Anne Frank [Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2004, 12:39 pm]
I just finished reading "The diary of Anne Frank" today. It was really good. And it even made me cry. Well actually, it wasn't so much the diary, but rather the 'afterward', because that told about what happened to her and when she died. She wasn't even 16 at the time.
The reason I think it was so sad is because throughout the diary, I see all kinds of things that remind me of myself. Honestly, I could have been reading my own diary at some parts. She wanted to be a writer someday, and wrote stories, just like me. She had a bit of trouble relating to her mom, just like I do. And she felt like adults didn't understand her, and made some good points about how the older generation treats the younger. She was no different than any other girl - except she was a Jew.
I admit, when I read statistics about World War 2, I think, "Wow, that was a lot of Jews they killed". But when you're just looking at numbers, it's hard to see it in a 'humanized' way. But reading Anne's diary made it so much easier to realize that they were all people, just like her. With families, talents, and dreams of the future. It amazes me how optimistic Anne was about what she would do someday, even up until right before she & her family were captured. Others may have viewed her as less than human because she was a Jew, but she certainly didn't. Here's one quote that particularly caught my attention:
"Surely the time will come when we are people again, and not just Jews."
It was so sad. Only, 'sad' isn't a strong enough word to describe the holocaust. Maybe 'horrifying'. Yes, it was horrifying (and so much more than that), that because one man felt so strongly about Jews, so many of them should be killed. I know I'm not the only person who's looked back on the holocaust and thought, "How could humanity possibly have allowed this?" Are we really quite as good as we think we are?
Another thing WW2 in general has taught me is that we NEED to have standards. Just because someone believes strongly in something doesn't make it true. Hitler believed the Jews were nothing more than dogs. Anne Frank (and many others) proved him wrong. But the holocaust still happened. If nothing else, it shows me that we can't live without a standard of some sort. We have to have something to judge our actions by. There have to be moral absolutes, because if there aren't, then Hitler was right, since he did believe very deeply in what he did.
Anyone who thinks there are no absolutes should really study their history a bit more.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009