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The diary of Anne Frank

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Title:
The diary of Anne Frank uses of Holocaust remembrance
Portion of title:
Uses of Holocaust remembrance
Creator:
Haber, Francine
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 127 leaves : ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Achterhuis (Frank, Anne) ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 117-127).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Humanities
General Note:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Statement of Responsibility:
by Francine Haber.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
37886932 ( OCLC )
ocm37886932
Classification:
LD1190.L58 1997m .H33 ( lcc )

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Full Text
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK:
USES OF HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE
by
Francine Haber
B.A., Smith College, 1965
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Humanities
1997


1997 by Franrine Haber
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Master of Humanities
degree by
Francine Haber
has been approved
by


Haber, Francine (M. Hv Humanities)
The Diary of Anne Frank: Uses of Holocaust Remembrance
Thesis directed by Associate Professor M. Kent Casper
ABSTRACT
This thesis takes as a central work The Diary of Anne Frank. It
defines and explores the meaning of the myth of Anne Frank as a conduit
of remembrance of the Jewish Holocaust, 1933-1945. This paper asks what
remains silent in the discourses surrounding the Diary, as well as what
conclusions can be drawn from its cultural representations.
The project begins with texts that were instrumental in establishing
the heroic Anne Frank narrative. Using publications of The Anne Frank
Foundation and children's books as prime examples it shows how and to
what purpose the myth has been extended as well as fragmented.
The thesis proposes alternative readings to the Diary. It brings
together sources from both Holocaust studies, gender and woman's studies
in a commentary on The Diary of Anne Frank.
The study shows how and to what purpose the protectors, or
rescuers, of Anne Frank from 1942 to 1944, and the theme of Holocaust
rescuers in general, has come to prominence as part of the iconization of
the Diary.
IV


This thesis takes care to differentiate deconstruction of the myth
from Holocaust denialists' refusal to accept the authenticity of the Diary.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
v


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
My thanks to Professors Myra L. Rich, Myra O. Bookman of the graduate
faculty of the School of Liberal Arts, and especially to my advisor,
Professor M. Kent Casper for their support and for sharing their
knowledge.


1
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39
40
46
58
64
81
85
88
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION................................
Purpose of the Study, Methodology and
Review of the Literature .
Text versus Bodies: Experience/ Body as Text.
ANNE FRANK: HOLOCAUST DIARY
AS GENRE/GENDER.............................
Holocaust Diary as Genre:
Five Case Studies of Personal Narrative
Voice As History: Women's Memoirs
and the Study of Holocaust History
Anne Frank: Diaries, Gender,
and the Adolescent Heroine
Anne and Moshe:
Two Adolescent Diaries of the Holocaust
ANNE FRANK AND NARRATIVES
OF HOLOCAUST RESCUE ....
Miep Gies and Anne Frank: A Rescuer's Legacy
Anne Frank Remembered : Miep Gies in the
Context/Text of Pueblo, Colorado
VII


Uses and Meaning of "Rescuers of
Holocaust: Portraits by Gay Block"
4. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS .
BIBLIOGRAPHY


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Purpose of the Study. Methodology and Review of the Literature
[I]n spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I
simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion,
misery, and death....
-Anne Frank, Saturday, 15 July 1944.
The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, 1989-1
My posthumous step-sister, Anne Frank, wrote in her Diary: 'I still believe
that deep down human beings are good at heart/ I cannot help
remembering that she wrote this before she experienced Auschwitz and
Belsen.
-Eva Schloss with Evelyn Julia Kent. Eva's Story: A survivor's tale by the
step-sister of Anne Frank. 1988.2
Anneliese Marie Frank, called Anne, was a 13 year-old Jewish girl
who hid with her family and friends for two years in an attic from the
Nazi occupation army in Amsterdam until her apprehension and
subsequent murder at the Bergen-Belsen death camp in March 1945. Anne
Frank has become the very embodiment of the Holocaust. This sensitive
adolescent's diary written in hiding is a document which continues to
resonate with meaning. Its many translations, as well as readers, stage
1


