Analysis Of All But My Life By Gerda Weissmann Klein

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“My experience has taught me that all of us have a reservoir of untapped strength that comes to the fore at moments of crisis,” Gerda Weissmann Klein wrote in All but My Life, a novel that describes her life through the holocaust era. Throughout the novel, Gerda describes her horrific experiences from the different concentration camps she went to and the abuse she faced as a teenager and young adult. Many doctors have written articles on the affects the Nazi abuse had on the survivors lives after the war. The abuse Gerda had gotten from the many SS German Soldiers heavily affected her life as an adult.

Many journalists have written articles about the PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, holocaust survivors have. Gerda Weissmann Klein said
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Many SS guards sexually abused the women and sometimes even men, for their own enjoyment. Luckily, Klein was not one of those girls who was abused in that way. Klein did have advances upon her while she was cleaning a factory at Märzdorf, a concentration camp she attended in 1943. The soldier would give her food in exchange for seuxal intercourse, but Klein did not accept this offer. “He started to walk away, hesitated, and came back. ‘You will be sorry!’ he said before he left” (Klein 148). Many soldiers made this type of agreement with prisoners, most of them did accept the offer. If they did not accept the offer, their lives would become harder like Klein’s did in Märzdorf. Many women would sell themselves for food or the ability to write letters to their loved ones (Chalmers page 188). Klein made an agreement like this, but instead of sexual favors, she traded her mother’s diamond and pearl necklace for poison. “ In October 1942, for example, five women were taken a party in his (Fritz Bartenschlager) apartment, where they were ordered to serve guests nude and were ultimately raped by them and then murdered the next day” (Chalmers page 192). Numerous camps would rape women before they were supposed to die. Many more prisoners were physically abused. Klein recalls a time where she was badly beaten for not knowing who threw the bread. “My face was puffed and bruised, my skin and lips were moist with blood” (Klein page 174). Many prisoners were publicly beaten for the guards own amusement. Klein and other prisoners have been through pain and embarrassment only one can
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