Week one of the Trump administration is in the can and my God has it been awesome. Barrycare is going away, the wall is being built, the incompetents at the State Department have been shown the door, the EPA is coming to work in tears, sanctuary cities have been told that there’s this thing called the law and you don’t get to opt out of the ones you don’t like, and so-called “refugees” are being denied entry to the country. Celebrate good times.
I bring you that burst of joy at the outset here because today’s subject of Well Behaved Women will probably be a downer. Today we are going to take a brief look at a well behaved woman who made more history as a young girl than millions of pink-hatted harpies ever could, and yeah, her story is more than a little difficult to tell. I’m talking this week about a real refugee who was denied entry into the United States by a Democratic icon. I’m talking about Anne Frank.
Most people know the story of young Miss Anne but I’ll retell it here anyway. Anne was a Jewish German girl born in 1929, a few years before Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933. Anne and her family left the country shortly after the Nazis took over and went to settle in Amsterdam, where as a child Anne demonstrated a great aptitude for reading and writing. The Nazis invaded and occupied the Netherlands in 1940, and while Anne’s father Otto tried to arrange for them to emigrate to the United States, they were obstructed. The official line is that the USA was not taking in immigrants who had close relatives in Germany for fear they might be blackmailed into spying for the Nazis (which is admittedly a legitimate, if farfetched, concern). The unofficial line is that the revered FDR and his Democratic party couldn’t give a care about Jewish people (this is, after all, back when they still had open Klan members in their ranks and before their mythical “party switch” supposedly ever happened) and ignored their pleas for sanctuary.
Let’s pause here to consider: the Jews never blew anyone up, never shot up a nightclub, never went on a knifing spree across a college campus, never sawed off anyone’s head with a pocket knife, and wherever they went they were happy to assimilate–too happy, in many cases, offering little or no resistance in the face of oppression and death (do not take that as ANY sort of criticism). And unlike the vast majority of today’s “refugees” they, like the Franks, were primarily women and children seeking asylum. And they were not a side in a civil war, they were just being rounded up and shipped off to die. Everybody clear on that?
Anne began chronicling her experiences beginning in June of 1942, shortly before the family went into hiding following. She received her famous diary as a present for her thirteenth birthday. To me, one of the most powerful parts of the whole book is when Anne gives several items to a friend for safekeeping, including the family cat and a tin of marbles that she is afraid “will fall into the wrong hands.” That simple line is full of an innocent courage–of course the Nazis will not put her toys to dire purposes but young Anne can’t be too careful. Of course she will never see her kitty cat or her marbles again. Anne chronicled her hiding with her family and others as well as her dreams of being a writer and a journalist, until her final entry on August 1, 1944.
It’s not known who betrayed the Franks or even if they were discovered by accident. Biographers have their theories but it’s not certain and by now anyone with firsthand knowledge is long dead. But history records that on August 4, 1944, the Franks’ safe house was raided by the Gestapo, and the Franks were taken away–as criminals because they had been in hiding. They arrived in Auschwitz in September. More than half of the Jews they arrived with, anyone who could not work including every child under the age of 15, were taken immediately to the gas chambers upon arrival. The rest were disinfected, shaved, tattooed, and put to hard physical labor. The Nazis treated them more like vermin than slaves. Anne’s mother died of starvation and it is believed that eventually she and her sister died in a typhus epidemic, although the exact circumstances of her death are not certain, in either February or April of 1945. Only her father, along with about 5,000 of the more than 100,000 Jews sent to Auschwitz from the Netherlands, survived.
That would be only weeks, a couple of months at most, before the British liberated the camp.
Anne’s diary was of course shredded and searched by the Gestapo, but finding nothing of value they left it in pieces where they found it, where friends of the family collected and preserved it. In a world where people deny that the Holocaust ever happened, and today when we look at fighting-age men from terrorist nations trying to enter Western countries and demanding sharia law when they get there, a young girl left the world a picture of what a real refugee looks like. THIS is what the Nazis did. If you’re comparing that to Donald Trump because you think he’s “literally Hitler” then there’s literally no help for you. But maybe you can try looking at what an actual refugee was and what actual oppression is, and then remember that it was the Democratic uniparty government under Franklin Roosevelt who closed their eyes to it.
God bless you and keep you Anne. May you rest in peace.
Now that I have thoroughly rained on your Sunday, tune in next week for someone reprehensible.