“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.” Lewis Carrol

martes, 7 de octubre de 2008


What is a scrapbook?: In our case, a scrapbook will be a compilation of clippings from newspapers, photographs and the sort that can help us exemplify our topic.

Project Genocide: Images of Today
Creating a Scrapbook
The hatred and injustice imposed upon Jews and other groups that led to attempted genocide during the Holocaust may be over, but the practice of injustice and genocide for a variety of ethnic, political, and religious groups continues throughout the world today.

Directions: Research the Internet and in back issues of newspapers and news magazines to find out about other groups of people who have suffered from prejudice and intolerance since the Holocaust of World War II. Create a scrapbook of pictures, news headlines, and articles depicting these events. Be prepared to possibly share your scrapbook with your classmates at a later time.

1. Create a scrapbook out of construction paper or another source but not notebook paper.
2. Title your scrapbook, and include your name.
3. Each page of your scrapbook should include a title and short explanation of the event pictured.
4. You may focus on one event or on several examples around the world. Be sure to title each page and explain the picture, news article or other piece of evidence for your scrapbook page.
5. Have at least 10 pages in your scrapbook.
6. Include a first or last page that states your feelings regarding what you learned during
your research and how you feel about intolerance toward others in general.

• Watch your spelling!
• Watch your sentence writing; use no fragments or run-ons.
• Watch capitalization.
• Be neat when placing pictures, samples, Internet sources, articles, etc., in the scrapbook.
• Type titles and short explanations and your personal feelings about intolerance, if
possible. Otherwise, write very NEATLY.

Scrapbook Rubric (this is how i will evaluate you, please take it into account when preparing the scrapbook)

Has scrapbook bound with a title and name.
Has 10 pages of information in scrapbook.
Has a front or back page which includes personal opinion on research and intolerance.
Has a title neatly placed on each page.
Has an explanation of each object, picture, article, etc. neatly written or typed.
Neatly placed items in scrapbook.
Has no errors in capitalization.
Has no errors in spelling.
Has no errors in sentence writing.
Subjects within scrapbook reflect the objective of the assignment.

martes, 30 de septiembre de 2008

Night: Section 4_ comprehension questions

(pages 47 to 65)

1. What is Elie’s first impression of the camp at Buna?

2. What do the dentist look for in the mouths of the prisoners?

3. What excuse does Elie give to the dentist so that he won’t take out his gold crown?

4. What part of Elie’s body alone is aware of “the passage of time”?

5. Why does Idek beat Elie’s father? What is Elie’s first reaction as the beating is taking place?

6. What is the punishment Idek gives Elie for leaving the area assigned to him to work?

7. Who bombs the camp at Buna?

8. Why is the pipel hanged?

9. What is the reputation of the pipel and the fifty-second cable unit?

10. What makes the hanging of the pipel different from the other hangings the prisoners have witnessed?

Night: Section 3 summary

This section contains very graphic details. It is in this section that the illusions of a "work camp" come to an abrupt end for the Jews coming off the trains. "Men to the left! Women to the right!" begins the ordeal that separates Elie from his mother ans sister forever.

Elie and his father lie about their ages in order to "pass inspection." For the first time, Elie becomes angry with God for allowing them to be in such a horrible place. Elie and the others in his line begin to move toward what they think will be their own cremation and begin the solemn prayer of Kaddish. Elie realises that the Nazis are throwing babies and children into the fiery pits and says, "Never shall I forget those moments which murderered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust."

Elie and his father do not enter the crematorium but are initiated instead into the hostile and meager existence of the concentration camp.

NIGHT: Section 2 summary

This section details what Elie and his family experience during transport to a concentration camp. he says, "Lying down was out of the quetion..." The most significant event involves Madame Schätcher and her son. She becomes hysterical in the "hermetically sealed" cattle car and begins to imagine that she sees fire and that they will all be burned alive. Eventually, others in the cattle car tie her up and gag her in order to keep her silent.

The section ends with Elie and his family disembarking the train at Birkenau, a reception centre for Auschwitz.

martes, 2 de septiembre de 2008

Study Questions - Section 1 (Pages 3 to 22)

VOCABULARY: Check the meaning of these words

rabbi: in Judaism, means a religious ‘teacher’, or more literally, ‘my great one’, when addressing any master.

synagogue: house of assembly, house of prayer, Synagogues are not consecrated spaces, nor is a synagogue necessary for collective worship. Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble. A synagogue is not in the strictest sense a temple; it does not replace the true, long since destroyed, Holy Temple in Jerusalem

Kaddish: refers to an important and central prayer in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name.

