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Unit 3: pp. 26-36

Section 10 (pp. 26-27)

This section is not discussed in this lesson plan because it deals with subjects (the synagogue, Yom Kippur, etc.) that may not be relevant to non-Jewish educators and students. Feel free to skip or use these sections accordingly.

Section 11 (pp. 28-29)

  1. The Difficulties of Living in a Hiding Place – Hannah explains that from the time they hid with the Skovronek family, she and her mother were forced to hide in the closet. Again we see that her imagination came to her aid, and helped her cope with the situation. By reading their stories, we can learn about the difficulties in hiding in a house, and how much Hannah missed nature and fresh air.
  2. The Rescuers – This section allows us to clearly see that the daughters in the Skrovronek family absorbed their parents’ principles. Hanka, the Skovronek’s daughter, created a “hideout within a hideout” and actually saved the lives of Hannah and her mother at a time of tremendous danger.

Q: Hannah escapes to her imagination from within the hiding place. In your opinion, what can you learn from this escape? Why did she imagine that she went to a forest?
A: We learn that Hannah misses the outside world with fresh air, trees, and nature.

Q: In the previous chapter we spoke about the girls in the Skovronek family, and we saw that they felt contradicting feelings regarding Channah and her mother. What does this chapter add on this subject? How do they feel now?
A: The Skovronek’s daughter prepares an additional hiding place for Channah and her mother without her family knowing. We learn from this that she agrees with her parents’ actions, and was ready to pay a large price to be a rescuer.

Section 12 (pp. 30-31): The End of the War

  1. The end of the war - The moment that Hannah and her mother waited for throughout the war arrives - the war ends and they are free. They return to their town of Biala Ravska, in the hope of finding family and friends there. But when they arrive, they discover the magnitude of the loss: her father has not survived the war, all the members of their extended family have been killed, and only a few individuals from the entire town remain. Their property has also been stolen and relations with the Polish population have collapsed. It is important to emphasize that the end of the war did not bring relief and joy as might have been expected, but instead made clear to them that they had lost their entire world. Nonetheless, they continue to try and find their place in the world.
  2. The place of Hannah and her mother - their brief stay in Biala Ravska makes it clear to them that this is no longer their place. They leave the town and search for a new place.

Q: How do you think Hannah and her mother feel after the war ends and they return to their home in Biala Ravska?
A: Hannah and her mother feel very bad - their entire world is lost and they remain without a home. They try to find a new life.

Section 13 (pp. 32-33): The Return to Life

  1. The section deals with returning to life.

  2. Zionism - Hannah and her mother try to rehabilitate their lives in another town in Poland, and live there as Christians. But Hannah misses Judaism and even joins a Zionist youth movement. Zionism gives new meaning to the lives of Hannah and her mother.
  3. Establishing a family - Hannah's mother remarries and Hannah has a new brother.

Section 14 (pp. 34-36): Epilogue

Hannah tells us about her life after she came to Israel. She acquired a profession, in which she worked for many years, married and had a son, and today she has two grandchildren. In this short chapter she tells about the Skovroneck family and the fact that they were recognized as Righteous Gentiles. This detail that Hannah adds is of great significance - it is a recognition and appreciation of the family which saved her life and thanks to whom she was able to survive the war. From the fact that it appears in this very brief chapter, we can see the depth of Hannah's feeling of gratitude toward the family.

Q: Why does Hannah tell us in this final chapter about the Skovroneck family? What can we learn from this about her feelings toward them?
A: Hannah admires the family's act of charity toward her and her mother, and is grateful to them for it. She emphasizes this fact as part of the most basic details of her life.

Outline: