Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Readings on Anne Frank and her family


Survivor Stories and a Virtual Museum...

Timeline of the Holocaust...

Anne Frank Virtual Museum...

Child War site... Why do we continue to care about children affected by war?

The following essays on Anne Frank were taken from...


The human costs of war

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 13, 1999

Chapter 1
". . . Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."
— preamble, Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

This year's Newspaper in Education series

Anne Frank: Lessons in human rights and dignity
Introduction and Web Links

The 20th century has been one of remarkable achievements and human progress. But the 20th century is also one of repeated genocide (from genus, which means "people," and cide, which means "killing"; that is, the intentional killing of innocent people belonging to a targeted group) and war. Over and over again under the cover of war, planned killing of civilians, of one group by another, has taken place.
From 1914 to 1917, World War I, and from 1939 to 1945, World War II, the ideas and tools of the modern era were harnessed for destruction, not construction. Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States, called World War I the "war to end all wars." In the Great War, more than 8.5-million people died in battle. There were millions of civilian deaths in addition to the state-sanctioned genocide of more than 1-million Armenian people by the Turkish government.
Anne Frank and her family hid in Holland for more than two years to try to escape extermination at the hands of Adolf Hitler. Eventually she was discovered and sent to a concentration camp.
[Photos from “Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary”]

Two decades later, Adolf Hitler, in planning the elimination of people that resulted in the Holocaust (from the Greek term for "total burnt offering"), the destruction of 6-million Jews and 5-million Gypsies, Poles, homosexuals, mentally and physically disabled people and other non-combatants, remarked, "Who today speaks of the Armenians?"
Since 1945, genocides have taken place in many regions, including Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. How can the 21st century realize the much-talked-about global economy and civil society unless war, genocide and conflict stop?

A young refugee looks out from behind a fence last week at an airport in West Timor, Indonesia, after escaping from East Timor, where militias have been terrorizing the population, causing thousands to flee.
[Photo: AP]

Alternative ways to resolve disputes, early warning systems and an international peace force are ways to detect, as well as prevent or stop, conflict and genocide.
Significant laws, some created in reaction to the genocidal atrocities of World War II, have been established through the United Nations to create international human rights standards. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) are three important human rights tools.
Education, from the Latin educare, "to lead out," is an important way to lead ourselves out of the trap of prejudice and hatred. Trapped in an annex in Nazi-occupied Holland for more than two years, Anne Frank read and wrote. She was frightened as she wrote of being "hunted like slaves of long ago" but also nurtured by her family and helpers who brought food, books and writing materials.
"It's utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I'll be able to realize them!"
-- Anne Frank, 15, written July 15, 1944
Learning about the Holocaust and issues in WWII, will  help you lead yourself toward becoming a more engaged citizen. By increasing awareness of the importance of law and human rights, we all are enriched and can work toward a safer, more accepting community and world in the 21st century.

A Family Flees Intolerance

When Anne Frank's family witnessed the Nazis' prejudice and their cruelty to Jews, they knew they must leave Germany. When the Franks moved to the Netherlands, life seemed normal again to the children, but the parents still had a lot to worry about.


Chapter 2

When Anne Frank put this photo in her diary, she wrote, “This is June 1939 . . . Margot and I had just got out of the water and I still remember how terribly cold I was.” Granny sits behind the girls. Less than a year later, Hitler invaded the Netherlands
[Photos from “Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary” ]

ay in and day out in our own communities, we are challenged to learn to live, care about and respect each other as human beings. In order to achieve these goals, we must reduce prejudice (prejudging people, or making assumptions about them before we know any facts about them) and take a stand against violence and hatred. Goals for the 21st century include equality, justice, economic opportunity, a safe environment and the end to conflicts.
Today, 70 years after Anne Frank was born, the struggle to promote democratic ideals and take positive action in the face of injustice and the suffering of millions of people all over the world continues, from the former Yugoslavia to Sierra Leone to Guatemala to Rwanda to East Timor.
Today, 70 years after Anne Frank was born, there are hate crimes, injustices and violence in the United States, too. Becoming involved in our communities and being active citizens through volunteering to help others and not tolerating prejudice are ways to strengthen our democracy.
Just as Anne Frank wrote about the importance of trying to hold onto our ideals in the face of prejudice, violence and genocide, each of us must choose to nurture respect for each other, thereby fostering human dignity.

