Anne Frank & the Holocaust By Micheal Raines
A: Anne Frank • Anne Frank was born June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. Her mother was Edith, and her sister was Margot. Her father, Otto served Germany in World War I, which is ironic because in WWII, He and his entire family was persecuted in what became known as the Holocaust. Otto’s brother owned the Dutch Opekta Company, which sold an ingredient of jelly, which was located at 263 Prinsengracht. This was where she lived (the address) until Otto became frightened of the persecution of Jews in Germany, and moved the family to the Netherlands around 1933. However, in 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands, and the family hid in a secret annex in inside the house in 1942, afraid that they would be found and sent to a Nazi concentration camp. They hid there with the van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer for 2 years. They were assisted by 5 helpers named Miep Gies, Bep Voskuijl, Joe Kleiman, Victor Kugler, and Jan Gies. During this time, Anne Frank kept a diary of events and her feelings. Then the family was betrayed, and the families were arrested on August 4, 1944. The family was sent to Auschwitz, and Anne and Margot were sent to Bergen-Belsen in 1945. Margot died of typhus in March, 1945 and Anne died from typhus soon after. Of the members of the annex, only Otto frank survived. Then in 1947, Otto found Anne’s diary and published it.
C: Concentration Camp • Camps in Europe where Jews were sent to work. Conditions were brutal, and healthcare was nonexistent. Often times, the Nazis would often just execute Jews in mass, through a variety of means. They would shoot them, poison them, decompress them, and gas them. Over 6,000,000 Jews died in these camps.
D: Depression • After World War I, Germany was forced to pay for damages dealt to the allies. They had to give up land, and were completely demilitarized. Furthermore, when the 30’s came around, the entire world’s economy went downhill. Hitler took advantage of this by urging Germany to remilitarize. He made the Jews, his scapegoat, and declared Aryans(Germans) to be genetically superior. This led to the beginning of the persecution of the Jews.
G: Genocide • The mass murder of an entire group/minority of people. The most famous example is the Holocaust of WW2. Occurring t the same time was the smaller scale genocide of the Chinese at the hands of Japan. This was called the Rape of Nanking. A more recent example is the terrorist attacks of 2001. These attacks were directed at the United States. I chose this photo because the pile of skeletons helps get across how big Genocide is. It is mounds upon mounds of corpses.
H: Holocaust • The murder of 6,000,000 Jews at the hands of the Nazi party. Taking place during WWII, Jews were at first prosecuted. Then, they were sent to camps across Europe to work to the death. The Holocaust cost the lives of Anne Frank and her family. Known as the worst genocide in history, it serves as a lesson in tolerance. I chose this picture because it flatly explains the scale of the deaths from the Holocaust. It is blunt and effective.
J: Jew • A Jew is a follower of the religion Judaism. The Germans incorrectly thought being a Jew was genetic. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s defeat. Jews were prosecuted across Germany, then exterminated across Europe in the Holocaust. Anne Frank and her family were Jews. They were forced into hiding. I chose this picture because it shows what the Germans thought of the Jews. It shows the Jews from their point of view.
M: Miep Gies • Miep Gies was born in Vienna on February 15, 1909,and was moved to the Netherlands, because her father had no money. In 1941, she was married to Jan Gies. She was one of the helpers who assisted the Franks during the Netherland occupation. When the Franks were arrested, she was the one who saved the diary. She was the last surviving helper, living to 100 years of age, and dying in 2009.
N: Nazi Party • The National Socialist Party, a fascist political party which took control of Germany after WWI. Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazis began to conquer Europe with the help of Italy and Japan. While they conquered they also exterminated over 6,000,000 Jews and minorities. They were defeated after Hitler committed suicide and Berlin was conquered by the USSR. Their flag was the swastika, a ancient good luck symbol. I chose this picture because of how it displays the Nazis as the “good guys.” It’s telling of the power of propaganda.
O: Occupation • Occupation is when one country is under direct control of another. It is common during times of war. During WWII, Germany occupied most of Europe. They prosecuted and killed many of the Jews in Europe. After the war, Germany itself was occupied by the United States and the Soviet Union.
W: World War II • The second global war, which sprang directly from world War I. It consisted of the Allies(USA, UK, USSR, and France) versus the Axis(Germany, Japan, and Italy). It had the most casualties of any war. It was the only time nuclear weapons were used in combat. It was the time at which the Holocaust took place. It ended with the allies(USA and USSR in particular) triumphant, 6,000,000 Jews dead, and over 63,000,000 dead.
Poems • The Victim Some one mentioned the 'Holocaust' the old Jewish man said 'no'Such word i do not wish to hear that happened years agoThen he slowly folded up his sleeve and numbers etched in blueTold of the sufferings he'd known and all he had been through.A silence fell o'er one and all across the club room floorAnd in his presence 'Holocaust' not mentioned any moreWe had amongst us in the flesh one who had lived through hellBut i wish that he could have spoke of sufferings he could tell.Don't mention 'Holocaust' to me with one wave of his handA silence fell o'er one and all how could we understand? The agony he had been through, the torture and the painWe did not mention 'Holocaust' no not to him again.My heart went to that Jewish man who sought no sympathyHe wanted to block out his past as a bad memoryDon't mention 'Holocaust' to me and little else he saidBut i could picture living soul whose thoughts were with the dead.That night i did not sleep too well i had recurring dreamI watched the hungry slowly die, i heard the tortured screamI saw a gray haired jewish man the sorrow on his faceAnd i was in another time a dark and a sadder place.I woke and when i went to sleep the dream returned to meOf Jewish man with tragic past who sought no sympathyI see a young man in his prime with a hunger wasted frameWith numbers branded on his hand 'they'd robbed him of his name'.Some one mentioned the 'Holocaust' the old jewish man said 'no'Such word i do not wish to hear that happened years agoThen he slowly folded up his sleeve and numbers etched in blueTold of the sufferings he'd known and all he had been through. Francis Duggan I chose this poem because it does not try to describe the millions lost in the Holocaust. Rather, it personalizes the Holocaust by showing a survivor who won’t even recount it, and won’t have it mentioned in his presence. It gives it a very real, personal feel. Possibly the most striking line is, “With numbers branded on his hand ‘they’d robbed him of his name.” It gives the Holocaust a very solemn.
Poems (continued) • Frozen JewsAvrom SutzkeverJuly 10, 1944Have you seen, in fields of snow, frozen Jews, row on row? Blue marble forms lying, not breathing, not dying.Somewhere a flicker of a frozen soul - glint of fish in an icy swell. All brood. Speech and silence are one. Night snow encases the sun.A smile glows immobile from a rose lip's chill. Baby and mother, side by side. Odd that her nipple's dried.Fist, fixed in ice, of a naked old man: the power's undone in his hand. I've sampled death in all guises. Nothing surprises.Yet a frost in July in this heat - a crazy assault in the street. I and blue carrion, face to face. Frozen Jews in a snowy space.Marble shrouds my skin. Words ebb. Light grows thin. I'm frozen, I'm rooted in place like the naked old man enfeebled by ice. I chose this poem because it recounts a horrifying image of the Holocaust: fields of frozen Jew corpses. It is terrible, because it was true. To describe the frozen husks hints at the inhumanities visited upon the Jews by the Nazis. The most moving line has to be, “Blue marble forms lying, not breathing, not dying.” It is simple, yet it says all it needs to say. It made the Holocaust feel very inhumane and appaling.