What surprised me? As soon as we walked into the house, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. When we crossed over the threshold into the rooms that were for her father's business, I thought about being a young girl, barely older than my oldest daughter, and having to hide for your life, for 2 years. I managed to blink away the tears, until we got to the next floor. In the rooms which were her father's offices, was a video of his assistant, Miep, who he told they were going into hiding and asked for her help. Imagine entrusting someone with such an important secret.
On the landing in the hall way, is the bookcase that hid the entrance to the steep steps to the rooms that the families lived in; the Secret Annex, as they called. It's such an emotional tidal wave, considering the fear, hope, love, exhaustion, confusion, anxiety, frustration, friendship,patience, and faith that filled that space.
|the Frank's home and business, Amsterdam|
We often consider historical moments as being so long ago that it doesn't even affect our lives. When I saw Anne's birth year, it brought into focus how close history is. She was born the same year as my father. When her family was going into hiding, my father was working, taking jobs vacated by men going off to fight in the war. Had she survived just another few months, she may be alive today, a proud grandmother, sharing her stories in person.
Apparently, Anne wanted her diary to be published. Encouraged by a radio broadcast from a Dutch government official who suggested that it's citizens keep their diaries to be shared after the war, she continued her diary, as well as made her own editorial changes and rewrites. In those bleak days, she had the vision that it would all end one day, that there was going to be a tomorrow when she could just be a teenage girl. And she dreamed of being a published author. She would never know that her father made sure her wish came true.
If she could dream, can't we all?