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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 252

1. What is gained by telling the story from Fritz's point of view as he grows up rather than telling it from his parents' or Friedrich's point of view?

2. For what purposes has Richter written this story?

3. In writing fiction, authors frequently make it easy for the reader...

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1. What is gained by telling the story from Fritz's point of view as he grows up rather than telling it from his parents' or Friedrich's point of view?

2. For what purposes has Richter written this story?

3. In writing fiction, authors frequently make it easy for the reader to decide what the right or wrong solutions to problems are. Richter, however, provides no easy answers to decisions the central characters must make. What are some of the dilemmas Fritz's parents face, and why are there no easy answers?

4. What evidence, if any, does the narrative give to indicate that if their roles in German society were reversed, the Schneiders might offer Fritz's family more, the same, or less help than Fritz's family offers the Schneiders?

5. Following the war years, with what emotions might Fritz and his parents remember how they responded to the Schneiders before and during the war?

6. Would the reader's involvement with and sympathy for the Schneider family be different if Fritz were to tell how he and his family feel during each episode instead of just explaining what he sees and hears?

7. What factors in the history of the German people help to explain their behavior during the Third Reich as shown in the novel? What historical factors would lead an analyst to expect different, even opposite, behavior?

8. What factors in the history of the Jewish people help to explain their behavior as shown in the novel? What historical factors would lead an analyst to expect different, even opposite, behavior?

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