Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Diary of Anne Frank

Kristine, Amandri, Navona and Adina
Post #1 - Introduction
Post #2 - Organizing The History
Post #3 - Photo Project
Post #4 - Individual Responsibility and Resistance 
Post #5 - Perpetrators, Collaborators, Bystanders, and Rescuers
Post #6 - Final Project - The Suitcase Project


  1. Hi I'm Amandri. I am looking forward to working with all of you for this project. The Holocaust, in my understanding is the calculated genocide of Jews and other minorities in Germany and other surrounding countries. It was carried out by the German Nazi party leader, Adolf Hitler who believed that the annihilation of the jews would result in a more glorious and powerful Germany. During the Holocaust, Jews were put in concentration camps for hard labor and most were executed in gas chambers. By the end of the Holocaust about 6 million Jews were killed. All in all, the Holocaust was an act of anti- Semitism that was carried out to an such a degree that resulted in a tragedy that still haunts us today.

  2. Hi, my name is Kristine and I`m looking forward to working with all of you. In my understanding, the Holocaust was a genocide that involved the Jews and the German Nazi`s. It started when Adolf Hitler took over Germany. The Jews were marked with a yellow star to separate them from everyone else. As soon as Hitler was in power, the Jews lost their freedom. Hitler then gathered these Jews aned sent them to concentration camps. The majority of them were killed but some of them were made to work. They were forced to work and was offered very little food and very limited time for rest and sleep. I think that this was a very sad and brutal part of the world`s history. It is also an example when talking about racism and discrimination. I also think that people today should know about this event because history is doomed to repeat itself.

  3. Hi, my name is Adina and this is what I think happened during the Holocaust. Adolt Hitler who was belived to be a Christian hated Jewish believes and traditions and called them "impure". So he created a revolution against the Jews and he also made a group called the Nazi's to abuse and humiliate the Jews. He then took over most of europe escorting the Jews to concentration camps and making them work to death also took them to death camps were they kill thousands and thousands of Jews. This tragic event in history should be something all people should be educated about. Now these are my questions: Why would someone think of such a horrible thing to do? What would you do if you were Jewish? Lastly do you think hitler was thinking about doing a good thing for the comunity or just thinking about taking care of himself?

  4. Shmello, it’s Amandri again!!! Today, I'm here to blog about what additional information I learned about the Holocaust from reading The Diary of Anne Frank. In this book, Anne and her family go into hiding into a German friend's apartment in Frankfurt. This made me realize that some Germans did in fact help their fellow Jews to escape the hands of Hitler and the Nazis. But this also led me to wonder, if all of the many Germans that offered shelter to Jews during the war were against the Nazis, why did they not take action? What would have happened if they overthrew Hitler when all this was building up? Would they have succeeded? I think it could've made a difference, even during the war, if they had formed an uprising or say, a conspiracy. After all, indifference and fear is the reason for every tragedy in history to have been carried out. For example; Residential schools and internment camps in Canada also were in operation for so long because no one had spoken against it. Anyways tell me what you think!
    Because Anne Frank was such an avid, insightful writer, she captures hers and her family's thoughts and emotions eloquently and expressively. I realized just how emotionally scarring the Holocaust was for all Jews and especially Jewish children. When they receive news of the execution of fellow Jews, Anne's family seem to sink into depression. In her diary, Anne describes the news as "appalling". She and her family live in harsh, bleak conditions. They act paranoid and are often arguing because of all the stress. Most of her family members are taking ill due to the unsafe, unsanitary conditions of the annex. Do you think you could have lived through the unhygienic environment and depressing/paranoid atmosphere for so long? I personally do not think that I would have survived. Again, what do you guys think? In conclusion, I learned that some Germans did in fact help Jewish people to hide from the Nazis and that there were many non- Jews who disagreed with the Nazis' beliefs. Also by reading Anne's vivid diary entries, I realized that the Holocaust wasn't just about the deaths of the millions of people, but also their sufferings leading up to it.
    Anne Frank begins her diary entries in the summer of 1942. By this time, Hitler had begun enforcing anti- Semitism laws and was also deporting Jews to concentration camps. She and her family go into hiding in July of 1942. By September of that year, WWII would be declared. At this point in the book, she seems to be aware of how appalling the war is and seems to take caution so as to not give away their hiding place. But I do not think that she realized that it would escalate the way it would and also didn't realize that the Holocaust would go down as such a tragedy in history. Anne's initial intention was to keep this diary as her confidante. But her diary has become a symbol of the Holocaust and its tragedy. Since the contents of it are actual experiences of a real girl, the emotions and thoughts are made all the more powerful. I think Anne Frank is probably one of the most powerful books ever because it is told through the eyes of someone who was in the middle of it all.
    I have a few more questions for you guys. Do you think that Hitler truly believed in his mission to exterminate the Jews or was it just a quest for power? How do you think did he manage to justify his actions to Germany? Can you see from his point of view? Please let me know! Sorry my posting is so long!! I look forward to working with you all again!

