Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Analytical Response Essay
Holocaust survivor memoirs have the ability to shed light on a variety of experiences during the war. While many memoirs center on survival in the camps, those who were rescued, and those who were the rescuers, there are few first-hand accounts that center on those who hid from the Nazis in plain slight or who were able to fight back and survived. In both Marie Jalowicz Simon’s Underground in Berlin: A Young Woman’s Extraordinary Tale of Survival in the Heart of Nazi Germany and Joanne D. Gilbert’s Women of Valor: Polish Jewish Resisters to the Third Reich, the extraordinary experiences of five Jewish women in the Holocaust shed light on how acts of resistance that were both small and large were carried out by individuals who were the least likely to be suspected of defying the Nazi regime. For these women, they not only recount their wartime experiences including the trauma and trials, but more importantly they disclose the lives they were able to build in spite of the hardships they endured under the Third Reich. Together, their stories of survival offers the reader an opportunity to bear witness to a traumatic and dark period in modern history where choices seem to be punctuated by moments of luck, chance, and fate that seem to differ by the hour. As each of these authors’ struggles to recount their own experiences, their reflections allow for a deeper contemplation that questions survival, human behavior, despair, and morality not only during the Nazi genocide, but well beyond the time period of 1933 – 1945. For this paper you are to address the following parts in a well constructed analytical response essay (4 – 6 pages), using specific evidence from both books and any additional sources made available on Canvas. The following may be used as a formatting guide if you wish to use it: Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Analytical Response Essay
Introduction: 2 – 3 paragraphs
Identify the books, authors, and the background/setting of their experiences
Thesis statement: What are you going to be talking about in this paper and why?
What is significant about the subject matter/titles?
Part I: 3 – 4 pages
What motivated these women to resist?
What were some of obstacles, circumstances that each of the women faced in their attempt to survive?
How were these women able to survive?
What stood out the most for you as you read these books?
Part II: 3 – 4 pages
How have these survivor memoirs helped shape/contribute to/enhance your understanding of resistance, survival, and the Holocaust?
How were you affected by hearing the testimonies of Holocaust survivors?
What can we learn about human behavior from the stories of Holocaust survivors/resisters? And what can we learn about ourselves?
How have the testimonies of/by those who were targeted by the Nazis affect us emotionally and deepen our investment in learning about and from this history?
Conclusion: 2 – 3 paragraphs
Why are memoirs/survivor testimonies important?
Even by reading memoirs, is it possible for anyone to fully understand the experiences of those who were victimized by the Nazis? Why is it important for survivors to tell their stories?
What lessons can be drawn from these books? What have you taken away from these readings, especially in regards to women, resistance, and the Holocaust? Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Analytical Response Essay
Submit one typed 4 (full pages) – 6 page essay responding to the prompt
Papers must be typed and double-spaced (with standard 1 inch margins, Times New Roman, 12 point font)
Remember, you do not have to answer each of the guideline questions, they are there simply as a way of helping you organize your thoughts – Should you choose to response to them, make sure that they are still addressed in a coherent essay format
You may address each book in its own right and you may use subheadings if you want to distinguish between the two
Since there are multiple women addressed in Women of Valor if you want to specifically focus on one or two of them that is all right
Name and title on the front page Standard rules for an essay should also be applied:
Proper writing grammar
could not instead of couldn’t
will not instead of won’t
should not instead of shouldn’t
Decades should be written as 1930s, 1940s, etc.
Words like however, it, because should not begin a sentence
Avoid repetitive language and vague generalizations
Spell-check and proofread your paper. (Be aware that it helps to either read your paper aloud and/or have another person read your paper to check for grammar and spelling).
Sources must be cited in the Chicago Manuel Style of footnote or endnote citations. For Chicago Manuel Style please refer to http://www.
Be sure to include proper citations when quoting directly or even paraphrasing
The use of any outside information must first be cleared by me. If not, your paper will automatically fall into the D or F range for failure to follow instructions.
Papers must be submitted on WebCampus by the posted date. If you would like to turn your paper in early, you may do so.