Do you believe Mutti was right to keep Frau Rattelmüller’s letters from Elsie? What may have happened if she hadn't kept the secret?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 09/01/11
Elsie's mothers was trying to protect her daughter in a world that was unbelievably frightening. I'm not sure that things would have been that different for Elsie or Tobias other than knowing that they had both survived. I would like to think they would have kept in touch and maintained a fondness throughout the years
Join Date: 04/29/12
I don't think it was right of Mutti to keep the letters from Elsie. Elsie's act to save Tobias is an honorable and selfless one. She saved him from a terrible fate and I think she would have been relieved to know that he made it out of Nazi Germany alive.
Join Date: 04/21/11
Amen Barrabas! I agree with you completely. I thought about this question last night and your premise was to be my answer this morning.
It was a shame Mutti waited so many years to tell Elsie about her sister's death. I don't feel her reasoning was very stable. And then--for Tobias to write to Elsie 62 years after he escaped was heartless. No excuse there! Poor Elsie was shafted all around.
Join Date: 06/16/11
I think Mutti thought she was doing the right thing but I also think that no one really has the right to keep such information from someone else. Elsie may have been technically still a child but her circumstances had matured her beyond her years and to have done the very courageous thing she did and be denied the knowledge that it had in fact had a good ending really was very cruel. The good news, the bad news or whatever I think we need to have access to it so that we are living in true reality not the reality our parents with all good intentions try to create for us. Mutti in this instance was somewhat similar to Reba'a mother who tried always to portray the home life as something it really was not.
Join Date: 04/10/11
Even though it added an element of suspense to the story, I don't think it was right for Mutti to keep the letters. Elsie and Tobias might have been in touch, instead of Tobias' appearance after Elsie's death.
Join Date: 05/10/12
It was unclear to me why Mutti actually kept the letters away from Elsie. My first thought would be fear of discovery and punishment but that makes no sense since she kept the letters herself and didn't destroy them. Considering that Mutti had been brave enough to confide her personal history to Elsie earlier in the story it surprised me that she wouldn't have the strength to address the letters with Elsie
Join Date: 04/21/11
I don't think it was right to keep the letters from Elsie but I believe Mutti thought it was best. However,
she and Tobias could have kept in touch along the years and had a beautiful friendship. We never know
why people keep things from us - they have their reasons even though we would not agree.
Join Date: 03/11/12
Mutti like many of us think by shielding others especially our love ones from painful facts that we are doing the loving think to protect them when in fact it is just the opposite. It is how we share news not if we share bad news that makes the difference.
Join Date: 01/12/12
I definitely don't feel it was right but I agree with others who said individuals have their own reasons for doing the things they do. Mutti must have felt it was necessary and made her choice accordingly. On the outside looking in, I believe that was wrong, but if I were in her shoes would I feel the same?
Join Date: 09/05/11
I wish that Mutti had shared the letters with Elise because then the relationship established under such trying circumstances could have been developed in the book. That would have added a further dimension to the book as a bridge between the German story and the Texas story; I think that we would have learned more about Tobias as well as about Elsie's married life. I think that those omissions created a gap that meant we did not get to follow these characters as fully as we did in the German part of the book. Of course, that probably would have demanded that the Texas story would have been left out or developed in a follow-up book.
Join Date: 06/13/11
I'm sure that Mutti had her reasons, probably more involved in protecting Elsie, remember that this was the end of the war and things were still in flux. It is too bad, however, that she did not let Elsie know as then Elsie and Tobias might have kept up their friendship. I'm not sure what this would have added to the book as to me the book is more of a comparison of how people react to events around them and we know that both Elsie and Tobias made their place in the world.
Join Date: 04/15/11
Mutti thought she was doing the right thing by keeping the letters from Elsie, because things were so volatile during that time & people could not be trusted. I think she did what she thought she had to do at that time. If things had been different, she may have given the letters to Elsie. If she had given them to her, I don't think things would have changed for Elsie, except piece of mind.
Join Date: 06/28/11
I don't think she was right, although, initially, it may have seemed to Mutti to be the prudent thing to do. Knowing Tobias's fate would have been such a relief for Elsie, and they may have forged a lifelong relationship. I think Mutti just wanted to put those years behind, forever.
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