Between Dignity and Despair Essay

2237 Words Aug 22nd, 2013 9 Pages
Between Dignity and Despair | Jewish Life in Nazi Germany | | By: Marion A. Kaplan | | Kelli Moseley History 120C-006 | | |

Between Dignity and Despair, a book written by Marion A. Kaplan, published in 1998, gives us a portrait of Jewish life in Nazi Germany by the astounding memoirs, diaries, interviews with survivors, and letters of Jewish women and men. The book is written in chronological order of events, from the daily life of German Jewish families prior to when the Holocaust began to the days when rights were completely taken away; from the beginning of forced labor and exile to the repercussion of the war. Kaplan tries to include details from each significant event during the time of the Holocaust. Kaplan
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People of mixed Jewish and Aryan races were referred to as Mischlinge, and even those who had married Jews were counted fully as Jews and accused of race defilement (75). These Germans were treated as such, including all laws and punishments. As for children, it became increasingly difficult to be in school. The next chapter goes into great detail on how it was very difficult for Jewish children to attend school.
The Daily Lives of Jewish Children and Youth in the “Third Reich”, the title of the fourth chapter focuses mainly on the daily lives of the children. In April 1933, the “Law Against the Overcrowding of German Schools” was created, in essence establishing a quota of 1.5 percent total enrollment for Jews. Where Jews made up more than 5 percent of the population, schools could allow up to 5 percent of their pupils to be Jewish. Exemptions included Jewish pupils whose fathers had served during World War I, children of mixed marriages (with no more than two Jewish grandparents), and Jewish children with foreign citizenship (94-95). However, for the Elementary school, the Volksschule, attendance stayed the same. Like the other laws, the actual number of exemptions shocked the Nazis. School teachers and administrators barred Jewish children from schools events, inside and outside of school. When movies were shown, Jewish children weren’t allowed to attend them but afterward they had to listen to the other children discussing the film (95). I could not

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