Monday, 26 January 2015

ANNE FRANK: I STILL BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY GOOD AT HEART...

Another in our series of girls who made their mark on history. January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day… a fitting time to remember a brave teenager whose voice still resonates with people today. Reader Cate tells us more…

Cate says:
Anne Frank was born on June 12th 1929 in the German city of Frankfurt, to a loving Jewish family; four years later, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Nazi Germany was not a good or a safe place for Jewish families, and by 1933 Anne's parents, Otto and Edith had moved to Amsterdam in Holland, where they hoped their family - Anne and her sister Margot - would be free from persecution. Anne was a lively, bright and energetic girl with many friends; she loved school and had a strong sense of fun.

Sadly, this freedom was short-lived; in 1940 the Nazis invaded Holland and restrictive, unfair laws soon made life very hard for Jewish people. In 1942, on her thirteenth birthday, Anne was given a notebook bound in red and white checked cloth. She decided to use it as a diary and began writing in it at once. Addressing her diary entries to the imaginary 'Kitty', she wrote about her hopes, dreams, fears, crushes and much more. In July 1942, not long after her birthday, the family moved into hiding. Otto Frank left a note suggesting they had fled to Switzerland, but in fact the family, along with several others, lived a secret existence, hidden in an annexe in the attic of Otto's business offices. Non Jewish friends helped them to survive, bringing food and supplies in secret; the families had to stay silent during the day so as not to alert workers in the offices below. Anne passed her time writing, and her words are intimate, intelligent and very real, even to this day.

In 1944, after 25 months of hiding, an unknown person informed the Nazis of the secret annexe, and the Frank family were arrested and sent to separate concentration camps. Anne and her sister and mother were sent to Auschwitz; many Jews were killed on arrival at the camp, but the Franks were selected for slave labour. Later on, Anne and her sister were sent to Bergen-Belsen camp. Their mother stayed behind, and died of starvation. In 1945, just weeks before Allied Forces liberated the camp, Anne and her sister Margot died, probably of typhus. Otto Frank survived the camps and spent his life bringing Anne's words to the world.

Please read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. It is powerful and moving, but also very real and relateable. It is also full of hope. I will finish with my favourite quote from the book: 'In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.' 

Cathy says:
The story of Anne's life is so moving; through her diary, Anne comes alive and we can share her hopes and dreams and feelings -she was a girl just like us. Speaking out against injustice, hate and cruelty is as important today as it ever was. Have YOU read Anne Frank's diary? COMMENT BELOW to have your say.

14 comments:

  1. At school (primary) to get us to empathise for Anne Frank we had an experience day; 8 of them got treated nicely whilst the rest of us were treated horribly. We had no chairs, and we had to march around outside with no coats in January whilst they got to eat biscuits.
    After that I can remember writing a poem about Anne before having to show it to the headteacher! Chloe Xx
    PS: The teachers were going to continue with the experience day but everyone was crying half way through the morning!!!

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    1. I can imagine how memorable and upsetting that must have been, Chloe. A powerful lesson, though! xxx

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  2. Ever since I first heard about anne, she's been really inspiring to me. I'd love to read her diary, I might watch out for it at my local book shop! today is also the feast day of st angela. she set up schools for non-eduacated girls. you could do a post about her, too, maybe!

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    1. Oh, do email me about that Anon… maybe you'd like to write something about her? xxx

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  3. Hitler made a bad choice in deciding to imprison the Jewish. The Jews didn't do anything to him and yet Hitler thought that if they killed the Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, disabled, Germany would become a greater country. He was wrong by doing that. He even sent them to death camps! How unkind of him to do so? It's lucky that Anne Frank diary was still there, otherwise no-one would've learnt about the life of a Jew during the Holocaust.

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    1. It was more than unkind, Anon… it was evil… it was genocide. I hope Anne Frank's Diary helps people to see that we are all the same in what truly matters. Nationality, race, colour, religion, physical or mental ability… none of those things are ever a reason to hate or to destroy. These are lessons we need to keep in our minds even today. xxx

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    2. On your post for Kerry:my friends don't approve I've written you a message. Please, please, please, please, please, please read it!

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  4. I haven't read her diary. No, I have memorised it, I have her framed photo and diary by my bed. I truly feel like I can understand her, and that she is my soulmate and alltime hero. We had to do a topic on a leadership, one good one bad. I chose anne (good) and hitler (bad). He is the most evil, revolting person and it sickened me to read about him. I thought her diary made people truly believe it isn't how you look, where you come from, your sex or sexuality. It matters what kind of person you are. ANNE FRANK IS A LEGEND AND MY HERO!!! I own about 16 books about her and have a photo or 2 of her!

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  5. I have read the book before and it was amazing. It was nice that she wrote in her diary and tell us what's been going on every day. I would really love to visit the secret annexe in Holland and the museum and hopefully learn more about Anne Frank that I didn't know about. I also want to visit Auschwitz and even though it was the 70th anniversary that the camp was liberated (27th January 1945). I know it's really sad, but in 2025, because it will be the 80th anniversary, I would like to go their and support. I love Anne Frank. xx

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  6. I found out two days ago in assembley that if we were to spend a minute of silence for each person who died at Auschwitz, we would have to be silent for 5 years... :(
    Someone tried to be quiet for 5 years at my school, but that ended at lunchtime that day :)

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    1. Wow! That is a long time! Did you know 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust? Once a school tried to visualise this by collecting 6 million paperclips. I think there is a YouTube video...?

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  7. Do you know what really makes me really sad and angry? This happened long, long ago but yet people have the nerve to still judge people based on where they come from, their race, religion and things that make us different from each other, when they haven't even heard a word come out of the persons mouth!? In this world today we should be protecting each other as a big family regardless of differences. Why is filthy language used to describe people. Such as using the 'n' word to describe a black person or the name of a female dog to describe women! Why is there such thing as child abuse or animal cruelty. If only people could feel the pain I feel when I see the earth as a pool of sadness. I'm only 12 years old. Why should I have to grow up in a world of destruction when I haven't caused it?

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  8. I've read a bit of her diary... I like how realistic and honest she is, I could imagine her as a friend!

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  9. I have read her diary. It was very sad at the end because it was just stark facts. I hate it when you get a fiction book that is based on a very real tragic happening - when it is made up I can kind of imagine that it isn't true, but when it gets to the facts at the end it can be quite upsetting. However I do believe that it is important to know what has happened in the world, even if it is upsetting... Real life is upsetting.

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