Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Mystery of Cruelty, The Mystery of Hope

Today marks the birth date of Anne Frank, the young German-Jewish girl who hid for two years from the Nazis in a room above her father's office in Amsterdam. Anne was born in 1929. During her time in hiding, she kept a world-famous diary that chronicled her hopes and fears, as well as her daily habits. The basic mystery at the root of Anne's diary notations was reflected in her disbelief of what was happening to Germany, to humanity.

Despite her fears and sadness, Anne Frank clung to hope, a tendency even she herself did not fully understand:

"It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.

It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more." (July 15, 1944)

As the world knows, Anne and her family were betrayed and arrested, and nine months later, at the age of fifteen, Anne died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen.

A wonderful website is devoted to Anne at www.annefrank.com



Erica Ridley said...

I really wanted to go to the Anne Frank house when I was in Amsterdam, but I only had a few hours and the line wrapped 'round the block.

I later discovered that the line *always* wraps around the block and the key is to buy tickets ahead of time because the line is for the ticket window, not for general admittance.

From all accounts, it's not to be missed, so if I ever get back that way I will have to check it out.

Julia Buckley said...

Well, how cool that you were in Amsterdam! What brought you there?