Scrapbookpages Blog

January 26, 2017

The story of Anne Frank is back in the news….

Filed under: Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:30 am

Who doesn’t love Anne Frank? — the Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis for years, living in an attic in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank at the age of 13

I have visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, and I have written extensively about Anne on these two pages of my website:

https://www.scrapbookpages.com/AnneFrank/AnneFrank02.html

https://www.scrapbookpages.com/AnneFrank/AnneFrank01.html

Front door of the Anne Frank house

My photo of the front door of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam

You can read the latest news about Anne Frank at http://bangordailynews.com/2017/01/25/religion/holocaust-remembrance-day-to-feature-talk-on-americanization-of-anne-frank/

The following quote is from the news story:

Begin quote

BANGOR, Maine — Nearly every American first learns of the Holocaust by reading the “Diary of Anne Frank,” first published in 1952. While an unedited version of the diary was published in the 1990s, the sanitized version of her diary influenced how the Holocaust has been viewed by Americans for decades.

Anthony Wexler, a faculty fellow in religious studies at Colby College, will discuss how the diary contributed what scholars have call the Americanization of the Holocaust at 7 p.m. Friday at Congregation Beth El, 183 French Street, Bangor. It is sponsored by local synagogues and Jewish Community Endowment Associates and is being present on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Because of the way the diary was edited by her father, Otto Frank, Anne was made into a kind of All-American girl,” Wexler said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “The Holocaust was a very acceptable event [in the first version of the diary published]. It didn’t feature the aspects of the Holocaust that were most terrifying.”

Other Holocaust scholars have criticized how the historical event has been portrayed in the U.S., including how the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is designed.

End quote

You can read a description of the Anne Frank house on my website at https://www.scrapbookpages.com/AnneFrank/AnneFrank03.html

In order to see the attic, where Anne was hiding, you must climb some very steep stairs. Don’t worry about falling down these stairs — there are plenty of people on the stairs behind you, ready to catch you if you fall.

The people who work there won’t tell you this, but there is an elevator that you can use — but only if you are a prominent Jew, or if you are in a wheelchair — and a Jew.

 

 

November 25, 2015

Anne Frank’s family in Amsterdam was denied entry into the USA

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:54 am
Anne Frank at age 13

Anne Frank at age 13

My blog post today is a comment on a news article which you can read in full here.

This is the headline of the article:

Anne Frank was a refugee who was denied asylum in U.S.

I know what my readers are saying:  “What are you complaining about now?”

My complaint is about this quote, which is from the article:

Among the countless Jews denied refuge in the United States were the Frank family of Amsterdam, as personal letters discovered in a New Jersey warehouse in 2007 revealed.

The “Frank family” did not live in Amsterdam.  At first, only Otto Frank left Germany and went to Amsterdam.

Otto Frank was a fugitive from justice because he, and his brother, had been convicted of bank fraud.  His brother managed to enter the United States in spite of his criminal conviction, but for some unknown reason Otto, the bank fraud criminal, was denied entry.  Shame on the USA:  all Jewish criminals should have been allowed in.

This quote is from the news article:

The United States even denied refuge to the most well-known Holocaust victim of all, the young Anne Frank, whose father’s desperate efforts to save his family were met with cold indifference.

Anne Frank was not denied refuge.  She was waiting until her father got settled in the USA before undertaking this journey herself.

What if Otto Frank had brought his family with him when he tried to enter the USA?  Would Anne have written her famous Diary?  I seriously doubt it.  She wrote her diary because she was cooped up in an attic and had nothing else to do.

Anne Frank was no saint.  If she had been in America during the war years, she would have been “lying, cheating and stealing” with the best of them.

The article continues with this quote:

By the end of the 1930s, Jews in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe had long been outlawed—they were officially declared subhuman, stripped of their citizenship and their wealth, banned marrying or even having sex with Aryans, barred from owning land, blacklisted from many professions and subjected to countless other dehumanizing indignities, large and small. They were forced to wear badges and carry special identification. Boycotts and violence plagued Jewish-owned homes and businesses, which were soon stolen as Jews were rounded up and forced into segregated ghettos where the awaited what turned out to be Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.

