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All But My Life : Summary Chapter 10

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Chapter 10

Letters from Arthur come frequently, but in Bielitz there are food and fuel shortages. Gerda is depressed by the news of German advances in Russia.

In April 1942, all the Jews in Bielitz are moved into a remote, ramshackle area of town, which will become a Jewish ghetto. Gerda says goodbye to Niania. Gerda is sad to leave the home where she has lived all her life, and she relives some of her memories. The family’s few belongings are loaded into a horse-drawn wagon and they set off for their new lodgings.

Analysis

The fate of the Weissmanns, and of all the remaining Jews in Bielitz, takes a turn for the worse in this chapter. At least before, even in the midst of fear, uncertainty, and material deprivation, they were living in their old, familiar home, although pushed down into the basement. Now they must uproot themselves, and Gerda must leave the scenes of her childhood.

It was Nazi policy in Poland to force the Jews into ghettos. This would both concentrate them in a few areas and isolate them. In the larger cities (not Bielitz), the ghettos were walled-off from the rest of the town. During 1942, Jews from many parts of Nazi-controlled Europe were sent to Poland, where they were herded into ghettos and later sent to concentration camps.




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