On Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. Elm Street School in Mechanic Falls went to Portland City Hall for an exhibit on Anne Frank. The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine sponsored a tribute to Anne Frank, a thirteen-year-old girl’s life in hiding. The Anne Frank Center USA is working to promote the universal message of tolerance by “developing and disseminating” a cornucopia of classes that include tons of exhibitions, workshops, and some special events.

This exhibit had plenty of information on the Holocaust and how people were treated. It talked about how people suffered and what they had to go through when Hitler came to power. The whole ordeal and how they put things in to words were very moving. Their displays had photographs of the Frank’s last few moments of freedom and pictures of the concentration camps. There were a few disturbing pictures of things like the gas chambers that the Nazis used and pictures of the mass graves. They even talked about how doctors and nurses would test a baby for any mental disorders and if tests proved positives they would kill the baby. In other words, they were deemed unworthy of the human race.

The Franks were an average family like people that we see during our everyday life. In their family there were two daughters, Anne and Margot, and their mother and father Otto and Edith. Anne was just a teenager when she had to go in hiding with the Van Pelz, before all of this chaos happened. Hitler wasn’t the most popular guy. He got people to believe him by striking the people who needed the most reassurance. Hitler visited soup kitchens because most of the people were there since this was just after World War One. People there were homeless, they were jobless, and therefore they were the most gullible people to lie to first. People in those soup kitchens were eager to believe anything that would guarantee them a better future and life than that of what they were living at that very moment. He promised them food and shelter, along with jobs. Hitler stole other people’s ideas like paving roads that needed to be paved just to get people to think that he was a good guy when it was just the opposite. He didn’t believe in different religions and he was even prejudiced against people of different skin color. If one was a girl back during the time of the prosecution of the Jews, she would have to be blue eyed and have blonde hair or else she wasn’t perfect. In order to achieve this perfect race of people. Hitler had Nazis go into different countries around the Carpathian Mountain region where basically everyone had blonde hair and blue eyes. That is one thing about Hitler that was never understood. He had dark hair and dark eyes so he was being prejudiced against himself. How ironic!

Hitler was not the nicest guy in the world. He would order his Nazi followers to surround blocks and search every house, every nook and cranny in every available space where a Jew could be hiding. Once found they would give them about five minutes to get as many pairs of clothing that they could fit into a small bag. Then, after that was accomplished they would stuff the Jews into carts on the trains, packed in as many as could fit, and they were without food or water for about three days. People died during the train ride to the concentration camps because of suffocation, fatigue, or dehydration. If the Jews survived the train ride, they would be able to go into two lines, one was a line to be shot and killed right there on the spot if one didn’t want to live at all, or you could go into the concentration camps to help build supplies for the war and do other things that the Germans wanted with little food a day. Most of the time people would be locked up in a one-room cell with a whole bunch of other Jews all the day long. They would even have to go to the bathroom on the floor and stand in it all day. That, I would not be able to stand!

What was even more cruel was the fact that they took advantage of the people’s need for being hygienic, and they would tell them they would be getting a shower in these chambers. They would in fact be led into a gas chamber. They would go in with a whole bunch of other people, naked, and they would get gassed to death. Then they would be burned in huge ovens.

“I’d like to say that this has a happy ending, but it doesn’t,” said our guide from the J.C.A.S.M (Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine).

Anne Frank died of typhus fever at the age of fifteen years old. Margot died first and then Anne died about two months before the liberation of her concentration camp.


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