Student Question

What was ironic about Auntie Leah’s and Mia’s deaths in Daniel's Story?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Auntie Leah was Daniel's mother's older sister. She was a nurse. Auntie Leah and Uncle Peter had four children: Friedrich, Mia, Gertrude and Brigitte.

At Lodz, those considered unfit for hard labor were simply deported. Those chosen for deportation were usually very young children, the old, and the infirm. All were sent to their deaths in gas chambers. At Lodz, Auntie Leah and her children were only allowed to stay because she managed to convince the Germans that she would be of use to them as a nurse. Uncle Leo and his two sons, and Uncle Walter and his whole family were not so lucky: they had to obey the deportation notices sent to them. However, the chairman of the ghetto soon made a terrible announcement. All children under ten and those who were old would be deported anyway.

When the raid came (to root out those who would be deported), Auntie Leah and Mia were both spared. Mia was tall and healthy looking for her age. Her two younger sisters, Brigitte and Gertrude, were chosen for deportation. However, when Auntie Leah refused to leave her two little girls, all three were promptly shot in the head by the German officer. Mia screamed and ran to her mother and sisters, but she was thrown into the truck-this meant that she would share the same fate as the others at the gas chambers.

So, what was ironic about Auntie Leah and Mia's deaths?

Auntie Leah evaded the first deportation notice only to be shot down in cold blood with her two daughters. Mia, tall and healthy looking, ended up sharing the fate of those who were old, infirm and weak. Both Mia and Auntie Leah died at the merciless hands of Nazi officers despite meeting certain initial requirements that allowed them to live.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial