Chapter 12: “Discrimination at Home & The U.S.”

Topics Covered

Leaving discrimination in Europe & seeing it in the United States

Quotes 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 discriminaion.”

— Annette Lachmann, 

talking about her 11 year old sister in 1940

Put Yourself in Their Shoes:

In the beginning of the film (Chapter 1), we learned how the teachers and students mistreated Malvina in 6th grade in Belgium. 

In this chapter (Chapter 12), 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."

  1. Why do you think the teachers and students mistreated Malvina? 

  2. Have you ever witnessed people being treated badly because of their race or religion? What did you say or do?

  3. Have you or your family members ever faced discrimination? If so, in what ways?

  4. What are examples of parallels between how Jews were treated in Nazi-occupied Europe and African Americans were treated in the US in 1940?


In the film, Elise Margolius with the National Council of Jewish Women in Virginia says: 

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

      We all just wept."

  1. Why do you think she and her friends cried?

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

Dig a little deeper...

  1. What are some examples of widespread discrimination in the US?

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

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

  4. What is the difference between a bystander and an upstander?

Personal connection...

  1. When did your family come to the US, and why did they come?

  2. What evidence of discrimination, if any, do you see in your school or community?

What's Happening Now

  1. Compare the United States' attitude towards refugees in 1940 with today.

What Can I Do?

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