How many of you read Anne Frank growing up? How many of you cried? How many of you wondered how such atrocities could be allowed to happen? How many of you wondered how so many people could turn their backs on the suffering of others?
Well, if you are against helping the refugees, look in the mirror, and all of those questions will be answered. And Anne Frank’s death becomes meaningless.
Did you know that Otto Frank, Anne’s father, tried desperately to get his family somewhere out of reach of the Nazis, and that included trying to reach America? But because Americans were suspicious of Jewish people and increasingly hostile to foreigners, they were denied entry.
No Asylum, now available on Amazon Prime, is a documentary that tells the story of Mr. Frank’s vain efforts to escape with his family to the US. The most horrifying part of this is that originally the Nazis did not want to kill Jewish people. They wanted them out of their lands. But when other countries that weren’t under Nazi control refused to take them in, then they started to execute Jewish people en mass. This has chilling implications for our time.
I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that we can look back on tragedies and honor the people who suffered them by learning from what happened and standing firm while proclaiming, “never again!”
Fortunately, as evidenced by the protests, I believe a lot of people took the lessons of the Holocaust to heart and found meaning in something horrible. This is why Otto Frank spent the last years of his life promoting Anne’s diary, and when we take action we honor his commitment and Anne Frank’s memory, as well as the memory of the 6 million other people, Jews, Roma, LGBT, the disabled, and others, who died. This is where we say never again.
I will be Miep Gies. I will be Johannes Kleiman. I will be Victor Kugler. I will be Bep Voskuijl.