The Blog of Anne Frank2 Sep 2004 / Hostile Witness
. . . everything can be taken from a man except one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
On this date — September 2 — in 1944, Anne Frank was among 1,019 people on the 68th and last train from Holland to Auschwitz. Anne and others hiding with her had been betrayed and captured a month before and held in the Westerbork detention center.
The Frank family had gone into hiding two years earlier, in July 1942, after Anne’s sister, Margot, received a call-up notice to report for deportation to a labor camp.
Anne was at Auschwitz for two months, then at Bergen-Belsen, where she and Margot died four months later of typhus, just a few weeks before the camp was liberated.
Anne’s father, Otto, was liberated from Auschwitz by the Russian Army on January 27, 1945. His wife, Edith, had died the previous day.
Otto Frank was taken first to Odessa and then to France before being allowed to return to Amsterdam. He did not learn the whereabouts of his daughters until October 24, when he received a letter informing him they had died at Bergen-Belsen.
This unfortunately was not an unusual family trajectory for European Jews in the 1940s. Anne Frank is remembered from among millions of others because she maintained a blog — I mean diary — so that her experiences, what she did, the thoughts she had, and everything she suffered was not lost.
I suppose the same holds true for everyone, with or without a diary — nothing is lost, nothing can be undone . . . and it may be possible for a life that appears to be quite pointless at the time to attain a meaning, a purpose, even through suffering, failure and death . . .