A History For Today

Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Front Page, My Wanderings | 1 comment

In the city centre of Amsterdam there is a building I hope to visit one day. For now though, I have dedicated this, 2015, as the year of Anne Frank on The Insightful Wanderer and Her Headache.

When I learned traveling exhibits of Anne Frank and of Holocaust remembrance would be coming to Kitchener and Stratford, Ontario, (being that this year is the celebration of seventy years of the end of World War II, starting with the discovery and liberation of Auschwitz and the liberation of the people of the Netherlands, of which Anne, sadly, was not one of them.) I knew I had to get involved.

If only she had held on just a few months more, her camp too was found and American and other forces would appear to save all who remained imprisoned within. Canadian soldiers were liberating her country that very spring.

I can get angry, that she and her family couldn’t hold on, but that is how it was for so many others. Otto, the father was the only one to survive from those that hid in that small collection of rooms in that unassuming building back in Amsterdam.

I have known the history of World War II for a long time. I wanted to learn all I could from my own family, but it wasn’t always easy to get the facts from my grandmother. HEr accent mixed with her broken up stories, made it difficult. I don’t know what she held back, but she was happy that her children and us grandchildren were born into a time and place: Canada and peace.

That’s it really, as simple as that. You can’t choose when or where you are born. You can not pick which time in history you come into the story. Wars happen and those unlucky enough to find themselves tangled up in conflicts they don’t understand are often helpless pons.

There is so much I could say about my insightful experience with this traveling exhibit. I know anne’s story very well. I very nearly don’t know where to begin or where to stop myself.

I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to help. It’s more than seventy years too late, but I can write about it. I can keep talking about it because it’s important that I do so.

A History For Today sums it up perfectly.

Why did I want to get involved, in some small way?

** Well, I am a human being, first of all. It isn’t difficult for me to empathize and to feel a connection to these events.

** I can relate, in my own way, to the perils of discrimination and prejudice and the dangers they pose.

** I relate to Anne Frank’s love of writing. I realize the weight of that diary on history and our world, both then and now. I understand how vital it can be to document something, to make people aware, and what an important role writing has played and can continue to play.

Events and Exhibits:

** Back in March I attended a Holocaust photographic display, at The Museum (located in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada (well-known from all around for the best Octoberfest, this side of Germany of course).

** Next I attended a presentation and reception, which was held at The Stratford Perth Museum, with the first in a series of speakers, experts in their particular areas.

** followed up by my evening at the Stratford Festival (at Avon), where I attended a performance of “The Story of Anne Frank”, a play to coincide with the speaker series and exhibits.

** Throughout this summer of 2015 I will be listening to five more speakers and sharing my thoughts here.

I did not have to travel far to experience the History For Today exhibit. I wanted to make sure, if it turns out I never actually make it to see the place where Anne hid, that I came as close as I could, close to home.

  • Kerry, thank you for your wonderful, thought-provoking perspective. Reading Anne’s story as a child broke my heart; this brave young woman who only wanted to live as we all did, faced with prosecution due to insane barbarism. Thank you for sharing this.

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