Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Jacob Kilstein

1.  In the film, Mr. Kilstein said he and other survivors wanted to talk about their experiences during WWII after it was officially over, but he insisted “no one wanted to listen [until] 60 years later.” Why would people in each of the following populations not want to discuss the Holocaust for such a long time after the war: Germans, other Jews from Europe, family and friends, others from all over the world?

2.   Elie Wiesel who was a survivor of Auchwitz-Birkeneau was later moved to Buchenwald for his last days as a prisoner. In his classic book Night, Wiesel wrote about his last days prior to liberation stating:

“I had to stay at Buchenwald until April eleventh. I have nothing to say of my life during this period. It no longer mattered. After my father’s death, no one could touch me anymore.”

Wiesel, E. (1980). Night. New York: Bantam Books page 107.

Compare and contrast Wiesel's reflections to those of Mr. Kilstein who stated:

“It is a painful reminder for me that no one was really free. Not when you lost your family, your life, and all that you knew.”