* * * *

Anneliese Marie Frank, known to the world as Anne Frank, was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, on June 12, 1929. She was the second daughter of Otto and Edith Frank. Anne and her older sister, Margot (Feb. 6, 1926), were born in the post-World War I era. The Franks were German citizens under the laws of the Weimar Republic (1918-33).

This year's Newspaper in Education series

Anne Frank: Lessons in human rights and dignity
Introduction, previous chapters and Web Links

Otto Frank and his brothers were in the German Army during World War I, as was Austrian-born Adolf Hitler, who volunteered for the Bavarian Regiment. Both Otto's and Edith's families had lived in Germany for generations. While the Franks were German, they also were of Jewish background and Otto and Edith Hollander Frank were married in a liberal Jewish ceremony.
'Who today speaks of the Armenians?'
World War I brought mass destruction and death, including the first genocide of the 20th century -- the killing of more than 1-million Armenians by the Turkish government and its accomplices. This genocide was not acknowledged by the government and no individual was prosecuted for the deaths, signals that mass murder of certain "excess" people could be gotten away with. Hitler purportedly stated, "Who today speaks of the Armenians?"
The defeat of Germany, the end of the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the establishment of Germany's first democratic government, the Weimar Republic, were among the tumultuous events of the time.
Europe was struggling to recover from World War I and get used to its newly drawn map. Some countries, such as Germany, lost territory. New states and boundaries, for example in Poland and Czechoslovakia, were created. Following the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia and unsuccessful coups in Germany and elsewhere, world tensions increased, communist and fascist regimes grew and nationalistic interests competed.
The Franks flee Germany
A decade after the end of World War I, massive unemployment and economic depression gripped Germany. The popular myth that Germany had been stabbed in the back (Dolstosslegend) by its enemies, who supported the peace agreement, and appeals to right the wrongs of the Versailles Peace Treaty contributed to the growing popularity of radical, anti-democratic parties on the right.
In 1933, the National Socialist Democratic Workers Party (Nazis) promised bread and work, restoration of Germany's greatness and the Aryan race's supremacy, and destruction of the Weimar Republic and its supporters. Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer or head of the party, was an astute politician and virulent anti-Semite.
The Nazi Party received 37 percent of the votes in a multiparty election, and Hitler became German chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933.
The Nazis used political terror and violence to eliminate their political opponents as well as to target non-Aryans who they considered enemies. Nazi ideology held that the Aryan race, or people of Teutonic background, were superior. (Teutonic refers to the people from Northern Europe, including Germans, Scandinavians, Dutch and English.) Hate-filled, anti-Semitic propaganda labeled the Jews among those responsible for Germany's economic and political problems and accused them of being stab-in-the-back conspirators.
Starting in 1933, the 500,000 Jews in Germany, around 1 percent of the population, became victims of laws that stripped them of their rights as German citizens ("only members of the Aryan race can be German citizens") and as human beings. Violent acts against Jews and their property, such as Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass, 1938) followed. The Franks, among the earliest groups of German Jews to leave their German homeland, immigrated to Amsterdam, Holland, in the hope of a safer, better future.
Anne wrote in her diary:
"I lived in Frankfurt until I was 4. Because we're Jewish my father immigrated to Holland in 1933. My mother, Edith Hollander Frank, went with him to Holland in September, while Margot and I were sent to Aachen to stay with our grandmother. Margot went to Holland in December, and I followed in February, when I was plunked down on the table as a birthday present for Margot."
-- The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank,(Doubleday, 1995)
After seven years in Amsterdam, Anne Frank felt at home in the family's apartment at 37 Merwedeplein. She and her sister attended school, went to the beach and had Jewish refugee and Dutch friends. Anne attended a Montessori preschool followed by a regular grade school and was encouraged by her parents to read, study and enjoy her friends and family.
Her parents faced a more difficult adjustment, especially Edith Frank, who never mastered Dutch and felt out of place. The Franks followed the events in Germany and throughout Europe, aware of increasing Nazi power and fiercer persecution of Jews. For example, Edith Frank's brothers, Julius and Walter Hollander, were imprisoned by the Nazis, beaten up then finally allowed to immigrate to the United States.

Going into hiding

This is the last known photo taken of Margot, left, and her sister Anne. Margot would be among the first to receive notice that she was to be sent to Nazi Germany. The next day, the Frank family went into hiding.
[Photo from “A History for Today: Anne Frank” ]
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 27, 1999

Chapter 3

The Nazis flood Holland with anti-Semitism

Friends help Anne Frank's secure a place to hide from the Nazi forces that have taken over Holland.

