How much do you know about your family history? How many generations back does that knowledge go?
Are older relatives and the stories they may have shared about their lives part of your memories about growing up? What kind of effect do you think they had on you and your sense of who you are?
Daniel Mendelsohn talks in his book about the "hinge generation"--the last generation of people who will have had direct contact with the people who lived in the WWII era and who will be responsible for keeping their stories alive and passing them on to future generations. Discuss ways in which we can ensure that those stories are passed on to future generations.
What began as a trip to Bolechow became a journey into the past that took Daniel Mendelsohn all over the world... Were you surprised at the reactions of any of they people he met along the way? Did you expect him to find out as much about his family's fate as he did?
Do you think our families' histories play a big part in shaping who we are as Americans?