  5. Hello fellow bloggers! Kristine here again! The novel, The Diary of Anne Frank, changed my understanding of the Holocaust. This novel made me realize that what we go through in our everyday lives today cannot even compare to what these Jews experienced during this time. It made me more grateful of what I have and made me open my eyes to everyone and everything around me.
    In this novel, when Margot, Anne`s sister, gets called to the authorities, which would surely mean that she was being sent to a concentration camp, Anne and her family go into hiding. They move into a small section in her father`s workplace called the “Secret Annexe”. Anne`s teenage years were spent hidden from the outside world, tip toeing in the day and being traumatized by the sounds of bombs and gunshots in the night. They pay close attention to what`s happening in the outside world by listening to the radio.
    With Anne Frank`s very mature writing, she explains in great detail what was happening in Holland during that time. She also talks about her feelings of loneliness and her riotous relationship with the adults in the annexe especially with her mother.
    The questions that I want to ask you, my fellow bloggers are:
    What did you learn from this book that you didn`t know earlier? What questions do you have?

  6. I have learned that Hitler wasn’t just a guy that killed millions; he’s someone that almost destroyed a population of Jewish people. He can take over thousands of people called the Nazi’s. Life wasn’t the best back then. People were poor, Jews were humiliated by the soldiers, they were treated like garbage and no one wanted to help. No one spoke up or did anything.
    The holocaust book about the young girl Anne Frank starts off on introducing herself talking about her family and a young boy she met. They spent many days together until Anne had to go into hiding. Her family and some friends all went to live in the back of Anne’s dad’s office. Then the Nazi’s started killing many Jews and when they got to her they noticed that the family was gone.
    This now is just some back ground about Anne Frank’s life. During the first half of July Anne and her family went into hiding. For about two years they stayed in an apartment at the back of her family-owned business which in the book, Anne referred to it as a “Secret Annex”. On August 4th 1944, a Gestapo (German secret state police) found out about the apartment. That same day the Gestapo came with two other police officers and took them to a train and transported them to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. Then Anne and Margot (her sister) we transferred to Bergen-Belsen (another concentration camp. Both Anne and Margot died of typhus in 1945. Edith (Anne’s mom) died in Auschwitz early 1945. Anne Frank’s dad was the only one out of his family that lived through the war.
    What would you do if this happened to you, would you keep a diary and write everything down?
    What happens if history repeats itself?
    Will another Hitler come and take over?

  7. Since blog two, what I have read so far has been interesting. Anne’s family almost got caught by someone who was there to fill the fire extinguishers. He was banging on the door while everyone was as quiet as a mouse. They were relieved when Mr. Koophuis told the Franks and the Van Daans family that the fire extinguisher guy was now downstairs. Margot (Anne’s sister) is getting really annoyed because Anne keeps touching Margot’s stuff. But not only is Margot getting mad but Anne’s mom is also getting mad at Anne for Margot’s things. Then Anne starts to explain what is happening to her and all the Jews around her.
    Annelies Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. Anne has an older sister name Margot Frank; her parents’ names were Otto Frank and Edith Frank. Otto Served in World War 1. Before the family moved to Amsterdam many generations of the Franks family lived in Germany for many centuries. The Franks settled down in Amsterdam fast while Otto was working on the family business. Margot and Anne both started school and made many Jewish and non-Jewish friends. Then in 1940 Germany attacked the Netherlands; the Netherlands surrendered 5 days later. For Anne's 13th birthday (June 12, 1942), she got a red-and-white-checkered autograph album that she wanted to use as a diary. It’s not until she went into hiding when she actually used it as a diary.
    Why did Hitler hate Jews so much?
    If you could go back in time to when Hitler was taking over what would you do?
    Why did we even have World War 2 if people knew that it would get bad like World War 1 except worse?

