Chapter 12:

"Discrimination at Home & in the US"

Quote from the film:


          “My sister saw separate bathrooms for black people and for white people and separate drinking fountains. She was shocked. She realized it was discrimination and we had just gotten away from that kind of discrimination."

~ Annette Lachmann, 3 years old in 1940


Conversation Starters:

  • In Chapter 1 we learn about how the teachers and students treated Malvina in 6th grade in Belgium.​​

    • Why do you think they treated her that way?​

  • In this Chapter, 11-year-old Malvina says: 

    • ​"I hope the teachers and kids treat me better than they treated me in Belgium. My dad says that we’ll like New York and that we will be safe there, I hope he’s right."

      • What are examples of parallels between how Jews were treated in Nazi-occupied Europe and Blacks were treated in the US in 1940? 

  • Have you ever witnessed someone being treated badly because of their race or religion?

  • In the film, Simone Neufeld says that if the SS Quanza were sent back to Europe the Germans would say: "See? America doesn't want them."

    • Why would America's reputation as a haven for refugees been in question if the SS Quanza passengers were turned away?

Dig a little deeper...

  • What are some examples of widespread discrimination in the US?

  • Who are some people who have spoken up against this discrimination?

  • What are some ways each of us can combat discrimination in the US now?

  • What is the difference between a bystander and an upstander?

  • In the film Elise Margolius says:

    • "I can see their happy smiling faces waving American flags as they waved goodbye and that bus pulled away. We all just wept."

      • Why do you think she cried?​

      • How do small acts of kindness by volunteers make a world of difference?

Personal connection...

  • Have you or your family members ever faced discrimination? If so, in what way?

  • When did your family come to the US and why did they come?

  • What evidence of discrimination do you see in your school or community?

What can I do?