On May, 10, 1940, the German military invaded Holland, violating its neutrality, and bombed Rotterdam, killing civilians and leveling buildings. The Dutch forces surrendered on May 15, under threat of further bombings. Queen Wilhelmina and other government officials went into exile in England. Anne Frank and her family, like other Jewish refugees, found themselves once again under Nazi oppression.

The Diary
In the midst of the war and occupation, Anne celebrated her 13th birthday and received a red and white plaid diary on June 12, 1942. Anne wrote in her diary on June 29, 1942:
"Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were forbidden to use street cars... Jews were forbidden to visit Christians in their homes; Jews were required to attend Jewish schools. You couldn't do this and you couldn't do that. But life went on."
Anne's continual struggles not to allow herself to be dehumanized by the Nazis and to retain her spirit and human dignity are among the most powerful themes throughout her diary.

This year's Newspaper in Education series

Anne Frank: Lessons in human rights and dignity
Introduction, previous chapters and Web Links

In 1942, mass round-ups (razzias) of Jews and deportations to work, transit and concentration camps were to become routine throughout the Netherlands. The Franks began to prepare to go into hiding -- parents Otto and Edith wanted to try to keep the family together. Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman, two business associates and friends, helped with preparations for the Franks and the van Pels family. Earlier, Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman and Jan Gies had worked with Otto Frank to prevent Nazi confiscation of his business by transferring ownership to non-Jewish associates and renaming it "Gies and Co."
By June 5, 1942, there was a total ban on Jews traveling without first gaining permission. On July 5, 1942, Anne's sister Margot was among those who received the first call-up notices sent out for "labor service in Germany." The very next day, first Margot and then the other family members moved into their hiding place -- an annex of rooms behind Otto Frank's office at 263 Prisengracht in Amsterdam. Hermann van Pels (Otto Frank's associate), his wife, Auguste, and their son, Peter, arrived a week later on July 13 (they are referred to in the diary as the van Daans). On Nov. 16, 1942, they were joined by the eighth and final resident of what Anne called the "secret annex," Fritz Pfeffer (in the diary called Albert Dussel). Anne shared a room with Mr. Dussel and the diary describes the stresses and strains of a teenage girl and middle-aged man negotiating space and privacy in the secret annex.

Writing about her life in the annex

For 25 months, Anne Frank recorded the ups and downs of life in hiding. On July 11, 1942, Anne wrote, "The Annex is an ideal place to hide in. It may be damp and lopsided, but there's probably not a more comfortable hiding place in all of Amsterdam. No, in all of Holland."
Anne stated that she felt "privileged" to be with her family in hiding while others were being hunted. "It's like the slave hunts of the olden days" (Nov. 19, 1942). In fact, the Franks were most unusual in being able to hide together, having resources to buy food, and that so many associates of Mr. Frank were willing to help the Franks and others hiding in the annex.

On the walls of the room in which she hid, Anne pasted pictures, one of the few things the Nazis did not strip when the Franks were arrested. The room is now refurnished to look as it might have when Anne was in hiding.
[Times photo: Photo from “A History for Today: Anne Frank”]

In Holland, as everywhere in Europe during World War II, few people had a place to hide. Of the minority who went into hiding, most were split up from other family members and moved from place to place. "Onderduikers" was the term used for those who went underground in Holland, literally meaning "divers" or those who "dive under." In one survey cited by author Bob Moore in his book, Victims and Survivors (St. 's Press, hidden children had an average of 4.5 new addresses during this time, some as many as 37.

Helping this family held deadly risks

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 4, 1999

Chapter 4

Johannes Kleiman, left, and Victor Kugler were regular visitors to the hidden Frank family, often arriving during the lunch hour when the warehouse staff had gone home.
[Photos from “Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary”]

The helpers were remarkable people who had been leading ordinary lives: Johannes Kleiman, Victor Kugler and Jan Gies, who helped Mr. Frank "aryanize" (remove Frank's name and ownership from his businesses); Jan's wife, Miep Gies; and Bep Voskuijl and her father, Mr. Voskuijl.
The helpers provided food, books and other supplies as well as friendship and news of events outside throughout the 25 months in hiding. Anne wrote fondly about the helpers:
Describing Johannes Kleiman -- " "When Mr. Kleiman enters the room, the sun begins to shine,' Mother said recently, and she is absolutely right."
About Miep Gies -- "It seems as if we are never far from Miep's thoughts." (Anne Frank Remembered, Miep Gies with Alison Gold, Simon & Schuster, 1988).

