Carrying the torch of Anne Frank
Updated: Sep 22
My greatest inspiration growing up was "Harriet the Spy" and "The diary of Anne Frank'". I feel a little alike her sometimes, and even one of the ICE-officers I met in Honolulu 2011-12 while I was detained to be deported, looks a little like Anne Frank's Dad. It's all about being open to other cultures and daring to greet others with genuine respect and curiosity. I started looking at license plates as a young girl riding in cars and therethrough see where the others came from, learning which letter combination belonged to which country. And in the lounge at airports, I would look around and guess by people's looks where they came from. And when we travelled by train, I used to sit and guess which country that language was from that passengers around us were talking. Hey, I could possibly become a great Customs and Border Protection agent!
We passed by a former concentration camp one time on one of those train rides in my teenage years, awful yet intriguing since my Polish grandmother on my Mum's side has been in two. She survived them. I am here because she did.
One of these trips took our family to Amsterdam in the early 80's to visit the house where Anne Frank and her family had hidden during WWII. My Dad bought several of the same kind of binders that stood in that bookshelf, and one for me. Best quality ever, he said, except that all the papers required new hole punches.
Last night I decided to walk to Anne Frank's second home on Ganghoferstrasse in Frankfurt where they lived before they fled. Interesting enough, it said under the street sign that it was named after a poet and writer. Maybe that inspired Anne?
The street were filled with cars bearing angel-numbers, all peaceful, serene and quiet. Which room had been hers? This one perhaps.
But, no golden stone in the pavement! How come? Of all people who have lived here, why not of the Frank family? Or did her Dad move back to Frankfurt? I don't remember, I need to look that up. I've seen a man here showing up now and then looking like him, is he perhaps a relative still alive?
On my way back, all the cars lined the streets bore more numbers as if showing me my entire life path with significant years as an adult (some of them as shown). And yes, I have seen my own birth numbers too on one. The last I noticed before I focused on getting help with money to pay a hostel, was one not parked, but driving past me with the initials "JD" on them. Of course I also felt his presence a little later. Reassuring and safe. Love. Time to rewrite my lost diaries? (I had saved all of mine, since my childhood and teens, but they became damaged in a fire in the storage room in my attic in the mid-90's.) It's not that easy to have been given the BOP number 13911-022 at Honolulu Federal Detention Center. I took it as inspiration to write my second book "The Call for Divine Fathering"
It's not without awe, I read her quotes, little miss Anne Frank, how I wished to be just like you when I grew up and how many diaries I have filled with that same hope and despair. To be secretly discovered some day.
Who would have known that I would come to spend almost a year in an American prison as an immigrant and write a journalistic tale about that? It is why I wrote it and why I went to the UN with it. Because of Anne Frank. And because of my grandmothers. Hanna too, who was my grandfather on my father's side's second wife from outside of Stuttguart. I saw a young woman looking a little like her yesterday evening too, passing me on a bike. Is she indeed a relative to Hanna's sister Lore? She too had to fight to be able to eat. Hanna's starvation made her barren. Is it something to ridicule or keep doing these days to me? It is also why I went to the UN with the Swedish treatment. I shouldn't have to fight against others to be able to sleep well and eat well within a budget, most of all I should be able to have my own income again, including of my professional writing, not having it exploited even before I die. Why is this even questioned and not evident?
But not because I don't love Americans, because I do generally speaking and hold them in highest regard, but to evolve (like this good example ), to be part of inspiring positive improvements. To not lock up more people based just on ethnicity. And coming here to Germany is to further that confirmation that we must always remember the past. And compare with our present, for a better future.
We can make it happen! You just need to dare see what I see.
Photo of Anne Frank from the Anne Frank House.