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Guiding Question: In what ways are Anti-Semitism present throughout the novel and movie of Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl
In the story of The Diary Of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank, Anne a German-born Jewish, born on June 12, 1929 conveys her life throughout primarily the ages of 13-15. Anne’s family consisted of (1), her father, Otto Frank, a former lieutenant in WWI, who was a Judaic business owner of jam making, Opekta, (2); mother, Edith Frank, and (3); Margot Frank, older sister of Anne. Furthermore, Anne had several other relatives and friends. On 1933, Otto Frank, Edith Frank, and Margot Frank emigrated to Holland to avoid Nazi Germany and the rise of Hitler. Around 1933, Adolf Hitler the politician of Germany was the leader of the Nazi Party, which was a party to persecute the Jews. By 1934, Anne emigrated to Holland at the age of 5 to live in with her family. Anne’s life in Holland was great, being privileged as an upper-middle class. Also, Anne received education and had the opportunity to do many things. Life went well for the Franks in the early 1930s. But, in May 1940, Nazi Germany invaded The Netherlands, and Germany quickly took over the nation. As the Germans monopolized the Netherlands, life for Jews in Netherlands changed. Many anti-Jewish decrees were set up and life for Jews gradually became difficult. One law for Jews was that the Germans required Jews to give up their businesses or jobs to Germans. Yet, Otto Frank, business owner of Opekta decided to appoint close friends Victor Kugler and Mr. Kleiman, non-Jewish people as to run the business. Nevertheless, Otto still remained in command of Opekta behind the scenes. On Anne Frank’s thirteenth birthday, Otto Frank provided his daughter a diary, that Anne would soon often use. Anne elucidated her feelings and stories, occasions, and family biography. Anne became devoted to writing in her diary and went on to name her diary Kitty. Kitty was something that Anne could trust and tell everyday occasions and personal feelings and thoughts. As time passed by, discrimination against Jews in The Netherlands became unpleasant. Germans obliged Anne and other Jews to attend Jewish only schools, and soon; life was harsh for Jews. Germans forced Jews to give up their wealth increasing their poverty rates. In the summer of 1942, Germans forced Jews to move into concentration camps that the Germans made to stop the opposition of Jews against Nazis. Otto Frank knew that life was getting harder for Jews, so he decided to plan to go into hiding. Otto Frank had a hiding place known as the “Secret Annex”, which lies behind the warehouse of Opekta. By July 12, 1942, the Frank family moved into the “Secret Annex”. In the warehouse of Opekta, a bookshelf covers the entrance to the “Secret Annex”. The Van Pels family and Mr. Dussel soon joined the Frank family. The group of eight managed to live in the Annex safely for two years with the help of Opekta workers. Anne often wrote in her diary about everyday occasions and feelings. In 1944, the last day Anne writes in her diary, the group of eight living in the Annex are betrayed upon by unknown people and are sent to concentration camps by the Gestapo. Eventually, Anne, at the age of fifteen dies with six others (from the Annexe) in the concentration camps, besides Otto Frank. Later life, Otto Frank goes on to publish the diary of his daughter Anne, with more than 60 million sold copies of the dairy.
Throughout the movie and book of Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl, the theme of Anti-Semitism is often noticed. Anti-Semitism is the “rejection of Jewish people, groups, or concepts.” There are many different ways of Anti-Semitism that are present throughout the movie and book of Anne Frank that affects the Jews. Anne and other Jews undergo the discrimination of being Jewish and face many impediments. In the following, examples of anti-Semitism will be explained such as: (1), how anti-Semitism was present through Jewish decrees, (2); how anti-Semitism was present through education systems, (3); how anti-Semitism was present through the banning of Jewish ownership, (4); how anti-Semitism was present through wearing the yellow star of David, (5); how anti-Semitism was present through propaganda, (6); how anti-Semitism was present through the use of concentration camps, (7); how anti-Semitism was present in children and (8); how anti-Semitism was present through the discrimination of Jews by Christians.
First, Anti-Semitism was present through Jewish decrees. In the novel of Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl, Anne explains many things that Germans permitted Jews from doing many things. For example, according to page 4 of Anne Frank’s diary, “Jews must wear a yellow star, Jews must hand in their bicycles, Jews are banned from trams and are forbidden to drive. Jews are only allowed to do their shopping between three and five o’clock and then only in shops which bear the placard ‘Jewish Shop.’ Jews must be indoors by eight o’clock and cannot even sit in their own gardens after that hour. Jews are forbidden to visit theaters, cinemas, and other places of entertainment. Jews may not take part in public sports. Swimming baths, tennis courts, hockey fields and other sports grounds are all prohibited to them. Jews may not visit Christians. Jews must go to Jewish schools,” and etc. Germans required and forbid Jews from doing things so that, Jews wouldn’t cause catastrophe and opposition towards Nazi’s.