adaptations, films and quests for information about its author, increase
steadily 3 As a representation of the Holocaust, the Diary has qualities
that have made it an instrument of sympathetic remembrance, especially
in the task of educating youth about a dark period of recent history. Anne
Frank is a symbol of the Holocaust. But what is being remembered, and
what taught?
In this thesis, I refer to the content of the symbol that is Anne Frank
as a "heroic myth" and "dominant discourse." This myth in encapsulated
form was articulated by Henri van Praag, Chairman of the Dutch Anne
Frank Foundation, in an essay of 1971:
The objection has often been raised that propaganda and publicity
for the diary [of Anne Frank] create a new myth which helps
people to sublimate their guilt feelings under cheap
sentimentality.... [N]o culture can exist without myths. Educators
and statesmen stimulate the development of beneficial
myths....The history of National Socialism, of which Anne Frank
was one of the millions of victims, has proved that demoniacal
myths take hold where humane myths are lacking....When
moral achievement is the basis of the myth as is the case with
the diary that moral achievement can be amplified through the
myth, to the salvation of all those who see it as a shining
example....Why shouldn't this noble humane document by a
courageous child further elucidate that testimony for
us?...[Democratic society needs an honest, pure myth, directed
toward the future of mankind, which can inspire our young
people to actions of courage and sacrifice in the service of
tomorrow's world.... From the pedagogical point of view it is
relevant to explain here that education is impossible without
identification with an exemplary past, an educational ideal....The
faith of youth has been re-affirmed... by confrontation with the
diary and by the vision of Anne Frank as the symbol of a child
who believed in the future.4
The myth of the diary of Anne Frank, then, is one of cultural salvation.
What is being said or salvaged is democratic society after the Holocaust.
2


Anne represents moral achievement, courage and sacrifice. The Frank
family and the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam, and since about
1959, most commentary and activity in the U.S. centered around Anne
Frank, has amplified the myth as a "shining example." This "beneficial
myth" has taken hold because of its power and a need. Van Praag saw the
needs or uses of the myth in opposition to Fascism, the "demoniacal
myth" which is a "distortion of authentic history." The Anne Frank myth
is a pedagogical tool.
When I refer in this thesis to the myth of Anne Frank, it is to this
dominant use as a representation of idealism, to the assumption that
morality is universal and such traits as courage, good and evil, have an
absolute and generally accepted meaning.
The evolution of the development of the myth of the Diary can be
traced chronologically. The dominant myth started early. From the days of
its first publication in the 1950's, to the mid-1960's, Anne was perceived as
a symbol of the Holocaust and sometimes of oppressed children. By the
time the text quoted above from the Anne Frank Foundation was written
in 1971, the dominant myth of Anne Frank was firmly established. By
then, and up to the present, it was expanded to include Anne as a
representation of all oppressed peoples. These people and causes are
defined according to national and ethnic readings. This extension of the
uses of the myth is typical of the programs and exhibits organized by the
Anne Frank Institute and most American education, (including a local
Anne Frank Arts and Essay Competition held for school children in
Colorado through the auspices of the University of Denver).
The Dutch Anne Frank House and Museum in the Netherlands, a
research and educational center, is dedicated in its mission to the second
stage of the dominant myth. In its application, the myth is transformed
according to its speaker or writer: in the case of the House and Museum,
cite of the Foundation, there is both a universalist and nationalistic
3


component. Through programs and exhibits, Anne Frank is represented as
pertinent to post-colonial discourse. Immigration, especially Turkish and
Indonesian, internal political and social tensions concerning the legacy of
the Dutch colonial past, are filtered through the message of Anne Frank.-5
Anne's legacy in Holland is similar to its use to further a harmonious
multicultural society in the United States. Memory for the Dutch in this
instance consists of a care-taking role for a 'shrine of the book.' This may
be read as an extension of Anne's relevance other than as a symbol of a
Jewish Holocaust, or as a diminution of the Jewish focus of the Holocaust,
depending on one's vested interest in remembrance.6
Otto Frank, Anne's father, was instrumental in defining the
universalist and humanistic content of his daughter's memory. The Anne
Frank Foundation's publications are produced in accordance with its
mission to interpret Anne's legacy as a mandate to educate against racism
and fascism. The last entry in an Anne Frank Foundation book of 1979,
published in Dutch and German editions to mark Anne Frank's fiftieth
birthday (June 12, 1929), is a quotation from Otto Frank:
Nowhere in het (sic) diary does Anne speak of hate. She writes
that she believes in spite of everything, in the good in man: and
that when the war is over she will work for the world and for
mankind. This I have taken over from her as my duty. I have
received many thousands of letters. Above all it is the younger
people who wish over and over again to find out how such
dreadful events cold come about. I answer them as well as I can.
Often I write at the end: "I hope that Anne's book with influence
you in later life to work, as far as your circumstances allow, for
peace and reconciliation' Otto Frank, 1979. 7
Yet, Anne does speak in her diary of her hatred for the Germans and for
what is happening to her and the Jews.
Perhaps the myth of Anne Frank has to do with Mr. Frank's
condition as a Holocaust survivor. Primo Levi spoke of 'survivors disease'
4


