Michlin’s and Kofman’s Memoirs Response Paper
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This midterm must be completed and submitted through GauchoSpace by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 30.
You are required to Choose and Respond to One Essay Prompt.
Your Response Should Be Between 1,400 and 1,700 Words (Times New Roman, 12 Point Font).
Your Response Must Be Written in Essay Format – Introduction Paragraph with Thesis Statement, a Few Paragraphs That Include Evidence Supporting Your Thesis, and a Conclusion Paragraph.
When Citing Evidence from Lectures, Use the Following Format (Lecture #, Slide #). When Citing Evidence from Readings, Use the Following Format (Author’s Last Name, Page #).
You will be graded according to the following criteria:
1) Did you read and follow the instructions?
2) Did you respond to a prompt?
3) Does your response contain a thesis statement and develop an argument?
4) Does your response include evidence from lectures / readings to support your argument?
5) Is your response organized and clear?
6) Is your response grammatically correct?
Although both prompts ask you to focus on the memoirs we have read (which you must do!), you may bring in supporting material from lectures/secondary sources in developing your ideas.
In the book Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, Daniella Doron argues that the search for lost Jewish children in post-WWII France – the “race for the children” – was driven by a “desire to remain faithful to the memory of the dead” (92). As adults, writing memoirs about their wartime experiences, Gilbert Michlin and Sarah Kofman are engaging in their own “race for the children.” They are trying to recover, reconstruct, and communicate their experiences as Jewish children living through WWII in France, and they frequently justify their efforts in terms of “memory.” But how? And why? Compare and contrast the ways in which Michlin and Kofman engage with the theme of memory in their memoirs.
Because of France’s assimilationist tradition, immigrant identity has always been a complicated affair among the French. This was especially true for the children of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in the 1930s. Forced to navigate between different religions, different cultures, different worlds, the choices they made would have momentous consequences for their chances of survival during the Nazi occupation of France in the 1940s. Compare and contrast Gilbert Michlin’s and Sarah Kofman’s relationship to their Judaism and the culture of their immigrant parents. How does this relationship change / how does it remain the same over the course of their memoirs?
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