The Anne Frank house

My photo of the Anne Frank house

You can read about the Anne Frank house on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AnneFrank/AnneFrank02.html

 

November 19, 2015

Breckinridge Long is back in the news and not in a good way

Cover of book written by Breckinridge Long

Photo of the Cover of The War Diary of Breckinridge Long

This morning, when I checked my blog statistics, as I always do, I found that the my previous blog post about Breckinridge Long had gotten the most hits.

I wondered why so many people were interested in Breckinridge Long, so I checked the news to find out what is going on.  I found this news article with this headline:

Anti-Syrian Muslim Refugee Rhetoric Mirrors Calls to Reject Jews During Nazi Era

Breckinridge Long

Breckinridge Long

SelectedForLabor.jpg

 

A photo similar to the one above is at the top of the news article. This photo allegedly shows Jewish men marching to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Notice the train in the background; they have just gotten off a train.

This quote is from the beginning of the news article:

During the 1930s and early 1940s, the United States resisted accepting large numbers of Jewish refugees escaping the Nazi terror sweeping Europe, in large part because of fearmongering by a small but vocal crowd.

They claimed that the refugees were communist or anarchist infiltrators intent on spreading revolution; that refugees were part of a global Jewish-capitalist conspiracy to take control of the United States from the inside; that the refugees were either Nazis in disguise or under the influence of Nazi agents sent to commit acts of sabotage; and that Jewish refugees were out to steal American jobs.

Many rejected Jews simply because they weren’t Christian.

In recent days, similar arguments are being resurrected to reject Syrian refugees fleeing sectarian terrorists and civil war.

This is another quote from the same news article:

During congressional debate in 1940, John B. Trevor, a prominent Capitol Hill lobbyist, argued against a proposal to settle Jewish refugees in Alaska, claiming they would be potential enemies — and charging that Nazi persecution of the Jews had occurred “in very many cases … because of their beliefs in the Marxian philosophy.” Trevor had notably helped author the Immigration Act of 1924, a law designed to curb Jewish migration from Eastern Europe, in part because of anarchist Jewish Americans of Russian descent including Emma Goldman.

Rep. Jacob Thorkelson, a Republican from Montana, warned at the time that Jewish migrants were part of an “invisible government,” an organization he said was tied to the “communistic Jew” and to “Jewish international financiers.”

William Dudley Pelley, a leading anti-Semite and organizer of the “Silver Shirts” nationalist group, claimed that Jewish migration was part of a Jewish-Communist conspiracy to seize control of the United States. Pelley, whose organization routinely used anti-Semitic smears such as “Yidisher Refugees” and “Refugees Kikes,” attracted up to 50,000 to his organization by 1934.

In a previous blog post, I wrote the following about Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, who tried to escape the Nazis by coming to the United States, but he was denied entry because he had a criminal record (He had been convicted of cheating the customers of a bank that he owned.)

Begin Quote from previous blog post:

Anne Frank’s mother was an Orthodox Jew but her father was not very religious; he was not a  Zionist.  Besides that, the Franks didn’t qualify for the prisoner exchange camp at Bergen-Belsen because Otto Frank was a fugitive from justice.

In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Otto Frank was not in danger of being persecuted — he was in danger of being prosecuted.  That’s right, Otto Frank and his brother were both indicted for bank fraud in 1933, and were scheduled to be put on trial.  Otto Frank tried to get a visa to come to America, but was denied, so he escaped to Holland and entered the country illegally.  His family followed him a few months later.

Otto Frank had been preparing a hiding place for months, while he told everyone that the family was planning to escape to Switzerland. In July 1942, Margot Frank received a letter from the Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung (Central Office for Jewish Emigration), ordering her to report to a work camp. The next day, the Frank family moved into the annex.

 

 

June 1, 2014

How does the story of Anne Frank prove the Holocaust?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:26 am

The following quote is from an Op-Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, which you can read in full here.

The [Rialto] school district has finally apologized — appropriately — and is dispatching all [Rialto School District] students and their teachers to the Museum of Tolerance’s new Anne Frank exhibition before they graduate next month. […]

Soon, nearly 2,000 teens from the Rialto School District will visit the Museum of Tolerance to meet and hear from Holocaust survivors. They will be encouraged to ask them questions and engage in a dialogue. Not one of them is likely to leave that day thinking the Holocaust didn’t happen. One day soon however, there won’t be any survivors left to share their real-life experiences. That’s when the ultimate challenge to truth will begin. Heaven help us all if we fail to provide young people with skills to recognize the difference between hate and history.

