Watched The Diary of Anne Frank tonight on Masterpiece Classic television. Not sure why at Christmas this was their offering, but it was a great reminder for this time of year.
A reminder of all that we as Free Americans take for granted. Can you imagine being a 13 year old that is told that she no longer can have her beloved pet, can only take what clothes she can put on her back and that they have to steal away into hiding? It struck me how hard this would be to cope with not only as an adult but especially for a child. However, this young girl seemed to do an admiral job.
This story was set during a time of economic
strife when Germany’s people thought their last hope was the election of Adolf Hitler. The total scale of his mass termination of Jewish people was not known totally until after the war's end.
For her 13th birthday Anne had received a diary and lovely pen from her parents. She loved the present and was wondering what things she would be able to write in that diary that would be of interest to anyone if it were shared.
Shortly after this birthday was when she was informed by her parents that they would be leaving the next morning. Things would have to be left behind. The next morning, they did leave and as a young girl thinking it was an adventure to the country, she found rather that they would just be hiding out in the hidden rooms above her father’s shop.
The young girl is told that during the daytime, they will have to keep absolute silence so the workers downstairs in the factory won’t hear or suspect anyone would be hiding there. They could only make noise during the lunchtime hour and after hours.
To pass time, the young girl began keeping a journal of her time in the attic, her desires, her hopes and dreams for the future.
It is very scary to think that in an instant life can change. Freedoms taken away; families separated from each other perhaps forever, and children separated from their parents.
As we go into this Christmas season what a reminder of the freedom that we so readily take for granted.
Eventually Anne’s family was discovered and taken away to the prison camps where Anne died at the age of 18. The father is the only one who survived, and in later years learned that Anne’s diary had survived the holocaust. He worked to get the diary published and Anne’s story known.
Perhaps as we celebrate Christmas, we could tuck a message inside a small box, wrap and place it under the tree. It would be a present to all the family to remind them of the freedom they enjoy each and every day, how precious and fragile it is, and one of the best presents anyone can receive in their lifetime. Inscribe the note however you want, maybe just simply:
Merry Christmas, enjoy and celebrate your freedom each and every day as it is truly one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive.
There is an amazing Anne Frank Museum site with volumes of information on her dairy, photographs as well as a virtual tour of the rooms where they hid and a timeline leading up to the war and her family going into hiding and throughout and beyond the war.
I would recommend the book or movie be a must see for anyone who has never heard the story of Anne Frank.
Scribbled by Peabea 12-13-10 ©