When Anne said she can’t throw her star away, Peter replied with, “You can’t throw…? Something they branded you with…? That they made you wear so they could spit on you?” Since they were in hiding, there was no need. No one would see them that would care or take action. The stars that the Jewish people had to wear on thier clothing allowed The Green Police to do things to them. Peter got angry by the treatment and wanted to burn his star. If I were in their position and situation, I would do the same and feel the same.
Dachau Camp in Germany
Shortly after Dussel enters the Annex, he warns the group of what’s happening to the Jews not in hiding. “Right here in Amsterdam hundreds of Jews disappear… Hundreds are being deported… people that we know… And if you refuse the call-up notice, then they come and drag you from your home and ship you off to Mauthausen. The death camp!” These events were replicated thousands of times across all of Europe. The fact that people could have such a disregard for humanity genuinely terrifies me. There is a looming fear that enters the Annex with this information: the fear of death. Anne and millions of others are subject to this terrible kind of psychological torture simply because of the fact that they are Jewish.
The country of Germany was already suffering long before the war. However, the conditions that the majority of the population was living in during and post-war were absolutely deplorable. In this scene, Dussel makes a comment about someone eating Mouschi. “Make up your mind, already someone has had a nice big dinner from that cat!” While this might seem terrible to you and I, it makes more sense than you might think. If you and your family are starving to death, eating a cat isn’t too far past your moral limits. The Nazis have killed millions upon millions of people, whether in concentration camps or starving or murdering in war. The families in the annex were not alone in their suffering. Millions were discriminated in even their own hometowns.
Since the Frank family was Jewish and Mr. Frank was close with some of his workers, they knew he was Jewish. By knowing someone is Jewish and giving away where a possible hiding spot is can be rewarding. One of Mr. Frank’s workers could have easily given away that he was missing. In the first act, they hear a crash from downstairs at a time where no one should be down there. Many of the people in hiding think it is either the Green Police while some on the other hand think it is somebody coming to help. For everyone’s safety, only Mr. Frank went to investigate after he said, “This is Saturday. There is no way for us to know what has happened until Miep or Mr. Kraler comes on Monday morning. We cannot live with this uncertainty.” If while my family was in hiding and we heard someone downstairs, I would be terrified.
In the second act, Miep wasn’t able to go to where they were hiding for a while and Dussel started to worry. Soon after, a phone downstairs continually rang. Dussel begged Mr. frank to answer saying it may be Miep trying to contact them but Mr. Frank refused. He made an intelligent move by not answering since it may have been somebody who could give away their hiding. “But this is the third time, Mr. Frank! The third time in quick succession! It’s a signal! I tell you it’s Miep, trying to get us! For some reason, she can’t come to us and she’s trying to warn us of something!” Dussel pleaded. If Mr. Frank did answer, it could have been the Green Police. They would know where they called and obviously who it was since it was the afternoon and no one was working, giving away the forced hiding location.
“For the past two years we have lived in fear. Now we can live in hope.” Mr. Frank says this line as the Gestapo are about to arrest them. It is a line that says more about the invulnerability of the human spirit than anything else in the whole play. The families kept in the Annex were forced to live there because of who they were. For two whole years of their lives, they were kept in a not-so-proverbial box. This is a family that loved and lost, that fought for what they believed in: a family that was real. They were discriminated and dehumanized, and yet they still were human.
"How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world!"
If I could talk to Anne now, I would ask about her life before going into hiding. I would ask her how being forced to wear the stars and how being considered less would feel. The spitting, glares, dirty looks, and unequal treatments. I would ask if she thought she could ever forget the moment she heard that she would lose her freedom. If it ever crossed her mind that her life would become what it did. I would ask her how it felt that just because she followed her religion, she was killed. Above all, I would ask why others thought she deserved to die.
"Star of David." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_David>.
Neilsen, Harald. "Anne Frank and Her Family." Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/annefrank.html>.
Goodrich, Frances, and Albert Hackett. "The Diary of Anne Frank, Acts I and II." Prentice Hall Literature. By Kevin Feldman, Kate Kinsella, and Sharon Vaughn. Boston: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. 776-869. Print.