Lilac Girls: A Novel Quotes

Martha Hall kelly
This Study Guide consists of approximately 99 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lilac Girls.
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Katz was compassionate. A doctor without love is like a mechanic.
-- Herta's Father (chapter 3)

Importance: Spoken by Herta’s father, this line foreshadows Herta’s gradual desensitization and her ultimate downfall: her loss of humanity. From the beginning of the novel, elements of Herta’s desensitization have seeped into her speech and language, as she dehumanizes Jewish people, coldly repeating the words of Nazi propaganda. When she arrives at camp, Herta is made to lethally inject a female prisoner, and her colleague, Fritz, tells her to think of them, “as sick dogs needing to be put down” (122). When a psychiatrist at camp visits Herta, he comments on how her desensitization has affected Herta’s psyche: “you can’t possibly be indifferent to it all. It’s not in your nature to end lives, Herta. You’re no doubt experiencing psychic numbing” (264). By the end of the Herta’s story, her father’s prediction, that...

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This section contains 1,746 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lilac Girls: A Novel Study Guide
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