I was reading some interesting and heart breaking stories last night about the holocaust survivors living in Israel and the Ukraine. World War II was a sad time for everyone, and many genocides were taking place around the world. As I read the survivor stories, excerpts from Anne Frank’s Diary came to my mind. I recently read “Diary of a Young Girl” for the first time last fall. Its one of my favorite’s now, and I often remind myself I shouldn’t complain about life when Anne had it a lot worse. The secret annex was a safe place for her physically, but mentally her diary was her best friend. Then an idea hit me; what would I write to Anne Frank now? I decided to try and see what I would come up with….
April 28, 2014
Dear Anne Frank,
I can’t believe what a horrible death you had in the concentration camp. It was unfair and you were only 15, but I guess that’s the way humanity is. We judge and punish people just because of who they are, their religion, sexual orientation, or the color of their skin. The German Invasion in 1940 started the restrictions for the Jews, and two years later you had to go into hiding with your family, the Van Pels, and Fritz. In your diary you expressed your feelings about the war and not having the freedom to be a young girl. You weren’t allowed to go outside or even at times open the curtains to enjoy the sunshine because your family would be in danger. Food was scarce even with your father’s employees helping your family out. You had to learn to grow up too quickly in the two years you were in hiding.
Like you, I also love books and writing. Its interesting how we are both into journalism. I write in a journal myself to express my thoughts, but I want to write the stories of others. Inspirational people, survivors, heroes, those in need of help. I want to be a voice for those who can’t speak out. Hitler didn’t allow your people to defend themselves or speak out. I know that frustrated you. What I admire most about you is that no matter how bad the war was going, you always held on to hope. Being crammed in a small room with seven other people was difficult for you. Hope is something I often lose. Its not like humanity has gotten better after World War II. We haven’t learned our lesson, and everyday it seems two countries are at war or are close to it.
I do hope the death of you and your family never goes in vain. The whole world has read your diary after your father published it. I am about to turn 23 in a few days, and I don’t think I would have really understood your story if I read your book while I was in high school and still a little immature at that time. Thank you for sharing your story with the world Anne. I wish you could have been able to finish it, and some day I will visit your hiding place in Amsterdam.
Rosa Elena Oliveras