as total withdrawal from life, an inability to cope. In spite of 'writing the
Holocaust' himself and possessing an exquisite awareness of this danger,
Levi eventually succumbed to suicide.8 Otto Frank, blessed with a
positive outlook his entire life, is photographed often after the war among
groups of children. He asked a companion at Auschwitz, who related the
event in the 1996 film Anne Frank Remembered by director, writer, and
producer Jon Blair, to call him 'Papa,' stating that it was not for the young
man's sake but for his own need. Denial, too, is an effective coping
mechanism. Mr. Frank could not protect his family and friends from
slaughter. He turned impotence and failure into action. He would make a
better world, one safe for Anne. Anne was gregarious and sociable; the
world's children were her companions and friends. He could try to take
care of them. His elisions and forgetfulness, about Anne's written despair
in favor of the oft-quoted belief in human goodness, directed his own
energies to life rather than to self-defeating bitterness. The father had a
second chance to save his daughter by tending her writings and spreading
her words, though these words were filtered through a parent's eyes. And
with every dedication of a school named for Anne Frank, with every
answer to a child's letter and royal performance of a play or film, perhaps
she saved him, by providing an uplifting purpose to his life as a Holocaust
survivor.
The 1979 book of tribute is also both universalist and a particularly
Dutch discourse. This publication offers a wealth of previously
unpublished illustrations of the Frank family, of life under occupation, of
the camps. Several of these illustrations depict the Dutch resistance and
heroism (but no photographs show meetings of the Dutch Nazi party).
The collection of material was expanded as a multilingual Anne Frank in
the World.9
Expansion of interpretations of the heroic myth can be found closer
to home in juvenile literature written in English which takes Anne Frank
5


and her diary as subject. These books are meant to 'teach about the
Holocaust/ It is apparent that they are conceived as educational tools, for
they include appendixes such as a glossary, index, further reading list,
chronology, and the like. Nearly all of the books written for elementary
and middle school children based on the diary or the fame of Anne Frank
since the 1980's end with a moral, uplifting message that is an essential
ingredient of the dominant myth, thereby reinforcing and enlarging its
scope. Curiously, however, many children's books tell a complex story
nevertheless, a story or stories that may deny reaffirmation of the myth.
These internal contradictions of texts point to a questioning, a breaking up
of the myth itself at the same time that the myth is affirmed.
The children's book Anne Frank: Child of the Holocaust by Gene
Brown typically extends the myth. Brown intertwines prejudice in general
and particular American situations with the narrative of Anne's
background: "Jews had lived in Germany for hundreds of years. Often
they were victims of prejudice, much like that faced by some groups, such
as blacks in the United States...."She [Anne] set an example for everyone,
everywhere." The book is part of "The Library of Famous Women" series.
The choice of this series' subjects are ethnically diverse and politically
adventurous. Anne's fame exists prior to, is a criterion for, and is
reinforced by her selection in the series.^
Yet, the book gives some political background to the Holocaust,
naive as it is: the link between the Depression and the Holocaust is made
inevitable. Laws against the Jews are surveyed. Brown mentions (albeit
briefly) Holocaust denialists and the subject of responsibility and betrayal.
Along with the dominant myth of the inspirational, good Anne presented
in this book, is a contradictory discourse. In addition to the topics just
mentioned, this book slightly hints at some conflict in gender identity in a
way atypical for much of the literature on Anne Frank, adult or juvenile:
"What kind of life would she lead as an adult? She wanted "something
6


besides a husband and children." Also included is this statement which
was made by Otto Frank: "the father acknowledged that the diary 'revealed
a person more complicated than the daughter he thought he knew/" The
aspect of this book, too, which considers the quality of Anne's attraction to
the opposite sex distinguishes it from all others; perhaps the orientation of
a series devoted to famous women explains this latter subject position.
The children's book Anne Frank: What Made Them Great by
Laura Tyler, illustrated by Gianni Renna assumes the view that history
has heroes (and heroines). Books in this series according to its publishers
are "compelling biographies that explore... the crucial events that shaped
the lives of famous individuals." Typical of the heroic myth of Anne
Frank, the pictures are prettified. Anne is drawn as a generically attractive
dark- haired child. Two images resemble her likeness in photographs.
The rest are more akin to actresses who have impersonated Anne. The
drawings are so normalized that the four scenes of Anne in the
extermination camps are only as unpleasant as Hollywood depictions of
scruffy homeless people. The Secret Annex has a scene of a social
gathering in which a piano is being played, and Edith Frank is represented
with light hair and small features, Mother, rather than as a woman with a
particular voice and history. The illustrations show a profound repression
of the conditions and consequences of hiding during the Holocaust.
Rather, the book's illustrations emphasizes normalcy and
sentimentality/1 Anne is given interior thoughts by the author, and
remains a heroine to the end. The recovery and publication of Anne's
diary serves as a redemption in this book. The last chapter "The Wonder
of Life" if not quite a happy ending, provides one with hope. Thus the
reader is emotionally let off the hook. We are told of Otto's survival, how
happy he was to learn of the diary. The chapter is a homage to the
Netherlands. The books ends: "The main goal of the [Anne Frank]
foundation is to continue Anne's struggle for peace in the world....It is
7


