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A Tribute to Anne Frank
Aug 01, 2004 11:46 AM 8414 Views
(Updated Aug 01, 2004 11:46 AM)



Look into those eyes? how full of mirth and a child?s mischief they are! How full of hope and wit, of love for life they are! How they look at you with the curiosity and the attractive shine of a loving child? how they capture your eyes? As you look at her eyes more and more, a whole sea of history churns before you? her history? her life, her misery, her loneliness? and as your eyes stare locked into her beautiful, mirthful eyes, you feel your heart sink? before you can control your emotion, you?re heartbroken? without your knowing, there are tears in your eyes? and with those tears, you close your eyes shut? her picture forms neatly before your closed eyes as well? and in your mind, her sweet but desperate voice calls out to you?

I want to live on! Live even after my death!

And the book has slipped from your grip? the picture gone away? for you?ve opened your eyes again? but you?re still heartbroken? those tears haven?t stopped? and like a sharp weapon, one final thought stabs your already heartbroken self?

She was just fourteen? just fourteen!

And sweetly, to your own self, you utter, before you know you have, the girl?s name? with so much affection and love? Anne Frank.

On June 13, 1942, Anne, a pretty but highly opinionated Jewish girl who lived in the German occupied Holland, received a book wrapped in a stiff tartan cloth?a diary! And in this very diary, Anne found her only confidant, the only ?person? she could speak her heart to, she could reveal to, her thoughts, feelings, longing and opinions? She called her diary ?Kitty? and wrote letters to her addressed as Kitty, for she believed, childishly, that nobody would be interested in reading those letters if she?d written them to Kitty! Whoever knew or cared to know about Kitty!

Not very long after her thirteenth birthday, on which she received her diary, her elder sister, Margot, was called up for deportation. Otto Frank, her father, knew that they must now go into hiding? which they did! They had made themselves a secret home on the banks of the Prisengracht Canal of Amsterdam, called the ?Secret Annexe? where they moved wasting no time?

Their friends from Germany, the van Daans arrived to stay with them and a few months later, a last Jewish dentist, Dussel van Santen arrived. Eight people? isolated? in hiding? behind a secret book-case? windows, doors closed all twenty-four hours? no noise? no light? or else the Nazis will take them away?.

Life begins?

The Beautiful Mind of a Beautiful Child

In her diary, Anne reveals to Kitty, with sincerity and no pretences of any kind, every single thought, feeling and opinion of hers? she reveals to her, with the child?s unforgiving observations, the shortcomings in the characters of her parents, and her sister, and the other occupants of the Annexe? but what she reveals in her diary and what captures my heart and mind more is the complete honesty with which she confesses her own self?

Anne writes in her diary, honestly! You can not see in her a hint of any justification for her shortcomings, no pretences! It is funny, that at thirteen, she knows what she is going through, understands the monstrosity of the situation around her? knows fully well that she is now locked in a dingy Annexe? and that in all probability she should never come out of it alive? or if she did ever come out, it would almost certainly be because the Germans discovered them? she knows fully well that her life has been torn apart? that she has been barred from all those joys and pleasures that Christian girls of her age are enjoying! She knows she has been deprived of freedom, of happiness! She knows that death is more certain than a good meal? And yet, astonishingly, she does not loose hope!

She believes that the war will be over and the end will be sweet? She believes that her suffering is only temporal? She has no love, no joy, no living confidant? she must not speak loudly or open the window? she must not use the lavatory in the day for it makes much noise!? But all this suffering is little for her, for she looks ahead, beyond the darkened horizon? to a future where she believes she will be able to pursue her dreams?

Anne Frank is not a fourteen year old girl? she is a remarkable character?

As you read her diary, she elevates herself from a mere author, to a real existence? when you read her diary, you are speaking to her and she is speaking to you!? When you read her diary, you feel her emotions? when she writes of her happiness, minute and short-lived as it always is, you smile? when she relates to you her longing, her suffering, her misery, her loneliness? you cry?

As you turn those pages, you find yourself amidst Anne and Margot, Otto and Edith, Mrs. Van Daan and Peter? Elli, Miep, Mr. Koophius and Mr. Kraler? you are not reading her diary? you are living in the Secret Annexe? you are playing with Moffi and Boche, their two feline companions? eating half-cooked lettuce and spinach day in and day out? craving for oil and butter? longing for meat?

You begin to dread the doorbell, fear the policemen? you close all windows and curtains and speak in hushed voices? you avoid using the lavatory in the day for it makes much noise?

Slowly, as you read every word of the diary, no-no, as you hear Anne relate to you her life, her life as a ?song-bird whose wings have been brutally clipped apart and who is flying in utter darkness against the bars of it?s own cage?? as you read more, you fall in love with Anne? Anne is now a part of you, in every thought of yours and in every action?

And none of this is intentional? these feelings, this involvement, this oneness is not your receptivity! It is Anne?s magic? it is the literary magic of a fourteen year old who makes you relive your adolescence once more? and forces you to comprehend the monstrosity of the Nazi cruelty? slowly, horribly, you realize what it was? and you can no longer use the word ?Holocaust? without a huge ball of lead sinking in your stomach? you dread the word ?Holocaust? and feel an uncontrollable rage when you hear anything against the Jews?

To read Anne Frank is to undergo a huge emotional experience? I can not tell you what it is in words? Nor can anybody else? Only Anne can? only Anne?

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