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Rating: 3 votes, 4.67 average.

Anne's diary and the Holocaust

Posted 06-18-2008 at 03:25 PM by emeraldsky
Updated 07-12-2008 at 10:32 PM by emeraldsky

I've been rereading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I read it in 8th grade, awhile ago. Now I've been reading it over a few months to my son, a little bit each night. (Only had to skip over a few parts, he's young...) She was 13 and 14 when she wrote it. And what a writer she was...

I guess I've just really been touched by her story, even more so since reading it a 2nd time. I can't imagine being hunted, hiding for over 2 years in a confined space. Not being able to play outside in the sun, to run, be loud. To be with old friends and make new ones. Their food was often rotten. They were eating rotten lettuce and potatoes last I read. I can picture her and Peter sitting by that little upstairs window, trying to get fresh air, before they couldn't open it anymore when it became too risky.

I'm glad she had her 1st kiss, and a few extras, before everything else happened. I love her wit and her spunk and her honesty.

I've never been able to wrap my mind around how such a thing could ever happen to a group of people. Mostly, I don't think I'll ever understand how ordinary folk could ever go along with such madness and inhumanity. Why did so many choose to follow Hitler?

"Go dig a hole. Cram men, women and their children inside of it. The babies too. Make sure you humiliate them first. Then shoot 'em. Do it all over again."

"Okay." Like mindless sheep.

What the heck?

If enough good men and women had integrity and courage enough to stand up for what they knew to be right, to stand up for humanity and decency and the fact that we are all equal and should each be treated with dignity and respect, defying the people who would treat human beings otherwise, I can't help but feel it would have gone differently.

Why didn't someone just turn around and shoot Hitler?

I know there were many who did though, risked their lives to help the Jewish people. Freedom fighters like 16-year old Helmuth Hubener and his teenage friends. (Helmuth was executed for treason at age 17.) There were those helping the Franks... I've heard of young women working with nuns to smuggle babies into homes, pretending they were their own, keeping secret records in hopes of reuniting families after the war. People hiding neighbors in cellars or barns. All kinds of individuals who chose to make a difference, putting their lives at risk for what they knew was right, even if they died in their efforts.

I've also been thinking of Cambodia lately, what the people there went through under the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. My brother shared his copy of To Destroy You is No Loss: The Odyssey of a Cambodian Family with me (the book is out of print, hard to find.) Admittedly, it was one of the toughest books I've ever read. My brother warned me it would be. You can't read a true story like that and not think about the value of life ever after...

Anyway... just thinking about injustices and stupid evil people in charge, and hoping we never forget. Hoping we each choose to be the kind of person who stands up for humanity and the value and worth of each individual life.
Posted in people
Views 6562 Comments 17
Total Comments 17


  1. Old Comment
    I cringe at the fact that those in charge of some of the concetration camps could go home at night, after hours of inflicting torture on innocent people, and act like it was just another day at the office. I read the Diary of Anne Frank 2-3 times and another book close to the same as hers, but by a boy at the time and he survived.
    Posted 06-18-2008 at 03:36 PM by arguy1973 arguy1973 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    I read the book when I was a younger girl also... I have several other books about Anne Frank also...
    It is a touching yet horrifying story. I too cannot not imagine how one human could inflict such torture and pain on another human...

    You know you mentioned Hitler and why so many people followed him. I had the honor to be a friend to a holocaust survivor. Her name was Yasha. She was the most gentle kind spirited woman you could ever meet. She told stories of some of her experiences to my sister and I and often a tear would come down her cheek. It humbled us listening to her. But she would often tell us about the sorrow people felt, and about warning her family about Hilter (she was one of the ones that suspected him all along) and no one in her family would listen. Sadly they were some of the first to be murdered... which just broke her heart and mine every time she told us...

    Here is another thought that also comes to mind that is my personal opinon... I am not trying to put down on Obama directly.. but a lot of dictators in the course of history always wait till the economy is depressed, in Germany's Case WWI and other factors... but they wait till that time and preach "Change" and pry on people's emotions. People wanted to have a person to blame, and it first started out as the Jews/Gypsies or outcasts of the society. And as Hitler gained momentum so did the amount of people he killed and tortured aka sympathizers to the Jews/Gypsies and started to kill the handicaped and more...

    That is why to me, it is so dangerous to believe any kind of political figure that preaches "change" yet fails to give you any concrete plans, rhyme or reason as to how this so called "change" will take place... it is a very scary thing to think about...

    Anyways just my 2 cents... I agree it is a very humbling book...
    Posted 06-18-2008 at 04:49 PM by Kristynwy Kristynwy is offline
    Updated 06-18-2008 at 05:40 PM by Kristynwy
  3. Old Comment
    Thanks for your thoughts everyone... arguy1973, do you happen to remember who that boy was, or the title of the book? It would be nice to read about someone who survived... and share that with my son.

    Kristynwy, what an honor to have met Yasha, and to have been able to listen to her stories.
    Posted 06-19-2008 at 02:24 PM by emeraldsky emeraldsky is offline
  4. Old Comment
    no, Ive been racking my brain, trying to remember it too. Maybe I still have it. Ill look!!
    Posted 06-19-2008 at 03:10 PM by arguy1973 arguy1973 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Thanks for checking!
    Posted 06-19-2008 at 06:54 PM by emeraldsky emeraldsky is offline
  6. Old Comment
    I finally found the name of the book, its "My Brothers Voice" by Stephen Nasser.