impossible to forget that tragic August day when the refugees were
discovered. But above all else, there remain the thoughts of a young girl.
Even though she grew up with suffering, she taught the world something
about the wonder of life."
Yet in contradiction to the dominant universalist myth that these
passages represent, Tyler's written text keeps a focus on Jewish
persecution. "The Franks were Jews. They were devout members of the
Jewish religion....The Jews, especially, were wrongly considered inferior."
While it extends the danger to "other people who appeared 'different"' it
states clearly, "Throughout these nightmare years, Jews continued to be
persecuted the most." What is more, in a chapter frankly called "From
One Corner of Hell to Another"the book as written (but not as illustrated)
gives one of the strongest portrayals of concentration camps in the Anne
Frank literature for children. Also, the author respects her subject; she
attributes to Anne the word 'writer,' a status of being and not of potential:
"The diary became famous throughout the world. The book sold millions
of copies. Over the years, it has been translated into dozens of languages,
including Chinese and Arabic. There also was a stage play and a movie
based on the diary. Today, Anne Frank's name is remembered
everywhere. Just as she had wished, she did become a famous writer."
These are representations of Anne's experience quite different from the
author's last pronouncements, which are a reaffirmation of the dominant
myth.
Representations of Anne Frank in children's literature are
influenced by the book's country of origin. The first edition of Richard
Tames' book Anne Frank was English. Thus, there is a photograph of a
dining hall captioned "Did you get enough to eat? Jewish refugee children
in England." The message is to portray England as sympathetic to
Holocaust victims.12 Atypical of this literature, there are pictures of Jewish
contemporary life intermingled with Anne's tale, even though the
8


publishers are not a company with a specifically Jewish audience. Most of
the book is about Anne's self-creation through writing. The last paragraph
is unique in Anne Frank children's literature, sensitive to gender issues
and adolescent identity formation: "Anne wanted to live after her death
through her writing. She has." This book is different enough in its
representation to qualify as an alternative reading in children's literature,
rather than as a continuation of the dominant myth.
The Chelsea House Publishers issued two books on the subject of
Anne Frank for different age groups. Sandor Katz' Anne Frank is part of
the Chelsea Juniors publications; Richard Amdur's Anne Frank is written
for The Chelsea House Library of Biography.13 The central thesis of the
Chelsea books is to justify biography as genre, in other words, to defend
legitimation of the subject. The books endorse this world view of an
integrated self and appeal to the American propensity for individualism.
They "introduce... the men and women whose actions, ideas, and artistry
have influenced the course of world history. These are stories of
creativity, courage, and leadership in the arts and sciences, in
government and religion, in public life, and in private life." Amdur
endorses the recurrent theme of education through empathy, a major use
of Anne Frank in Holocaust studies, especially in schools and for children:
"[Bjiography is a human story....[I]t makes of history something personal, a
narrative with which we can make an intimate connection...Such
experience can be personally invaluable. We cannot ask for a better entry
into historical studies....What are the values or beliefs that guide the
subject's actions? How are those values or beliefs similar to yours? Above
all, remember: You are engaging in an important historical inquiry as you
read a biography, but you are also reading a literature that raises important
personal questions for you to consider." There is the assumption that
'learning from biography' means that moral lessons are taught. As in Van
Praag explanation of the myth, Anne becomes an exemplary model upon
9


