Why Anne Frank?

I think every schoolchild learns about Anne Frank — the little Jewish girl who died in the Holocaust, then became famous when her writing, The Diary of a Young Girl, was first published in 1947.

But why her?  Of all the millions of Holocaust victims, how did she become so famous?  Other victims wrote, notably Elie Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986; but also Renia Spiegel, Matilda Olkin, and Zalman Gradowski. The Smithsonian reports that more than 65 diaries of young people have been found over the years.

These thought-provoking questions have been raised in the November 2018 issue of Smithsonian magazine.  In a section entitled “The Unforgotten,” it publishes the writings of Spiegel, Olkin and others.  The section also includes the article “Becoming Anne Frank” by Dara Horn, which raises the provocative query “Why did we turn an isolated teenage girl into the world’s most famous Holocaust victim?”

Why indeed?  If you want to follow Dana Horn’s reasoning, you’ll find the article at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/becoming-anne-frank-180970542/.

They all need to be remembered.

For more information, also see —

Elie Wiesel (http://eliewieselfoundation.org/ )

Renia Spiegel (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/nov/09/holocaust-diary-renia-spiegel)

Matilda Olkin (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/young-jewish-poet-words-provokes-soul-searching-lithuania-holocaust-180970540/ )

Zalman Gradowski ( http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/news/from-the-heart-of-hell-publication-with-manuscripts-of-zalmen-gradowski-a-member-of-sonderkommando-at-auschwitz-,1298.html).

The photo of Anne Frank came from Wikipedia.

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