Hasidism: (from the Hebrew:Chassidus, meaning "piety", from the Hebrew root word chesed meaning "loving kindness") is a Harei Jewish religious movement. Some refer to Hasidic Judaism as Hasidism

Talmud: es una obra que recoge las discusiones rabínicas sobre leyes judías, tradiciones, costumbres, leyendas e historias. El Talmud se caracteriza por preservar la multiplicidad de opiniones a través de un estilo de escritura asociativo, mayormente en forma de preguntas, producto de un proceso de escritura grupal a veces contradictorio.

Torah: most commonly refers to the text of the Five Books of Moses or Pentateuch. It may also refer to the entirety of Judaism's founding legal and ethical religious texts.

Rosh Hashanah: is a Jewish holiday commonly referred to as the "Jewish New Year"

Zionism: is an international political movement that originally supported the reestablishment of a homeland for the Jewish People in Palestine (Hebrew: Eretz Yisra'el, “the Land of Israel”), and continues primarily as support for the modern state of Israel.

Maimonides: also known as the Rambam, was a rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Andalusia, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. He was the preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher, and his ideas also influenced the non-Jewish world.

phylacteries: Tefillin, also called phylacteries, are a pair of black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with biblical verses. They serve as a "sign" and "remembrance" that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. According to Jewish Law, they should be worn during weekday morning prayer services.

Kabbalah: is a discipline and school of thought discussing the mystical aspect of Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings meant to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and traditional Rabbinic literature, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.

Passover: is a Jewish and Samaritan holy day and festival commemorating God sparing the Jews when He killed the first born of Egypt. Followed by the seven day Feast of the Unleavened Bread commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery.

Pentecost: is one of the prominent feasts in the Christian liturgical year, celebrated the 49th day (7 weeks) after Easter Sunday—or the 50th day, inclusively, whence its name is derived from the Greek. Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday. Historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, it commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Book of Acts, Chapter 2.

Now please, answer these questions very briefly.

  1. 1. When and where was the author's early boyhood spent?

  2. 2. What did Elie and Moishe the Beadle talk about?

  3. 3. Why did Moishe disappear for a few months?

  4. 4. How did people respond to Moishe's stories about the Gestapo? Why?

  5. 5. What happened in Sighet on the seventh day of passover?

  6. What did every Jew have to wear? Why?

  7. What was the Ghetto?

  8. List three things the Jews of Sighet lost by decree.

  9. List three ways the deportees were abused.

  10. Where were the deportees told they were going?

Elie Wiesel Biography


Eliezer (Elie) Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928 in Sighet, a border town between Hungary and Romania. Wiesel grew up in the town's shtetl, or Jewish section, where his father, Shlomo, was a shopkeeper and a well-respected leader in the Jewish community. As a young boy, Wiesel was devoted to the study of the Torah, the Talmud, and the mystical writings of the Kabbala. In the spring of 1944, when Elie was only fifteen years old, the Germans deported 15,000 Jews from Sighet to the notorious concentration camp, Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister Zipporah were exterminated at Birkenau, his two older sisters, Hilda and Bea, managed to survive. Until his father's death in Buchenwald, Wiesel and his father were together throughout their internment, the experiences of which he writes about in his autobiographical novel, Night.

After the liberation of Buchenwald, Elie Wiesel and many of the surviving children were sent to France. In Paris, Wiesel decided to learn the French language (the language that he primarily writes in). For several years, Wiesel studied at the Sorbonne, where he was deeply influenced by the existentialist writings of Camus and Sartre. Afterwards, he took various jobs as a journalist, traveling extensively, especially to Israel, North America, South America, and the United States. In 1954, while he was working as a foreign correspondent for an Israeli newspaper, Elie Wiesel met the famous Catholic novelist and moralist, Francois Muriac (author of the foreword to Night). Through Muriac's strong encouragement, Wiesel wrote a memoir of his Holocaust experience.
After honoring his vow of silence for ten years, Elie Wiesel first published a Yiddish version of his Holocaust story in 1956. An English translation of the shortened French version of Night appeared in 1960. It was not the first book to detail the experiences of a Holocaust survivor, but Night has become one of the most widely read, if not the most read book on the Holocaust. Critic Robert McAfee Brown gives Night the distinction of being "the most influential book" in confronting the difficult, harsh memories of the Holocaust. Since the publication of Night, Wiesel has written extensively, utilizing many different literary styles. His novels include Dawn (1960), The Accident (1961), and A Beggar in Jerusalem (1968). He has also written numerous articles, novellas, plays, and a series of memoirs.

