by Andrew Stein
A couple week ago, I was introduced to Kinsey II, a replacement kindle. I ordered one, had it shipped home, and then my mom kindly forwarded it along to meet me in Rome. That said, I again have been able to easily access literature. While in Amsterdam, I know that I will be visiting the Anne Frank House, and decide to reread her diary. Below are several quotes that had strong impacts on me.
“Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to use streetcars; Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their won; Jews were required to do their shopping between 3 and 5 PM; Jews were required to frequent only Jewish-owned barbershops and beauty parlors; Jews were forbidden to be out on the streets between 8 P.M. And 6 A.M.; Jews were forbidden to go to theaters, movies or any other forms of entertainment; Jews were forbidden to use swimming pools, tennis courts, hockey fields or any other athletic fields; Jews were forbidden to go rowing; Jews were forbidden to take part in any athletic activity in public; Jews were forbidden to sit in their gardens or those of their friends after 8 P.M.; Jews were forbidden to visit Christians in their homes; Jews were required to attend Jewish schools, etc. You couldn’t do this and you couldn’t do that, but life went on. Jacque always said to me, ‘I don’t dare do anything anymore, ’cause I’m afraid it’s not allowed.’”
“I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.”
“The sun is shining, the sky is deep blue, there’s a magnificent breeze, and I’m longing—really longing—for everything: conversation, freedom, friends, being alone. I long … to cry! I feel as if I were about to explode. I know crying would help, but I can’t cry. I’m restless. I walk from one room to another, breathe through the crack in the window frame, feel my heart beating as if to say, ‘Fulfill my longing at last…’”
“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
“I don’t think of all the misery but of all the beauty that still remains.”
“Is discord going to show itself while we are still fighting, is the Jew once again worth less than another? Oh, it is sad, very sad, that once more, for the umpteenth time, the old truth is confirmed: ‘What one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown back at all Jews.’”
The Anne Frank House is very well done. As we progress from room to room, there are exhibits on the walls that retell Anne’s story. Also on display is her original diary along with other writings from her time in hiding. The visit is a sobering experience, but one that is necessary.