• Enrique A. Cordero

A Bright Light in the Dark

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

When facing an existential crisis that threatens the entire world, many of us will often become introspective. In doing so, I turned my attention to those that left us a legacy of hope—a light to push back the encroaching darkness then came across a name that immediately attracted me with an irresistible pull—Anne Frank.

Annelies Marie Frank was born on the 12th of June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. By the 20th of March 1933, Nazi Germany opened the first concentration camp in Dachau, near Munich. Hitler had started the process of repressing any political opponents, and by the Summer of 1933, the Frank family moved to Holland to escape the relentless persecution of millions of innocent people whose only crime was that they were Jewish.

The expansion of Nazi Germany continued, and World War II started in 1939. The Frank family established themselves in Holland, trying to lead a normal life. On the 12th of June 1942, Anne received a precious gift for her thirteenth birthday, a diary.

The following month, the Frank family received a call-up notice from the Nazis demanding their return to Germany. The notification also informed them that they would be working in a “labor” camp. This notification prompted the Frank family to go into hiding the very next day. The Frank family was joined by the Van Pels family, and dentist Fritz Pfeffer. They went into hiding in an area of the building that came to be known as the Secret Annex. There was only one entrance to the Secret Annex, and it was concealed behind a large bookshelf.

Anne, her family, and friends remained confined from July 1942 until August 1944 until the Nazi secret police raided their hiding place thanks to an “anonymous” tip. Eventually, the family was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where 1.1 million Jews were tortured and exterminated. Anne and her sister Margot escaped the gas chambers but were sent to the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, where they died of typhus. Their bodies were thrown into a common grave.

Anne Frank was one of those souls that come to Earth to light the way for the rest of us. The incredibly beautiful and moving accounts from her diary are worth reading. Anne wrote this diary between the ages of 13 and 14! What an inspiration for the world today. I leave you with a few quotes from this incredibly courageous, intelligent, and compassionate young woman:

In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.

Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.

I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.

What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it from happening again.

Let us learn from this so that the death and suffering from this invisible foe, that we know as COVID-19, will not have been in vain.

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