Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Paula Kelman

  1. How do Paula’s experiences in Czestochowa reflect the human dimension of the Nazi’s decision to make the ghettos temporary through the techniques of severe overcrowding and deliberate starvation?
  2. Paula remembers being called by her number, 1585, instead of her name during her time in Czestochowa. How does one’s name reflect his/her identity and why did the Nazis use this strategy in many ghettos and concentration camps?
  3. In her testimony Paula explains that she would sneak out of the ghetto at night so that she could sell sheets and other items in exchange for food. Such moral and ethical complexities existed among the inhabitants of the ghetto. Compare Paula’s experiences with difficult moral decisions to the March 10, 1942 entry (page 236) in the “Anonymous Girl in the Lodz Ghetto” from the book Salvaged Pages.

Zapruder, A. (2015). Salvaged pages: young writers' diaries of the Holocaust. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.