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Should Anne Frank's life be novelised? With added steam?

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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Helen_Davis
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Postby Helen_Davis » Sat July 17th, 2010, 11:36 am

I've been lingering on this thread for awhile-- I had to jump in. Sorry to steer off topic, but my dad has told me a lot of stories about WWII-- he's said that after seeing the camps, Eisenhower said something along the lines of being ashamed to be German.
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Kveto from Prague
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Postby Kveto from Prague » Sun July 18th, 2010, 5:21 am

"Margaret" wrote:Yes, I vaguely recall this. I think it was at some international sports event where some of the German fans were waving German flags.

When I visited Germany, I found the lack of German flags quite noticeable. I can't remember seeing even one - they don't even fly them over the post office. Quite a contrast to the U.S.! If a German flew a German flag on his porch or from a flagpole in his yard, the way people do U.S. flags here, I imagine it would set off a really huge controversy!


Hi Margaret,

Its probably not easy to be a modern German. If they try to express patriotism like other nations they feel guilt. Theres a long word for it in german (about 40 letters long, as usual).

Speaking as a neighbor of germany, we have a hot/cold relationship with the germans. germany has shat on us for a thousand years but most people have a "what have you done for me lately" attitude. the overall opinion is probably lukewarm leaning towards positive. When you look at history overall, germany has done a lot for the world and the most important man in history (guetenburg) was german.

I had a german girlfriend when I lived in the states and I saw firsthand how tough it is to be german. She had people calling her a nazi and doing Hitler impessions and laughing about it. And she had to sit there and take it. but when peoples only ideas of a country come from hollywood bad guys.


on the topic of the thread, im of the opinion of everyone else.

unnecessarily exploitive.

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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Sun July 18th, 2010, 8:33 pm

"keny from prague" wrote:Its probably not easy to be a modern German.


Thanks for your very interesting post and POV. I think you hit on a very relevant point, something I've thought of many times. There is no doubt that the 20th century (pretty much all of it) was not the best chapter Germany's history, nor the best of times to be a German. It has left a complicated and difficult legacy for the post-WWII generations, something they are obviously still struggling with and will for some time to come.

If any of you are ever in Washington DC, I highly recommend a visit to the National Holocaust Museum. It is incredibly well-done, and you need to allow several hours to really do it justice. It is about four floors, I think, and the first floor you visit starts with showing the condition of Germany at the end of WWI and the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazi party. There are films, exhibits, lots and lots of photos and memorabilia, video footage of interviews with concentration camp survivors, etc. etc. etc. The "mood" there was unforgettable -- people packed in nearly shoulder to shoulder, and almost no one saying a word (even the teenagers). Very sobering and very moving.

Also - there is a Jewish cafeteria/deli on site that is supposed to have really good food. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to stop there! :(

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Margaret
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Postby Margaret » Mon July 19th, 2010, 1:52 am

I had a german girlfriend when I lived in the states and I saw firsthand how tough it is to be german. She had people calling her a nazi and doing Hitler impessions and laughing about it. And she had to sit there and take it


Yikes! That is just inexcusably rude.
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SGM
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Postby SGM » Mon July 19th, 2010, 8:52 pm

But as for Anne Frank, please -- her text speaks for itself. That is the point.
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Ash
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Postby Ash » Mon July 19th, 2010, 9:08 pm

"keny from prague" wrote:Hi Margaret,
I had a german girlfriend when I lived in the states and I saw firsthand how tough it is to be german. She had people calling her a nazi and doing Hitler impessions and laughing about it. And she had to sit there and take it. but when peoples only ideas of a country come from hollywood bad guys..


People are such idiots.

I'm late here, but while I don't think it should be novelized, I am not sure the result would be much worse than the Broadway play, or the movie. Both took huge liberties with the diary, distorted the personalities of some of the people involved, and caused lots of upset with the relatives at the time. On the good side, they did bring the horrors of the Holocaust into focus for those who never read the diary, but as someone who read it at an early age and loved it, feel sad that more people just don't read the real thing. They shouldn't need a movie, play or novel to express what Anne already did so well.

Ash
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Postby Ash » Mon July 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

"Divia" wrote:The more I think about it the more I don't see the harm in this story. How is this different than the countless Pride & Prejudice spin offs?


Pride and Prejudice didn't involve the true story of 6 million Jews and millions of others systematically slaughtered? And as someone upthread, this is the writing of a young girl actually experiencing the events she is writing about. There is no reason to jazz this up, or make it more trendy. It is what it is.

I am somewhat ashamed that I have never gone to a Holocaust museum, even tho I've been to DC, and to London, two of the best ones, I undrestand. I've been to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and after that, I don't really think I could bare it again. But I am glad they are there, and glad that so many people visit. This is something that should never be forgotten, something that should remind the world that it should never happen again (the fact that it has, to lesser degrees in places like Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Uganda, is so damning, but means we have to be even more insistent that the Holocaust not be denied or forgotten)
Last edited by Ash on Mon July 19th, 2010, 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Tue July 20th, 2010, 12:00 am

"Ash" wrote:I don't really think I could bare it again.


I know what you mean -- there was a small traveling Anne Frank exhibit several years ago that came to one of our museums here. It was a real downer -- I was very depressed for the rest of the day. I expected to have a similar reaction to the Holocaust Museum, but didn't. I think that is because 1) I didn't visit it alone as I did the Anne Frank exhibit. I was with a friend, so I snapped out of it pretty quick. 2) We were on vacation in Washington DC, cramming in as much as we could. We went straight from the HM to the Library of Congress. So that really didn't give me time to brood on it.

So if any of you are hesitant to visit it because you're afraid it will be too depressing, I really don't think you will. It wasn't that way for me, and I tend to react very emotionally to things (for instance, I cried when I saw the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence).

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Susan
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Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Susan » Tue July 20th, 2010, 12:43 am

"Michy" wrote:I know what you mean -- there was a small traveling Anne Frank exhibit several years ago that came to one of our museums here. It was a real downer -- I was very depressed for the rest of the day.


I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam last summer. I wasn't depressed, but rather very moved to be going through the opened bookcase, up the steep steps, and walking through the rooms where Anne and the others hid. The photos of movie stars and Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret that Anne glued to the walls of her room are still there under Plexiglas. There is no furniture because it would impede visitors, but it was an incredibly moving experience nonetheless. I heard church bells ring when I was there and said to myself that Anne must have heard those bells. When I re-read the diary in preparation for teaching it, I discovered that Anne mentions the church bells. I can't express how incredibly powerful it was for my students to know that I was in the Secret Annexe.

Photos were prohibited inside, but here is a photo I took across the canal. The Secret Annexe is in the building with the two sets of three windows. The Anne Frank Museum owns all the buildings to the right.
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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Tue July 20th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Why were photos prohibited inside? Just curious, since there is usually a specific reason. I recently visited Mt. Vernon, and photos were not allowed inside the mansion because many of the items are on loan (copyright issues, I presume).


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