Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace
by Masha Gessen
- In her introduction, Gessen wonders, "How much of the past needs to be exposed or examined before there is a future? How much can be forgiven? How much can we understand?" What is your opinion about these questions? Are there any aspects of the past that you think modern historians should avoid dredging up?
- One of the main themes of Gessen's book is whether and how much citizens should compromise their own ideals when living under extreme circumstances or under an oppressive government. Which approach (Ester's or Ruzya's) did you relate to most?
- Ester and Ruzya is a work of history, but in many places, it reads like a novel, both in content and style. Is this a genre you enjoy? What other books fall into this genre category?
- What are the stories that shaped your family in the twentieth century?
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Discussion Questions." (Viewed on June 19, 2021) <https://jwa.org/node/24375>.