    Posted 06-20-2008 at 08:49 AM by arguy1973 arguy1973 is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Thank you very much arguy1973 for taking the time to find that title. I just put it on my Amazon shopping list for the next batch of books I purchase. (It's not at my library sadly, but I have a feeling it'll be one I'm glad to have my own copy of.) Thanks again...
    Posted 06-20-2008 at 03:02 PM by emeraldsky emeraldsky is offline
  8. Old Comment
    We had to read the diary of Anne Frank many times in school. She was a brave, spunky girl.
    The horror of that time is very mindboggling........
    I would have shot myself, before shooting another person, gosh forbid,........group of people. Who has a soul that can allow that? Just seeing one train "full" of people would have made me a traitor to that country......because I would have run pennyless, lost, and with no food.........looking to the other side ( US ) for help.
    A story that was a true story, and I also do not remember the name, is one where the American soldiers and the German soldiers happen upon a cabin at Christmas time. Each group sitting on one side of the table while the owners cooked the Christmas Eve meal.
    Their eyes told much......Looking at each other in a friendly way.......knowing they were at war and were enemies. Both sides leaving the cabin the next day.
    Posted 06-20-2008 at 05:34 PM by Summering Summering is offline
  9. Old Comment

    Knowledge is good.

    I think it is good to read and remember the horrors of the Holocaust. I believe it helps to open your heart to all the injustice in our world. Sharing the story with your children helps to open discussions that you may not have any other way.

    In America we have the sad history of slavery that was at first out in the open based on the need for cheap labor. After the Civil War the need for cheap labor began a hidden slavery of sorts. Blacks (in the South) were charged with made up charges - jailed - then they were used for various hard labor jobs that the jailers were paid for their work - not the workers. Blacks were given poor educational opportunities in a effort to control them. This was a commen practice until the late sixties.

    Knowledge is the only way to be free.
    Posted 06-21-2008 at 02:17 PM by Clay Lady Clay Lady is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Summering, that was inspiring to read...

    Clay Lady (I hope you're doing well) I'm glad you brought that up. I was thinking of slavery too when I wrote the above, that huge injustice on our own soil, but had thought I'd already written too much to go on. It is mind boggling to think anyone could ever think it okay to own another human being. And sadly there is slavery going on today in other capacities. Those Jim Crow laws, etc. were a sad, sorry extension of that practice.
    Posted 06-21-2008 at 11:25 PM by emeraldsky emeraldsky is offline
  11. Old Comment
    I was very honored to have met Yasha... Something that will stick with me for the rest of my life... I found an old card from here the other day. She used to write poems in every single card also... They were beautiful... Such a wonderful woman and inspiration to everyone who knew her....
    Posted 06-25-2008 at 02:23 AM by Kristynwy Kristynwy is offline
  12. Old Comment
    I have to add an addendum to this... I just read recently about a brave soul who did actually turn around and try to shoot Hitler. But sadly his plan failed and he was executed for treason. I'm sorry I didn't catch the name, and now don't remember even where I read or heard that. But as sad as it was that he died trying, I think he was a better man for having tried to get rid of the evil, even at peril of his own life, rather than kill for a madman.
    Posted 09-30-2008 at 06:50 PM by emeraldsky emeraldsky is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Also there is a story about a dutch woman, and her family who had a clock store, in Germany. They worked on watches and clocks. They had a secret door, that went to the underground escape routes. I think the Lady who wrote the book, her last name is Boone. She was so courageous. She and her family ended up getting caught and went to concentration camps. She carried a little bible around her neck. Nobody ever saw that bible, and they had to be naked a lot. You know for any body that didn't fear judgement, of the Almighty, it was these monsters. This whole situation was a cover up and a conspiracy from the get go. Racism is unjust and ungodly. It is cruel and it takes someone's identitly and self worth away. The two things that we were created in God's image, like. This is clearly the working of the beast. My heart cries for all the people who are suffering for the cause of evil. Look at Haiti, the people are starving, while food is rotting in their ports. These poor people have consumed all their natural resources and they are eating dirt cookies. This unjustice is too much!!!!!!!!
    Posted 06-25-2009 at 08:51 PM by spiritual sky spiritual sky is offline
  14. Old Comment
    You can make a difference. Find out what is needed in your community and figure out a way to fullfil the need, If everyone did this just in their own neighborhood, we could solve a lot of our problems that we are looking to the government to solve.
    Posted 08-24-2009 at 03:43 AM by yukiko11 yukiko11 is offline
  15. Old Comment
    I was priviliged to study years ago with Dr.Viktor Frankl who opened my eyes to that horrible time period. I have just completed a novel as a testament to my pledge to him to be a witness after he was gone.
    Posted 06-11-2011 at 09:26 AM by Salvatore Tagliareni Salvatore Tagliareni is offline
  16. Old Comment

    Anne's diary and the Holocaust

    Hi, You may also like Friedrich about two young boys who did not hide or leave but stayed to face the horrors with their family and what happened to them. Its very sad I warn you but gives a picture of everyday life.

    Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter:

    If you liked Ann Franc you may also like this one, I could not put it down about a grandmother, mother and daughter from Imperialism to communism and escaping it, also very sad again about ordinery people and everyday life. It was banned in china and most likely still is.

    Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China: Jung Chang .

    The Highland Clearances by John Prebble
    Another factual saddie about injustice to people.

    Hope you get to enjoy them.
    Posted 01-23-2012 at 06:49 PM by sheilacee sheilacee is offline
  17. Old Comment
    well not enjoy I suppose but learn from the strengths of them. They are all factual and they tell how it was for ordinary people in their struggles and to remind us that cruelty comes from ordinary people too, but that their are many people who still have the courage to say no and make a stand for themselves or others.

    Also Alex Hailey's Roots
    Posted 01-23-2012 at 07:07 PM by sheilacee sheilacee is offline

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