The Dark Room Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Rachel Seiffert
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who helps Helmut when he is confronted at the train station?

2. What do Gladigau and Helmut first film with color?

3. What does Helmut notice about the train station?

4. Who helps Helmut obtain consistent food?

5. What makes the children start to fight when Mutti speaks with the farmer?

Short Essay Questions

1. When Germany takes Paris, there is a large celebration. Mutti and Papi attend but they do not ask him to go. When they return they meet him at the train station and leave looking like a happy family. Explain Mutti and Papi's actions.

2. Tomas helps Lore and her family out of trouble and follows them. Why? What does he gain from the situation? Is he just being nice?

3. The new train station guard does not like Helmut immediately. Only after knowing Helmut's current situation, does he help Helmut. Why does the train station guard act this way? What does that say about the bombings in Berlin?

4. As part of Papi's pay, Gladigau takes family portraits while Helmut grows up. How do the family portraits play a role in this story and what progression is observed from when Helmut is a newborn to the last individual photo?

5. During one of Helmut's walks around the city, he encounters the SS collecting and trucking the gypsies away. What is Helmut's reaction to this event?

6. At night, when the bombs are close, Helmut shouts at the noise. Why does he feel this need? What does it do for him?

7. Helmut is cast to the side with the weak during physical education. Helmut tries to "prove himself" for whom and why?

8. Germany attacks its neighbors and gains more lands that are prosperous. Neither Helmut nor anyone in his neighborhood seems to argue the Third Reich's actions. In fact, many boys are signing up to fight the war. Why would some Germans welcome the war and the push into other countries?

9. The Third Reich is at its height when Helmut is a teenager. How does this age and Helmut's life affect his acceptance and loyalty to the Third Reich?

10. Helmut catalogues Berlin through his snapshots. For months, Helmut sees the emptying of the city. When Gladigau interprets the pictures, he sees Berlin as the home it always is. What does Helmut learn about photography from this experience?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the significance of the posted pictures of the Holocaust. Why are they posted? How do the Germans receive them? What issues come up concerning the pictures?

Essay Topic 2

Seiffert rarely specifies time and she never specifies certain ages. Discuss why Seiffert would want to keep places and timing general. How does this help the reader understand these stories are representative of many people and not just one person's story?

Essay Topic 3

Lore and her siblings are children during WWII but are affected by its aftermath. Discuss where the children are coming from as Nazi children. What tribulations do they go through as Nazi children? How responsible are they for their affiliation? How are they punished even if they do not live in camps?

(see the answer keys)

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