  8. Post #3
    Shmello people! The Diary of Anne Frank takes place in Holland/ Netherlands. Although Holland hoped to stay neutral in WWII, Germany took over in 1940 in the Battle of Netherlands. The Dutch government was exiled and a German civilian governor controlled Holland. In 1940, only small measures, such as requiring Jews to register themselves, were taken by the Nazis. But in 1941, deportation to concentration camps started, to which the Communist activists reacted by organizing a strike. In response, all non- Nazi organizations were banned by German authorities. In January 1942, Jews living in other provinces were relocated to Amsterdam. By April of the same year, Jews were required to wear the Star of David. Anne starts her diary entries in June of 1942. In her entries, she outlines anti- Jewish decrees that had been put into effect such as Jews having to hand in their bicycles, being banned from trams and driving, being able to shop only in “Jewish shops” and an eight o’ clock curfew. She describes her freedom as being strictly limited but conditions bearable. But by July of the same year, Anne’s family goes into hiding. During this time, mass deportations to extermination camps in Poland were carried out. In Amsterdam, Jews were being arrested on the streets and were assembled to be deported to Westerbork. By October of 1942, all Jews in labor camps were transferred to Westerbork who were then sent to Auschwitz to be killed. Anne writes of news of these events and describes them as “appalling”. In 1945, Holland was liberated by Canadian forces.
    Anne’s diary entries from before going into hiding, describe a rather comfortable life. Her first entry describes her birthday for which she received many presents, treated her friends to sweets and had a party. Anne’s descriptions of her school days and social life make it obvious that she was a good student and was popular with her teachers as well as peers. Despite the fact that Holland was already occupied by the Nazis when Anne starts writing in her diary, she seemed to have had the typical life of a teenager, similar to that of any other non- Jewish girl at the time.
    This is a picture of Anne Frank and her friends having a tea party with her dolls, in Amsterdam in 1934. I think it shows how happy and typical Anne’s life was before the Holocaust.
    This picture depicts a young girl writing in a notebook. I think that it can represent Anne Frank writing in her diary while in hiding in the “Secret Annexe”, especially since the girl seems to be about the same age as Anne was at the time.
    So from this posting I learned some background regarding Holland’s involvement in World War II and got thinking about how Anne’s and all other Jewish children’s lives could’ve been if the Holocaust hadn’t taken place. It made me realize afresh how devastating Hitler’s cause was for so many people and how many young, promising lives were lost. Hoping to work with you all in the future!! Until next time….

  9. Post # 3
    The Diary of Anne Frank takes place in Holland. Now, before World War II broke out in 1939, the Netherlands wanted to stay neutral as it did during World War I, but this ended when Nazi Germany took over in the year 1940. The majority of Jews in the country were sent to concentration camps. According to an article on Wikipedia about The History of The Netherlands, during the Holocaust, the country had one of the highest levels of collaboration with the Nazis. The article also mentioned that the invasion resulted in the deaths of 3000 civilians or more.
    Before the Franks moved into hiding, Anne`s life was really normal. Her diary started with her talking about her birthday and her friends at school. She then names her diary “Kitty” and talks about her family and her life. Soon after discovering that Germany was no longer a safe place for Jews like her and her family, they immigrate to Holland. She describes how hard it has been since the Germans invaded Holland and how there are a lot of laws limiting the freedom of Jews.
    -In this photo, Anne and Margot have a tea party with their dolls along with some of their friends. I think this photo captures Anne`s life… http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1092917&search=anne+frank&index=5
    -The “Secret Annexe” that Anne and her family were hiding in shown in this picture.

