The German Money Reading Group Questions

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1) The siblings in “The German Money” have a history of disconnection. Do you think that their differences grew out of something unique to the Holocaust, or are Paul, Dina and Simon just like any other troubled family?

2) Do you think the parents in “The German Money” consciously or unconsciously wanted their children not to be close to one another? What might they have done to arrange this?

3) Was Paul’s mother aware of the kind of emotional environment she was creating, or was she just a prisoner of her past?

4) What would it take for relations between Paul and Dina to improve? And is Paul’s closeness to Simon in New York transitory or based on a real shift between them?

5) Would Paul and his brother and sister have turned out differently if they had been raised someplace other than New York City-- say, Ann Arbor?

6) Is Paul’s perception of Mrs. Gordon in the book accurate?

7) Why do you think Paul’s image of New York is so negative?

8) Was Valerie right to encourage Paul even as much as she did, given how he hurt her in the past? How deeply committed to him do you think she is when they are back together again?

9) Can Paul be trusted not to run away from Valerie again?

10) At the end of the novel, has Paul really changed? Is his dream possible, and what price might he pay for trying to make it come true?

11) Looking at the kind of family Paul grew up in, do you think he can make a good husband and parent?

12) Given that some people claim the Holocaust never really happened, despite overwhelming evidence and eyewitness testimony, do people like Paul have an obligation to make sure that the Holocaust is not forgotten? Or is it unfair to ask them to bear a historical responsibility?

13) What do you think the chances are that Paul or his siblings will raise Jewish children?

14) Do Paul, Dina and Simon share anything with the children of other survivors of catastrophe? Or is their situation unique?

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The German Money
PUB DATE: September, 2003
PAGES: 208
TRIM: 6 x 9
ISBN: 0-9679520-0-X
PRICE: $14.95/ Trade Paperback Original

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