The German Girl
by Armando Lucas Correa
Discussion Questions:
1. “I was almost twelve years old when I decided to kill my parents.” The book opens on a pretty dark scene in which Hannah believes death is the best way out of her current situation. Why do you think she feels this way? How does this set the tone for the rest of the book?

2. Consider Hannah’s reaction to being called “dirty” and then her reaction to being confused for an Aryan and ending up on the cover of Das Deutsche Mädel.

3. When Alma boards the St. Louis, she is wearing her best outfit and jewelry. Why is it so important for her to dress well as she leaves Germany? What message is she trying to send?

4. People praised The German Girl as “a timely must-read.” There are telegraphs and various news headlines interspersed throughout Hannah’s journey on the St. Louis, broadcasting the political climate and crises of the time. How do these compare to today’s headlines and crises?

5. Had you heard of the tragedy of the St. Louis prior to reading this book? How would those refugees have benefited from today’s social media exposure versus the newspaper coverage of the time?

6. Why does Hannah’s family feel betrayed by her brother’s involvement in the Cuban Revolution? How is it similar to their experience in Berlin prior to leaving Germany for Cuba?

7. There are many parallels in The German Girl. Among them are Alma’s and Ida’s reactions to grief, forcing their daughters to assume more responsibilities at a young age. What do you think of their insistence upon wanting to erase the past to make the present more bearable? Does this coping mechanism ever really help?

8. Compare and contrast Hannah and Anna and their reactions to loss. How have the tragedies experienced by the Rosenthals bound them together and affected the other?

9. The 907 passengers who were not allowed to disembark in Cuba—and were later also rejected by the United States and Canada—found refuge in Great Britain (288), the Netherlands (181), Belgium (214), and France (224), before all but those taken in by Great Britain were claimed by the war. What do you think happened to the passengers in the moments before they disembarked in those countries? How do you think the locals reacted to their arrival?

10. Hannah keeps the little blue box all those years without ever opening it. Why do you think she kept her promise? What did you expect Hannah to find in the little blue box?

11. What does Anna represent for the Rosen family? Why was it important for Anna to meet Hannah and finally bring closure to their family history?

(Discussion Questions By Publisher)
Book Club Talking Points:
It's hard to understand the policies in place that caused a ship of 900 Jewish refugees making a transatlantic journey to escape the horros of the Natzis, to be denied entry. It's even harder to comprehend the depth of despair these people must have felt when their hope of living was taken away.

These refugees were refused entry by Canada and The United States. Prior to this many were sent back because there were unable to pay the fee to Cuba, which was their first stop. Although there are differences, it's easy to compare these events to the refugee situation today. History repeats itself - we must remember to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Like many Holocaust books- there are many tragic circumstances covered in this book.

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