The First Seven Years Historical Context

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Polish Jews and the Holocaust

"The First Seven Years" is set in New York City in 1949 when the world was still coming to terms with the horrors of the Holocaust. The Holocaust refers to the killing of six million Jews in death camps by the Nazis during World War II.

Two characters in the story are Polish Jewish immigrants. Feld remembers his life as a youth in a Polish Jewish village, or shtetl, and he appears to have lived in America for some years. He may have arrived at the end or shortly after the first wave of Polish immigration to the United States in 1914.

The next wave of Polish immigration came in the 1940s, as a result of World War II. The second character, Sobel, arrived as a refugee in about 1944. Feld believes Sobel must have experienced terrible things at the hands of the Nazis, escaping "Hitler's...

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This section contains 876 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The First Seven Years Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The First Seven Years from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.