Miep Santrouschitz, left, frequently discussed what was happening in world events with Otto Frank, right. Her friendship with the entire Frank family grew strong, and she regularly visited them in the company of her future husband, Jan Gies.
[Photos from “Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary”]

Anne Frank's writing reflects the helpers' support and friendship as an important source of comfort and hope for these Jews hiding from the Nazis in Holland. The diaries are filled with descriptions of the helpers and how their acts of kindness sustained the Franks and others during this time of terror.
It was frightening for the helpers, too. Helping Jews was punishable with imprisonment or even death. Because it was unusual to find people willing to take such a risk, Anne Frank and the other residents of the annex were particularly fortunate to have so many people willing to support them in hiding.
In Holland three out of four Jews were killed, the largest percentage of Jewish victims in any state in Western Europe. Of around 140,000 Jews (20 percent were refugees like Anne Frank and her family) in Holland in 1939, 102,000 were killed. This 73 percent death rate was about 40 percent of the total civilian casualty rates for all those living in German-occupied Holland from 1940-45. (Victims and Survivors, Bob Moore, St. Martin's Press, 1997).

Although Anne Frank wrote about the danger of being discovered by the Nazis, she also wrote sympathetically about the sufferings of the Dutch people and wondered if after the war she would be able to become a Dutch citizen. Anne describes everyday life in hiding and news of the war in Europe, as well as her changing relationships with her mother, father, sister and others in the annex.
In her diary, Anne recorded her own inner growth from a girl to a young woman. She described her feelings toward Peter; her joys and sorrows, her dreams and nightmare of capture. The diary gave voice to her fears and dreams of being a writer and of becoming a woman.
". . . My happy-go-lucky, carefree school days are gone forever. I don't even miss them. I've outgrown them. I can no longer just kid around, since my serious side is always there."
-- March 7, 1944

Betrayal of those in hiding

Chapter 5
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 11, 1999

Train tracks lead to Auschwitz, the camp in which Anne’s mother, Edith, died of exhaustion and starvation in January 1945.
[Photo from “A HIstory for Today” (Anne Frank House)]

On Aug. 4, 1944, four Dutch Nazis under the SS sergeant Karl Silberbauer, raided the Secret Annex and arrested the eight Jews in hiding. Someone had told the police where to find them but to this day no one knows who the informers were.
The Nazis entered the secret annex and snatched a briefcase, shaking out its contents to make room for valuables. The sheets of Anne's diary fell onto the floor and were later found and saved by Miep Gies. Neither Miep Gies nor Bep Voskuijl were arrested, but Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman were sent to labor camps. At risk of her own life, Miep Gies went to the police station to try to secure the Franks' release and was unable to do so. All the helpers survived the war.
The residents of the Secret Annex were taken to prison in Amsterdam, then transported to the Dutch transit camp, Westerbork. On Sept. 3, 1944, all eight were on the last transport from Westerbork directly to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland. For more than two exhausting days, Anne, her family, the van Pelses and Fritz Pfeffer were crowded in cattle cars, arriving in Auschwitz on Sept. 5 or 6, 1944. There were 1,019 people brought from Westerbork; 549 were never registered. These children under 15 and adults were immediately selected and killed in the gas chambers. (see The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, eds. Barnouw and van der Stroom, Doubleday, 1989).
Upon arrival, the men were separated from the women. Hermann van Pels was the first to die. He was gassed at Auschwitz in October or November 1944. Fritz Pfeffer was moved from Auschwitz to Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany, probably via Sachsenhausen or Buchenwald, where he died on Dec. 20, 1944. Edith Frank died of exhaustion and starvation at Auschwitz-Birkenau in January 1945.

The final months of Anne Frank's life

This year's Newspaper in Education series

Anne Frank: Lessons in human rights and dignity
Introduction, previous chapters and Web Links

