This story has made the various rounds of media – electronic, tv and print all – about the discovery of a postcard from Anne Frank – she of the famous diary bearing her name – to a friend just before the family went into hiding from the nazis.
I’ve held back from writing about it for various reasons. One was to let it make the rounds and see what sort of life it took on. Then the gem of the Web presenting me with exactly what I was waiting for. This headline: “Card from WWII Jewish girl discovered in Dutch shop.” It comes from the Chinese Xinhua news agency – which I like to frequent for just this reason. Here’s a word to them, though: Anne Frank is not just a Jewish girl. She’s the Jewish girl.
When I was growing up, Anne Frank was revered everywhere. School, my home, my synagogue, and at the Jewish Community Center, which decided to honor Anne the year I was 14 by producing the play version of The Diary of Anne Frank. I was up for the part of Peter – Man, how I wanted that part! I would’ve been great, too! – as the director, his name was Fred if I recollect correct, tried without gusto to find a younger Anne, he eventually cast the older pretty boy in the part. I think Fred later offered me a part in the “ensemble” cast of the JCC production of Grease, but I never even called back. My acting career was over by then. This good thing was gone.
Anyway, the postcard… It’s a wonderful piece of ephmera, and a testament to the longevity and continued relevance of a Anne Frank’s story. It is a tangible link to a girl whose unyeilding faith in the goodness of humans, even as they sought her destruction, has continued to inspire countless thousands of people more than 60 years after her death in a German concentration camp.
It’s a shame she is not alive to see how inspirational her brief life and writings have been to so many. It’s interesting to ponder if it would still mean the same had she lived.