Students - I am this week volunteering at an English immersion adult week in La Alberca, Spain with Diverbo. There are fourteen English speaking adults here (from Canada, England, Australia, and the United States) and there are nine Spaniards. The job of the English speakers is to only speak English, as the Spanish people are here to strengthen their English.
On the way to Spain, my daughters (part of the Diverbo teen program) and I spent a day in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and we visited the Anne Frank House and Museum. Walking through the rooms where young Anne wrote about her life during the horrors of Nazi rule made me think about the power humans have - for evil and for good.
Anne's father, Otto Frank, really did mark lines on the wall in the Secret Annex, to show his daughters' growth. And Anne pasted pictures of royalty and movie stars upon her wall, to make it feel like home, even though it was not home, but a secret annex where Anne's family, another family, and one more man stayed in hopes of staying safe. They were all killed for being Jewish, all except for Anne's father Otto, who survived Auschwitz and had Anne's diary published after the war.
I am grateful to Anne for writing, as her story is the story of many. Because she wrote it down, we have a small window into one child's life - one normal child's life in the most dire of circumstances. Many children today live in terrible circumstances, and Anne's diary and legacy reminds me of this. Too, her words remind me of my responsibility. How am I helping, as Anne's family's friends tried to help her?
To learn a bit more about what a helping person does, I am reading ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED (there is also a documentary by the same name) by Miep Gies and Alison Leslie Gold. Miep Gies was one of the employees of Otto Frank, Anne's father. Miep, her husband, and others brought food to Anne and her family and tried to keep them safe; this was at risk to their own safety, but they did what was right. After Otto Frank returned, Miep gave him Anne's diary and other writings. She had kept them, hoping to one day return them to Anne.
A Book by a Helper
Photo by Amy LV
There are many ways to learn about the world. We widen our horizons and deepen our understandings by reading, talking with others, traveling, and allowing ourselves to think and write about what we notice and observe and believe.
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