Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941-1968 Topics for Discussion

Heda Margolius Kovaly
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During a daring escape from Nazi incarceration, one of the author's friends states "there's just one thing about this situation that bothers me: the fact that, right now, we exist totally outside of the law" (p. 21). Most citizens in most nations ruled by law consider conformance with the law to be a basic tenet of civilization. Yet in Nazi Germany and Communist Czechoslovakia, the laws demanded impossible things. Discuss your probably reaction to laws which would legalize and subsequently authorize genocide or political executions.

While performing forced labor as an inmate of Auschwitz, Kovály speaks with her 'employer' at some length on one occasion, and informs him of the reality of the workers' lives. He seems simultaneously incredulous and crushed. Do you think it likely, or even possible, that the typical German citizen knew next to nothing about the holocaust? Discuss.

Do you think you would...

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This section contains 310 words
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Buy the Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941-1968 Study Guide
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