Blanka Rothschild

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"You didn't have time to look. You were running, like an animal"

I have always found stories of experiences much more affecting when they are told by the people who actually experienced them. The vocal inflections, pitch variations, and silences are due to an emotional response to the material. When a person tells a story, certain moments are more important than others, and this fact is reflected in their speech patterns.

As Rothschild articulated those moments which were so precious to her, such as the Sedar and the warm feeling opening her home to stranger on the holiday gave her, she paused in between, emphasizing the beginning of each new word. So affecting for was it that her grandparents opened their home on Sedar to orphans and soldiers far from home, because I knew of their fate. That one little anecdote further emphasized the cruelty of the Nazis-how could they persecute shuch benevolent people?

I found the narrator's voice to be too distracting-she glided over moments like the time on the ghetto, Blanka's pain over being separated from her family, and more importantly, time spent in the concentration camps. The narrator basically acted like a fast forward button, and not a transition. Even though the interview was nearly a half hour long, it felt rushed.

I felt as if the horror was over for Blanka and her friends when she divulged a secret: after the liberation of the camps by the Russians, some of the soldiers had raped female prisoners (Blanka hid and escaped this fate). Her voice was calm and steady, which is part of the reason why this moment was so shocking to me; there was no vocal buildup.

back to class

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