Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Diary Of Anne Frank plus today's War in Iraq.

Anne Frank Center

I woke up early on Sunday morning, brewed some java, and turned on HBO. The Diary of Anne Frank caught my attention. Although I was aware of the story behind Anne Frank, I have never read the book, seen the play, or watched the movie. No one else was up around my house, so I settled in and became captivated with the flick.

The movie was filmed in 1980, but the story will live forever as a true depiction of the German Jew haters of the 2nd World War, as well as the struggles inherent in hiding in a four room apartment for 2 years. The protagonist teenager, Anne Frank, kept a diary of her family's self-induced captivity above her father's office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They were Jews hiding from the Germans and trying to wait out the war while avoiding capture.

Unfortunately, the Frank's and their friends were ratted out, and they all got sent to Auschwitz. They all die except the father Otto. He returned to Amsterdam, and eventually found and published the diary in memory of his daughter.

The movie is a stark reminder of the Holocaust, and of the barbaric behavoir of a regime that would send a 15 year old girl and thousands of other ordinary folk to prison camp in the 1940's for the "crime" of being a Jew. Auschwitz and the other gas chamber camps run by the Germans were the highest crimes committed by any regime during the 20th century.

I went to the Anne Frank Web site (link is above), and it filled in the blanks that the movie left out. How incredible for Anne Frank to sum up her life by saying she had a profound belief that people are basically good.

Here's a quote--

"It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.

It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more" - July 15,

What a courageous young girl and what a poignant story that reminds us all how real the Holocuast was and is. How incredible for our country to wait and wait and finally get sucked into World War 2, and then be seen as the nation that helped bring an end to the tyranny caused by Germany and Japan during this period.

I can't help but to compare and contrast this war with the war in Iraq. We were the aggressors in Iraq, not in WW 2. We were told that we would be liberators, and that people would dance in the streets of Baghdad upon our arrival, much in the same way the people of Europe reacted after D-Day. We were told that we would find mass quantities of chemical warfare items in Iraq. We were told that there would be no insurgency and that violence would end in Iraq. While many of the pronouncements by our government came true after WW2, I am sad to say that virtually none of them have come true during this war in Iraq.