Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Jack Fried

  1. Jack experienced life in the ghettos, physical labor as a child, constant fear of abuse and personally witnessing the mobile killing units. Through all of this Jack never loses his Jewish faith. He states that out of 2,217 Jews in his town, only 17 survived. He said, “I was a child, but I was never a child. Take my word for it. I learned to survive before I learned the ABCs. If you didn’t, you didn’t survive.” What do you think he meant by this statement?
  2. Explain how Jack and his family maintained their religion while in the ghetto, where it was illegal to practice.
  3. Jack explains that in Poland, he was not allowed to have weapons. He states, “You know here…I have weapons in my home; I couldn’t do that in Poland. …Here I can defend myself; I couldn’t defend myself in Poland. That’s a big difference. I think a lot of people would have survived if they would have had weapons. But another thing is, nobody would believe that those things would happen.” This is an example of one freedom that Jack did not have in Poland that he does have in America. What other freedoms can you define that we have that the Jews of Poland did not? Explain some freedoms that we have that we take for granted. How might your life be different if you lost those freedoms?