  10. These are my answers to Blog Post #2:
    What would you do if this happened to you, would you keep a diary and write everything down? If what happened to Anne Frank happened to me I would simply be devastated. But I would also try to appreciate the fact that I was provided safety, although possibly temporarily, from the Nazis, which was not available for so many other Jews who ended up in concentration and extermination camps. As for keeping a diary, I am the type of person who likes to keep my thoughts in my head as opposed to writing them all out. Therefore I doubt that I would’ve kept a diary if I had been in Anne’s place.
    What happens if history repeats itself? Will another Hitler take over? History can only repeat itself, if we let it. Hitler rose to power and continued gaining more power over so many people only because of the indifference of those not directly affected. If the millions who had done nothing had stepped into stop things at a point in Hitler’s power escalation, things would most probably have been extremely different. So, if we make sure to enlighten the ignorant and be actively involved in things going on around us, history will not have a chance of repeating itself.
    My questions for Blog Post #3 are:
    By reading Anne’s diary, we are able to realize Anne’s knack for writing. Her untimely death prevented her from living up to her full potential. So many more talented people also died a premature death during the Holocaust. How do you think would these millions of people have benefited society had they been spared? Would it have made a huge difference in the world we know today? I think that society would have benefited immensely if the 6 million who died had lived to offer what they could to us. I think that it could have even led to the prosperity of Germany and the other surrounding countries that discriminated against Jews in order to flourish as nations. I think that if the Jews had been spared, and anti- Semitists were able to see what they could offer, they could possibly change their racist attitudes as well.
    Hitler was extremely efficient and systematic in his extermination of the Jews. He seemed to completely disregard the fact that every person he killed was human. But he also was a captivating speaker and managed to brainwash populations not with weapons, but with words. What do you think made him so extremely cold and apathetic toward the millions he slaughtered? How is it possible for someone born just like any of us, to turn out so inhumane, yet appear to have people’s best interests at heart? I think it all has to do with where and how he was raised and his experiences growing up. I believe that whatever ideas and experiences he encountered, led to bringing out the uglier, power hungry, selfish side that exists in all of us, in him. Hitler was obviously a very intelligent man, and therefore was able to manipulate whole nations to abide his word.
    That is all for questions. Let me know your answers!! Thanks!!

  11. From last week this is what I have read so far. The “Secret Annexe” decided that they wanted a new member to join so they asked Albert Dussel. He is a dentist and arrived on Monday. When he got there he asks all sorts of questions. They told him all the rules that he had to obey. In return he told them everything that was going on, like how his family and friends have been taken away and how the Nazis are going house to house and taking away families.
    What resistance did any of the characters show?
    Anne Frank showed that they couldn’t take her away that easily. She showed that if they wanted her they had to look for her. Her, Otto (dad), Edith (mom), Margot (sister), Peter, Mrs. Van Daan, Mr. Van Daan, and Albert Dussel all showed passive resistance. They hid in the frank’s family-owned business attic (“Secret Annexe”).
    Why would some show resistance during the Holocaust?
    If I were in their shoes I would show passive resistance. I wouldn’t want my life being taken away, but I wouldn’t want to help the Nazis when at the end I’m probably going die of a disease or I would be gassed. It’s all a waste of working when the results are probably going to be death going to be death.
    What kind of resistance would you do Passive or active?
    If you were a Nazis would you help people live?
    If you were Hitler would you want to get rid of Jews?