Anne Frank at the age of 13

Anne Frank at the age of 13

Sorry, but I don’t think that a display about Anne Frank is the right way to prove the Holocaust. In my humble opinion, the story of Anne Frank disproves the Holocaust, and here’s why:

1. Anne Frank was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau “death camp” after her hiding place was discovered, but she was not gassed.  She was somehow chosen to work, even though she was barely 5 feet tall and had no work skills of any kind.  When Anne arrived at Auschwitz, she was not in a healthy condition, after spending two years in hiding, yet she was not gassed.

After only two months at Auschwitz, Anne and her sister Margo were both sent on a SICK TRANSPORT to Bergen-Belsen.  The train that took them to Bergen-Belsen was monitored by the Red Cross because it was a SICK TRANSPORT.

2. Anne Frank’s mother died of tuberculosis after 5 months at Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was apparently sick when she arrived at the Auschwitz-Birkenau “death camp,” yet she was allowed to live, even though she was sick with a terminal illness.

3.  Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, was 56 years old when he arrived at the Auschwitz-Birkenau “death camp,”  where everyone over the age of 45 was automatically sent to the gas chamber.  Otto Frank was selected to work, but he didn’t want to work, so he paid a Jewish doctor in the camp to put him into the camp hospital, where he survived.

4. Otto Frank was allowed to stay in the camp hospital at Auschwitz-Birkenau, when the other prisoners were taken on a “death march” out of the camp.

5. Anne Frank’s school friends in Amsterdam didn’t go into hiding. They survived the Holocaust and went to Israel after the war.  They were sent to the Star Camp, the best section of Bergen-Belsen, instead of being sent to Auschwitz. After Anne’s family was discovered in their hiding place, they were sent to the punishment section of the Westerbork transit camp because they had gone into hiding, and from there they were sent to Auschwitz, instead of being sent to Bergen-Belsen.

6. Anne Frank was allowed to live at Bergen-Belsen, until she died of typhus, and was buried in a mass grave.

One of several mass graves at Bergen-Belsen

One of several mass graves at Bergen-Belsen

To sum up the Anne Frank story, everything in the saga is against the known facts of the Holocaust:

1. Sick prisoners were immediately sent to the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau upon arrival.

2. Old people were immediately taken to the gas chamber, upon arrival, at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

3. The prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau were forced to go on  a “death march” out of the camp for the purpose of killing them.

Here is one final quote from the Op-Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times:

But historians would no more debate whether the Holocaust happened than they would whether Nazi Germany unleashed the blitzkrieg on Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. These events are facts.

I am not a historian, so I DID debate the subject of  “whether Nazi Germany unleashed the blitzkrieg on Poland on September 1, 1939.”  on this post post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/alfred-naujocks-and-the-start-of-world-war-ii/

July 15, 2013

Breckinridge Long (America’s Eichmann???) who denied Otto Frank a visa to enter the USA

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:01 am

A new book, written by Jewish author Neil Rolde, entitled Breckinridge Long, American Eichmann??? An Enquiry into the Character of the Man Who Denied Visas to the Jews has recently been published.

Breckinridge Long was the US State Department Assistant Secretary during World War II. He reported to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who allowed him to create his own guidelines in deciding whom to allow to emigrate to America, according to Neil Rolde.

This quote is from a news article, about Rolde’s book, in the Seacoastonline newspaper:

Nazi SS Lt. Col. Adolf Eichmann is widely regarded as one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. When he was tried on charges years later, he said he was “just following orders,” Rolde said.

I put Long into that class. He said he thought he was following orders, and what he was really doing is sending people to the gas chambers,” Rolde said.

[….]

In fact, the son of Macy’s Department Store owner Nathan Strauss petitioned for his friend, Otto Frank, to be able to leave Amsterdam, but the visa was denied. Frank’s daughter was Anne Frank.

