My Letter to Anne Frank

anne

Dear Anne,

You don’t know me, but I know you. In fact, nearly everyone knows you, and yet no one really knows you.

We know you through the personal stories you wrote in your diary. We see each word, each letter and each paragraph, but we don’t see your hopes, your fears or your anxiety. You write about them, and regardless, we cannot imagine how it must have been. I know I can’t.

Although because of a virus which has engulfed the world now, we are all told to stay at home as much as possible, we get a bit of an inkling of how it must have been for you and your family, but not really. All we have to do is to stay at home and enjoy ourselves. We can write as you did, but we don’t have to stay silent, we don’t have to be afraid to be dragged out of our house. We can do whatever we want to do.

In your time there was also a virus, it was fueled with and by hate, a sickening ideology.

I have a daughter who is about the same age as you, she even looks a bit like you. I genuinely don’t know what I would do if something would happen to her, I am sure I would be devastated, sad and angry and more than likely would want some sort of revenge, but those are just speculation for I try not to think of an event like that.

I once passed by your house or rather the place you hid in, I could not get in because there was a queue of several hundred meters of people who had booked a ticket to see the annexe. A thought came to me—what if I had been a similar queue on the morning of 4 August 1944, the day you and your family were arrested? What if all the people on that queue protested against the arrest? Would that have made a difference?

You would be happy to know your book has become one of the bestselling books ever, only in recent times has been surpassed by the books about another teenager, a boy called Harry Potter. His story is fictional, whereas yours is a brutal reality. I am sure you would have loved his stories.

Even now there are people who dispute the genuinity of your writing. They say your father tempered with it. I am not angry with those people, I pity them, their indifference blinds them to the power of your words  and the lessons to be learned from them.

What saddens me the most is not so much that you died a horrible death but the fact it is not even known when you died, it says about the date February or March 1945.

Dear Anne, I am not going to say you are a hero because you weren’t really. You were a young teenage girl whose diary should never have been published, but whose life should have been lived to the fullest. Nothing excuses your death, it should not have happened.

Maybe one day when I leave my earthly coil behind we may meet, but for now, know this—your memory lives on. Evil was not able to silence you.

Yours truly

Dirk de Klein, a father of a teenage girl.

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