We must never forget history and everything people before us went through.
9th april 1940.
It`s 77 years ago since Norway was attacked by the Germans. It was day which, for many Norwegians, consisted of fears, sorrows, pessimism and insecurity. Many had no idea what was coming their way. It took four years for our country to be free and independent.
Today I`m happy about being able to live in a country where I can be me, where I can be free. I`m glad I live in a time and country, where I don`t have to worry about bombs and shooting, but instead can sleep peacefully at night. I`m glad I`m living this life. I`m glad I live in a country where I have rights. I`m happy I can study and become something and perhaps most of all – I`m glad I`m able to see a future. At that time, there was a war going on in my country. Today, I can be sorry about what happened, but I can also be relieved because it belongs to the past.
I`m thankful for this life. Today I`m thinking of all these people whom lost their lives and lost people who were close to their hearts. I`m sorry that some human beings find it appropriate and necessary to kill so many. Especially the Jews barely had any rights and my heart cries every time I hear stories from the camps.
I`m sorry to say that all we can do now is to never forget and remember what happened, but I hope that`s enough.
Last week I finished a book, which was written by a woman who survived the Second World War, along with her sister (she was born in 1944) and her parents. More about the book later. When I finished it, I was reminded of my passion, if you can call it that, about the war and the Holocaust. About what happened to Jews at that time, about the evilness that surrounded so much of the world at that time. I was reminded of Anne Frank, a young girl, whom unfortunately died in the conzentration camp Bergen-Belsen in 1945, that I`ve been looking up to for several years. She`s inspired me, she`s given me so much courage and she has made me realise and understand so many things that I don`t know where to begin.
Anne Frank also lost her grandmother. She died when Anne was 12, due to cancer. My grandmother also died due to cancer. I think that when someone you`re inspired by and look up to, no matter who it is, and that person has encountered the exact same as you (with different circumstances, of course), you find comfort and trust in knowing that. Anne Frank wrote in her diary that she never really got to tell her how much she loved her. I feel the same about my own grandmother, therefore it`s so amazing that I can seek relief, gratification and satisfication in her situation and in her diary. To me, Anne`s a symbol for hope and inspiration. Imagine that she looked upon her situation as a “fairytale”, despite the circumstances. The Second World War was going on around her, people were dying in the camps and there was so much evilness. Yet she managed to keep her head up and she never lost faith in her dreams and passion. That, guys. THAT is inspiring and there`s so much we can learn from a little woman like Anne Frank, whom died too soon. Many criticize people for romantizing Anne`s story. There`s no doubt her life ended in a tragedy – a tragedy that we need to prevent from happening again. But, I believe many don`t find most of her life that tragic – I can only recommend you (if you already haven`t), to read her diary. She was so hopeful about life, she had so many dreams and wishes for herself and she knew who she was. She was so young and had such a talent – she`s one of the very few that talented young authors in the world. She died, but her spirit refused to die and that`s what I believe many people find so sad and tragic, and yet beautiful. I know I do. She died so many years ago and there are people now who`re inspired by her, who consider her a hero, who visit Prinsengracht 263 just to see where she and 7 other people hid during the war and there are several people that have written to her dad. If people found nothing beautiful and great about her story, they wouldn`t have written to her father, while he was alive. She died, but her voice never died. The music inside her heart never died.
I found courage in her story and diary again. I`ve been reading about Holocaust and especially Anne for some days and I can`t get enough. I don`t know if you know this, but I found her diary several years ago, when I was in 6th grade and I was so amazed. I still am amazed. I also read Mona`s story, and I realised how there was so much brutality around them. I`ve read other diaries from the war too as well, and they`re so brutal but it`s not like you`re crying all along. You get amazed too. How people were able to keep their heads up. These diaries and other documents are life-affirming records of their spirits and hopes in the face of cruelty and danger.
Reading about Holocaust and how so many people were able to be optimistic, made me realise that I can do it too. It made me realise that I`m stronger than I think I am and that if Anne can, I can too. If another woman can, why can`t I? I found comfort in her and that`s why I`m doing so much better. I needed my time, but now it feels like I never died. I feel like I kind of locked myself inside a cage and without knowing, someone opened up the door and now I`m flying again. I feel so much better already. I had to work with myself and I`m glad I gave myself time, but this only proves you never know what`s going to happen tomorrow.
This doesn`t mean I`m never going to cry about what happened with my grandmother. I still miss her so much and I wonder what actually happened, even though I was there all along. But, someone else has been where I am now and she did fine. I`ll do fine too. If a person, during a World War, during such inhumane times can find hope and be so faithful, I can too. After such a long time I feel like “myself” again and I feel so inspired to grasp life and find out what it holds for me.
Thank you, Annelies Mary Frank. Thanks to all the heroes from the war that inspire me and thousands of people out there every day. You might be dead, but your voices refused to die.
History`s always been my favourite subject. It`s so fascinating – I don`t know how to explain it. My favourite subject is the second World War, which is one of the two topics we`re having for our test this week.
But you know, I`m weird, and weird people want to read about all the “fascinating” and weird things out there. How Germany invaded The Sovjet in 1941 doesn`t drag my mind as much as Holocaust does. In class, while revising, I somehow ended up reading an article on “Holocaust denial“.
The reason why it maybe caught my mind, was the fact that I know people whom deny Holocaust. It sucks how that`s even a word we use, in first place. It sucks even harder there are people who think like that. They once said “The Jews digged their own graves” and “They`re making everything up in order to make people feel sorry for them.” I don`t think I need to mention more – you guys already by the way know how JK had to hear “What Hitler did was right” during a parent-teacher meeting more than 4 years ago. I know some people are going to tell me to confront these kind of people with facts, control and patience. Sorry to disappoint you, but I`m only a human and I can`t handle this.
It hurts me to hear these kind of things when I`ve met someone who was in a consentration camp and had to fight for years to get out of there. I met Mathilde, whom I still remember. Oh, for God`s sake, forget how I almost fell asleep during her speech because I was too tired. I still remember how she told us with her lovely voice that “my husband never said one mean word to me”. It felt a little like she was talking to me. She had been there, she had experienced horrifying circumstances, she had to go through systematic evilness. So what happens when people deny the Holocaust? I feel like screaming, I want to laugh at them because I don`t understand how. I`ve also been in four of the camps. How can you deny the fact that Jews died there? It`s like saying in 100 years time people will deny 9/11, which will be crazy to us whom are living in this decade. Or, let`s present an example which is more real to Muslims (because many are already denying 9/11..) : What if we in 50 years time denied the bomb explosion that happened in Lahore during Easter?
There are many people like that out there, there are many Muslims with those kind of mindsets out there. I`ve met some of them. They do exist. So to you who want to deny that Muslims do bad things too? You`re dead wrong. Try to put yourself in their shoes. People like you are the ones who try to turn some of our history into a lie and I can`t let people like you do that. What happened in Turkey or Pakistan is just as real as Holocaust. Your denials won`t make the truth any less believeable and true, your denials won`t change the stories and lives of millions of people.