whom to base behavior.
Amdur saves the reader (and teacher) a great deal of work by his
integration of historic events into the chronology of biography. Much
recent material, such as forensic investigations authenticating the diary, is
assimilated. It is one of the books most thorough and sympathetic to the
Frank's identity as Jews, thorough in its documentation of the legal and
bureaucratic nature of Jewish persecution in Europe. Although a popular
and general text, it introduces the theme of gender and cultures. Most of
all, he provides graphic details of Anne's final days in the camps that are
based on current research. This book's apparatus fairly creaks, though, as a
work written by committee. The explication of the causes for the
Holocaust is flattened out, perhaps because it was written by consensus.
One can see the work of an editorial board (these Anne Frank children's
books all have special editorial boards) in the moral questions framed for
middle and high school readers. The centrality of Anne's voice is missing,
but in its place is a dense and serious work (which would have benefited
from footnotes), a handy introduction for young adults and reference,
book for their teachers.
However, even Amdur in the end represents Anne within the
parameters of the noble myth. His final chapter (Chapter 7) is titled "The
Eternal Spirit of a Young Dutch Jew." The chapter title and his devise of
ending his book with the famous quotation with which I started this thesis
("...I haven't dropped all of my ideals.... I still believe that people, are. really
good at heart.... I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will
end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.") is the
representation most prevalent in the remembrance of Anne Frank. For
preceding the final paragraph of the famous quote, Amdur gives the
reader an encapsulation of 'denialist' actions, campaigns and literature
which refuse to accept the authenticity of the diary in spite of any and all
scientific proofs and legal actions. Thus, Amdur's last chapter is full of
10


internal tensions.
The heroic myth of Anne Frank is greatly extended in Sandor Katz
book Anne Frank which is written at a level for seven to ten year-olds.14
In this book's glossary "Anti-Semitic" is defined as "the hatred of Jewish
or Arab people." While both Arabs and Jews are indeed Semitic peoples,
this is a new use of the word, which has traditionally applied to hatred
towards Jews. Katz belongs to the 'Jews and' school of Holocaust books for
children. The glossary defines "Nazi Holocaust" as "the mass killing of six
million Jews, as well as millions of Gypsies, homosexuals, communist,
Catholics, and other innocent people, by the Nazis."
One book for young adults, Lucinda Irwin Smith's Women Who
Write15 focuses on Anne Frank as a woman writer. While not a feminist
discourse per se as there is no particular theoretical basis for the selection
or for analysis of the collection of writers who receive a chapter each, this
is the only example of juvenile literature which frames the activity of
writing as a gender-based activity. The use of Anne Frank and the other
women writers discussed in this book is to encourage aspiring young
writers. The last chapter "You, the Writer" has advice on 'Developing
Your Gift,'The Writing Process,"'The Write Traits," such as drive,
confidence, objectivity, patience, persistence, and love of language.
As we see, in both reinforcement of the myth of Anne Frank and in
tensions within texts, the central question of this thesis reappears as: What
is being taught, what is remembered? I do not wish to imply that the
myth of Anne Frank is false and that there is another 'true' Anne to be
read in the diary. However, neither do I mean that these interpretations
or readings are merely diverse points of view. This thesis is not based on a
theory of relativism. Rather, the reading of the Diary is a necessary and
unavoidable re-writing. This is what I mean by the uses of or the
reception of the diary. Myth serves a purpose. Van Praag is self-conscious
and has self-insight; others believe in the myth as the true version of the
11


diary and of the holocaust, regardless of the circumstances of
interpretation.
Concentrating on the American situation, I will show in Chapter 3
how the theme of holocaust rescuers is an extension of the Anne Frank
dominant myth. Since the 1980's there has been a general shift in
Holocaust remembrance to the theme of rescuers. In the 1980's and 1990's
it has become a major off-shoot in the aim to educate the public about the
Holocaust by identification with an exemplary past, the educational ideal
as culled from the Anne Frank story. As in the popular film Schindler's
List, emphasis shifts from the Jews to rescuers of Jews.
Why do a chapter on rescuers when discussing the uses of the Anne
Frank Diary ? I establish that the memoirs of Miep Gies, one of the four
protectors of the Frank family and four other Jews in hiding, reinforce this
optimistic lesson of remembrance. The subject of rescuers makes the
Holocaust uplifting. My analysis is not debunking the testimonies of
survivors or rescuers. I wish to and feel obliged to state that I admire,
even revere, Holocaust survivors and rescuers. Using a photographic
exhibition by Gay Block sponsored in Denver by the Anti-Defamation
League of the Rocky Mountains, I demonstrate that the theme of rescuers,
heroism rather than cruelty or indifference, fits into the current American
context of Holocaust studies. It is a non-threatening approach to a largely
Christian America.
However, what is at stake in how tine-Diary is approached/read is a
definition of education, and I do question the definition of education in
the myth of Anne Frank and the rescuers theme. The Diary is represented
in this dominant myth as a 'metanarrative' an example of a universal
ethic, and philosophical idealism. The myth is a continuation of
Enlightenment values and assumptions, in the sense that it is proposed as
an example of "the human spirit" at its supposed best. There is nothing
wrong with using the Diary for the purpose of educating and teaching
12


