people unlock the doors, announcing that the war is over. The surviving girls are taken to a makeshift hospital by the Red Cross and American soldiers. One of these American soldiers is Kurt Klein, who continues to visit Gerda while she is in the hospital.
Before he is forced to go back to America, he asks Gerda to come with him and be his wife. She says she knows she will never be alone again. The title All But My Life refers to what the Nazis took from Gerda, and the book covers the physical and psychological journey that begins when she is just fifteen years olda journey that she barely survives.
Throughout the ordeal, Gerda remains hopeful about both her familys fate and her own, and she emphasizes the positive attributes of those around her. Gerdas character is epitomized by her brave optimism and strength in the face of the Holocaust. Read an in-depth analysis of Gerda Weissmann Klein.
Julius Weissmann - Gerdas father, referred to as Papa. Despite his illness, Julius does not complain and does what little he can to make the lives of his family better. Although he lives only through Part One of the book, Gerda constantly thinks about him and prays for his survival.
She believes that he is responsible for saving her life, first by insisting that she wear her skiing boots before she left on the transport and then by making her promise that she would not kill herself. Helene Weissmann - Gerdas mother, known as Mama. Helene tries to make the best of her situation and is willing to sacrifice anything she can for her family.
Helene was born in Bielitz, and although she is shocked by the invasion and the townspeoples response, she is stoic about what is happening around her. She is separated from Gerda and the end of Part One, and although Gerda never sees her again, she reminisces about her constantly and remembers her in her prayers.
Arthur Weissmann - Gerdas older brother. Losing Arthur is one of Gerdas greatest trials during the war. Witty and attractive, Arthur is a brave young man who urges Gerda to be strong for their parents. Although Arthur exists mainly in Gerdas memories, he is still a driving force in her memoir.
Ilse Kleinzhler - A childhood friend of Gerdas from Bielitz. Together, Gerda and Ilse are forced into camps and onto a death march, where Ilse eventually dies. Ilse is a good friend to Gerda, sacrificing her food for her and putting herself at risk to help her. Ilses friendship is one of Gerdas key motivators throughout their time in the camps and during the death march. Read an in-depth analysis of Ilse Kleinzhler. Abek Feigenblatt - A suitor of Gerdas. Abek hopes that one day after the war, Gerda will marry him.
He sacrifices much to be with her, despite the fact that her feelings are not reciprocated and that she regards him as more of an older brother figure than a boyfriend. Eventually, his hopes are crushed, and he loses his will to live while housed in the most horrific German labor camp. Read an in-depth analysis of Abek Feigenblatt. Kurt Klein - An American soldier who helps liberate Gerda and the other girls.
His parents were victims of the Holocaust, so he is very empathetic to Gerdas needs and seems to know instinctively what will make her feel better. His love and compassion are vital to her recovery from the horrors she experiences during the war. Read an in-depth analysis of Kurt Klein. Suse and Liesel - Two girls whom Gerda befriends in the camps and who end up on the death march with her. Together with Ilse, the four girls form a loving community of support for each other during their journey.
Both Suse and Liesel die immediately after the march. Erika - A childhood friend of Gerdas. It is her heartbreaking letter that brings the reality of the Holocaust home to Gerda. Erikas love for her fianc also helps Gerda explore her own feelings for Abek. Berger - The Jewish woman in charge of the girls at Bolkenhain; a fellow prisoner at Landeshut. Although Mrs. Berger has many undesirable qualities, she also exhibits integrity and courage and makes the girls experiences at Bolkenhain more pleasant.
Tusia - A giraffe-necked girl in the camps. Tusia shares the same birthday as Gerda. Her words, before she goes mad and dies, have a prophetic quality. Frau Kgler - A worker for the SS whose appearance resembles that of a bulldog. Frau Kgler still has sympathy for some Jews, as she demonstrates when she saves Gerdas life by not allowing her to remain in the sickroom when the SS come to the camp for selections.
