BRONX, NY- I read some interesting and heartbreaking stories last night about the holocaust survivors living in Israel and the Ukraine. The stories reminded me of Anne Frank’s book Diary of a Young Girl. It’s one of my favorites and I often remind myself I shouldn’t complain about life when Anne had it a lot worse. The secret annex was a safe place for her physically, but mentally her diary was her refuge. Then an idea hit me: what would I write to Anne Frank now?
April 28, 2014
Dear Anne Frank,
I am sorry for what you and your family suffered in the concentration camp. It was unfair and you were only fifteen. At fifteen, life is just beginning. Humanity hasn’t changed since your death. We judge and punish people just because of who they are, their religion, sexual orientation, or the color of their skin.
In 1940 under German rule, the restrictions for the Jews began. Two years later, you and your family went into hiding. The Van Pels and Fritz soon joined you. In your diary you expressed your feelings about the war and not having the freedom to be a young girl. You were not allowed to go outside or open the curtains to enjoy the sunshine because your family would be in danger. Food was scarce even with your father’s employees helping the family out. You had to learn to grow up quickly within the two years you were in hiding.
Like you, I also love books and writing. Writing in a journal brings me peace. My goal is to write about other fascinating people like yourself. To share stories of hope, heroism, and motivation in a world that needs it the most. I want to be a voice for those who can’t speak out. Hitler silenced your people. I know that frustrated you. I admired your faith and hope even in the darkest of times. Being crammed in a small room with seven other people was difficult for you. Hope is something I often lose. The world has not learned from World War II, and every day it seems two countries are at war or are close to it.
Millions have read your diary after your father published it. Thank you for sharing your words with the world Anne. I wish you could have been able to finish it, and someday I will visit the secret annex in Amsterdam.
Rosa Elena Burgos
Last Updated: September 6, 2021