I’ve just finished reading The Diary by Anne Frank.
And it hit me so much that I just couldn’t keep my mouth (or fingers) shut.
Because, even though this article might be read only by a few people, she deserves to be remembered, together with all those people killed during Holocaust.
Anne Frank’s diary is amazing. I really admire her for wanting to have her innner thoughts and feelings published and read by thousands of people.
During reading, I have grown to like her, to understand her and her feelings in this problematic period of life when one goes through puberty. But growing up was much harder for Anne Frank than it is for the rest of us. Because she was imprisoned in a small house for two whole years without any chance to go outside, to play with friends or to enjoy the sunshine while lying on the grass. And why? Because she was a Jew. And such ridiculous reason caused the murder of millions of people.
Anne’s parents – Otto Frank, who was the only one from 8 arrested Jews to have survived a concetration camp, and Edith Frank, who died in Auschwitz-Birkenau on the 6th of January 1945 from hunger and exhaustion.
After I finished reading, I looked at myself into the mirror and I thought:
“Why was I given the chance to grow up and she wasn’t?”
She was nearly sixteen when she died in Bergen-Belsen a few days after her sister Margot. She didn’t even have the chance to properly grow up, to enjoy the beauties of young adulthood. She had dreams, wishes and goals. She loved studying, reading, she was so hardworking. She knew abour her faults and she tried to be a better person every single day. She spoke German, Dutch, French and English. She grew mentally so much during those 2 years. She wanted to go back to school, to learn, to become a writer. And she didn’t. She didn’t have enough time.
Her sister was as hardworking as she was and she wanted to become a nurse. Instead, she died in such a young age.
Anne’s sister Margot Frank who died in Bergen-Belsen during February-March in 1945 because of a typhus epidemic just a few days before Anne. Their bodies are probably buried in a communal grave in Bergen-Belsen.
When they teach us about Holocaust at school, it all sounds a bit too abstract. We learn the numbers, the names of concentration camps and the way all those people died. I remember leaving our History lessons really sad when we were taught about this topic. But it’s still… not enough concrete to touch everyone, I think. I mean, I don’t know how many people feel this way, but when it comes to Holocaust, there are questions that I just cannot get out of my head:
‘Who were those people who were killed? What was their biggest dream? What did they appreciate the most? What was their favourite colour? Were they afraid of Death?’
And I thought I would never get the answer. But Anne Frank’s diary IS the answer. It’s one of the few things that can really show us somebody real, somebody who felt, who wondered about life and the world, who asked questions and who desired to live so much. And yet she became only a number in a crowd of abstract people that we learn about. But that’s the thing. All of them were concrete, not abstract. They had lives before the concentration camp, they loved someone, they had some favourite food, some goals in life, they were particular beings with particular souls inside of them. And they all died just BECAUSE. Because. A dot.
Peter van Pels, a friend of Anne whose family lived with the Franks in the hiding. He died in Mauthausen only three days before the liberation.
It makes me so sad that there are people today who say that Holocaust wasn’t real. I mean, how can they even say such a thing? After all these innocent lives were treated as things and systematically murdered? With all the evidence we have? With a few people alive who still remember those times and even experienced being in a concentration camp?
Saying that Holocaust didn’t happen is such a disecration of those millions of people. It’s a disecration of Anne Frank and her family and friends, it’s a disecration of all those Jews and other people killed during the II. World War.
I would like to mention the rest of 8 Jews hiding with Anne Frank. First – Hermann van Pels, who was killed shortly before the gas chambers were stopped (probably in November 1944). Auguste van Pels, whose death isn’t known and who was deported to Auschwitz, then to Bergen-Belsen, to Buchenwald and to Terezín. Fritz Pfeffer died on the 20th of December 1944 in Neuengamme.
We need to be reminded of Holocaust and of all those horrors of the 20th century. It’s essential for the human kind to be remembered, because if we ever forget, there is nothing stopping us in doing it again. And causing the deaths of innocent people, who just want to live in peace, again.
Anne Frank wrote:
‘It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are good at heart.’
Everyone, please let’s never forget Anne Frank and Holocaust. Please, let’s prove Anne Frank was right. Let’s prove that we are good at heart.