“..In spite of everything I still believe ..people are really good at heart.” Anne Frank.

This solitary picture of Otto Frank says everything any People ever needs to know about the devastation of The Holocaust and even, perhaps, its Survival from it. For Otto, seen here in the empty space of that not so Secret Annexe, he ponders the darkest depths of human imaginings. Does he reflect upon his own luck, what we first perceive as his good fortune, or do we sense the misery to come of an experience he had lived and no human being should have been forced to endure. Or is Otto stood here simply so as to wonder if His Wife and his 2 Children would have been as fortunate as it seemed to him he had been at the time that, or it appeared he had been.

“..We cannot change what happened anymore. ..only thing we can do is to learn from ..past and to realize what discrimination and persecution of innocent people means. I believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to fight prejudice.” Otto Frank.

The longing and the hope of Otto and all too many other’s just like him, is etched in such an image of deep despair knowing full well that some people are not in the least good at heart. It would be a disaster of imaginings for Otto at such a moment to even consider other than that his Family too had lived to survive. Also, did any those other’s from the hiding place, did they survive and did any of those Otto had dearly wished to come back through those doors, did they suffer what he witnessed and survived as Jews for being Jews. Could Otto hold with the idea that what Anne had held the view of, and in his emerging from the catastrophe, was there a consideration that in human beings there was any goodness at all.

“..I have not enough faith in God. ..only thing to do is to pray that God will ..save some of them.” Anne Frank.

As it then inevitably dawned upon Otto that neither Edith Frank, Margot Frank, Anne Frank, Auguste van Pels, Hermann van Pels, Peter van Pels nor Fritz Pfeffer had survived, how deep a well is despair. Would or could any of them have had the ability to have survived the unimaginable horrors Otto himself had become exposed to. Here, reflecting back upon the sheer weight of the atrocity inflicted upon so many Jewish People, and it is certain Otto cannot yet know the fate of those he was searching for, nor could he even contemplate the loss to humanity that is measured in 6,000,000 Jewish lives lost.

“..I shall remember ..look in Margot’s eyes all my life.” Otto Frank.

But for Otto, as he traversed The Holocaust carnage of human descent, how could he ever conceive of the fact that was to be laid out before him as the realisation over took his every hope. It is patently clear too, that any human being, Otto included, is ill prepared for any coming to terms with what the World was to be made fully aware of. There would be nothing within him that could alter what had happened, nor all that had happened to him certainly and more specifically, and for all that was subsequently done to those he most loved in the World he was re-emerging into. For Otto Frank, the leap of faith he had possibly taken, in the hope that all who were nearest and dearest to him would return, was within a belief system that had hoped for at least some of the 7 other’s to return.

“..We assume that most of them are murdered. ..British radio speaks of their being gassed. Perhaps that’s ..quickest way to die.” Anne Frank.

When Otto surely knew that not all could be so lucky, and his hope was pinned upon the stomach wrenching hope that all would emerge from the horrors, he was failed again. Then there was time to reflect on those images of Edith, nor Anne and even in considering those last moments with Margot, as he retraced those very steps backwards toward final memories, the richness of memory must have so amplified his grief to come. Of course, at this moment in time, as he gazed into the emptiness of what had seemed a vibrant space, and from another era and before they were betrayed, these thoughts were not as yet his final memories of any of them.

“..How ..thought always torments me ..I have no idea how Edith and ..Children are.” Otto Frank.

For Otto, and until all his nagging doubts or even suspicions were finally confirmed, surely he had some hope that his despair might be momentary. However, for the destructive capacity of The Final Solution of the Jewish Question that had all but consumed the bloodline of many Jewish Family’s of Europe, it too had taken all 7 other’s of those taken from the Annexe. As we know from history, that momentary grasp of hope fell into a deeper despair than mere mortals could ever imagine. How crushing then might that lapse of despair be for us, as remote witnesses upon the fringes of such huge excesses and exorbitant cruelty.

