Anne Frank (June 12, 1929 — March 12, 1945)

Today, had she lived, Anne Frank would have been 83 years old. As it fate would have it, however, she died just short of her 16th birthday in 1945. There is something about Anne Frank that haunts my soul. Whenever I see an old black-and-white photo of her, I feel an almost indescribable pang of sadness. Her brown eyes seem to look at me with light and spirit and life, even though they are but grainy one-dimensional images on paper. I look at her and feel as if I *know* her — that she is a friend and kindred spirit reaching out to me, transcending 70 decades. Of course, I have read her famous “Diary Of A Young Girl,” so I do indeed know her to a certain extent. And what I find myself drawn to when I read her words is the amazing emotional intelligence and wisdom that she possessed. Despite the craziness going on around her, she possessed a calm dignity. I look into her eyes and read her words and I see parts of myself. She was intelligent beyond her years, she was sensitive and she was a writer and a Jew. My path could very well have crossed her path had I lived during those same fateful years in that same unfortunate place. She is quite possibly the only historical figure who I would ever like to meet given the chance. I wonder about the things we could talk about, the words we could share about on and off the page. I imagine that we could have been good friends. Millions perished at the hands of the Nazis and yet here is this one girl who so definitively gives a face to the innocent men and women, boys and girls, who were lost during that horrible time. I look at Anne and see all of the lost potential, the dreams and families and lives destroyed by evil and indifference. Many years ago I visited the Simon P. Wiesenthal Museum Of Tolerance in Los Angeles, CA. There was, of course, much to see and absorb, but the one thing that touched me the most was a display under glass of one of her journals. There was Anne, right there in front of me, impossible to touch yet so easy to feel. She was a real human being who laughed and cried, dreamed and loved, hoped and feared, lived and … died. And she left behind the legacy of her written words and the photos of her sweet smile. Her spirit lives on in those of us who remember and will not let the rest of the world forget her and what happened to her. Happy Birthday, Anne. Perhaps we will indeed get to meet someday beyond the constraints of this crazy world that both gives us joy and yet, at the same time, torments us. (PJH)


About pjh95811

I am a writer and poet living in California. I love cats, dogs, nature, poetry, spirituality and the Pacific Ocean.
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