As it turned out, Otto Frank ended up in Auschwitz-Birkenau, but he wasn’t sent to the gas chamber, even though he was 56 years old. Jews over 45 were allegedly sent directly to the gas chamber in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, but not Otto Frank.  He survived and walked all the way back to Amsterdam after the camp was liberated.

One of my earliest blog posts, written two weeks after I started blogging, was entitled Anne Frank –What If.  This quote is from that blog post:

In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Otto Frank was not in danger of being persecuted – he was in danger of being prosecuted.  That’s right, Otto Frank and his brother were both indicted for bank fraud in 1933, and were scheduled to be put on trial.  Otto Frank tried to get a visa to come to America, but was denied, so he escaped to Holland and entered the country illegally.  His family followed him a few months later.

However, it was not because Otto Frank and his brother were crooks that they were denied entry into the US.  Otto Frank’s brother was allowed to enter, but when Otto Frank was denied entry, he escaped to the Netherlands.

This quote is from an article, written by Richard Breitman, which you can read on this website:

In 1938, according to his own testimony, Otto Frank first applied at Rotterdam for immigration visas to the U. S. for himself and his family. As Germans living in the Netherlands, the Franks fell under the American immigration quota for Germany.

At that time there were some prospects for hope. After Nazi Germany took over Austria in mid-March 1938 and launched severe persecution of Austrian Jews, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told his cabinet that he hoped to liberalize U. S. immigration procedures and to persuade Latin American countries to take in additional refugees. He approved a formal list of American proposals on March 22 that implicitly involved full use of the combined German-Austrian immigration quota.

FDR then invited a range of other governments to attend a refugee conference and to set up a new international committee on refugee problems. This conference and the international committee would try to bring about and finance emigration of political refugees from Germany and Austria. But, mindful of widespread public opposition to increased immigration, the U.S. explicitly stated that countries participating would not be expected to change their existing immigration laws.

At the July 1938 refugee conference held at Evian, France one country after another explained why it could not take in more refugees, with some noting in particular why Jews were undesirable. The President’s initiative had seemingly failed, dashing the hopes of hundreds of thousands of Jews and other victims of persecution. Only one country, the Dominican Republic, volunteered to take in substantial numbers of refugees.

The negative public face of the Evian Conference overshadowed some positive developments. For the first time since the 1920s, the United States did make available its full immigration quota for Germany, so that more than 27,000 Germans and Austrians-about 90% of them Jewish-were able to immigrate in the course of a year. And a number of Latin American countries showed themselves open to take in refugees with sufficient means to support themselves-or with foreign backers willing to support them and create jobs for them. Jewish emigration to some Latin American countries such as Cuba, Brazil, and Bolivia quietly continued.

At the same time, Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews sharply escalated. Especially after the Night of Broken Glass in November 1938, tens of thousands more German, Austrian, and Czech Jews, some of them beaten in concentration camps and released with dire warnings to leave the country soon, became desperate to leave. New would-be emigrants, plus those who had already applied to leave, swamped the places available abroad. By early 1939 the waiting list for an immigration visa to the U. S. contained more than 300,000 names.2

Under these circumstances Otto Frank’s turn on the waiting list for American visas apparently did not come up. Feeling protected by his successful business in Amsterdam, he was not threatened enough to try other opportunities abroad.

January 1, 2011

The Diary of Anne Frank

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:37 am

As everyone probably knows by now, Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who spent 25 months cooped up in an annex behind her father’s factory building in Amsterdam, hiding from the Nazis during World War II.  She died during a typhus epidemic at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, less than a year after the hiding place was discovered; her body was unceremoniously thrown into a mass grave, along with the bodies of 35,000 others who had died in only two months during the epidemic.

If Anne Frank had survived World War II, she would probably have been the first author to become a billionaire, instead of J.K. Rowling, the woman who wrote the Harry Potter books.   (more…)

December 25, 2010

the “death march” out of Auschwitz on Jan. 18, 1945

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 5:26 pm

I can vividly recall the moment when I first learned about the “death march” out of Auschwitz.  It was when I read an article in my local newspaper about a Holocaust survivor who explained how she had managed to survive the march out of Auschwitz when the camp was abandoned on January 18, 1945.  She said that her father had advised her to wear her ski boots when the family was transported on a train to Auschwitz.  She managed to keep her ski boots throughout the time that she was a prisoner at Auschwitz and she wore them during the march out of the camp.  This was what saved her life.   (more…)

February 19, 2010

The Diary of Anne Frank – Is it authentic?

