Writing Prompts - Gertrude Schlanger

Prompt 1

Throughout the film, Gertrude describes the central theme of separation. Write an essay that both summarizes and analyzes how this theme is developed over the course of the video, including how Gertrude describes several specific instances of separation. Cite strong and thorough evidence from the film to support your analysis.

Prompt 2

Several Tennesseans were survivors of Auschwitz, and each of them experienced the concentration camp differently. Use the search feature in the top navigation bar to locate other Tennesseans who were survivors of Auschwitz and write an essay comparing and contrasting their experiences in this concentration camp.

Prompt 3

Gertrude states throughout her transcript that she doesn’t remember much of her experiences in Auschwitz. Other camp survivors describe their existence as moment-to-moment, not thinking too much about their past or future. Read the following passage from Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, where he describes a similar experience, stating: “We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. [We were stronger] than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die.” Write an essay that compares and contrasts both Gertrude and Wiesel’s difficulty with remembering and hypothesize why they struggled to remember.

Wiesel, E. (1980). Night. New York: Bantam Books.