Friday, October 22, 2010

Rankin File: The Diary of Anne Frank

I am not going to mention the performance because the subject of the play supersedes it.  I was glad to see such a large crowd tonight, and I hope that the performance inspires all those kids and their parents to read about the holocaust.  Although it was mentioned at the beginning that it took a village to bring Anne Frank to Appleton, I believe individuals entities were mentioned as underwriters. And in the play itself it was individuals that made it possible for the Franks to be able to survive in the attic.  Ironically however it was a “village mentality” that persecuted the Franks.  The Perspective of Anne’s diary was that of a young teenager much the same age as I was when I discovered Leon Uris’s “Mila 18” and Jean-Francois Steiner’s “Treblinka”.  Later on I read Leon Uris’s “QBVII”.  I discovered mans inhumanity to man and the Holocaust alone in my youth through reading.

While going to college I took two in depth holocaust studies and was amazed at my fellow classmates who were stunned by the material being presented.  They had no idea.  For the most part they were spared knowing.  During the 1960s my peers, would ignorantly refer to their parents and any other authority figure as Nazi’s,. The police were regarded as Storm Troopers.  Having a pretty good idea of what a Nazi and a storm trooper really was I was appalled at my generations ignorance.  The “greatest generation,” in hopes that their babies may never know the trouble they had seen, sheltered their children to a point where it would be very hard for them to imagine that there can be anything worse than their own parental authorities.  No wonder Anne Frank struck such a cord.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a start; it introduces fear, anxiety, and helplessness through a child’s eyes.  But what of the rest of the story, why was there fear, why was there inhumanity to our fellow man and how do we stop such inhumanity from happening again.  These are important lessons we need to learn and we need to teach them to our youth.  Will we ever have the strength to grow up?

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