impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything,
that people are truly good at heart.—Anne Frank, July 15th, 1944.
Anne Frank was many things: a writer, a storyteller, a witness, and a victim, among them. A fact that many seem to forget is that she was also a human being. In a concentration camp in 1945, Anne held her dying sister Margot in her arms. Her sister died very shortly after that scene; Anne died a few days later. These deaths are not featured in the famous play or classic movie based on Anne Frank’s life. Yet the true ending of Anne’s life was horrific; she suffered many days from a disease that slowly killed her. Shortly after her death, her dead figure was thrown on a pile of other lifeless bodies.
When I first read Melissa Muller’s Anne Frank: The Biography (1998), I realized the horrific manner in which Anne’s life did end. The image literally stayed with me for months. Fifty-five years after Anne’s sickening murder, I hated Hitler; I hated Nazi Germany; I hated everything and anybody that contributed to the crime that I could not get out of my head. To me, the death happened yesterday. Over a period of weeks, I had grown to know a kindred spirit—a kindred spirit that Nazis violently and slowly extinguished. I realized what it means to hate, for I gained a true hate for Hitler and his thugs.
I read as many Anne Frank biographies as I could find. At the end of my study, I literally cried for around an hour. The realization that I was born decades too late to do anything about Anne’s death made reading about it all the more painful. I truly felt and still feel some kind of bond ...
... middle of paper ...
... her ultimate end? Should we think of the horrible scene that must have been her final moment on earth? Or should we, like popular renditions of her life, think of only the happy moments? I think we should consider it all. We can learn from her young life; we can learn from her heart-breaking death. Like Anne, we can think of the good and the bad in life. We can think of the ever-swaying emotions we all feel and perhaps transfer these emotions to a diary. We can all be human beings.
“…when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally
end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good
part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be
and what I could be if…if only there were no other people in the world.”
—Anne Frank, August 1, 1944 (The final entry in the diary).
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