75th Holocaust Remembrance

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

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

This written excerpt came from her diary written 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. 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 your mother? Have you skimmed through the dusty, yellowed pages of an album 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 that there was life, experiences, joy, and misery before they got here.

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

Even the 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 my own. 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 not sure what the meaning is, but seeing the similarity in our handwriting helps me feel connected with her.

Whatever the reason we choose to 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.

Even working on the budget reminds me of the importance of keeping records of the past. 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 in history also.

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 found 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. However, 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. 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.

[Read full bio]

Story Comments

  1. Kevin Cushing -

    What about the Armenian genocide by the Turks at around World War I (which the Turkish government still denies)? The genocide of the Native Americans and many other native peoples? Jews aren’t the only ones that have suffered in the world- what makes them so special we have to be constantly bombarded by this Holocaust stuff? No doubt it was horrible, but there have been many other mass slaughters in history.

    • Deana Landers -

      You are right, Kevin. I wrote this for the 75 anniversary of Holocaust, but so many people have suffered and died at the hands of evil. I try to write about each of them. Thank you so much for your wise comments.Deana

  2. Lynn Spencer -

    Thanks for the sober reminder my friend.Lynn

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Lynn, for reading my stories and for your kind comments. Deana

  3. I have been reading about the Holocaust and I am still horrified about it. Thank you for sharing this difficult subject it needs to never be forgotten. Hugs, Kippi

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Kippi, for your comment. You are right. We need to always remember. I visited the Holocaust Museum in D.C. and the sights I saw seared a very definite memory in my heart and mind, especially the hall of shoes. Hugs to you, too,Deana

  4. Beautiful writing, Deanne. Such a gift you have.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you so much, Lori, for reading my stories. I feel the same way about your beautiful gift of decorating at your southernnellsgraciousliving. Deana

  5. One of the saddest moments in history. I hope with all my heart we never forget what happened.

    • Deana Landers -

      You are right. We need to always remember. I visited the Holocaust Museum in D.C. and the sights I saw seared a very definite memory in my heart and mind, especially the hall of shoes. Thank you, Michelle, for reading my stories.Deana

  6. Virginia Ancheta -

    I have just started reading this collection of writing....beautiful and from the heart. Wish I could express my feelings like this. Thank you so much for sharing. It tugs the strings of my heart.😘

    • Deana Landers -

      Than you, Virginia, for your kind words. I hope you will continue to read, comment and share my stories. It sounds to me like you also have a beautiful way with words.Deana Landers

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