In addition, anti-Semitism was present through education systems. For example, by the year 1938, Nazi Germany restricted Jews from attending schools with non-Jews. In 1940, Hitler had taken over Holland, the area in which Anne Frank had lived. By 1941 in October, all Jews in Holland (including Anne) were verboten to attend schools with non-jews. For example, according to page 4 (Anne Frank novel) and 22:35-22:40 (Anne Frank movie), on October of 1941 (Netherlands), Germans restricted Jews from attending schools with non-Jews. Anne Frank and her sister Margot went to the Jewish Lyceum after the changing of the laws. Jewish students were forbidden from attending Jewish schools for many reasons. For instance, according to The Holocaust Explained, “In Germany education was a major tool by which the Nazis’ racial policies were promoted and implemented. Initially, many teachers ignored the political changes. However, very soon, those German teachers who supported the Nazis’ or had been converted to Nazism began to develop new daily rituals and routines.” Many of those teachers would wear the uniforms of Nazism to school. In summary, anti-Semitism was able to be present through educations with the help of teachers. Many teachers had converted to Nazism making them anti- Semitists. As a result, non-Jewish teachers would not want to educate jews, enabling the separation of schools between jews and non-jews. In addition, the changing of textbooks rewritten in line with Nazi ideology leads to a worse form of anti-Semitism. For example, non-Jewish teachers called upon Jews to explain non-Aryans during school. Jewish students face, mouth, hair, eyes, and etc were “examples” of non- Aryans. This idea leads to the propaganda of anti-Semitism. Overall, in education systems, anti-Semitism played a key role, allowing the birth of new types of anti-Semitism.
Third, anti-Semitism was present though the banning of Jewish ownership. For example, according to Annefrank.org, in early 1940, when germans had taken over the Netherlands, Jews were still allowed to own businesses. However, in 1941, all Jewish business owners were told to give up their jobs. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, business owner of jam making company, Opekta was one of the jews in Holland who was required to give up his business. But, in 1938, Johannes Kleiman joins Opekta. Soon, when the germans would come, Johannes would help control Opekta while Otto Frank hid in the Secret Annex. Otto Frank still remained active behind the scenes while hiding. Jewish shops and businesses were taken over so that jews would no longer be able to make money, and as a result, live a bad life. Furthermore, according to the movie of Anne Frank, on 16:16-16:25, Jewish shops were destroyed by non-Jews, and the germans had taken control over the Jewish shops. Jewish shops were vandalized so that Jews would quit their businesses, and no longer make money. If all jews are not able to make money, jews would not be able to live without money, allowing the death of many jews. Jews were able to do minimized things so that they would not cause harm. Overall, the banning of Jewish businesses is a type of anti-Semitism since it disables jews from doing something, and since only jews are prohibited to own businesses, the banning of Jewish business shops is a type of anti-Semitism.
Fourth, anti-Semitism was present through the yellow star of David. For example according to The Anne Frank movie on 30:50-31:00, all jews were required to buy the star of David, which they would place on their shirts to distinguish jews from others. In addition according to Learning Voices Of The Holocaust, The yellow “badges were often printed on coarse yellow cloth and were a grayish yellow colour. The star, which represented the star of David… was printed in mock-Hebraic type…Jewish shops were also marked with a Yellow Star. Basically, the star of David was made in a certain fashion, allowing the distinguishment of jews and non-jews. Also, the star of David made the policy easier to identify jews and send them to Concentration Camps. Furthermore, Jewish shops had the star of David so that non-jews would be able to boycott the shops, and as a result, the Jewish business owners would not be able to make money. Overall, the star of David allowed the distinction of jews and made it easier for germans to capture jews and send them to concentration camps.
