Seeds: Today (August 4th) marks the day that Anne Frank and her family were captured by the Nazi Gestapo in 1944. Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who went into hiding with her family in an attic for approximately two years before they were captured and taken to a concentration camp by the Nazis. Anne, a young and excitable girl, put her significant energy into writing about her experiences, exploring the way she felt about self-exploration, hatred, optimism and even her own sexuality.
Core: Once the family was caught, they were first sent to Camp Westerbork in the Netherlands, but were later transferred to the Auschwitz camp in Poland. Separated from her family, Anne was forced into labour for months. Later, she was sent to a concentration camp in Germany called Bergen-Belsen with her sister where they both died of typhus. Anne Frank’s diary was found years later by a few family friends in the attic the Frank family hid in back in 1942. Initially, Otto, Anne’s father and the only Frank to survive the war, hesitated about publishing his late daughter’s diary, but decided to when he accepted that that’s what she would have wanted.
Skin: Anne Frank’s diary has since been translated into inumerous languages, touching the lives of people across the world. It has become both a literary classic, historic milestone, and reminder of what can happen when we give into hatred.
Leaves: Most are familiar with the painful fact that approximately 6 million Jews were murdered in concentration camps during World War II. While this statistic itself is a powerful one, the diary of Anne Frank give us a glimpse into how these atrocities affected the life of one 15 year old girl. This not only helped others empathize with the ineffable terror of the situation, but it also humanized the reality of the war. With her diary, Anne Frank reminds us that “hate is a common emotion and it’s not to be denied, but it’s not to be acted upon for the good of the community,” and urges us to refute hate, particularly of a certain population, especially before it escalates into genocide.
Food for Thought: What do you think about the impact Anne Frank's Diary has made? Have you read it yourself?