Reading Group Questions
1.) In the author’s note, Tulba reveals the history behind Solahütte. What was your reaction upon learning that such a place actually existed? Do you feel it should have been preserved as a memorial for future generations to learn about its heinous past instead of being repurposed into other uses (i.e. today the main building of the lodge serves as a tavern).
2.) Had Becky’s dad not committed suicide, do you think she would have actually turned him in to the authorities as she vowed to do? Why or why not? Do you think Judith, his wife, would have turned him in if she had ever found out the actual truth?
3.) Much of the history of the plight of Jews during World War II in Europe and especially the plight of the survivors of the camps played a role throughout The Dead Are Resting. How did the research affect your reading of the novel? Did you learn new things about the Holocaust and what happened to German Jewish families? Were you inspired after learning about some of the real-life people and events, to do any additional reading of your own?
4.) Do you feel Sam’s anger at his mom killing herself was just? Had she not done so, do you feel Sam and by extension Marta would have survived as long as they did before being deported if they had had to care for her?
5.) Did reading about the heroic actions of Hildegard, Max’s mom, and knowing from the author’s note that individuals like her really existed in Germany during the war, change your perception of the German people?
6.) Had Max never come across Sam at Auschwitz, do you think that after the war, he would have managed to evade arrest? Do you think he still would have lied his way to freedom or successfully hidden his service as an SS officer for the rest of his life?
7.) Do you think as Tulba writes that, in its own way, life was hard as the child of a Holocaust survivor? Do you think it’s safe to assume that these individuals always struggled with issues of identity their entire lives as Becky did?
8.) Which “voice” did you prefer: Becky’s or Max’s? Why? Did you enjoy more Becky’s story in the present or Max’s story in the past?
9.) Even after his death, do you think Becky will always suffer from guilt knowing the role her father played during the war, the crimes he committed?
10.) How do you think Becky’s discovering the truth about her dad will change her identity as a Jew? Do you think she’ll embrace her Jewish side even more now?