During September in New York, the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah is celebrated. Even if you do not celebrate, when they come around, you may be aware of the Jewish presence in your community. Many look to their Jewish friends during these holidays for their customs and stories, but there is one Jewish story that people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are aware of - the story of the Anne Frank family during World War II.
I recently completed Anne Frank Remembered, written by Miep Gies with the help of Allison Leslie Godl. Miep Gies played a tremendously important role in hiding the Frank family from the German controlled government who were determined to capture all Jewish people.
This work is a truly splendid and remarkable remembrance of a difficult and tragic time in our world. The author takes the reader into great detail about what the Anne Frank legacy is all about. It describes what is was like for Jewish families and how they were always in suspense, never knowing when the German soldiers would arrive.
Miep Gies also takes us where no other person can, into her world, which is so unknown to most of us. She was the key person who helped Anne Frank's family hide.
This book also brings forth the realism of this period - how no Jewish person was safe and how their life was a game of hide and seek, except that when they were caught, there was no second chance.
During the day, the Jewish people who were in hiding had to be extremely quiet and practically could not move. Can you imagine having to sit still for a whole day, for many weeks at a time? Living in constant fear ... Maybe the people who agreed to hide you have gotten scared and decided they can't risk it anymore. Have they turned you in? You better check twice before you open your door.
This literary accomplishment is an extraordinary tale of hardship that the Jewish people of those times endured. It also recalls the warmth and caring that was offered to so few of them. .
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.