Thinking about Anne Frank

We are currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank . One item   we were initially confused about was the fact that our reading series had placed this selection in the unit entitled “Survival.”  We knew that Anne and her mother and sister had all perished in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, so why place the portion of her diary in the “Survival” Unit? After much discussion we came to the conclusion that Anne had indeed survived, maybe not Anne herself, but her story.  Her diary has been translated into something like thirty two different languages….her story is told across numerous countries and in many languages and it stands as a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and the resiliency of the human spirit.

Our discussion so far has blossomed into many different areas.  We created a list noting how the Jews were segregated….they couldn’t ride the bus, go to the same school as German children, participate in public sports including swimming, they could only shop at markets which would accept Jewish customers……so many ways.  We then searched our minds and were able to see that many of these same discrimination patterns happened to African Americans and Japanese Americans.

Without Anne’s diary we probably would not understand fully the deep personal impact the segregation and hiding had on one little girl and ultimately a nation.  Anne is a fine example of how one person really can make a difference even if they do not think they ever will.  So remember everyone has the potential to positively impact the world, even through activities that may seem ordinary or mundane.

What are some examples of ways one person – or even a classroom – can make a difference? In our schools? Our neighborhoods? Our communities? And possibly the world? We invite you to please share your thoughts by posting a comment.