  12. Post #4
    Shmello people! In the Diary of Anne Frank, the Frank family and the Van Daans are helped into hiding by Otto Frank’s non- Jewish Dutch co- workers; Miep Van Santen, Mr. Kraler, Koophuis and Ellie Vossen. They arrange their workplace as the hiding place for the Franks and Van Daans. Despite the fact that they were forbidden by the Nazis to even associate with the Jews, these people not only risked their lives as well as their families to protect two Jewish families, they also became loving, reliable friends to them in their most crucial time of need. Unlike the millions of the other passive bystanders in the world, Miep, Kraler, Koophuis and Ellie actively resisted Hitler’s brain washing; physically and spiritually. They show the more beautiful aspect to human nature which values something bigger than one’s self. Although these people did in fact try to help the Franks and Van Daans, there were obstacles that stood in the way of both theirs and the Jewish families’ safety. In her diary entries, Anne mentions that burglars break into the office to loot the place, who could most likely give away their hiding place to the Gestapo. Also, a man who wants to rent the office also poses a threat to them because he asks to be shown the whole of the office. The two Jewish families had to be extremely cautious of their actions and only open one window in the “Secret Annexe” and do not light candles at night, in fear of being discovered by neighbors. Even though, in the end the two families’ whereabouts are deceived to the Gestapo, the four Dutch co- workers’ selfless attempts to save them are admirable because they stand as proof that the Nazis did not have complete control and because they reflect the true essence of humanity.
    As we all know, The Diary of Anne Frank is an actual diary kept by an actual young girl during the Holocaust. Anne Frank’s story is very well known and is a symbol of the Holocaust itself. Therefore Miep Gies, who took the main role in hiding the Franks and Van Daans is well- known as a symbol of selfless resistance during the Holocaust in Holland. The day after the capture Miep Gies went looking for them and even offered to pay money in order to free them, but failed. This is proof of how dedicated and faithful she was in helping her Jewish friends. She is also responsible for saving Anne’s diary from falling into the hands of the Gestapo after their hiding place was betrayed, and making it possible for generations to come to read and realize the full harrowing, devastating tragedy that is the Holocaust, through the eyes of a girl in the middle of it (http://www.miepgies.nl/en/Biography/). But Miep Gies is just one of many who sacrificed their own safety to stand up to what they knew was wrong. Another prominent group who helped hundreds of Jews to survive in Holland is the Ten Boom family. They had a “secret room” in Harlem, especially constructed as a safe haven for Jews. They are estimated to have hidden 800 Jews and are another excellent example of the courage and sacrifice capable of people. The Ten Boom family were later found out and sent to concentration camps from which only one of the sisters in the family, Corrie, survived. (http://suite101.com/article/hiding-jews-during-world-war-ii-a116107) Another major act of resistance against Hitler in the Netherlands was the February strike in 1941, which protested against anti- Semitic laws, in which about 1000 Dutch Jews participated. About 500 of them were killed later as punishment for resisting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_resistance_under_Nazi_rule#Netherlands). As you can see there were many groups resisting the Nazis in the Netherlands. These people acted as the conscience of the whole world, when it was justifying the act of killing millions out of hate. Their actions stand as proof that although the Nazis apparently brain washed non- Jews, it was in fact a choice for people to take action against the wrong going on around them.

  13. Post #4 (Pt. 2)
    Being a responsible citizen of the world is to be actively involved in the goings- on around you. I have realized throughout our studies on the dangers of apathy, that it is never the answer to be passive. I think that being indifferent and neutral in a situation is almost as equally bad as actively participating in the act of wrong. The Holocaust is one of the best examples of what can happen if the majority of people just stand by and let things happen. I think that the resistance groups show that there is always a choice for people to decide to act about something. Therefore being a responsible citizen also means acting on your conscience and being aware of the consequences of your choices. I also think that a responsible citizen is one who genuinely cares about the fate and well being of those around him/her. After all, the opposite of love isn't hate, it’s indifference.

  14. Post #4 (Pt.3)
    These are my answers to blog post #3:

    Why did Hitler hate Jews so much? I think that Adolf Hitler’s intense hate for the Jews was biased and irrational as racism always is. I think that he only wanted to find a scapegoat for Germany’s downfall in WWI and found it in the Jews. Also I believe that he was raised in an environment which valued Aryan supremacy and therefore believed that other races were inferior to his. Hitler was also obviously a man hungry for power and found a way to gain it through masterminding the Holocaust. So, it is impossible to name a rational reason as to why Hitler had such an all- consuming hatred for the Jews specifically, simply because, well, his hatred was not rational. But I have outlined some factors that I think affected his views. Hope I helped!