“..poor people are being shipped off to filthy slaughterhouses like a herd of sick and neglected cattle. But I’ll say no more on ..subject. My own thoughts give me nightmares!” Anne Frank.

Where we seek to but cannot begin to comprehend the far reaching atrocity for 6,000,000 Jewish People, let alone find any part of the catastrophe in any way acceptable, the Jews have to find something to comfort or console them. Yet what Anne learned from such as the BBC, this should have alerted other than Anne, and certainly all those within the confines of the Annexe, and the wider European continent that the public, having such knowledge did not qualify this as concern for the Jewish struggle. I tire so often with the repeated peel of those accusations I have levelled at the World which stood on the side-lines and watched as the trains transported the Jews of Europe to destruction.

“..We all had lots of stories of our sad experiences ..they mourned ..death of my wife with me ..but we were hopeful that ..Children would return.” Otto Frank.

As all of those trains arrived, and were dislodged within Poland at the gates to those 6 Death Camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka. These exterminating facilities, placed within Poland because of the enormous pool of Jewish existence that resided there, and in all of Europe, what the local non Jewish population clearly knew, had to have informed the rest of the World. It becomes essential to history that above all other considerations, the mass slaughter of 6,000,000 Jewish People, they were chosen simply for this primitive and ignorant hatred known as antisemitism.

“..we’re Jews in chains ..chained to one spot ..without ..rights ..with a 1,000 obligations. ..put our feelings aside ..be brave ..strong ..bear discomfort without complaint .. do whatever is in our power ..trust in God. One day this terrible war will be over. ..time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews!” Anne Frank.

That such a hatred which emanated and was conducted into the destruction of a People, who were chosen simply because they were Jews, warrants a show of contempt for its emergence, history will take into eternity. For Edith Frank’s presence here, and at any given moment in that time which had lapsed since she was taken away, death was a given, a written accord not detailed in signatures. For Margot and Anne too, we know that they too were dying, almost immediately before him, while he could not know this. That Otto would have to wait to find that all 3 member’s of his Family had finally succumbed to a moribund hatred that has attached itself to humanity for 4,000 years too long, is a heart wrenching fact.

“..There are no walls ..no bolts ..no locks that anyone can put on your mind.” Otto Frank.

In acknowledgement that humanity had exposed its civilising influence and had descended into an abyss of hatred, the culture of hatred from the few has searched for newer meanings to what is civilisation. The truth of course grows deeper and darker as we unravel those last months, weeks, days and even some of those last moments of Edith and Otto’s Children, Margot and Anne both. For we have gleaned from the past the intrinsic detail of the truth as it presented itself to Otto, and as far too much despair that he could not decline to bring with him into the future. This is civilisations crossroads and we know full well, from what Anne has sought to deliver, the fork in the road takes us further from where civilised life delivered us.

“..what I would so like to be ..what I could be ..if there weren’t any other people living in ..world.” Anne Frank.

In the innocent words of a Child, who should not have known what she was so apparently aware of, Anne’s are words to surpass us. It is no small detail for a Child like Anne to suspect that in places like Auschwitz where she would arrive, and in a space known to infamy as Birkenau, that such Slaughter Houses of a Human Cargo of Jews truly did exist. Anne’s nightmare was a reality for her and for 1,100,000 other Jews who would not awake from the reality of the grasp upon them in Birkenau. Here in Birkenau also, where both Margot and Anne were closest to the infringement upon their very existence, and by such a pernicious evil, an abomination confronted them.

“..I hope Anne’s book will have an effect on ..rest of your life so that insofar as it is possible in your own circumstances ..you will work for unity and peace.” Otto Frank.

Margot and Anne had indeed been taken away from any consideration, only seeing in them but a herd of sick and neglected cattle. Here too, and where Edith Frank perished and Hermann van Pels was gassed in the filthy slaughterhouse of human beings, all led by a degenerate brutality like no other, Belsen awaited both Margot and Anne. In the annals of all of The Holocaust, while the mentions are often made and directed toward the Jewish People as being less than human, it is to their murderer’s, these perpetrator’s of the foulest crimes ever imagined, it is for them that we must attach such a label.

