Summer of My German Soldier

by Bette Greene

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In Summer of My German Soldier, what topic does Patty question why the adults talk about because it always upsets them?

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Talk in Patty's household often turns to war, even though, as her mother acknowledges, it can be quite an upsetting experience. In a fit of exasperation, she wants to know why everyone always talk of "war, war, war," never about anything pleasant like clothes or parties.

The problem, however, is that it's virtually impossible to avoid broaching the subject. Patty and her family are Jews, and so they're especially interested in a war in which so many of their co-religionists are being systematically murdered by the Nazis.

At the same time, Patty's father would rather that Stalin were on Hitler's rather than the Americans' side; that way it would be possible to kill two birds with one stone, two brutal dictators who, in different ways, are hostile to the Jewish people.

It's inevitable, then, that Patty's family should closely follow all the news of the conflict. They want to see Hitler and his allies defeated as soon as possible. Inevitably, this means that conversation in Patty's household will often revolve around decidedly unpleasant matters, but under the circumstances, that simply can't be avoided.

Still, in this particular case, Patty's mother gets her way, and the conversation quickly turns to a much more agreeable topic: the forthcoming trip to New York that Patty's relatives will soon be taking.

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