Three months earlier, Anne, Margot and Mrs. van Pels were transported from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. That winter a typhus epidemic broke out due to the terrible unsanitary conditions, and thousands of prisoners died from it.
Anne and Margot, with little clothing and food during the particularly severe winter of 1944-45, were already debilitated and contracted typhus. Margot died of exposure, hunger and disease in March 1945. A short time later, Anne Frank, without any family, malnourished, suffering from typhus and the cold, died in the barracks at Bergen-Belsen. She breathed her last breath in Germany, the same country where she had been born and given the rights of citizenship only 15 years earlier.
Rachel van Ameronger-Frankfoorder was one of the last to recall seeing Anne and Margot in the barracks in Bergen-Belsen. Her description of their "wasting away" is recorded in the book The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank, by Willy Lindwer:
"They showed the recognizable symptoms of typhus -- that gradual wasting away, a sort of apathy, with occasional revivals, until they became so sick that there wasn't any hope. And their end . . . I didn't pay any special attention to them because there were so many others who also died."
The Lindwer book also records Van Ameronger-Frankfoorder's observation of life and death in Bergen-Belsen:
"The dead were always carried outside, laid down in front of the barracks, and when you were let out in the morning to go to the latrine, you had to walk past them. That was just as dreadful as going to the latrine itself, because gradually everyone got typhus. In front of the barracks was a kind of wheel barrel in which you could take care of your needs. Sometimes you also had to take those wheel barrels to the latrine. Possibly it was on one of those trips to the latrine that I walked past the bodies of the Frank sisters, one or both -- I don't know. At the time, I assumed that the bodies of the Frank girls had also been put down in front of the barracks. And then the heaps would be cleared away. A huge hole would be dug and they were thrown into it. That I'm sure of. That must have been their fate because that's what happened with other people. I don't have a single reason for assuming that it was any different for them than the other women with us who died at the same time."
Mrs. van Pels' last months were ones of gruesome transports from Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and then to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. She died in Germany or Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1945. Her son, Peter, survived the "death march" from Auschwitz to Mauthausen, Austria, but died on May 5, 1945, three days before the camp was liberated.
With the coming of the Russian Army, the Nazis abandoned Auschwitz, leaving Otto Frank behind in the camp infirmary. After the liberation, Otto returned to Amsterdam and stayed with Miep and Jan Gies. He knew that his wife, Edith, had died in Auschwitz, but hoped that perhaps Anne or Margot had survived the war.
Miep Gies had been saving Anne's diary, in the hope she could one day return it to Anne. After learning that Anne and Margot perished in Bergen-Belsen, Miep Gies handed it to Otto Frank.

Chapter 6

Anne's diary spreads her story

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 18, 1999

Many of those who know Anne’s story visit the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. An estimated 600,000 visitors a year pay their respects.
[Photos from “Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary” ]

In June 1947 Contact published 1,500 copies of the diary in the first Dutch edition, Het Achterhuis Dagboekbrieven van 12 juni 1932-1 augustus 1933 (The House Behind). The diary was reissued in Dutch and by the 1950s had been translated into German, English and French. In 1995, Bantam Doubleday Dell published the "definitive edition" of the diary in English, translated by Otto Frank and Mirjam Pressler, which includes 30 percent more than the original version and restores most of the material left out of earlier editions.
Anne's goal of "becoming famous" and "becoming a writer" is reality, as millions of people, especially young readers, continue to read her diary in 55 different languages throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam yearly and tens of thousands view traveling exhibits such as "Anne Frank: A History for Today," sponsored in North America through the Anne Frank Center USA. This exhibit opens in January at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.
Anne Frank's influence is evident worldwide. President John F. Kennedy wrote: "Of the multitude who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of Anne Frank."
South African President Nelson Mandela recalled after his years of imprisonment for his participation in the political movement to end apartheid:
"Some of us read Anne Frank's diary on Robben Island and derived much encouragement of it."

Anne’s dream of being a famous writer was realized after her death. Anne’s diary, translated into many of the world’s languages, underscores how widely known her story has become.

Anne Frank's life and death and her diary remain powerful and relevant in our own time.

This year's Newspaper in Education series

Anne Frank: Lessons in human rights and dignity
Introduction, previous chapters and Web Links

"The content of Anne Frank's legacy is still very much alive and it can address us fully, especially at a time when the map of the world is changing and dark passions are awakening within people," said Vaclev Havel, president of Czechoslovakia and onetime political prisoner.
Anne Frank's life and death personalize the struggle for human dignity in the face of discrimination and genocide. Her voice is part of the testimony of people recording and bearing witness. Her voice is one of 1.5-million Jewish children killed during the Nazi war against the Jews, the Holocaust. It is an enduring legacy, reminding us of the necessity to work to end discrimination, to work toward achieving human dignity and human rights for all humans despite the reality that violence and genocide exist in our own times.
"It is utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that one day will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I'll be able to realize them!

-- Anne Frank, July 15, 1944

No comments:

Post a Comment