“..If it’s that bad in Holland ..what must it be like in those faraway ..uncivilized places where ..Germans are sending them. We assume ..most ..are being murdered.” Anne Frank.

I have often reproached some people for calling these perpetrator’s animals, and yet, while I rein in my own angers and disgust, this is not as contentious a reproach as it might seem. For within the human race there has always been a small minority who will always seek their way to the bottom of inhuman behaviours. Here, in each and every Death Camp, Concentration Camp, Ghetto, Killing Site, City, Town, Village and Shtetl that was to reach into the body of Jewish existence in order to extinguish it, Jewish hope still emerged from the inhumanity of human beings toward them. In the midst of the very spirit of a People who had passed through an immolation process, they have been all too often burdened by the hatred seeking to totally consume them.

“..We all had lots of stories of our sad experiences ..they mourned ..death of my wife with me ..but we were hopeful that ..Children would return.” Otto Frank.

The immediate tragedy for the World, that was only to become a recognisable fact as World War II was written into the pages of history, became wider known than allied intention had evidenced. Here, it is with the failure of one man, in aiming for a single goal to erase all of Jewish persistence, that it remains for us to digest having to identify with that collaborative effort so abandoning of the Jewish People. Tragically though, for a World now ridden with tragedy and in terms of loss, this page in all of our histories is written in the names of 6,000,000 Slaughtered Jewish lives. As yet though, we have failed to fully name and identify all of these Jews, eviscerated from life in an accord all too many took so liberally to their hearts.

“..I have not enough faith in God. ..only thing to do is to pray that God will ..save some of them.” Anne Frank.

For me, and it is with deep sadness that we do know the names Edith Frank, Margot Frank, Anne Frank, Auguste van Pels, Herman van Pels, Peter van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer who now all belong to such a terrifying indictment The Holocaust is of human kind. That said, we recognise that other humans, acting with an exorbitant penchant in and for all manner of cruelty, acted in exacting that unparalleled vengeance against the human spirit we should recognise. Clearly, by acting without compassion, without morals and devoid of the ethical efficacy human beings must always demand of themselves, and from those around them, they have strayed beyond what we can imaginatively call humanity.

“..I hope Anne’s book will have an effect on ..rest of your life so that insofar as it is possible in your own circumstances ..you will work for unity and peace.” Otto Frank.

It is essential therefore Always to Remember, Never to Forget and I bolster this human demand with an acute understanding of the grave wrongs this World has done to those Jewish People! Those like Otto Frank, who had to stand again amongst those very same people who stood by him, or those who did not stand by him, not knowing all who stood against him, or the individual who even betrayed him. To then become aware that there are those amongst humanity who then Murdered his very love for a Wife and their Progeny. While reasoning the source of human conscience and attempt to recount to this, with the loss he would endure for ever, the missing credential of a conscience of so many is evident.

“..There is an urge and rage in people to destroy ..kill ..murder. ..until all mankind ..undergoes ..change ..will have to begin all over again.” Anne Frank.

It is clear that what originated in Germany, and was then conducted throughout all of Europe, and more particularly within Poland, is a confrontation with all of humanity. That such an assault as has never been witnessed before, and in all of history, both civilised and not, this should alert and warn us of the confusion of hatreds that are resident within national socialism. The strength of any Nation belongs to the body of the People it is made up of and that includes at the very least, all of its People! Where this then equates to the values of what Socialism recognises, it is an equanimity which belongs to All and not just to the few.

“..I think it is not only important that people go to ..Anne Frank House to see ..secret annex ..but also that they are helped to realise that people are also persecuted today because of their race ..religion or political convictions.” Otto Frank.

