I just finished reading The Diary of Anne Frank for the second time. When I read it as a young girl I was struck by how much someone who lived in a much different time, and in such terrible circumstances, could be so much like me. But this time around I was more touched by how mature she was for her age, how much she had endured, and that it all still ended so tragically. But I guess her tragic end is part of her impact. She puts a face, a life, and a name to the grim statistics of the Holocaust. A girl with hopes, dreams, and fears, just like everyone else in this world. Maybe if she had survived, she would have still risen to fame, her diary still would be loved by many. But her book might have just been a great memoir, if not for the end.
As I do when I garner an interest in anything, I've been obsessively reading all things about Anne Frank and the others in hiding on the web. I've been reading about their lives in the camps, what they were like from friends, and interviews with Miep Gies (a woman who helped the ones in hiding). Surprisingly, even you tube has some things to offer, such as a video of Otto Frank discussing Anne and her diary. But most touching of all, there is a home video of Anne watching a wedding from an upstairs window. It is odd to see it, her moving-her alive. I can't begin to describe how or why I feel so affected by all of this. But I do.
But the one thing I do know is that now more than ever I have to go to Amsterdam. I want to see The Secret Annex for myself. Not that it is the only thing to see in Amsterdam. I would kill to visit the Van Gogh museum and ride on the canals as well. I hope to make it there sometime in the next year or so.