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All But My Life

Gerda Weissmann Klein

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Kurt Klein

Kurt Klein

Kurt is an American soldier who helps liberate the remaining girls from the death march, and Gerda believes that he is her soul mate. Kurt was born in Germany, and he moved to the United States a year after Hitler came to power, leaving his parents behind. His parents were put in a camp, and his letters to them were marked “Undeliverable.” The suffering and guilt he feels regarding his parents’ fate allow him to understand Gerda’s feelings, and this helps the two connect more deeply. Intuitively, Kurt understands what Gerda feels and needs, and his instinctual understanding of her makes Gerda believe that they are truly destined to be together. While she is in the hospital, he does not bring her clothes and food, though she needs them, because he wants her to feel that this is a normal courtship and that he does not see her as victim. Although Gerda doesn’t explore his character very thoroughly in her memoir, his deep and abiding love for Gerda, and hers for him, is clear.

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