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HAna’s Suitcase By Karen Levine
1. What does “waisenkind” mean in German?
(Orphan) pg. 2
2. Over what time period does the story of Hana’s Suitcase take place?
(70 years – from 1930-2000)
3. What is the mass murder of people because of their race, religion, or ethnicity called?
4. Where was Hana Brady from?
(the town of Nove Mesto, in the province of Moravia, in Czechoslavakia) pg. 5
5. Who were the members of the Brady family?
(Father – Karel, mother – Marketa, Hana, and big brother George. They lived above their general store) pg.6
6. Who is Fumiko Ishioka?
(She is the director of a small museum in Tokyo called the Tokyo Holocaust Center, dedicated to teaching Japanese children about the Holocaust) pg. 10.
7. How is the Tokyo Holocaust Center funded and why?
(It is funded through an anonymous Japanese donor “who wanted to contribute to global tolerance and understanding” and wanted Japanese children to know more about this period of history
8. Why is attention to the Holocaust relatively new in Japan?
(Japan was an ally of Nazi Germany during WWII. So it is reasonable that they did not want to shine attention on the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
9. How did Fumiko Ishioka get the suitcase?
(She got it from the Auschwitz Museum (pg. 12). She was trying to gather physical objects to help the Japanese children understand what had happened to millions of Jewish children. She contacted Holocaust museums all over the world for a loan of artifacts. She traveled to Poland and spoke to the asst. director of a museum at Auschwitz, the most well known concentration camp, and begged for what she wanted. She received: a child’s sock and shoe, a child’s sweater, a can of Zyklon B poisonous gas, and one suitcase – Hana’s suitcase.) Pp.11-12
10. What is Kristallnacht?
(In Germany, “when gangs of Nazi thugs roamed through Jewish neighborhoods, breaking windows in homes and stores, burning synagogues, and beating people in the streets.”) pg. 18
11. What did Hana and her brother, George, put in the bottle they buried in their backyard? (lists of things they were unhappy about, angry about, and missed, along with lists of things they would do when times changed.) pg.25-26
12. What did Hana’s father do to be able to hear the news on the radio and still be home by the 8 p,m. curfew set by the Nazis?
(He asked the keeper of the church clock to set the clock back 15 minutes in the early evenings so the Nazi guard that patrolled would not realize it was past 8 p.m.) pg 26
13. What was the name given to the Czech town of Terezin by the Nazis (Theresienstadt) and what was significant about this town? (The Nazis changed it from a “pretty little town” to a ghetto, “a walled, guarded, overcrowded prison town to hold Jews who had been forced to leave their homes.” – pg. 28. From Thereseienstadt people were moved to the death camps.)
14. What was the “Gestapo”? (the German secret state police, much feared) pg. 31
15. Besides the suitcase, what else was Fumiko able to get that belonged to Hana?
(Several drawings that Hana did – pg. 33-34, letter and birthday gift (bread heart) sent from Hana’s mother from Ravensbruck in May, 1941)
16. What was the repercussion when a Jewish man rebelliously didn’t wear the yellow star on his clothing? September, 1941
(The Nazi officer in charge ordered that Nove Mesto must be made judenfrei, free of Jews, immediately, and they rounded up adults the very next day.) pg 39 (Hana’s father was taken to the Iglau Gestapo prison.) pg.48
17. What was “Small Wings”?
(a club whose mission it is to let others know about what they were learning about the Holocaust and Hana.) pg.41 (Members are ages 8-18 and they write newsletters and make videos) pg.98
18. Who did Hana and George go to live with after both parents were taken prisoner?
(their Uncle Ludvik, a Christian married to their father’s sister, Hedda.) pg.44
19. When were Hana and George deported and to what place were they sent?
(May, 1942, they were sent to Theresienstadt.) pp. 49-52
20. What was the name of the art exhibit set up by Fumiko in June, 2000?
(“The Holocaust Seen Through Children’s Eyes”) pg. 53
21. What does “Kinderheim” mean?
(children’s home) pg. 61
22. What was the bad luck Fumiko faced when she arrived in Terezin in July, 2000?
(The museum offices were closed for a holiday.) pg. 62
23. What is the name of the song that Hana would sing in the secret music classes when it was her turn to choose?
(“Stonozka,” the centipede song, about not feeling sorry for yourself – imagine having sore feet and being a centipede!) pg.66
24. What was it that Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, their art teacher in Kinderheim L410, wanted her students to think of when they drew?
(She wanted them to think of space and freedom, to help them forget their brutal surroundings.) pg. 68
25. What was the name of the game, based on Monopoly, that the inmates invented?
26. Where did Hana die?
(Auschwitz) pg. 83
27. What important piece of information did Fumiko learn from the lists shared with her by Ludmila in Terezin in July, 2000?
(She learned that Hana’s brother, George, had not been killed and the name of a man who had been his bunkmate in Theresienstadt.) pg. 83
28. How was Mr. Kurt Kotouc able to help Fumiko?
(He told her George Brady was alive and living in Toronto, Canada, and gave her his address.) pg. 88
29. What became of George Brady? (He eventually moved to Toronto, Canada, married, had children, and opened a plumbing business with a partner who was also a Holocaust survivor.) pg.97
30. In the end, which of Hana’s wishes does George realize has come true?
(that she would be a teacher. Because of her thousands of children were learning about the Holocaust… and the most important values in the world – tolerance, respect, and compassion.)pg.105
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