Archive for August, 2019

A stop at her door.

I am in Amsterdam at the moment, a 2-day stop on a short tour of Europe.

Last night I stopped by the Anne Frank House. It was late. My party was viewing it from across the canal. I had to go to the door for myself.

I was moved, deeply, and I had not expected my reaction. I was alone at the point, and sat across from the door. Even at the late hour, tourists posed for photos in front of the door. [That’s something I will never understand, I suppose.] Here is where the Frank family hid, in their own adopted city, Jews hunted down by their own neighbors and the invaders who were in fact their German countrymen.

I’ve been to the door of Anne’s girlhood home in Frankfurt, and I’ve met and listened to her childhood friend in Jerusalem as she related Anne stories and spoke of her last meeting with Anne across the wire fence in February 1945 at Belsen. I’ve walked the grounds where she and his sister died a few months after arriving at Bergen-Belsen, emaciated and racked by disease. She is buried somewhere there, no one truly knows where, one of many thousands in one of many mass graves.

I sat there, thinking, in the semi-darkness. And I was glad for a moment alone with her again.

Sometimes we need our special moments alone to think about these things. What does “Never Again” truly look like? Did anyone really care then? Do they today? What if she was my neighbor? What does my ‘selfie’ at her door really say about me?  Have I asked God about the victims? The perpetrators?  The bystanders? What have I done during my sojourn on Earth?

My wife came by and we walked away.

[Visit the Anne Frank House website; if you are going, book a time slot/tix well in advance]


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