The Anne Frank Elementary School in the Philadelphia School District is having an event today to honor the school’s namesake: Anne Frank. Starting on her 13th birthday, 67 years ago, Anne began writing a diary, which was published as The Diary of Anne Frank following her death in a Nazi concentration camp. As you all know, the book is widely read by school children, and the play based on the book is often put on by high school students.
Today would have been Anne Frank’s 80th birthday.
The elementary school was scheduled to have a Holocaust survivor, Kurt Herman, speak to the students this morning because, according to a press release, “The faculty feels that it is important for the students to meet real people who have experienced some of the things the children have read about in books.” In addition, the press release says that this week’s shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is “further testimony that the Holocaust cannot be denied.”
The fact that Anne Frank would have turned 80 today struck a chord with me because I realized today that she was born in the same month as my father, who is alive and well. I’ll celebrate his 80th birthday with him and my family at the end of this month.
It’s sobering to think about what doesn’t happen when a life is snuffed out at a young age, as was the case with Anne Frank.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.