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 12:48 am

There is a subset of Holocaust denial which involves the denial of the Diary of Anne Frank as an authentic true story written by Anne herself.  The leading proponent of this denial is French professor Robert Faurrison who wrote an article in 1978, entitled “The Diary of Anne Frank – Is it authentic?”

Faurrison is now 80 years old, the same age as Anne Frank would be if she were still alive. He claims that the Diary of Anne Frank is fiction and that it was written by her father, Otto Frank.

With all due respect to Mr. Faurrison, I think that he and all the other deniers of the Diary of Anne Frank are completely and totally wrong.

Here is my answer to those who claim that the Diary of Anne Frank is fiction written by Otto Frank:

1.  The deniers claim that the Diary of Anne Frank was written with a ball point pen, so the Diary can’t be authentic since ball point pens were not in use until 1951.

The first edition of the Diary of Anne Frank was published by her father in 1947.  Was the Diary written after it was published?

There are allegedly a few notes in the margins of Anne’s original manuscript, which were written with a ball point pen, but it is easy to see that the whole manuscript, some of which is on display in the Museum in Amsterdam, was not written with a ball point pen.

2.  Anne wrote that when the Franks moved into their hiding place, they immediately put up curtains.  Faurrison thinks that the curtains would have  alerted the neighbors to the fact that someone was living in the annex. He assumes that the neighbors would have immediately come to the conclusion that some Jews had gone into hiding.

The neighbors did notice the curtains, but they thought nothing of it, since the annex had previously been used by Otto Frank for his business.  The neighbors assumed that the annex was now being used again for office space for Otto Frank’s business.  At night, all the windows of every building in Amsterdam were covered with blackout cloth because of allied bombing, so the lights in the annex could not be seen at night.

3.  Anne writes about all the noise that they made while in hiding. Faurrison thinks that, with all this noise, the people in hiding would have been caught long before two years and one month, when they were finally reported to the Gestapo.

In particular, Anne wrote in her diary on August 5, 1943 that Mrs. van Pels vacuumed her beautiful rug at 12:30 p.m.  Then she added that Mr. van Maaren and Mr. de Kok had gone home for lunch. Anne didn’t say that Mrs. van Pels always vacuumed the rug at 12:30 p.m. but she could have, since all the workers, who weren’t in on the secret, left the office each day from noon to 1 p.m. so this was the perfect time for vacuuming.

Anne also wrote that an alarm clock might go off at any hour of the day or night.  The annex was a separate building and only the ground floor of the annex was used by the workers.  The people in hiding spent most of their time on the third floor above the ground floor, which would be the fourth floor in American terms.  The sound of an alarm three stories above them probably could not be heard by the workers on the ground floor.

At night and on weekends, the people in the annex could make noise and there was no one there to hear them. Before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m., there was no one in the main building to hear them. During the lunch hour, Anne and the others could go into Otto Frank’s office on the second floor in the main building and listen to the radio or use the toilet.

4.  Faurrison questioned the fact that Margot received her notice to report to a labor camp on July 5, 1942 and the Frank family moved into the annex the next day.  Wouldn’t the Gestapo have followed up on the notice after Margot failed to report?

Otto Frank had been preparing the annex as a hiding place for months, bringing in food and furniture.  He had also been telling people for months that the family was going to escape to Switzerland.  If the Gestapo had checked on Margot, the neighbors would have told them that the Franks had gone to Switzerland.  There were 20,000 Dutch Jews in hiding during the war; the Gestapo couldn’t spend much time searching for just one family.

5.  Faurrison says that Anne Frank’s personality was invented by Otto Frank, whom he claims is the actual author of the book. If Otto Frank had actually made up a diary, wouldn’t he have made up the diary of his older daughter Margot? One reason why some people are skeptical is because the writing in the Diary of Anne Frank is too good to have been written by a girl between the ages of 13 and 15.