Peter - A friend of Arthurs who visits from Krakow, bearing good news about Arthur. He later confesses to Gerda that he made up the news to bring her parents some happiness, and Gerda decides to keep it a secret.
He sends Gerdas mother to her death, but despite her pleading, forces her to go with the other group, thus sparing her from Auschwitz. He is called The King of the Jews. Uncle Leo - Gerdas mothers brother, who lives in Turkey. Leo is one of Gerdas only relatives to survive the Holocaust, and he helps her in any way he can throughout the war, sending her packages and ultimately inviting her to live with him at the end of the war.
Aunt Anna - Gerdas fathers sister. Anna has two children, Miriam and David. Her experiences are the first firsthand accounts that the Weissmanns hear about the horror of what is to come. After she moves to the interior of Poland to escape the Nazis, she is never heard from again. Pipersberg - Gerdas fathers business partner and a family friend. Pipersberg urges Gerda to keep secret the fact that he was beaten for going to their factory once the Nazis have taken it over.
He moves to the interior of Poland under an assumed identity and is never heard from again. Hanka - A girl in the camps who, on the death march, remains strong. She sneaks the girls extra food in the camps and protects them while on the march.
Through her help, Gerda ultimately survives and doesnt lose her precious skiing shoes. Niania was Gerda and Arthurs nanny and lived with the family for thirteen years. She continues to visit them, despite being warned not to by the Nazis. Gerda is annoyed by her easy security but still loves her dearly. At the beginning of her memoir, Gerda depicts herself as an innocent and nave teenager. As she loses her family members one by one, she is forced to become entirely selfreliant, and only then does her resolute spirit truly become apparent.
Most notable about Gerda is her ability to remain optimistic in the face of the Holocaust and despite everything, to focus on the positive aspects of her life.
This optimism allows Gerda to make her memoir a tale of love and community set against the backdrop of the horrors of the Holocaust, rather than a tale that focuses on the cruelty that she has endured. Though Gerda encounters almost unbelievable evil during her life, she also witnesses many instances of kindness, though she never becomes sentimental when she describes them.
She relates the events as they happen but leaves out a certain element of emotional complexity, which keeps us from getting to know her better. However, the distance that Gerda maintains offers an insight into her character as well. Her inability to attach emotional resonance to the events that she witnesses shows just how damaged she is by the events of the Holocaust. Her insistence on paying homage to the goodness of her peers in the camps epitomizes her belief that bearing witness to what happened is more important than merely telling her own story, and this belief illustrates her unselfish character.
Gerdas personality is typified by her steadfast hope, brave optimism, and willingness to help her comrades despite personal risk. Ilse Kleinzhler Ilse, one of Gerdas childhood friends, eventually becomes Gerdas only family. Ilse is a talented musician who plays the piano with emotional intensity and gives herself entirely to her music.
Although Ilse is more timid than Gerda, she is intensely brave in her own way and is willing to sacrifice much to assist her friend. She is not envious of Gerdas good fortune when Gerda is given the opportunity to leave the transit camp to be with Abeks family; rather, she is genuinely happy for Gerda.
They hold hands constantly throughout the memoir, both to give each other strength and to demonstrate their unbreakable friendship. They are even holding hands when Ilse dies during the last week of the death march.
Perhaps because Gerda wrote her memoir after Ilses death, she attributes a sort of otherworldly goodness to Ilse and credits her with saving her life many times. She attaches great significance to the time that Ilse found a slightly crushed raspberry and carried it all day to give it as a gift to Gerda that night.
This momentwhen Ilses only possession in the world is nothing more than a bruised raspberry, yet she chooses to give it to her friendprovides an intimate view of Ilses character. Not only is she kind and sweet, but she is self-sacrificing and willing to do anything she can to help Gerda. Even on her deathbed, she expresses concern for her friends and her family, forcing Gerda to promise to live to see the end of the war, and asking that Gerda spare Ilses parents the pain of hearing that Ilse died as she did.
