Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Elsa Herzfeld

1. Identity is of upmost importance during the teenage years, and activities allow us to develop our sense of who we are. View 1:54 in the film, where Elsa discussed the impact restrictions on Jews had on her developing identity. What do you think Elsa means by this?  Cite strong and thorough evidence from the film and transcript to support your analysis.

2. Elsa’s observation of her German neighbors after the Nazis came to power was that “They were swept away with the hoorah.” She believed Germans were so caught up in the pageantry of National Socialism they failed to recognize the danger. How did the Nazis use ceremony to unite the German people behind their rule? Use the link below to view rare color photography of Nazi ceremonies to inform your answer.

“Rare Historical Photos”

(n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2017, from

3. Elsa is from Germany, and her family left with relative ease. Compare Elsa’s experiences to that of Tennessee Survivor Eric Rosenfeld.  What are the factors that led both Elsa and Eric to leave? How are the two stories similar? How do they differ?

4. Elsa discussed in the film at 5:06 her observation of how her family was received in the United States. What does this observation tell you about press coverage in the United States of events in Nazi Germany? Using the link below, research how the United States responded to the Holocaust.

“The United States and the Holocaust” 

(n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2017, from