[ An End to Intolerance (Volume 5 -- June 1997) ]


Book Review
Friedrich



By Keenan Dalal
Grade 8
Mrs. Dordon's Class

Friedrich, a novel written by Hans Richter, is a marvelous book for young adults, set during the tragic reign of Hitler and his Nazis, in the 1930s and 1940s. The chapters of the book are titled by the years that went by.

[ 'Friedrich' Cover ]

The Holocaust was probably one of the most disastrous events that has ever touched the earth. The worst thing about it is that the Holocaust wasn't because of some natural power, like the reason dinosaurs became extinct. It was caused by a group of people trying to exterminate other people of a different religion. Humans, separated only by religion, killed one another because they felt it was right.

This book is an extremely sad book, told through the eyes of a German boy, whose best friend, Friedrich, is a Jew. The beginning of the book tells how lucky Friedrich was. Friedrich's family had a good home and plenty of money. He was fortunate because in Germany in the early 1930's, many were unemployed. When Hitler came to power, things started to change drastically for both boys. Friedrich was expelled from school, and then his mother died and his father was deported. All this horror just for one thing; Friedrich was Jewish.

A memorable part of this book is very sad. Friedrich had been expelled from a public school because he was Jewish, and he was sent to a Jewish school. The narrator who is the German boy is in a public school for Germans. In gym class they went out for a hike. On the way, the kids from the German school met the kids from the Jewish school, where Friedrich went. The German gym teacher told the kids to recite a poem, about Jews. "Crooked Jews are marching along, They're marching through the Red Sea. The waves close over them. And the world is at peace!"

Just imagine saying something like this to your best friend.



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