Writing Prompts - Jack Cohen
Jack states that he had to “buckle down, and go on with life.” This theme is also prevalent in David Downing's book Aftermath and Remembrance. How do you think we can all learn from Jacks lesson that one “cannot hold a grudge, but cannot forget”? Write an essay that both summarizes and analyzes Jack’s beliefs about forgiveness and the importance of memory after the Holocaust. Be sure to cite specific evidence to support your analysis.
Downing, D. (2006). Aftermath and remembrance. Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library.
When the Germans pulled out, the family returned: his father to his ruined business, Jack to three years of missed schooling. Their home had been occupied by strangers. Jack said, “Nothing felt the same again. I was quite bitter for a long time, especially about my grandmother. Eventually you just get on with the rest of your life but you cannot imagine the loss—the pain. You just have to teach people about what happened. It is all you can do.” Similarly, liberator Harry Snodgrass stated, “We have no choice in how we are born…our only choice is what kind of person we are going to be.” Write an essay that compares and contrasts these two sources about the meaning of personal loss and the power of individual choice related to the Holocaust. Be sure to cite strong and thorough evidence from both sources to support your argument.