Next, Anti-Semitism was present through deceiving the public by using propaganda. For example, according to the movie of Anne Frank, propaganda of grotesque and foolish people, representing jews, were placed on streets. Non- jews were able to believe the propaganda by the picture which leads to many people being followers of Nazism. In addition, according to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Deceiving the Public, “Propaganda served as an important tool to win the majority of the German public…Combined with the use of terror to intimidate those who did not comply, a new state of propaganda apparatus headed…sought manipulate and deceive the German Population and the outside world.” The purpose of propaganda was for the government to keep the people on their side to cause a revolution. “By exaggerating the actual number of ethnic of German victims killed in Bromberg and other towns to 58,000, Nazi propaganda enflamed passions, providing ‘justification’ for the numbers of civilians the Germans intended to kill”(USHMM). Propaganda provided confidence and inspiration to the people under Nazism which lead to the persecution of millions of jews. Without propaganda, the Nazis’ would not have had much confidence and encouragement to wipe out the jews. Overall, the use of propaganda enabled Nazis’ to see jews as grotesque and foolish, harmful people. The use of propaganda brought motivation to the Nazis’ allowing them to wipeout more than 50% of the Jewish population in Europe.
Sixth, Anti-Semitism was present through the using of concentration camps. Nazi Germans made concentration camps to stop the opposition of Jews against Germans. Furthermore, concentration camps helped keep all Jews in specific areas. Furthermore, the use of concentration camps allowed Germans to impose control, whereas, the Jews were treated brutally and unfairly. For instance, according to page 38-39 (Anne Frank novel) and 1:19:20-1:20:00 (Anne Frank movie), Germans sent Jews to concentration camps so that Jews would do harsh and brutal labor while others were gassed. According to page 38-39, …“Jewish friends are being taken away by the dozen. These people are treated by the Gestapo (Secret Police) without a shred of decency, being loaded into cattle trucks and sent to”…concentration camps. “It is impossible to escape; most of the people in the camps are branded as inmates by their shaven heads…some are gassed.” Overall, many Jews are sent to concentration camps, so that Germans would be able to wipe out Jews much faster and so that Jews feel hardships and struggles for a longer period of time. Furthermore, according to The Holocaust Explained, A concentration camp was a place where people are cramped and imprison without trial. Prisoners were kept in poor conditions and without any rights. To add on, between 1938 and 1945, concentration camps became a major way in which the Nazis maintained their power.
Seventh, Anti-Semitism was present in children. For example, according to the movie of Anne Frank on 17:50-18:15, many non-Jewish children were always warned by their parents to stay away from jews, due to discrimination and fear that Judaics can do something bad. For example, according to Jewish Virtual Library, “Blood libel, the allegation that jews murder non-Jews, especially Christian Children, in order to obtain blood for the Passover or other rituals; most blood libels occurred close to Passover, being basically an another form of the belief that Jews had been and still were responsible for the…crucifixion of Jesus Christ”… Non-jews are told to be away from Jewish children, because of the belief that Jews are blood libels and non-jews could be killed by the Jewish children. Furthermore, according to The International Institute For Holocaust Research, as war broke out between Germans and other nations, many jews were forced into going to ghetto areas and fought for “survival”. When deportations of death camps began, many Jewish children escaped from their homes, some being able to live with non-Jews while others perished.
Lastly, Anti-Semitism was present through the discrimination of Jews by Christians. For example, according to page 238 (Anne Frank novel), Germans weren’t the only people that discriminated Jews. For example, according to page 238, …“ anti-Semitism… has affected us all very, very deeply. The cause of this hatred of the Jews is understandable…but not good… The Christians blame the Jews for the giving secrets away to the Germans, for betraying their helpers and for the fact that, through the Jews, a great many Christians have gone the way of so many other before them, and suffered terrible punishments and a dreadful fate.” Germans aren’t the only one against Jews, but also Christians. However, Nazi Germans dislike Jews for incoherent purposes. In the contrary, Christians dislike Jews for understandable purposes. For example, Christians blame Jews for giving secrets away to Germans, which leads in Germans punishing Christians. As a result, Christians no longer have bright futures ahead of them. Overall, anti-Semitism is common toward the discrimination of Jews by Christians. However, it isn’t as incoherent as the discrimination of Jews by Nazi Germans.
In conclusion, anti-Semitism shown in the book and movie of Anne Frank was conveyed throughout the text and movie in numerous ways. For example, anti-Semitism occurred through education systems, Jewish decrees, propaganda, the wearing of the yellow star of David, and etc. The use of anti-Semitism allowed the population of Jews to diminish and allowed Jews to feel misery and hardships. Jews were seen as inherently evil and “blood libels”. In addition, Germans did not consider Jews as human beings, but as animals. With the use of propaganda, non-Jews could believe that Jews were evil and dangerous to be around with. The building and using of concentration camps enabled Germans to place Jews in certain areas and helped Germans impose their control. Overall, the use of anti-Semitism was able to have great effects toward Jews and allowed Jews to suffer. By eliminating Jews, Germans believed that the world would be filled with peace and prosperity; however, Jews are regular ordinary humans, some being bad while others are good.
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