Remembering Anne Frank, On What Would Have Been Her 90th Birthday

“I simply can’t imagine the world will ever be normal for us again. I do talk about “after the war,” but it’s as if I were talking about a castle in the air – something that can never come true.”   – from the diary of Anne Frank, written November 8th, 1943.

A Commentary by  Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted June 12th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

I was informed late this June 12th by a radio broadcaster I was listening to that, Anne Frank, the 14 year old Jewish girl who left the world such moving and insightful diary notes before being taken to a Nazi concentration camp where she died before the end of the Second World War, would have turned 90 years old on this day.

In other words, Anne Frank might very well still be alive today, with children and grandchildren celebrating her birthday with her, and given her obvious gift for writing, possibly with a stack of best-selling, award-winning books to her name, like a Margaret Atwood if she wrote fiction, or a Doris Kearns Goodwin or Barbara Tuchman if she chose to be a chronicler of history or people’s lives.

And speaking of people’s lives, it is heart-wrenching to think of how much life Anne Frank and so many millions of others were robbed of by the dark forces of those times.

Anne Frank at her writing desk.

The words from Anne Frank’s diary, posted above, were quoted by Lawrence O’Donnell, a lawyer, author and former U.S. senatorial aide, and now host of a current affairs program on the cable news channel MSNBC, in a commentary he  delivered late this past April about shades of those dark forces at work in his own country, the United States, with Trump at the helm.

I am posting a video of Lawrence O’Donnell’s must-see commentary for you to click on below.

And as you watch the video, as I hope you do, don’t think that shades of those dark forces could not appear here in Canada too because, to make a play n the title of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935, recently reprized political novel, we in Canada are approaching our ‘it can happen here’ moment.

I think I have already witnessed a slight inkling of them over the past four years with the last, mostly voted out Niagara regional council  and with the  now mercifully-gone board and administration of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, where conduct that ran tantamount to bullying, threatening and undemocratic too often ruled the day.

And I think that some of those shades are appearing in Ontario now with Doug Ford occupying the premier’s office in front of a federal election this coming October where just think of how much darker it will get if Ford’s friend and ally, federal Tory leader Andrew Scheer, wins enough seats in that election to form a government.

It anyone is foolish enough to vote for a Scheer candidate because they think the Tories of today are not much different than the Tories of .30 or 40 years ago, just what to see what happens if we have Ford in charge at Queen’s Park and Scheer in charge in Ottawa.

If you think that the cuts to health care, education, environmental protection, assistance for lower-income people and other public service that have gone down in Ontario over the first year of Ford in charge are worrisome or disturbing already, try looking to see what is left of anything resembling “the common good” if these two characters and their minions get a chance to wield their axes at the provincial and federal levels simultaneously.

Just as the onus is on Americans of voting age to throw Trump out of office next year, the onus is on Canadians of voting age to make sure we don’t set the stage for a Trump-like nightmare across our country when we go to the polls this October.

Now here is Lawrence O’Donnell’s commentary. Just click on the following link or  screen below to hear and watch it. .

A few final words from Doug Draper on Anne Frank’s diary notes –

It was just this June 6th that we observed the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that marked the beginning of the end of Hitler’s occupation of Europe.

With that in mind, it is heart-wrenching to go to June 6th, 1944 in Anne Frank’s diary to read what she wrote after hearing the news of the invasion.

“‘This is D Day,'” the BBC announced at twelve. “This is the day. The invasion has begun!” she began before going on to conclude that “the best thing about the invasion is that I have a feeling that friends are on the way. Those terrible Germans have oppressed and threatened us for so long that the thought of friends and salvation means everything to us.”

“Now it is not just the Jews,” Anne concluded, “but Holland and all of occupied Europe. Maybe … I can even go back to school in October or September.”

Anne Frank would never go back to school. It was reported that she died in a Nazi concentration camp sometime in early 1945, just a few months before the war in Europe finally drew to a close.

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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