The Americans bombed Christine’s village and shot at her and her little brother. Do you think she saw them as saviors or monsters?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 06/19/12
A bit of both. The bombs, the rough treatment of German citizens as enemies, American reactions to her claims regarding her father, all were perceived as acts of monsters (or at least unfriendly enemies). Jake's helpfulness made him a savior, but his gift of food,(combined with prevalent communication about American motives in so doing) was confusing and caused her to react as though he were an enemy. The ultimate resolution of her trip to Dachau came down on the savior side. It's lclear the laungugage barrier played a part in that. And it's hard to see how the Americans could have come of any worse than the German government, given her experiences.
Join Date: 05/19/11
Join Date: 06/13/11
Join Date: 10/20/10
I agree a bit of both.. All the loss of people and properties from the bombing would make her dislike them but
she did have some good experiences with the Americans. She had an interesting thought about the nasty cartoons the Germans were doing of the Americans. She was wondering if the Americans were doing the same about the Germans.
Join Date: 12/07/12
The war took months to wind down even after the fighting stopped. Young soldiers in towns like Christine's were overwhelmed by what they saw at the camps. They had to keep many of the prisoners in the camps until transportation and health care could be provided. They had just stopped fighting the German people. Some behaved well and some didn't with respect to the Germans. I think most Germans were certainly grateful that the war ended, but living under military rule must have been very difficult. The deprivations of war didn't end for a long time. I thought the author did a good job of conveying the problems of living with a conquering army that spoke a foreign language and trying to sort out who was and who was not guilty of war crimes. Some people wanted to face the horrors that had occurred and some wanted to look away. The author showed us how divided so many must have been.
Join Date: 04/14/11
A little of both, I think! If Christine had not gotten the help she needed from the Americans to identify Stefan as still a Nazi and carrying out the Nazi treatment of Jews, she would have been unable to be safe in her own hometown. Her whole family would have been in trouble. I am certain that this happened quite often after WW ll in Germany. I do know that there were many Germans who did not support the Nazi party, but had no choice but to go along with them so that they would stay alive.
Join Date: 01/21/13
Join Date: 04/10/11
I think there is too wide a spread between these two options. Christine was certainly justified in being cautious about the Americans in general, and some soldiers lived up to the conception the Germans must have had about them. But she learned that she could trust Jake, but she trusted him only to a point.
Join Date: 05/22/12
Excellent points made by all of the previous posters! I think the author did an expert job of giving us (readers) this dilemma and I felt Christine's animosity towards the Americans acutely justified but liked how she was portrayed as conflicted---I thought I would have felt similarly.
Join Date: 10/20/10
Both. The American Military had the food. Without the German population, what was left of them. would die. Americans were also the ones who strafed the cities of Germany, Dresden for example. Civilians and all. The death tolls were horrendous.
Join Date: 06/14/11
Interesting question. We, as Americans, would like to think we are the good guys. What a shift to realize we have the potential to do the wrong thing. In this book Americans are pictured as both good and bad but mostly good (or is that simply my mindset?). I'm sure some of our "bad" was necessary to win but I'm equally sure some of our "bad" was unnecessary. War is such an emotional and fearful situation that there is a strong possibility that everyone is bad at some point. Christine thought we were monsters at first but gained a different perspective in Jake.
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