Settela is a book about the discovery of an Untold Story.  Dutch Journalist Aad Wagenaar, intrigued by the image of a young girl in a headscarf being put on to a cattle truck at Camp Westerbork in a Nazi film which details a day in the life of the camp, traced who this little girl was.  Years of research led him to discover that this image which had been used to illustrate the deportation of Jews from Westerbork to Auschwitz was actually that of 9 year old Anna Marie Steinbach, a 9 year old Sinti (Gypsy) girl.  Her Gypsy name is Settela.  She was murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Discussion Questions

Please note that some of these questions will act as spoilers for the book.

1. Settela appears in the part of the film titled Arrival and Departure – why is this relevant?

2. what motivates Aad to research this story?

3. Aad speaks to many survivors in his search for Settela.  Why do you think there are some discrepancies in the accounts they give?

4. Aad visits a Gypsy community in Holland.  Why is it surprising that the community speak with him and welcome his visit?

5. did you find it odd that the Nazis commissioned a film about life in Camp Westerbork?

6.  how can we ensure that Settela’s Untold Story is shared more widely?

You can use HMD resources to find out more about:

The Gypsy experience under the Nazi regime, The Porrajmos

Readers of Settela may also be interested in reading Settela’s Last Road by Janna Eliot which is a fictional account of Settela’s story, inspired by Aad Wagenaar’s book.

Download this book group activity