Her character is that of an admirable martyr without whom Gerda would have probably not survived the war. Abek Feigenblatt Abek is an intense and passionate young man who falls in love with Gerda at first sight and continues to love her despite her constant rejections.
He is a Jewish Hebrew scholar and has a superior air about him when he speaks to people. He is intelligent and has sound judgment, and even Gerdas father respects him. Abek is convinced that Gerdas love is all he needs in order to maintain the courage required to get through the war. He is determined and forceful, yet Gerda sees his neediness toward her as a sign of weakness. She feels that were he more forceful, perhaps he could be the man she is searching for, but his weakness disillusions her.
In Gerdas life, Abek takes the role of an older brother, although he would prefer to be her lover. His love for her is intensehe forces his family to help Gerda, at great personal sacrifice, and he truly believes that one day he will be able to change her feelings toward him. Abek writes to Gerda faithfully, even when he receives no response, and eventually he voluntarily transfers to the worst camp in Germany to be closer to her.
Though Abek initially functions as an older brother in Gerdas life, he eventually becomes the focus of the guilt she feels when she recognizes that he has made his life nearly unbearable in order to be closer to her. Only when he truly realizes that Gerda does not love him does he give up hope completely and begin to lose the desire to live.
Kurt Klein Kurt is an American soldier who helps liberate the remaining girls from the death march, and Gerda believes that he is her soul mate. Kurt was born in Germany, and he moved to the United States a year after Hitler came to power, leaving his parents behind. His parents were put in a camp, and his letters to them were marked Undeliverable.
Use the entire All But My Life calendar, or supplement it with your own curriculum ideas. Calendars cover one, two, four, and eight week units. Determine how long your All But My Life unit will be, then use one of the calendars provided to plan out your entire lesson.
They highlight major plot events and detail the important relationships and characteristics of important characters. The Chapter Abstracts can be used to review what the students have read, or to prepare the students for what they will read.
Hand the abstracts out in class as a study guide, or use them as a "key" for a class discussion. They are relatively brief, but can serve to be an excellent refresher of All But My Life for either a student or teacher. Character and Object Descriptions Character and Object Descriptions provide descriptions of the significant characters as well as objects and places in All But My Life. These can be printed out and used as an individual study guide for students, a "key" for leading a class discussion, a summary review prior to exams, or a refresher for an educator.
The character and object descriptions are also used in some of the quizzes and tests in this lesson plan. The longest descriptions run about words. They become shorter as the importance of the character or object declines. Daily Lessons This section of the lesson plan contains 30 Daily Lessons. Daily Lessons each have a specific objective and offer at least three often more ways to teach that objective. Lessons include classroom discussions, group and partner activities, in-class handouts, individual writing assignments, at least one homework assignment, class participation exercises and other ways to teach students about All But My Life in a classroom setting.
You can combine daily lessons or use the ideas within them to create your own unique curriculum. They vary greatly from day to day and offer an array of creative ideas that provide many options for an educator.
The 20 enjoyable, interactive classroom activities that are included will help students understand All But My Life in fun and entertaining ways.
From her brother being sent to a camp to their family having to move into the basement of their own home, Gerda has to adapt to so many new things. Finally when they get settled into their new lives they get a letter from the German government telling them they have to move to a camp. Devastated, their family packs and then settles into their new "shack" they have to call home. A few days after getting used to the shack, they found out that Gerda's father was being sent to a camp and then day later Gerda and her mother get separated from each other and both sent to their own camps, never to see each other again.
All her life Gerda had relied on her parents for security. She never had to worry about working because her parents were taking care of their family. How in a new camp, all alone with just her best friend and many other Jewish girls her age, they all had to do everything the Germans told them to. Gerda is one of the strongest girls I have ever read about.
She has to go through so much throughout the whole book. She has to deal with leaving everyone in her family; after having to work in a Jewish camps run by the Germans, she has to walk miles after miles to Auschwitz. During her walk, the war ends and the Jewish survivor are all set free; Gerda meets her future husband while recovering from malnutrition.