Otto Frank revealed after the war that he found out that Margot also kept a diary while the family was in hiding.  Margot was three years older than Anne, and she was very quiet and reserved, not at all a brat like Anne.  Her diary never got published, probably because it was totally boring.

To me, the proof that Anne wrote the diary herself is that no one could have invented her personality, certainly not a man over fifty, like her father.  There is no way that any man could have faked the writing of a young girl who was as unique as Anne Frank. The reason that the Diary of Anne Frank is so popular is because it is genuine.  It is timeless because it captures the feelings of young girls everywhere.

6.  Faurrison questions the handwriting in the original small book that Anne received for her 13th birthday and the later handwriting in the notebooks and the 338 loose sheets, which seems to be the handwriting of an adult.

Of course, Anne’s handwriting changed during the course of the two years that she was in hiding, as she matured from a child to a young woman.  The content of her writing also changed.  The first diary entries showed a child who was very shallow and a total brat.  Her later writing showed a young girl who was becoming more mature and even more of a brat. (Yes, of course, Anne Frank was a brat.  That’s why kids today love her.  She hated her mother.  Doesn’t every teenager hate their mother?)

7. Faurrison questions whether Anne Frank would have known on October 9, 1942 that the Jews were being gassed.

At the Museum in Amsterdam, there is a poster with a quotation from Anne’s entry into her diary on October 9, 1942, regarding the gassing of the Jews:

“The English radio says they’re being gassed. I feel terribly upset.”

The following quotation, which proves that the gassing of the Jews was well known, even at this early date, is from a footnote in The Diary of Anne Frank, the Critical Edition:

In June 1942 the British press and the BBC began to refer to the gassings in Poland. Thus the 6 p.m. news on the BBC Home Service on July 9, 1942, included the following item: “Jews are regularly killed by machinegun fire, hand grenades – and even poisoned by gas.” (BBC Written Archives Center, Reading)

When Anne wrote on October 9, 1942 in the original diary (the one that she had received for her birthday in June 1942), she did not mention the gassing of the Jews. The entry on that date mentions only that Miep had told her that Jews were being “dragged from house after house in South Amsterdam.”

Anne’s original entries are called version A in the Critical Edition. The quotation that is in the Museum is from version B, which is the diary as rewritten by Anne between May 20 1944 and August 4, 1944, and published in the Critical Edition in 1986.

Version C in the Critical Edition is the diary as edited by Otto Frank who chose entries from both version A and version B, publishing it as “Het Achterhuis” in 1947. In 1952, version C was published by Doubleday & Co. in America under the title “Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl.”

As published in The Critical Edition, the following is Anne’s entry for October 9, 1942 in version B, the rewrite, which is also used as the entry for that date in version C, which was published in 1947 by Otto Frank:

“If it is as bad as this in Holland, whatever will it be like in the distant and barbarous regions they are sent to. We assume that most of them are murdered. The English radio speaks of them being gassed; perhaps that is the quickest way to die. I feel terribly upset.”

8.  Faurrison finds fault in the fact that there are two versions of Anne Frank’s Diary.

According to information given to visitors at the Anne Frank House, Anne heard on the English radio on March 28, 1944 that after the war there would be a collection of diaries published and this was what prompted her to rewrite her diary. During the period from May 20, 1944 until her arrest on August 4, 1944, Anne rewrote all the entries in her original diary up to and including her original entry for March 29, 1944, the day before she began writing with publication in mind. According to Anne’s own words, her goal was to convert her diary into “a novel about the Secret Annex.”

According to Miep Gies, who was the main helper for the people hiding in the annex, the adults in the annex all helped Anne when she rewrote her diary.  They didn’t do any of the writing, but they pointed out to her what was important to include, such as mentioning that the Jews were being gassed.

Anne was planning to hide the identity of the characters in her novel with fake names. Anne Frank was to be Anne Robin, the van Pels family was to be called the van Daan family, and Dr. Pfeffer would be called Alfred Dussel. The helpers Kleiman and Kugler would be named Koophius and Kraler. Bep would be called Elli. In the published version of the diary, only Miep is referred to by her real name.

