Anne Frank Spoke to Me
“I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love…I know that I am woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage” – Anne Frank
My fiancé took me to Amsterdam last November…
And while we were there we visited the Anne Frank Museum…
Here’s me, post visit…reflective…
…and a little high (we went to a place called Amnesia afterwards…it was “Amsterdam” – you get the picture and we needed to take a chill remedy post Holocaust recap…(I only had two puffs, but whoa — bike riding through Amsterdam high was an interesting experience. I never bike ride as it is and with blurry motor skills I’m amazed I survived and kinda proud of myself — Australian bushman skills still intact). Let me say Amsterdam was f’en awesome (minus the sex trafficking shiz). So let’s say, Amsterdam is awesome by day…and a little creepy and sleazy by night (particularly, the red light district). But this isn’t a post about Amsterdam, this is a post about Anne Frank.
I had never read The Diary of Anne Frank. I always intended to and most my friends had read it in high school, but I had chosen geography instead of history as an elective and somehow missed all the teachings about World War 2 and the Holocaust (something is wrong with the Australian curriculum). So, it was in my twenties that I caught up via travel, journalism and personal readings on all the happenings of the world before my time.
When we returned home from our travels, I decided I definitely needed to read The Diary of Anne Frank, especially after having seen the hideout. Ironically, I always had a copy of the book. My sister had preserved an old tattered version and I dug it out from a mountain of books I had stored away.
I started to read, finally, about a month later, but I couldn’t get into it. I had so many other things going on and felt like I didn’t have the time. And I wasn’t in the mood for Holocaust horror stories. Do I really need to make myself more depressed? I was going through a period of hyper-sensitivity and I figured I know how it ends, I’ve been to the Anne Frank Museum, what’s the point? But then it hit me, I have to read it. You’re not reading it to be entertained dumbass, you’re reading it out of RESPECT! So I sluggishly committed myself to reading a few pages each week, but then something happened. The book sucked me in…and really spoke to me. I couldn’t put it down and finished reading it within a week.
I’ve been going through this depressive period and feeling like I don’t have the energy to participate in life…and here’s a girl who was imprisoned in the top tier of a building/warehouse (annex) during a horrendous war for more than two years, who wanted nothing more than to be a part of the world. As I kept reading I kept getting more and more inspired. I have to live! I kept thinking. I need to get excited about my life! Because I have the opportunities right now that Anne Frank did not. And there were so many uncanny parallels. My main forte has been journalism and writing…and I’ve struggled recently with my work. Anne Frank had similar doubts about her work, also went through ups and downs — one moment she was enthusiastic about her future as a writer, and in other moments she doubted every word she had written. She also spoke of women exerting strength and courage, which I’ve also struggled with — I’ve had positive moments and moments when I’ve wanted to give up and find an easy way out (just find a man to take care of me or something). So this book for me was not just a story about the Holocaust, it was also a story of a writer’s journey, a girl-turned woman’s journey, and the inner workings of her mind. And let me say the diary/book is brilliantly written, the prose is poetic…and I can only dream that one day I will reach my full potential as a writer and as a woman in this world.
What’s even more uncanny is that Anne Frank even mentioned my name in the book. She had written a fairytale entitled, “Eva’s Dream.” So just as I was getting inspired, there was my name IN THE BOOK! It’s a sign — or just a coincidence. But still…
PG. 197: “Eva’s Dream” is my best fairy tale, and the queer thing about it is that I don’t know where it comes from.”
Yep queer indeed, but it’s like Anne Frank spoke to me. Anne Frank’s insights on peace, Judaism and the human condition are also wise beyond a girl of those years (I believe she didn’t make it to 16).
“If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason only do we have to suffer now.” – Anne Frank
I don’t know, maybe next time you feel depressed or like your life is not worth much, check out this book. It will give you a reason to go on and maybe even motivate you to try to make a difference in this world.