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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
March 15, 1995, V3, #47
All the News the Big Guys Missed
For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management
Al Hamishmar May Cease Publication
Barring any last minute developments, the newspaper Al Hamishmar
will close down on Wednesday after 52 years of publication, "It is
not fair to continue holding a losing newspaper," said Giora
Furman, H'Kibbutz H'artzi's secretary. Over the past 10 years the
newspaper has lost about $3 million.
Anne Frank, 1929-1945
By Dagmar Breitenbach (Bonn)
Fifty years ago this month, Anne Frank, the young Jewish German
girl whose World War 2 diary has become legend, died at the
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp only a month before it was
liberated by British troops. Before her capture and deportation
along with her family in 1944, Anne for years had kept detailed
diary of daily life in her family's hideout in Amsterdam. She
filled it meticulously with the thoughts and feelings of a
teenage girl, and with a detailed account of the family's
increasingly difficult years of survival in hiding from the Nazis.
Anne's father, Otto, survived his family. After the war, he
published his daughter's diary, a historic document that tells of
persecution and suffering, but also reveals -- despite all the fear
-- her hope and courage.
Anne Frank's dairy has been translated into dozens of languages,
and has sold millions of copies all over the world.
It is Christmas eve 1943. Anne Frank and her family have been in
hiding for five months. There is a cake, there are cookies and
other delicacies. Anne shares her most secret thoughts with her
"To ride a bicycle, to dance, whistle, see the world and feel
young, to know that I am free -- that is what I long for. But I
cannot let this desire show. Just imagine we would all begin to
complain, where would that lead?"
Anne Frank was born the youngest daughter of a Jewish family in
Frankfurt in 1929. Her family immigrated to The Netherlands as
early as 1933 in hopes of evading the Nazis. But the Nazis invaded
The Netherlands in 1940, and soon began to persecute, and then
deport, Jews living there.
Anne begins to keep a diary the day her parents give her a
red-and-white checkered notebook for her 13th birthday. It is June
1942. Anne writes:
"One Jewish law follows the next; our freedom has been curtailed.
Jews must wear a yellow star. Jews have to hand in their bicycles.
Jews are not allowed to take the tram, or drive a car. Jews are
only allowed to shop between three and five in the afternoon. Jews
are not allowed on the streets between eight in the evening and
six in the morning."
Despite all the restrictions and other difficulties, Anne is a
happy, fun-loving and very perceptive young girl. A month later,
the situation escalates for Otto Frank, his wife and their
daughters Margot and Anne. Amidst rumors of imminent deportation,
they flee to a carefully planned and concealed hideout in an annex
of Mr. Frank's former offices. Mr. Frank has already given
up his spice and pectin company to his longtime employee, Miep
Gies; Jews are no longer allowed to own businesses. The Franks go
underground, they disappear, and are from now on "onderduikers,"
those who have ducked into hiding.
The family shares its tiny new home at Prinsengracht 263 with four
other Jewish refugees. In her much-cherished diary, Anne writes to
a fictive best-friend she calls "Kitty," and shares with Kitty the
ups and downs of her closeted life in the annex.
In the hideout, windows and curtains are permanently closed. The
fugitives whisper, and walk on tiptoe. During the day, they are not
allowed to turn on water faucets, or flush the toilet. No one is
to know of their whereabouts: after all, the Nazis pay a handsome
fee for denunciation of hidden Jews. The refugees' only contacts
to the outside world are four loyal employees of Otto Frank's
former business, who provide them with the necessities of life.
As the war drags on, finding enough food for the eight hidden,
unregistered Jews -- who of course received no public assistance --
becomes more and more difficult. At times, Anne feels like a bird
in a cage:
"The atmosphere in the house is depressing, sleepy and leaden. A
deadly and oppressing silence covers everything...I lie down on the
couch to sleep to shorten time, the silence and the terrible fear
-- they can not be deadened."
Sometimes Anne meets with her first and only love in the attic --
young Peter, the son of the family that is in hiding with the
Franks. Sometimes, through the slits of the barricaded windows,
she sees a glimpse of a church tower, or a tree. That is all Anne
sees of the world.
In early 1943, Anne hears a radio message broadcast by the Dutch
government in exile in London, calling on the Dutch people to
collect simple, everyday documents --letters, diaries -- as part of
the historical record of Nazi occupation. Prompted by the call,
Anne becomes even more assiduous in taking note of life in the
annex, and she also begins to edit and change parts of earlier
In November of 1943, Anne recalls a comment by Miep Gies, the new
owner of the Frank spice and pectin business:
"Miep often says she envies us because we have such peace and quiet
here. That may be true, but she's obviously not thinking about our
fear. I simply can't imagine the world will ever be normal again
for us. I do talk about 'after the war' but it's as if I was
talking about a pipe dream, something that can never come true.
I see the eight of us in the annex as if we were a patch of blue
sky surrounded by menacing black clouds."
Huddled together, the eight "onderduikers" listen to the Dutch
program of the BBC. Almost two years after going into hiding, they
hear about the Allied landing at Normandy that began the liberation
of France, and that gives them hope and courage to hold out.
But liberation does not come true for the "onderduikers" at
Prinsengracht. On Aug. 4, 1944, Nazis storm into their little
hideout in Amsterdam. The Frank family is put on the last
deportation train from The Netherlands. Mother Edith dies in
Auschwitz. Margot and Anne are deported to the Bergen-Belsen work
camp, where they both die of typhoid fever in March 1945. Only one
month later, British soldiers free Bergen-Belsen camp.
A recent re-issue of Anne Frank's diary, this one called "The
Definitive Edition," contains some passages left out of the
original, possibly because of space limitations. On Apr. 5, 1944,
she writes about the need for some real accomplishment in her life
and tries to look beyond her days in hiding:
"I can't imagine having to live like mother ... And all the women
who go about their work and are then forgotten...I want to be
useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met.
I want to go on living even after my death!"
Little did Anne Frank know to what extent she would indeed realize
that wish, that dream.
Future Brightens for Israel and Syria
By Ron Pemstein (Damascus)
Israel and Syria have agreed to resume formal military
negotiations, first at the ambassador level and later at the
military chief of staff level. The plan had been to make the
announcement early in the day, however Secretary of State Warren
Christopher could not contact Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin,
who was involved in a debate in parliament and the visit of British
Prime Minister John Major.
The outlines of the resumption of direct talks were reached earlier
in the day, first in Jerusalem with the Israeli prime minister and
then two and a half hours here with President Hafez al-Assad. It
took the rest of the day to clear the language with the two sides
before Christopher could face reporters.
"I've had intensive discussions over the last 24 hours with Prime
Minister Rabin and then today with President Assad. These have
been productive discussions. We've made good progress. On the
basis of these discussions direct contacts between Israel and Syria
will be resumed."
The secretary of state says Israeli Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich
and Syrian Ambassador Walid Mualem will resume talks on security
issues within the next few days after they return to Washington
from the Middle East. Their talks have been suspended since
In subsequent days the secretary of state says the ambassadors
will be joined by their military chiefs of staff. The military
leaders had joined the ambassadors at the end of last year, but
had deadlocked on security arrangements for an Israeli withdrawal
from the Golan Heights.
Previously, these meetings were not announced publicly. This
time the United States will take part in the Washington meetings
at the request of the two sides. Christopher will also send
his special ambassador, Dennis Roth, back to Israel and Syria in
two weeks to continue the detailed discussions he has conducted
on military measures that must be taken if Israel is to withdraw
troops from the Golan Heights. Christopher calls his just
concluded Middle East trip the most satisfying he has taken.
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