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Written by Nicola Francisc
DOGS AND JEWS NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER
The quiet city in which the Weissmann family lived changed drastically after the arrival of the German army. Not only did the Germans confiscate every valuable thing owned by the Jews, but they also confiscated the businesses and factories owned by Jews. The phrase ‘’DOGS AND JEWS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER’’ was found on the entrance of a factory owned by Jews. Apart from showing the power the German army possessed, the quote also offers a glimpse into the way the Jews were considered by the Germans. For the German army and population, the Jews were like animals, dogs that should be kept away from the civilized world and out of public buildings.
“Now I have to live , because I am alone and nothing can hurt me anymore.”
The quote appears in the beginning of the second part and it is Gerda who utters it after she realizes that she is now alone. Despite being separated from her families and not knowing what will happen to her or her parents, Gerda refuses to lose her faith. Instead of thinking about dying and how bad her situation is, she tries to keep her will to live and to fuel her hope that one day she will see her family again.
“You have come home.”
After the war, Gerda marries an American soldier and then she moves with him to America. Until that point, Gerda always associated the idea of home with the image of her childhood home and her family. When she reaches America, she realizes that the term ‘home’ doesn’t have to refer to a single place, but it describes the feelings a person has in relation to a person or place.
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They learn that the war is just beginning. The Germans have invaded Russia, and the former Russian-controlled parts of Poland, including Lwow, have been taken by Germany. Gerda worries for her family and especially Arthur.