these principles. It may indeed be necessary, as Van Haag suggests, for the
establishment of common values.
But we come back to the question in each discourse, what is lost or
silenced? As the opening quotation by Eva Schloss, Anne Frank's
posthumous step-sister implies, I think the death camps, for one.
An alternative method of education about Anne Frank and the
Holocaust is to show the mechanism of the apparatus, the making of
discourses. I believe that it is the use of a seamless myth of any kind that
deflects critical thought. I propose a different use of the Diary of Anne
Frank: that the process of dissecting myth-creation is essential to
education as opposed to a belief in Anne Frank as icon to hope. The
dominant myth of Anne Frank, in my opinion, can defeat the very
questioning that opposes a totalitarian mindset or group think. Thus, a
methodology of alternate discourses which both shows the mechanism,
the apparatus of myth-making (such as the rescuers theme) and what is
left unsaid in a text is an important part of this thesis.
One reason for the sensitivity around deconstructing the uses of the
Holocaust is the rise of neo-fascism in the West. Part of the apparatus of
that movement is denying the Holocaust took place. One technique of the
denialists is to pick apart details of memory, and to disconnect the
language of Nazi ideology from its consequences. 16
For this, and for many other reasons I explore in this Introduction,
there is an urge to produce and to regard Holocaust testimonials as a
factual work of documentation. Otto Frank, Anne's father, sued in Dutch
courts over the issue of authenticity of the Diary .17 The Dutch
government has taken extraordinary steps to authenticate the Diary as
evidenced by The Critical Edition. Photographs from the Anne Frank
archives owned by the family Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank
Foundation were withdrawn from an on-line web site over issues of
copyright, the only case I have come across in two years of 'surfing the
13


web'.18 This protectiveness may be one of economic interest in the
material, but also the family wishes to control materials as a consequence
of its encounters with the denialists.
Also in the 1980's began a flourishing of books and articles
pertaining to feminist theory and criticism. These provided the tools and
demonstrated an interest in subjects such as women in the Holocaust, and
Anne's diary as gender study. I give such an alternative reading of the
diary. Chapter 2 gives new insight into memoirs and diaries of women
victims of the Holocaust, as a prelude to my analysis of Anne's diary.
Yet the discourse of gender, which centers women's relationships in
the Holocaust, may in its turn suppress the cruelty and selfishness of the
camps in favor of the memory of helpfulness and sharing which are
cultural expectations for women. There is a risk of such a tendency toward
a revived idealization of women by authors who forefront women as
subject.
Even so, the alternative discourse of gender in Holocaust diaries,
and in the Diary of Anne Frank shifts the frame away from the myth of
Anne Frank as icon of goodness. The idea of Anne Frank as universal
symbol suppresses the representation of Anne Frank as particularly a girl
adolescent, or rather the myth emphasizes the more childish components
of an adolescent girl. What if the following diary entry by Anne, which
has been included in all English editions, had been singled out as the
leitmotif of the Diary's meaning instead of the oft-quoted optimistic
quotation which heads this introduction?
There's in people simply an urge to destroy, an urge to kill, to
murder and rage and until all mankind without exception,
undergoes a great change wars will be waged, everything that
has been built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and
disfigured, to begin all over again after that!
-Anne Frank, Wednesday, 3 May, 1944. The Diary of Anne
Frank: The Critical Edition, 1989.19
14


Such selections or suppressions in the various editions of the diary as well
as in spinoffs (plays, films) and commentary show that narratives about
Anne Frank contradict themselves and have multiple agendas.
In a study of the Diary of Anne Frank the forefronting of gender
allows Anne's curiosity, her commentary on a women's place in mid-20th
century Western society, her emphatic negative emotions, her
observations about sex -to be taken seriously. Such statements in the Diary
of Anne Frank express her anxieties about assuming a woman's role, if
she had had the good fortune to live into womanhood. Especially, it is
about her body as a woman.
In turn, the discourse of gender suppresses the situation of the
Holocaust which caused the Diary to be written: that Anne was a Jew.
Forefronting gender neglects the Jewish dimension of her text and the
reason she died. I have also discovered a curious gender bias by
commentators who do consider Anne as a Jewess: her incipient feminism
is denigrated as somehow defining her as less of a Jew. This discourse
represents a contemporary struggle within Judaism as to the place of
women, projected onto readings (re-writings) of the Diary.
Thus, language, and the discourses of Holocaust remembrance
based on the Diary of Anne Frank are as much the subject of this thesis as
the specific categories I list as chapter titles. The myth of Anne Frank
upon which its popularity is based is only one possible discourse. The
shift of Holocaust rescuers to center stage is in keeping with the dominant
discourse/myth. Gender forefronts another subject position within the
Diary Although I have listed these developments chronologically, these
approaches exist simultaneously, exhibiting different means to different
ends. My intention is not to consider the evolution of uses of the myth of
Anne and the diary, but to consider them as alternative, simultaneous
meanings, which may overlap or contradict each other.
15