Wherever the Jewish People choose to reside, they are no less a component part of any and all communities they remain equal within. Given their right to humanity’s civilising essential, we are all for each other and each of us must uphold all the rights of the other. We must always recognise what nazism proposed for the Jewish People did Not stop with the killing of the Jewish People only. It did not cease with killing Jews as it tortured, abused, mistreated and assailed Jews as it recognised in every Jew, a victim. What is also so essential in what we must come to recognise is that while not all victims were Jews, All Jews Were Victims. Here too we must recognise that in each and every nation within Europe, while not all non-Jews betrayed their Jewish Neighbours, not all non-Jews assisted or reached out to save them.

“..I get frightened when I think of close friends who have now been delivered into ..hands of ..cruellest brutes that walk ..earth. ..all because they are Jews.” Anne Frank.

The removal of every facet of opposition within Europe was to embellish an elitism that served a corrupted model of what corrupts all of human nature, avarice and the greed of hatred. This suggests the question as to when, those like Poland, will come to terms with what some of its own people achieved against their own Jewish People. In line with the overall genocidal resolve, that forgets that 6 million of its own citizens were torn from Polish society, how can there be those within Poland seen to elect nazism as other than a reviled and failed strategy of hate and greed. For us as human beings from such a simple message, that was written into a single Book and by a very Young Child, Anne Frank, this lesson tells Poland that it neglects too that 3,000,000 of those who were shredded from existence, were Polish Jews.

“..I can no longer talk about how I felt when my family arrived on ..train platform in Auschwitz and we were forcibly separated from each other.” Otto Frank.

So because they were Polish Jews, and had stood amongst their fellows, in community’s across the nation for millennia, a level of respect and honour is due to these Jews of The Holocaust. Here, and in lieu of an immense failing to save any of these 3,000,000 Polish Jews, Poland’s dishonour exudes the welcoming removal of the very existence of the Jews from amongst them. How is it then that to this day, that for some within Poland and even Germany, they can forget that when the hate filled thrust toward defeat was always in order to resolve The Final Solution of The Jewish Question, not only Jews suffered.

“..Hungary has been occupied by German troops. ..still a million Jews living there ..they too are doomed.” Anne Frank.

Clearly, the lessons to be learned have not reached all corners of a Continent ringing with the treachery of such hatred when we recognise deep in the depths of a defeat, the Jewish Question rises higher in expectation. Indeed, and for some Germans who fought for a fatherland, and who were callously disposed of to ail a degenerative disease that defines an antisemitic resolution, such hatred disowns their sacrifice in War. What effort expended on the Slaughter of the Jews, so as to deliver to posterity the evil that is The Holocaust, might have saved some of Germany’s own. So wherever nazism meets opposition to its perversion of humanity, it greets it with a carnage of death and the destruction of those it will victimise.

“..It was about 10:30. I was upstairs in ..van Pels’s part of ..house ..in Peter’s room ..doing schoolwork with him. Suddenly someone came running up ..stairs. Then ..door flew open and a man stood before us holding his pistol aimed at my chest. Downstairs all ..others were already assembled. My Wife and ..Children and ..van Pels family were standing there with raised hands. Then Fritz Pfeffer came in ..followed by another stranger. ..policemen ordered us to hand over our valuables. Silberbauer took Anne’s briefcase. He shook everything out ..dumping ..contents on ..floor ..so that Anne’s papers and notebooks and loose sheets lay scattered all over ..floorboards.” Otto Frank.

The World, after the end of a Second World War, recognises 50/70 million dead and a genocide of 6,000,000 Jews we affirm is, The Holocaust. What we do not accept, and must never recognise, are the same or even similar hatred’s which bore such a fruit as to have consumed 6,000,000 Jewish lives, all Men, Women and Their Children of them. True, The Holocaust has been a bitter and distasteful fruit which bore a resolve to enact a total solution which proved deadly to far too many Jewish People. It is then not unreasonable to contemplate why we have not leaned enough of this hatred to ensure no such hatred ever permeates our environs, and that ever again means, Never Again.

“..long lines of good ..innocent people ..accompanied by crying Children ..walking on and on ..ordered about by a handful of men who bully and beat them until they nearly drop. No one is spared. ..Sick ..Elderly ..Children ..Babies ..Pregnant Women ..all ..marched to their death. ” Anne Frank.