Writing Prompts - Jacob Kilstein

Prompt 1

In his interview, Mr. Kilstein made a thought-provoking statement about the day he was liberated: “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.” It seems the day of liberation for those who suffered so intensely should have been filled with joy. Think about Mr. Kilstein’s statement, “no one was really free.” What does free or freedom in this context mean? Support your answer with examples and citations from the film and/or transcript.

Prompt 2

Jacob Kilstein spoke of listening to beautiful live music while smelling burning bodies at Auschwitz, at the beginning of his workday. Why did the Nazis schedule these concerts? Who played in the orchestras, and why?  After reviewing the informational links below, write an expository essay explaining why the Nazis scheduled concerts in this death camp. Support your essay using evidence from Jacob Kilstein’s film and transcript.

Prisoners’ Orchestra at Auschwitz (shown)


Heartstrings: Music of the Holocaust

Bach in Aushwitz

(n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2017, from http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa12074, http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/music/music_and_holocaust.asp, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3feEkIPn7k