On May 11, 1944, Anne wrote in her diary, regarding her ambition to become a famous writer:

“You’ve known for a long time that my greatest wish is to become a journalist some day and later on a famous writer. Whether these leanings towards greatness (or insanity) will ever materialize remains to be seen, but I certainly have the subjects in my mind. In any case, I want to publish a book entitled Het Achterhuis after the war. Whether I shall succeed or not, I cannot say, but my diary will be a great help.”

On May 20, 1944, Anne wrote in her diary regarding her plan to rewrite her original diary:

“In my head it’s already as good as finished, although it won’t go as quickly as that really, if it ever comes off at all.”

According to the museum exhibit, Otto Frank organized Anne’s papers and typed up what she had written. The pamphlet handed out at the museum says:

For making a transcript of Anne’s diary notations he uses Anne’s loose-leaf pages as the starting point.

Otto Frank took some entries from each version which Anne had written and combined them into the final version, which he published in June 1947 under the title that Anne had chosen: Het Achterhuis (The House Behind). One of the 1,500 copies that were printed in the first edition of the diary is on display at the museum.

Otto Frank used his own judgment in editing his daughter’s writing: he left out a few pages, added a few words here and there and changed a few sentences. He also made corrections in grammar and punctuation with the help of others whom he consulted.

All three versions of the diary can now be read simultaneously in The Diary of Anne Frank, the Critical Edition, which was prepared by the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation and copyrighted in 1986. This is a huge volume, weighing about 10 pounds, which contains diary entries that Otto Frank left out of the original version because they contained embarrassing sexual references. The book also contains the results of an extensive handwriting analysis which established once and for all that the diary is genuine, and not a fake as the deniers claim.

February 18, 2010

Anne Frank – What if…?

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , , , — furtherglory @ 2:56 am

Statue of Anne Frank in Amsterdam

In July 1942, Anne Frank and her family went into hiding along with four other people, in an annex behind her father’s office building. They stayed there for a little more than two years until some unknown person betrayed them and they were arrested by the Gestapo.  Anne’s father, Otto Frank, was the only survivor.

What if Anne and her family had not gone into hiding?  Would they have had a better chance of surviving?

A few years ago, I visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam which has been turned into a Museum.  There are TV monitors on the wall and visitors can watch interviews with some of Anne’s Jewish school friends who are still alive and well, living in Israel. They didn’t go into hiding and they survived.

Otto Frank office and factory building in Amsterdam

After they were arrested by the Gestapo, Anne and the others who hid in the annex were sent to the Westerbork transit camp in Holland. Westerbork had originally been set up as an internment camp for Jews who were illegal immigrants in Holland, so it was a nice camp, not like the typical Nazi concentration camp.

But Anne didn’t get to enjoy her time in Westerbork. Because Anne’s family had gone into hiding, they were put into the “punishment” section of Westerbork.  There, Anne and her sister Margot and her mother were put to work taking apart old batteries.

I wouldn’t touch an old battery with a ten foot pole, much less take one apart.  Think of what being exposed to battery acid for a couple of months will do to your health.  Anne’s mother died of tuberculosis, or possibly some other lung condition, after five months at the Auschwitz II camp, also known as Birkenau.

After less than two months at Birkenau, Anne and her sister Margot were transferred to the Bergen Belsen camp in Germany in October 1944.  We know that the train carrying Anne and Margot to Bergen-Belsen was a “sick transport” because the Red Cross was asked to monitor the train along the way.

The Bergen-Belsen camp had 8 different sections, including a sick camp where prisoners who were terminally ill, and could no longer work, were sent to die. But Anne and her sister were not being sent to the sick camp at Bergen-Belsen.

Anne and Margot Frank were put into a new section in Bergen-Belsen where prefabricated barracks from the abandoned Plaszow camp were supposed to have been set up.  (Plaszow was the camp shown in Schindler’s List where the Commandant shot prisoners from the balcony.)

For some reason, the barracks from Plaszow never arrived at Bergen-Belsen and tents had to be set up for the sick prisoners on this transport.  If Anne and Margot were not sick already, they certainly would be after a few weeks of sleeping on the ground inside a canvas tent in October.

The tents blew down during a storm a few weeks later, and Anne and Margot were put into barracks that were already full.  A typhus epidemic started at Bergen-Belsen in December 1944 and Anne and Margo had virtually no chance of surviving in an over-crowded barrack.

