Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Nessy Marks

1. Discuss how Nessy’s experiences in the Holocaust differed from that of Art Pais, another Lithuanian Survivor. Consider:

  • where they lived throughout the war
  • how they lived throughout the war
  • fate of the family
  • supporters
  • those who were disloyal to the survivor
  • long-term effects


2. In her interview, Nessy relates her parents’ sense that Germany was a “civilized” nation referring to the German nation in the 20th century.  Holocaust Survivor and noted psychologist, Haim Ginott ponders the meaning of education in the quote below from his book Teacher and child; a book for parents and teachers.

Dear Teachers:

I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no person should witness. Gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained         nurses. Women and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates.

So I am suspicious of education. My request is: help your students become more human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, or educated Eichmanns. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.

Haim G. Ginott

Ginott, H. G. (1972). Teacher and child; a book for parents and teachers. New York: Macmillan.


Using Nessy’s filmed testimony and transcript share specific incidents she describes that challenged her understanding of a civilized and humane country.  Using both Nessy's testimony and the ideas presented in Haim Ginott's quote discuss how the Holocaust changed their view of education.