Like many books the Diary of Anne Frank was on my radar for years. Perhaps ten years ago I read that a new unexpurgated (uncensored) version was about to be published. Anne’s father Otto decided his daughter’s unvarnished thoughts as a young adolescent curious about sexuality might put people off. It was published in the fifties I think. My neighbor Becky was reading it when we were in school. I was content to watch the movie with Shelly Winters as the annoying but doomed woman who Anne found fault with in the book.
As with any complicated issue I have many thoughts about the wholesale destruction of Gazan houses by Israel which has killed perhaps the equivalent of 10,000 children who could be stand ins for Anne if they had time to hide and write a precocious journal. Clearly they were not rounded up and sent to a crematorium so in that sense their deaths while every bit as final as Anne’s don’t come from exactly the same motivation to exterminate an entire people from Earth.
But if that is meant to be an excuse for the Israeli actions I’m no longer inclined to let them hide behind Anne for what is clearly a reciprocal atrocity for the Hamas atrocity. And Israel has been able to count on Anne’s memory for a great many years. Seeing Jewish settlers displace Palestinians from land designated as Palestine at the point of a gun is sort of the Israeli version of Hitler’s lebensraum or land for Aryans….. and we today know how the Germans depopulated theirs and the people who were depopulated.
I’m not impressed with the people chanting “Genocide Joe.” On the other hand I can’t blame them. Donald Trump has found that excess works and Trump who both empowered the Netanyahu government to drill down harder on Palestinians is a fitter target for the protester’s epithets. Besides that he fueled Iran’s support of Hamas when he scuttled the agreement to curb their purifying of materials for the making of Nuclear bombs in exchange to work harder to curb Global Warming. Living in Duluth at this moment with temperatures breaking records across the state with it uncertain impact on America’s world feeding farms Trump’s crimes seem far worse to me. He’s Apocalypse Don and many of his supporters can’t wait for the Rapture so long as they don’t have to listen to their ministers recite the beatitudes during Church. Jesus didn’t say that crap about peace and shit did he?
This post was inspired by the beautiful colorized photo of Anne taken a few years before she went into hiding. It reminded me of a photo taken of my mother. Anne was born in 1929 the year after my mother Georganne Robb. My mother born in the age of Shirley Temple hated her non curly, straight black hair. She and Anne, one year younger, both have that hair in common. But my Mother, who wrote a letter about that bad old Hitler and hid it under her piano, like the young heroine in a book she read, lived to see Hitler dispatched as her letter hoped. Anne did not.
Every child who dies in Israel/Palestine is Anne Frank.
That’s my belief and I’m sticking to it.