Text verevs-Bodiesi Experience /J3odyj>S-Tex;t
So far in this introduction, I have outlined the problem of
representation in the myth of Anne Frank. Before turning attention to
the specifics of The Diary of Anne Frank in Chapter 2, it is illuminating to
deal in this introduction with the issues at stake in a discussion of the
nature of Holocaust diaries and memoirs, their functions and
characteristics. Doesn't my emphasis on the text, the telling of the
Holocaust, denigrate the experience of survivors and rescuers? Isn't it
grist for the mill of Holocaust denialists, who focus on gaps of memory in
an attempt to destroy the memory of the Holocaust? In particular I wish
to make the case that treating remembrance as text is more not less
respectful of those who lived through or, like Anne, died in the
Holocaust, and is an educationally rewarding way of approaching
Holocaust studies. This thesis demonstrates the tensions between
theoretical models in Holocaust studies, namely text versus claims that an
authentic voice is speaking and writing: voices that seek to be grounded in
bodies and sites, identities and communities.
In the genre of Holocaust personal remembrance, the case for
experience and the first-person voice initially seems strong. A diary, like
other personal narratives, seems to authenticate history, replicate history
as personal drama, and presume some significance of the writer within
history. Writing during the Holocaust may be considered an especially
significant act of self-creation, apart from the possible merits of one's
writing considered either as historical document or literary work.
[T]he Holocaust changes the value of personal narratives, if not
their functions, because it was an event designed to strip the
individual of significance. The narrative writers [such as] Anne
Frank....all were victims of the Holocaust, and consequently
survivors of an attempt to remove them, their families, and in
some cases their whole race from any locus in history. Yet each
16


in his or her own way establishes an identity apart from the
Holocaust. These writers do not write of their lives as
'momentary events within the overwhelming history of the
Holocaust; rather, the Holocaust is an event that is refracted
through the lives of the writers. The writers make history, rather
than are made by it, because they can perceive a structure and
identity to their own lives, and consequently they can reproduce
the Holocaust within the structure and identity of their own
lives.2o
The commentator Bodziock here invokes a narrative of heroism for a
cross- section of people who were cast as being outside humanity by those
responsible for their situation. He links the corporeal existence and
resistance of these 'real' people in-the-world closely with their texts.
Nevertheless, we are told that a 'literature of witness' may be a
contradiction in terms. T.W. Adorno pronounced on the impossibility of
poetry after Auschwitz.21 Eli Wiesel asserts that "Auschwitz negates any
form of literature, as it defies all systems, all doctrines."22 There are no
metaphors for Auschwitz, just as Auschwitz is not a metaphor for
anything else.23 These writers seem intent on denying questions of
aesthetics where matters of conscience take precedence.
Again, what is remembered, what forgotten? Making myth from
experience in the age of mass communications in the manner of
docudramas or recreations of Holocaust experience, in plot, and character
development, may be mehanisms which control and tame the Holocaust,
a form of annihilation, forgetting rather than remembrance. Christopher
Lasch encapsulated this view : "When Auschwitz became a social myth, a
metaphor for modem life, people lost sight of the only lesson it could
possibly offer: that it offers, in itself, no lessons."24 Likewise, the
dominant myth of Anne Frank has been criticized as too comfortable, too
easy.
Other means of approaching the Holocaust quantification or
17


statistics promote a sense of abstraction, whereas individual life is full of
the peculiarities and quirks that define humanity. Individual life gets its
meaning from the context of experience.
Hence, the 'felt truths' of the Holocaust.... Memoirs,
autobiographies, and personal documents such as diaries and
journals comprise this 'genre.' Specifically, [this is the] thinking
of such books as Chaim Kaplan's Warsaw Diary Odd Nansen's
From Day to Day, Anne Frank's Diary, ... and others....A
prepubescent girl awaiting the onset of womanhood while living
for almost two years without being able to venture outside... may
share the same overall 'burden' of history [as other Holocaust
writers], but their individual accounts are touchingly unique.25
So diaries do seem to offer the most compelling 'case' for
experience, within this general problem of myth making (and Anne
Frank, for better or worse, has taken on the mantle of myth and symbol).
In this view, testimonies such as diaries from the Holocaust give memory
a human voice. Kenneth Harper resorted to the philosopher Suzanne
Lunger's idea of "a virtual experience" a theory of empathy by which the
reader looks back at an experience that he has not had. The problems
with Harper's approach remain, as long as one neither analyzes the nature
of experience, nor the relationship between experience and the written
text.
Much of the discussion about the form and function of Holocaust
diaries and memoirs hinges on the relationship between violent events
and writing.
It is almost as if violent events perceived as aberrations or
ruptures in the cultural continuum demand their retelling,
their narration, back into traditions and structures they would
otherwise defy. For upon entering narrative, violent events
necessarily reenter the continuum, are totalized by it, and thus
seem to lose their 'violent7 quality. Inasmuch as violence is
'resolved' in narrative, the violent event seems also to lose its
18