Meanwhile, Anne’s school friends from Amsterdam were living in the Star camp at Bergen-Belsen where they had uncrowded barracks and received better food, including Red Cross packages.  The Red Cross packages were important for survival because they contained oranges and other items necessary for maintaining good health.

Anne and Margot Frank didn’t get Red Cross packages at Bergen-Belsen because they were being punished for going into hiding.

So how did Anne’s childhood friends get into the best section of Bergen-Belsen?  Their families  were Zionists who wanted to go to Palestine.

Bergen-Belsen was originally set up as a holding camp for Jews who wanted to go to Palestine; they were available to be exchanged for German citizens being held in prison by the Allies.  It was not until December 1944 that Bergen Belsen became a concentration camp.

Anne Frank’s mother was an Orthodox Jew but her father was not very religious; he was not a  Zionist.  Besides that, the Franks didn’t qualify for the prisoner exchange camp at Bergen-Belsen because Otto Frank was a fugitive from justice.

In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Otto Frank was not in danger of being persecuted — he was in danger of being prosecuted.  That’s right, Otto Frank and his brother were both indicted for bank fraud in 1933, and were scheduled to be put on trial.  Otto Frank tried to get a visa to come to America, but was denied, so he escaped to Holland and entered the country illegally.  His family followed him a few months later.

Otto Frank had been preparing a hiding place for months, while he told everyone that the family was planning to escape to Switzerland. In July 1942, Margot Frank received a letter from the Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung (Central Office for Jewish Emigration), ordering her to report to a work camp. The next day, the Frank family moved into the annex.

Otto Frank’s family had been rich for  many years, and his wife’s family was even richer.  For centuries, no one in either of their families had ever worked a day doing manual labor.  It was unthinkable that 16-year-old Margot would have to work with her hands on a farm or in a factory.

But what if Margot had reported for work?  She would have worked in a labor camp for a year or two and then would have been allowed to return to her family. She would have been paid a small amount of money for her work and she would have been allowed to send food home to the family. On weekends, she would have been allowed to go into a nearby town.  (Source: “The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith Hahn Beer, published in 2003.)

Instead Margot spent the next two years cooped up in a room where she had to be quiet the whole day.

Otto Frank’s office and the annex behind it

Photo Credit: Anne Frank Stichting, Tekening: Eric van Rootselaar

Shown above is a cross section of the house and the Annex. On the left is the main house, with the annex on the right. Tourists enter the house through a door that has been cut into the wall of the passageway which connects the main building and the annex on the ground floor. Anne Frank’s room is on the 2nd floor (3rd floor in American terms) on the side nearest to the viewer.

The officer who came to arrest the Franks in August 1944 was Karl Silberbauer.  He noticed that Otto Frank had an Iron Cross medal that he had received in World War I.  Silberbauer asked Otto why he had gone into hiding when Jewish veterans of World War I were initially exempt from being sent to a concentration camp, and were later sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto. In other words, Otto Frank would have been one of the “prominent” Jews because of his status as a veteran and a holder of the Iron Cross, and as a prominent Jew, he could have stayed at Theresienstadt throughout the war. (Source: Anne Frank, the Biography by Melissa Mueller)

It is possible that Otto Frank was never in the military in World War I and that he purchased his Iron Cross medal like many other Jews.  This was so common that Hitler commissioned a study to find out exactly how many Jews had served in the Army in World War I.

Anne Frank at age 13

If Anne Frank had survived, she would be 80 years old in June this year.

What if Anne Frank had lived? What kind of person would she be?

Here is a clue:

The first thing you see, on your way through the building at 265 Prinsengracht, is the famous photo of Anne (shown above) which appears on the cover of the American edition of The Diary of Anne Frank, and a large poster with one of the most famous quotations from her diary, written on April 9, 1944.

“One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we will be people again, and not just Jews! We can never be just Dutch, or just English, or whatever, we will always be Jews as well. But then, we’ll want to be.”

That quote from Anne Frank’s diary reveals that Anne herself was a Zionist.  If she were alive today, she would probably be living in Israel with her childhood friends.