Last weekend I finished the Book Thief and read how dangerous it was for German citizens to do anything against the Nazi’s because they would be killed. Then I watched Schindler’s List which 20 years ago I somehow missed. The Beauty of Ralph Fiennes, (prounounced Reif, I never knew that), made it difficult and confusing. There is a reason I don't trust myself to date anymore.
I know about the camps, you know about the camps, but we don't feel it. Watching this scene, it began to feel real. A guard took caveliar shots at prisoners as they were running around working. Slow ones, fast ones, it didn't matter.
Then I watched a Documentary where I learned how it started and what it was like. And then I remembered Anne.
Anne would have kept a hell of a creative journal wouldn't she? She'd run the best FB group. Look at her journal.I didn't realize how large her journal was. It's like a giant scrapbook. I love how wide the pages here. Anne would have LOVED all the mixed media and paper documenting we do today. She was the first. And I looked at her room.
Look at her humble little desk. The generic little light. Little Anne sitting in the corner writing in her journal, just like you and me. Not like you and me, we aren't hiding from Nazis, but still, a girl alone in a tiny space writing down here thoughts. She could have not written them down, she had no way of knowing for sure she would get out of there, but the limitless hope of a little girl is something powerful.
Her diary ended in August 1944 and I never knew exactly what happened to her. Here we are, living in her journal, a very private place to be. I needed to know what she went through after that. Did you know she did not die in the gas chamber? That she was sent to Auschwitch but moved to the Bergen-Belsen Camp where they stopped feeding prisoners. We have to know this. This is our history and it happened while people right now were still alive. It was worse than the movies tell you. Here is a woman who grew up with Anne that was with her at the final camp. Anne was one of us, so imagining yourself as her makes it easier to imagine it happening to you. And you have to imagine it, because genoicide still goes on today. It can't be another news story that you have to push out of your mind because it's all too much. Yes, it is all too much, so we have to recognize it when it starts early. You have to look at this, look at how Anne lived and then where she died, this little journal girl. She wasn't gassed. It was worse. And why? Because she was a minority.