    If you could go back in time to when Hitler was taking over what would you do? I like to think of myself as someone who stands up to what I believe in always. I obviously strongly oppose the Nazi cause and therefore I would like to think that I would’ve resisted them. I would choose active resistance like hiding a Jew, over passive resistance because I think it would also benefit the Jews in addition to expressing my opinion. But if I could go back and do anything, I would like to show the world what is to come and make them realize the consequences of their actions.

    Why did we even have World War 2 if people knew that it would get bad like World War 1 except worse? Well, history shows that people, no matter how many mistakes they make, tend to repeat them. As long as people are power hungry and selfish, bad things like WWI and WWII are bound to happen. So, in order for history to stop repeating itself, people need to change. The next time someone starts gaining too much power, let’s hope people stand up against it and prevent another world war!

    My questions for Blog Post #4:
    I feel that most of us focus mostly on all the lives that were lost during the Holocaust. But what about the survivors? What impact do you think did the Holocaust have on their lives post- war? Do you think that any of the survivors were able to forget what happened? Or did it haunt them for the rest of their lives? I personally think that after experiencing something as traumatic as the Holocaust, you will never be able to forget about it. Research also shows that survivors tend to develop mental disorders as a result of the physical abuse and mental stress they underwent during the war. But I do believe that the survivors’ can still have a happy life by thinking of their good fortune compared to those who perished and by keeping the spirit and fond memories of those they lost, close to their hearts. Tell me what you think!

    By researching the acts of resistance against the Holocaust, I realized that bystanders were not completely and powerlessly susceptible to Hitler’s word, that his brain washing was not unavoidable or incurable. But then, why did so many Germans/non- Jews seem so completely in love with Hitler and seemed to agree with everything he said? I then also realized that how susceptible you were to Hitler’s propaganda depended on your morals and personality. I think that most people are in want of power over others and they found a chance to seize this power when Hitler offered them the chance. In other words, Hitler told most people what they wanted to hear and so they accepted it. But then those who resisted are, I think, people who valued human morals over self-gain and saw beyond the absurd greed for power. This is only how I see it. Do you think that non- Jews really were defenseless against the Nazi indoctrination? Were those who resisted, just less exposed to propaganda and therefore immune to it? Tell me what you think! Looking forward to seeing your response… Thanks!

  15. Post #4

    When Margot, Anne`s older sister, was called up to register for a labor camp in Germany, the Franks decided to go into hiding. They lived in a secret attic apartment behind the office of the family-owned business called the “Secret Annexe”. Along with Herman, Auguste, and Peter van Pels, and Fritz Pfeffer, who will soon join them later in the book, they stayed in this attic for two years. Otto Frank, Anne`s father, asked his other co-workers to help them and they soon agreed. They would smuggle clothing and food to the families at great risk to their own lives. After a few years, the German Secret State Police (Gestapo) discovered the secret apartment after getting a call from an anonymous Dutch caller.
    One of the people who helped them was Miep Gies. She began working for for Anne`s father in the year 1933. She developed a very close relationship with the family and was very supportive during the two years they spent in hiding. With her husband, Jan Gies,along with Johannes Kleiman and Victor Kugler, she helped hide not only the Frank family but also the van Pels. According to an article on Wikipedia about Miep Gies, in her apartmen, which was a short bicycle ride away from the annexe, she and her husband also hid an anti-Nazi university student at great risk to their own lives. After the Franks were captured in 1944, she recovered Anne`s diary and kept the papers safe until Anne`s father returned from Auschwitz, a concentration camp, in 1945. On January 11th, 2010, Miep died at the age of 100 in a small town in the Netherlands and outlived her husband by 17 years.
    Based on what I`ve learned and experienced through the book, I now understand the importance of being a responsible citizen to the nation and the world. I think apathy also played a big role during the Nazi oppression. Adolf Hitler was chosen to be the leader of Germany by the people and that`s how the Holocaust started. I think the people didn’t care enough to stand up for what they think was right and it resulted into the deaths of millions of innocent Jews…and that is Apathy.