75th Holocaust Remembrance

“The time will come when we will be people again, not just Jews!” – 11 April 1944.

More than one million children under 16 died in the Holocaust during World War II. Anne Frank was one of them.

This excerpt came from her diary while hiding in the secret annex of her father’s business. She wasn’t writing a book or an important document–just a journal that kept her occupied and helped her to cope with a difficult time in her life. Finally, however, in 1947, her diary, saved during the war by one of the family’s helpers, Miep Gies, was published.

Today her diary has been translated into 55 languages and is one of the most widely read books globally.

Have you ever opened an old Bible to find the handwriting of someone from the past, such as your grandfather, an aunt, or a mother? Have you skimmed through an album’s dusty, yellowed pages to find black-and-white pictures of people in strange clothes?

And at that moment, the realization of our connection with the past comes alive, and maybe there is a relief.

Everyone wants to be remembered for something. Pictures, old scraps of paper with handwriting, and even journals or diaries give us a glimpse into a time gone by.

Maybe we wondered about it, and the evidence we discover in an attic or cedar chest makes it real for us. The past becomes believable, tangible, or understandable. It may even help us to understand ourselves.

Why do you think people placed items in a time capsule? They want something in the future or someone to know there was life, experiences, joy, and misery before they arrived.

The Anne Frank journal and others like the Lewis and Clark journals have become vital to our history link.

Even handwriting can tell a story about where we come from. Genealogists and handwriting experts can tell what time a person lived by how they curve their letters. Not only have words and their meanings changed throughout the years, but the way we form the letters has, too.

When I discovered scraps of paper with my mother’s handwriting, I realized it was identical to mine. Her handwriting was similar to the Tex-Mex language spoken in the Rio Grande Valley, where we lived for a while. She would begin cursive and intermingle letters in the word that were printed. I do that. I am unsure what the meaning is, but seeing the similarity in our handwriting helps me feel connected with her.

Whatever the reason we keep a journal or write little notes in the family Bible, it will connect those in the future with where they came from.

Families can benefit from keeping family journals. Knowing the health problems of family members can save lives. If a person knows that their grandmother, aunt, or cousin had cancer, diabetes, or heart problems, they can take steps to protect their own health.

Working on the budget reminds me of the importance of keeping past records. For example, when writing a narrative for my yearly budget request that I was a part of, I had to show where we have been, where we were, and where we wanted to go in the future with our health education program.

I was told in a budget meeting that numbers tell stories. That is true not only in budgets, censuses, and statistics but also in history.

It is hard to imagine over one million children dying needlessly within 25 months, but they did.

Anne Frank had a lot of wisdom for a 14-year-old girl. One of the statements in her journal came in one of her diary entries when she commented on the differences between her outlook and her mother’s. She wrote that her mother used to say: “Think of all the misery in the world and be happy that you don’t have to go through that.”

And yet, in a time of utter despair, Anne Frank wrote, “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy!”

At the end of the hiding period, Anne Frank rewrote her diary notebooks, intending to make a book from them published after the war ended. Instead, it was her father, Otto, who had the diaries of his deceased daughter published.

Anne Frank died of typhus in March of 1945 in a concentration camp. However, reading her diary helped people to see the horrific wrong that was done in our history and, hopefully, will prevent such ignorance and indifference from destroying us in the future.

Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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