In Daniel's Story, how does Daniel's father's position as a World War I hero help them in Lodz?

In Carol Matas's novel Daniel's Story, Daniel and his immediate family are, at least at first, exempt from the transports due to his father's status as a World War I hero. The family even receives a small apartment of their own. As time passes, however, Daniel's father's status ceases to matter, and the family is transported to Auschwitz.

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In Carol Matas's Daniel's Story , Daniel and his family are forced to move from their home in Frankfurt, Germany, to the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland, in October of 1941. At first, they are packed into an old school building with sixty people in one room. There is...

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In Carol Matas's Daniel's Story, Daniel and his family are forced to move from their home in Frankfurt, Germany, to the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland, in October of 1941. At first, they are packed into an old school building with sixty people in one room. There is no privacy, not much comfort (for they sleep on wooden planks), little food, limited sanitation, and no heat. The family is shocked by the conditions in the ghetto. “People were actually starving to death,” Daniel explains, in this worst, poorest area of the city (41).

Soon, the dreaded notices arrive for some members of Daniel's extended family. His uncles Leo and Walter and their children and his aunt Leah and her children are facing transports. No one knows exactly where the transports go, but they know it isn't good. Daniel, his parents, and his sister Erika are spared at this point, due to his father's status as a World War I hero. The Germans still recognize his past service, at least for now. Daniel's family also receives an apartment of their own, and officials allow Daniel's grandparents to move in with them.

This doesn't mean the family has an easy life in the ghetto, though. They all work hard on little food and in poor conditions, and they are crowded in their one-room apartment. Illness and terror threaten them constantly. No one is safe, and soon, Daniel's father's status as a World War I hero makes no more difference at all, and Daniel and his family find themselves on a train to Auschwitz.

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