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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     March 15, 1995, V3, #47
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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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 diary:

"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 entries.

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 December.

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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