Writing Prompts - Esther Loeb

Prompt 1

While in Poland trying to cross into the Ukraine, Esther described some of the hardships they suffered, and she described what it was like trying to get bread:

“I remember when we used to go and stand in line for bread and of course we wore the yellow…arm(bands) with the Jude in it and I remember standing in line for about four, five hours and finally, my turn came and there was the SS man standing as my turn came and I was just about to take money and pay for the bread, he took me out of the line and sent me again to the end of the line and I had to wait another four, five hours before I got a small tiny piece of bread.” Because of all of the struggles, the family became desperate to escape to the Ukraine. “…we borrowed, stole, and whatever, whatever we could and we tried to go to Ukraine.”

What evidence do you see from both this quotation and Esther’s story that demonstrates the power of resistance?  Write an essay that both summarizes and analyzes her beliefs in the importance and necessity of carrying out acts of resistance. Be sure to cite specific evidence to support your analysis.

Prompt 2

In the video testimony at 6:08, and in the transcript, Esther describes a time when she, her mother, and her sister were struggling with depression and wanting to give up. She stated: “It was tough, it was really tough, we were hungry, lonely, depressed all the time. We used to come home with a tiny little bread, a tiny little piece of bread that they used to give us, no money and it was hot and we had to work for a whole week to get that piece of bread. And then we come home and here lies my mama, she was all swollen, she didn’t want to live, she didn’t care anymore. …we walked her and begged and kissed her and loved her …you have to be with us because that’s all we have left. …It seems like you lost your dignity, your pride, and you lost…we have never lost our faith, thank God, but you lost everything and you ask yourself, ask, ‘Why?’”

How does Esther’s statement further our knowledge about the treatment of Polish Jews during this time period? Write an essay that compares and contrasts Esther’s experience with the treatment of other survivors during this time period.