Scrapbookpages Blog

October 25, 2017

What can we learn from the Anne Frank story today?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 1:50 pm

Famous photo of Anne Frank

On my blog post today, I am commenting on this news  article about Anne Frank:

The following quote is from the article:

Begin quote

Passage of diary to be read out

[Anne] Frank was a German-born Jewish teenager who kept a diary of her time in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam before she was killed at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

[My comment: Anne Frank was not killed at Bergen-Belsen; she died in a typhus epidemic.]

“We are shocked by these anti-Jewish expressions, which are extremely painful to those who have experienced the consequences of the persecution of the Jews,” said a statement published on the Anne Frank website. “Fighting football-related anti-Semitism is part of our educational activities. We are pleased to see that others, including Italian football clubs, have expressed their indignation about this action.”

In response to Sunday’s incident in Rome, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has announced plans to hold a minute’s silence before all Series A, B and C matches this week while a passage from Frank’s diary is read out over loudspeakers.

The excerpt that will be read out says: “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.”

In a statement, the FIGC said their move was part of their commitment “for a civil society so that young people in particular are brought up with the correct values.”

End quote

I read the Diary of Anne Frank for the first time, many years ago, when I was living in Germany as an Army wife. I went to a German library to find a book to read. One of the few books that they had in English was The Diary of Anne Frank, which was virtually unknown at that time. I was very impressed by this book, although I didn’t understand why she had to go into hiding. At that time, I knew virtually nothing about the Holocaust.

It was only later that I learned that Anne Frank had to go into hiding because her father was a fugitive from justice. He was lying, cheating and stealing. He had to go into hiding to escape being sent to prison for his crimes. No one ever mentions this fact now.

You can read about the “Anne Frank house” on my website at

and at





The famous swimming pool at Auschwitz

Filed under: Auschwitz, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 12:10 pm

My photo of swimming pool repair at Auschwitz, October 2005

The photo above is an early morning shot of Block 6, one of the brick barracks buildings in the Auschwitz main camp. In the background, you can see construction workers repairing the swimming pool.

The photo below shows what the swimming pool looked like in 1996 before preservation work began. The high diving board is at the far end in the background of the photo. The diving board itself  has been removed.

Swimming pool at Auschwitz, 1996

In the background, on the left side of the photo above, you can see the wall around the camp, and on the right, you can see Buildings number 7 and 8 in the camp.

When I visited Auschwitz in 1998, I asked to see the swimming pool, but I was told by my tour guide that it was not on the tour. My tour guide told me that there were two swimming pools, one for the prisoners and one for the SS men, but she refused to show me either one of the pools.

When I returned to Auschwitz in 2005, the swimming pool for the prisoners was still not included on the tour, but I found it by myself as I wandered around on my own in the early morning.

The swimming pool is now called a water reservoir on a sign board that was erected some time after my visit to Auschwitz in October 2005. The words on the sign board are in Polish, English and Hebrew; the sign reads as follows: “Fire brigade reservoir built in the form of a swimming pool, probably in early 1944.”

There is also a water reservoir at the Mauthausen concentration camp which is built in the form of a swimming pool. On my 1998 tour of Auschwitz Birkenau, I saw a pool of water along the main road in the Birkenau camp. My tour guide told me that this was a water reservoir; this pool was gone when I visited Birkenau in 2005.

Barbara Cherish, the daughter of Arthur Liebehenschel, wrote a book which was published in 2009, entitled “My father, the Auschwitz commandant.” In her book, Barbara credits her father with building a swimming pool for the use of the prisoners. Liebehenschel was the Commandant of the Auschwitz main camp for five months, beginning on December 1, 1943. Liebehenschel is credited with other improvements at Auschwitz I, including the tearing down of the standing cells in Block 11.

In the Epilogue of the book entitled “Death Dealer,” which was first published in 1992 as the autobiography of Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Höss, the editor of the book, Steven Paskuly wrote the following:

Begin quote

When Höss was promoted to Berlin, his replacement, Kommandant Arthur Liebehenschel, was put in charge of just the Auschwitz camp… […] He had the water trough near Blocks 7 and 8 converted into a swimming pool for Kapos and prisoners who worked well.

End quote