Writing Prompts - Fred Jarvis

Prompt 1

Please watch the film of Fred Jarvis. Several central ideas or themes arise during the interview. After you have read and listened to his story, determine one central idea from the video and write an essay. In this essay analyze how this idea emerges, is shaped, and refined by using specific details from the film. Cite strong and thorough evidence from the film to support this analysis.

Prompt 2

Compare Fred Jarvis’ experience of losing his parents with that of Peter Feigel’s similar experience. Use both Fred and Peter’s testimony to cite strong and thorough evidence from these films to support your analysis.

Fred Jarvis’s Account Below:

“It took me 40 years to find out that they had gone to Auschwitz via Drancy, and that they were gassed and burned in the crematorium the same day that they arrived in Auschwitz. And the fact of not knowing what happened to them was the most excruciating pain of all, which in – I endured for over 40 years. It was not until 1983, that at a survivors’ meeting I found a book by the French lawyer – by a French lawyer who had found German records and reconstituted them and wrote a book, and this book was in French. And since I had not spoken French for 30 years, I had lost the fluency of it, so I waited another year, I was told there would be a – book would be translated into English, and purchased it. And found my father and my mother in that book, into which transport they arrived to, and what happened to them from these records from this French lawyer. And – and that gave me some sort of closure about my parents, if there is such a thing.”

Peter Feigel’s Shoah Testimony:


(n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn6leBNF7ok

Prompt 3

“You aged fast or you died,” said Fred Jarvis about his childhood years spent surviving the Holocaust. Write an expository or narrative essay that explains and analyzes what Fred meant by this statement. Include examples of incidents, events, and skills that helped him to survive. Cite strong and thorough evidence from the film and timeline to support your analysis.

Prompt 4

Artist and musicians and performers were also interred in the Gurs Concentration Camp. Read the article about a cartoon created there by Horst Rosenthal, showing Mickey Mouse as a bewildered internee. How does the experience of Mickey shed light on the experience in the camp of real prisoners? How does it compare to the experience of Fred Jarvis and his family? Why do you think the artist chose to represent such tragic experiences as happening to a familiar cartoon character?

Parker, John. “Mickey Mouse Comics from the Gurs Concentration Camp.” Comics Alliance. December 2, 2009. http://comicsalliance.com/mickey-mouse-comics-gurs-concentration-camp/.