I am always intrigued by the concept of What if? What would have happened if a certain event would have had an alternative outcome.Sometimes it may just have minor consequences but in other cases it could have altered history completely. These are 2 examples. The first one about Anne Frank, whose situation mirrors the current refugee crisis. The second example is about Adolf Hitler, a split second decision could have saved the lives of millions.
Documents uncovered in 2007 revealed that Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, desperately attempted to secure asylum in the United States
It is not clear when Otto Frank had initially applied for a Visa but it is is believed he was quite late with the application. although the exact date is not know we know the year was 1941. The Frank family had already moved to Amsterdam from Germany at that stage. And in 1941 things weren’t that bad yet in Amsterdam for the Jewish population, there were some cases of violence against the Jews but most of them were seen more like nuisances. The Nazi rules weren’t enforced entirely at that stage.
This could be the reason why the US Visa was denied because the Frank family were still living ‘comfortably’ then.
By June 1941, no one with close relatives still in Germany was allowed into the United States because of suspicions that the Nazis could use them to blackmail refugees into clandestine cooperation. That development ended the possibility of getting the Frank girls out through a children’s rescue agency.
However there had been a glimmer of hope a few months later because on the 1st of December a Cuba had issued a Visa, unfortunately this was cancelled 10 days later when Germany declared war to the US.
If any of these Visa would have been issued Anne Frank would have been a 86 year old woman today and none of us would have probably heard of her, because her diary would more then likely not been published.
There is a lesson to be learned here, since we are in a similar situation at the moment. Let’s make sure we will not find out the horrors of the current refugee crisis via a diary of a teenage girl.
.Below are the 2 sketches that failed to secure a place at the Vienna Academy of Art for a young artist called Adolf Hitler.
Hitler moved to Vienna as a young man in 1905 and lived a bohemian life, making small amounts of money by selling pictures he copied from postcards.
At one point he ended up in a hostel for the homeless and later he claimed it was in Vienna where the fires of his anti-Semitism were ignited.
In 1906 Hitler’s mother had given him money to go to Vienna to try his luck in the art academy, at that stage he failed to secure a place. He tried again in 1908 and for the second time he failed to secure a place. However he was advised to try the Architect Academy but because he had finished high school it would have been impossible for him to get in.
Hitler spent six years in Vienna, living on a small legacy from his father and an orphan’s pension. Virtually penniless by 1909, he wandered Vienna as a transient, sleeping in bars, flophouses, and shelters for the homeless, including, ironically, those financed by Jewish philanthropists. It was during this period that he developed his prejudices about Jews, his interest in politics, and debating skills. Adolf Hitler, two of his closest friends at this time were Jewish, and he admired Jewish art dealers and Jewish operatic performers and producers. However, Vienna was a center of anti-Semitism, and the media’s portrayal of Jews as scapegoats with stereotyped attributes did not escape Hitler’s fascination.
These are 2 more of Hitler’s paintings.
How different the world would have been if the powers to be at the Vienna Academy of Art had given him a place, since they did acknowledge that even though he wasn’t a genius he did have some skills.