Writing Prompts – Herta Adler

Prompt 1

In her testimony Herta laments the interruption of her schooling and how she “wanted to graduate.” Similarly, in the book The Boy on the Wooden Box, author and Holocaust survivor Leon Leyson addressed his lack of schooling during his teenage years: "The Germans had ended my schooling shortly after I turned ten.  My parents were concerned about my lack of education and what that might mean for my future. My father began looking for someone to tutor me, to help me make up at least part of what I had lost." What evidence do you see from both Herta and Leon Leyson that suggests education was important to them? Write an essay that both summarizes and analyzes their beliefs about the value of education. Be sure to cite specific evidence to support your analysis.

Prompt 2

Herta was a German citizen who was searched by German police. As she left the country she recalls: “… I remember when the German police came to look at us and questioned us; and I had with me, in my personal things—he had to open my bag—a box of candy someone had given me, and the SA man who came took the box of candy and opened each piece to see if there was a diamond or some gold in it.” How does Herta’s statement further our knowledge about the treatment of German Jews during this time period?  Write an essay that compares and contrasts Herta’s experience with the treatment of other refugees who left Germany following Kristallnacht.

Prompt 3

Herta Adler and her husband became collectors of Judaica, art used for Jewish ceremonial purposes. This type of art was either stolen or hidden during the Holocaust. The Adlers’ collection generated the founding of the Herta and Justin H. Adler Collection of Judaica at the Temple Israel Museum in Memphis. Why do think it was important for the Adler family to ensure that the items in this collection were preserved and displayed for the public to see? Read about Nazi looted art in the link below:

“Nazi Looted Art.”


Looted Art. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2017, from http://www.ushmm.org/research/research-in-collections/search-the-collections/bibliography/looted-art