Anne Frank lecture reveals hidden side of history

Brian Clifford
News Correspondent

When discussing victims of the brutal Holocaust, Anne Frank always seems to be one of the first that comes to anyone’s mind.
Oren Baruch Stier, Ph.D., gave a lecture in Brennan Hall on Tuesday about a personal side of Anne Frank that most people don’t know.

Stier discussed her life before going into hiding and dived deeper into her personal diary she held during hiding.
Anne Frank lived from 1929 to 1945, dying at the age of 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany but moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands after the Nazi Party took over Germany while she was a little girl. Nazi Germany basically took over government control in the Netherlands in 1940.

In July 1942, Anne Frank and her family were forced into hiding after increased danger enforced by the Nazi Party on the Jewish population in the Netherlands. They hid in a secret annex of an office building in Amsterdam for over two years.

When they were caught by the Schutzstaffel, they were all arrested and sent to different concentration camps. Every member of the Frank family was killed in different camps except for Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank. He was the one who went back to the annex after the war and found Anne Frank’s diary that she had kept throughout the hiding.

Althroughout the lecture, Stier emphasized the importance of the pictures of Anne Frank that exist. Many of them were smuggled into the annex during their time, perhaps to help the Franks remember better times before the war.

“Many passport-like photos of Frank when she was a child were physically inserted into her diary to add a more personal effect to it,” Stier said.

Stier continued to emphasize the importance of the photos of Anne Frank because it tells her life story. The pictures depict her at school, with her family and annual trips to the beach. Almost all the pictures were taken by Otto Frank, so it allows the viewer to see from his perspective.

All viewers of the lecture seemed quite intrigued and interested in all pictures and excerpts of the diary that were shown. Students, locals and teachers all sat and learned about the little girl whose story lives on after her tragic death.

“I thought it was eye opening,” senior Alissa Simonelli said. “We see these pictures of Anne Frank and sure a lot of us have read her story, but it’s not everyday we see her photos and look further into it through her father’s eyes.”

Anne Frank in her diary foreshadowed her future amazingly, once writing about how she hoped it could show people in the future how Jews lived during the Holocaust. Stier concluded the lecture with the idea that Anne Frank is perhaps the greatest Holocaust survivor, because even after her death her story survives and keeps reminding generation after generation of her incredible story.

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