Israel-Hamas war: Two years spent in father’s bunker, then Hitler’s brothers died, now why Netanyahu remembered Anne Frank
Introduction In the midst of the Israel-Hamas conflict, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a moment to remember Anne Frank, the renowned author of ‘The Diary of a Young Girl.’ He stated, “It feels as though Anne Frank’s story has returned, hauntingly chilling. But unlike the Holocaust, today, we have a nation, an army, and ... Read more
In the midst of the Israel-Hamas conflict, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a moment to remember Anne Frank, the renowned author of ‘The Diary of a Young Girl.’ He stated, “It feels as though Anne Frank’s story has returned, hauntingly chilling. But unlike the Holocaust, today, we have a nation, an army, and people who can fight. We’re not just fighting our war, but we’re fighting for all civilized nations and all civilized people.” He appealed to the world to stand together against Hamas, much like the world united against the Nazis, and to put an end to it. In this article, we delve into the life of Anne Frank, understanding why her diary continues to captivate the hearts and minds of people even today.
Anne Frank’s Early Life
Anne Frank was born in 1929 in the German city of Frankfurt. Her sister Margot was three years her senior. This was a time when Adolf Hitler and his party were gaining more support. Hitler harbored a deep-seated hatred for Jews and held them responsible for the country’s problems. Unemployment was rampant, and poverty was pervasive in Germany.
Due to the growing anti-Semitic sentiments and worsening economic conditions, Anne’s parents, Otto and Edith Frank, made the decision to move to Amsterdam. There, Otto established a company that produced pectin, a gelling agent used in making jam.
Life in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, Anne began to feel at home. She made new friends and attended a Dutch school near her home. Otto worked tirelessly to make his business successful, although it wasn’t easy. He also made an attempt to start a business in England, which unfortunately failed. However, their fortunes improved when they began selling spices and herbs in addition to pectin.
The German Occupation of the Netherlands
On September 1, 1939, when Anne was just ten years old, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War II. Shortly after, on May 10, 1940, the Nazis also invaded the Netherlands. Five days later, the Dutch army surrendered to the invaders.
Gradually, the Nazis imposed more and more laws and regulations that made life difficult for the Jews. For example, Jews were not allowed to visit parks, cinemas, or non-Jewish stores. These restrictions further limited Anne’s world.
With Jews required to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing, the Franks decided it was time to go into hiding. In 1942, Anne and her family, along with four others, went into hiding in a secret annex prepared by Otto. They received help from former colleagues and friends.
Life in hiding was far from easy. Anne had to remain very quiet and often felt fearful. However, during this time, she was given a diary as a birthday present. She started to document her experiences, writing short stories and even beginning a novel. Writing helped her pass the time and cope with her situation.
Discovery and Capture
Unfortunately, on August 4, 1944, the police discovered Anne, her family, and the others in hiding. They were arrested and sent to various concentration camps. Anne, Margot, and their mother were sent to the women’s camp at Auschwitz, while Otto was held in a men’s camp.
In early 1945, Anne and Margot contracted typhus and died within a short period of time. Tragically, their father Otto was the sole survivor in their family. After his release from Auschwitz, he returned to Amsterdam and eventually learned about the fate of his daughters and his wife.
On Anne’s thirteenth birthday, she received a diary, which she began to write in just before going into hiding. Her writings during those two years became the now-famous “Diary of a Young Girl.” The diary not only documents the trials and tribulations of life in hiding but also showcases Anne’s remarkable talent as a writer.
Anne Frank’s diary, published shortly after her death, quickly became one of the most important books in the world. It has been translated into over 70 languages, and its enduring message of hope and resilience continues to touch people’s hearts. Anne’s story serves as a stark reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust and the need to never forget the past.
Anne Frank’s story is a powerful testament to the indomitable spirit of a young girl in the face of unimaginable adversity. Her diary, which has transcended time and language, serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us of the importance of tolerance, understanding, and unity in a world that often grapples with conflict and hatred.