"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world."
- Anne Frank
Today we went to Anne Frank’s house. I was surprised by the fact that until this day, people still don’t really understand how empowering and meaningful words can be, at least not until we experience things like this.
When we start the tour to the museum, in this little room, there are four televisions where a girl’s voice is relating the uprising of the Nazi-Germany and how they have started treating the Jewish people, leading many of them to emigrate.
There isn’t a single whisper. Not like in school when the teacher is passing a movie and there is that occasional naughty kid who has to keep talking. Or when we are mourning those who’ve perished in a terrible accident or attack by offering them a minute of silence and there is that hush-hush sound a few seconds before people understand what is happening.
You can only hear the British accent of the girl portraying Anne and the sound of people breathing around you. And, when she stops talking, you see dozens of people staring at a black screen, not daring to move, to speak, some have even forgotten to breath for just a few seconds. A few seconds before normalcy takes over and you think: “if people are so moved by what happened, if those words have touched them in such ways they have even forgotten about everything else, then why can’t we feel moved by things happening right now? Why do we still allow horrors like this to go unpunished?”
|Anne Frank's room|
We continue the tour, and although I feel deeply about what happened to Anne and felt even more when I read the book and found out that she didn’t have her happy ending, I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t her death that made her silent voice heard by thousands. I read a smilar book to Anne Frank’s diary, called Clara’s War, about a girl who kept a journal while she and her family were hiding under the floorboards of a friend’s house, who was hiding them. The life conditions that Clara and her family went through where much harsher than Anne’s, and they almost suffocate a child to death over fear of being caught, but she never had the public knowledge Anne Frank had. Perhaps, is due to the fact that her book was published later on, when the war was a distant thing, when the pain of it was just a scar that didn’t hurt anymore. Or perhaps, her survival didn’t quite get the catalyst factor that drove Anne to fame.
|The bookcase that hid Anne Frank and her family|
She wanted to be famous even after her death. She wanted to leave a mark that would last even after her eyes were closed and she got her wish. But why are we only moved by those who’ve suffered when it’s already too late to help them?
Racism is not a thing completely in the past. Discrimination against religious believes are as present now as in the anti-semitic times. War horrors are still allowed in some countries, where people don’t have anyone fighting for them. And what was the first thing the USA did after WWII? They created a segregated country. South Africa created the apartheid Jerusalem started a war with Palestine…
And now we have countries refusing to admit the Holocaust ever existed, telling us it’s a made-up story.
Will humans ever learn from their mistakes?