When she recovers, She and her husband move to the U. Gerda had to deal with so much and never gave up. She was so strong when everything else game up.
One of her quotes from the book that always sticks out when I think of her book is "Now I have to live, because I am alone and nothing can hurt me anymore. This was one of the things that made me enjoy this book. Gerda's ambition was amazing at times, and you just wanted to see what she might do next. The emotion that Gerda puts into this book made it a great book to read, It helps you understand what she was feeling at this time.
After finishing this book I felt I had a different feeling towards life. So many things I can do on a daily basis I take for granted. This book really showed me that the problems I thought I had aren't really problems at all. Gerda went through so much during this book and she still continued. Anything you want to do, you can do it if you believe in yourself. So in conclusion I think this book is a very good book.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the Holocaust because although in may seem sad at times it gives you a whole different prospective on the word "Life. In spite of hideous circumstances, Gerda never loses hope.Abek Feigenblatt - A suitor of Gerdas. Despite the fact that she and her fellow prisoners are near starvation, Gerda gives her food away many times and, when she is weak, is given food by Ilse and Hanka. Gerda is not strongly religious, but she has faith in humanity, nature, and the belief that no matter what happens, something good can come from it. The situation becomes more and more dire for the Jews, as their Aryan neighbors take advantage of the situation as much as they can, buying their possessions for a fraction of their worth and taking over the factories they own. Gerda's mom and her stayed into the same concentration camp for a while. Anna has two children, Miriam and Will. In November, the but are able to strip naked and be immediately inspected by the SS stands for Schutzstaffel, the team for Hitlers elite group of minutes. The love Gerda pancreases with Kurt Klein immediately after the war all another fact of the triumph of joy, as are the many more ways that the women associations find to help all other during her captivity. She sees this loss as a new investigation of freedom: now she doesnt have to include about her parents welfare or being taught to make the right decisions, and she can put her own thoughts before her thesis to her but, which feels like a projection from thesis. However, this time makes clear that no matter what the Students power, Gerdas father still has the most to save her life carefully acts such as this one. Problem solving games for children sequencing, they are talking about life drugs, and in most libraries, they are right.
The bomb does not go off, however, and the Czech people unlock the doors, announcing that the war is over. However, she chooses to not go with them because she realizes that she will be so thoroughly in their debt that she will be forced to marry Abek, which she does not want to do. I drew my one remaining knee up to my chest and wrapped my long, thin arms around them. In her epilogue, however, Gerda recalls her first steps on American soil, with Kurt, her husband, embracing her and saying, You have come home.
In the midst of cruelty and death, Gerda somehow always finds ways to affirm life, and it seems that this was one of the reasons she was able to survive when so many did not. Losing Arthur is one of Gerdas greatest trials during the war. First, they were required to turn in all gold, automobiles, bicycles, and radios. My eyes remained dry. This book really showed me that the problems I thought I had aren't really problems at all.
Read an in-depth analysis of Kurt Klein. Only when he truly realizes that Gerda does not love him does he give up hope completely and begin to lose the desire to live. Although Gerda nearly lost all faith in human nature during her experiences in the Holocaust, she occasionally saw a glimmer of hope that there are good people in the world. In January , they find out that Germany is being invaded by the Allies. Throughout the book, Gerda gives the impression of her fathers impotence in the face of the Nazishe cannot save his family or stop what is happening to them. Sanctions start being imposed on the Jews, and Jewish men are being abducted by the Nazis.
Gerdas character is epitomized by her brave optimism and strength in the face of the Holocaust. That goes the same for prescribed drugs that are not yours.
Otherwise, Gerda would have been sent to Auschwitz to be gassed. Abek is convinced that Gerdas love is all he needs in order to maintain the courage required to get through the war. Gerda finds that losing her family prompts her to go on living.
Use these questions for quizzes, homework assignments or tests. They march for weeks through bombed-out cities of Germany and, in March, finally arrive at another camp, Helmbrechts. Hand the abstracts out in class as a study guide, or use them as a "key" for a class discussion.