‘What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.’
Very often in times of war and suffering inspirational and strong people appear. And if we are lucky, they do not remain silent and anonymous but their stories can be spread around the world. One of those stories is that of Anne Frank.
It was difficult to be a Jew in Germany during World War II (1939-1945) and the family of Anne Frank had to flee to Amsterdam, the Netherlands to escape the Nazis, even before the war began. When Anne was only 13 years old, she had to go into hiding because the Germans had already occupied the Netherlands. She spent two years in a little crowded apartment at the back of the building where her father worked, together with her family and four more people. The little girl loved reading and writing. She started to describe her everyday life in a dairy. Anne wrote not only about her feelings and relationships with the other people living in the ‘Secret Annexe’ – the hiding place but also the influence the war had on her life. She was able to express her beliefs and dreams about the future in such a fascinating and honest way that the diary has been published in more than 60 different languages making Anne Frank one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust.
Anne wrote for the last time on 1 August 1944. Shortly after that she and all the people who were hiding in the apartment were captured and sent to prison. A month later they were deported to various labor camps, including Auschwitz concentration camp where they had to endure horrendous challenges and live in extremely difficult conditions – no food, diseases, sleeping in overcrowded and cold barracks working until they could not stand up anymore. Anne Frank died at the age of 15 in the camp of Bergen-Belsen. Very tragically, the camp was liberated by the British soldiers shortly after that.
Only Anne’s father, Otto, survived the war. He published her diary for the first time in 1947 in Dutch. Since then, it was translated and republished all over the world. When published in English, the book got the name ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ and it was later used as a basis for a couple of award-winning plays and films. So even after her death, Anne Frank became a symbol of all the people who died during the Holocaust. At her young age, with her frank way of writing she gave a voice to the victims who could not speak for themselves!!!
‘Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!’
Jew – a person whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace his or her origins to the ancient Hebrew people of Israel