In 1969, Elie Wiesel married Marion Erster Rose, who was also a survivor of the concentration camps. She remains his closest collaborator, having translated many of his books. A prolific writer who has won many awards, including the Prix Medicis, one of France's most distinguished literary prizes, Elie Wiesel is also well known as a teacher, lecturer, and spokesman. In 1979, Wiesel was appointed Chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust. His story and influence greatly contributed to the heightened awareness of the significance of the Holocaust and the memory of its victims. As a world-renowned champion of peace and human rights, Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He is currently serving as the Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities and University Professor at Boston University.

THE BIRDS by Daphne du Maurier

"The Birds" is a famous novelette by Daphne du Maurier, first published in her 1952 collection The Apple Tree, and reprinted in the 1963 collection The Birds and Other Stories. It is the story of a part-time farmhand, Nat Hocken, his wife and children Jill and Johnny, as a massive number of birds begin attacking them and presumably the whole of Europe. It is set in Britain, probably at the Cornish coast shortly after the end of World War II, and is thought to have been inspired by the author watching a man ploughing his field, while some seagulls were wheeling and diving above him; Du Maurier developed the idea of these birds becoming hostile and attacking. The east wind which, it is implied, is connected to the birds' attack is a possible reference to the threat of Communism and the Cold War in which the USA and UK were embroiled in the 1950s and 1960s.

The story was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's film of the same name.

Plot summary

Nat Hocken notices an unusual number of birds flying about and behaving strangely along the Peninsula where his family and few others live. They assume this strange behavior has to do with the approaching cold weather. One night, Nat hears tapping in his bedroom window, and when he opens the window to check, he is assaulted by a frightened bird. After a while, the tapping continues, and as he opens the window again, a number of birds strike him and disappear. He then hears screams in the children's room, and rushes to them, only to find hundreds of small birds flying savagely inside. He tries to fight them with a blanket for an undefined amount of time, and when dawn arrives they fly away, except for about fifty of them who lie in the floor dead from crashing against the things in the room and from Nat's attacking. Nat tells the terrified children the birds were only hungry and cold. Jill suggests that if they put bread outside, they'll eat it and go away. The children soon forget the incident.

The next day the weather has completely changed, with a cold, hard east wind and frost. Autumn has rapidly changed into black winter in the preceding night. Nat trips and falls and walks Jill to the bus stop but tells his fellow workers on the Trigg's land about the night's events, but they give it little importance, saying they were only hungry, and the sudden change of weather had stirred them up. As he goes to the beach to dispose of the dead birds' carcasses, he notices over the sea what looks like dark clouds near the coast, but which he soon realizes are tens of thousands of seagulls waiting for the tide to rise. When he gets home, he and his family can hear over the radio that birds are attacking London and many other places in Britain. Nat decides to board the windows up. His wife cannot make sense of what he was doing ("You think they would break in, with the windows shut?"). However he continues to work, not wanting to alarm his wife. After he picks up Jill from the school bus stop, they have to run home. Trigg arrives and offers to give Jill a lift home. He cheerfully claims that Jim (the cowman) and he are unfazed by the announcements and want to have a "shooting match". Nat rejects Trigg's offer to get him a gun and "make the feathers fly" and continues home. Just before he reaches home, the gulls start descending, attacking him, frenziedly stabbing and jabbing with their beaks. Nat barely makes it home -- he is almost killed by a gannet at the doorway.

Soon massive swarms of birds are diving for the house. A national emergency is declared on the radio. Nat is nervous but tries to hide his anxiety from the children and his wife. Many birds crash mindlessly against the house as Nat plans how to survive for a the next few days inside the house while someone brings help. If help will arrive, that is ("Each householder must look after his own").

After they hear several planes crash down as the gulls inevitably strike them down, the noise of the birds recedes, as does the tide near the coast. Nat decides to go out to get supplies from the neighbors. As he goes out, they notice piles of dead birds around the house and some others simply staying still on trees and roofs as they stare at him going to the neighbors' house. He finds the Triggs dead, and thus decides to take all their supplies. He gets back to his house, and in a few hours, the birds resume their attack. He lights a fire. The story ends as Nat smokes his last cigarette, and burns the pack in the fire, while the birds continue their siege on the house.