particularity ie, its facthood once it is written.26
On the other hand, a writer of a Holocaust diary or memoir may
wish to keep his/her text outside of this time continuum: "[T]he more
violently wrenched from a continuum a catastrophe is perceived to be, the
more desperate and frustrated the writer's attempts become to represent
its events as discontinuous."22 Frederick Hoffman concludes that violent
events defy realistic/factual representation. Terence Des Pres, author of
one of the most influential books on survivor testimonies, has suggested
the opposite: that the experiences Holocaust survivors describe defy
fictionalization.28 In a more widely shared view, Saul Friedlander
suggests that in the face of Holocaust realities, literary realism has given
way to unabashedly archetypal and mythological representations.2^
James Young, a poststructuralist scholar, states that to remain
uninscribed in language is impossible, and that the entire argument of
realism is moot. I find his arguments convincing. This postmodern
insistence on the gap between the object in the world and its sign may be
terrifying to both survivors and those who wish the Holocaust and its
victims to be remembered, to draw lessons, since the purpose of the
Holocaust diarist was to testify as a witness to true events.
For diarists and memoirists attempting to document events,
the possibility that they are somehow supplanting events or
even creating new ones in their writing becomes nearly
unbearable. As the "pseudorevisionists" [Arthur Butz and
his so-called Institute for Historical Review] of the Holocaust
have demonstrated by exploiting the ever palpable dichotomy
between words and events, if one can write the Holocaust,
and even rewrite the Holocaust, then perhaps one can also
unwrite the Holocaust. For the writer who may have
survived solely in order to testify to real experiences, this
negation of the real in narrative and not just its
displacement drives him further to insist on the absolute
facticity of his literary testimony....Whether the diarists and
19


memoirists write these events from memory or a the very
moment they occur, words and events remain linked by the
inscribing hand, a literal part of both the experience and the
record of it. But for the reader with only words on a page, the
authority for this link is absent. The words in a translated
and reproduced Holocaust diary are no longer traces of the
crime, as they were for the writer who inscribed them; what
was evidence for the writer at the moment he wrote is now,
after it leaves his hand, only a detached and free-floating sign,
at the mercy of all who would read and misread it.30
Yet, Young's view -that there is no recording, only construction, no
mimesis, only poesis- has a great advantage, in that it differentiates
experience and text. As Young states> this allows for the factual experience
of the writer, but liberates the writer's text from the kind of factual survey
that are the grist for denialists. In other words, we read meaning, not only
facts, from a Holocaust diary.
I agree with Young's case for consideration of Holocaust discourse,
including diaries, as text. If modernist practice presumes that texts are a
mimesis of the external reality of objects, what other limitations to that
practice, besides those pointed out in the quotation of Young's, apply to
and are important to understand in a study of the Diary of Anne Frank?
The Enlightenment is the intellectual as well as temporal
equivalent of the modern era. The characteristics of Enlightenment
thought, in addition to universality, include rationality and objectivity as
the legitimation of truth. Enlightenment values, the basis of modernism
and modem criteria for what is considered as knowledge, is the dynamic
in most texts which construct heroic myth of Anne Frank and of
Holocaust rescuers.
It is my contention, hardly an original one, that the Holocaust
ended the period in which one could have faith in modernism. The
debate over the crisis of modernism is complex. Let us briefly take the
20


famous exchange between Jean-Frangois Lyotard and Jurgen Habermas as a
touchstone. Habermas in his 1981 Adorno prize lecture in Frankfurt,
made the case for continuing the "project of modernity." Habermas holds
on to the intentions of the Enlightenment as an emancipatory theory with
unfulfilled potential. Legitimacy of knowledge resides in a social
consensus reached through discussion. He equates postmodernism with
the neoconservative movement^1 in part out of fear of the rise of the
political right in Germany.32
In contrast to Habermas' critical theory Lyotard states that
contemporary culture is in a 'postmodern condition.' His three main
assumptions about this condition are:
1. The question of totality. Lyotard articulates the theme of the decline
of grands r'ecits or metanarratives: "Metanarratives refer to foundational
theories (theories of knowledge, morality or aesthetics) and grand stories
of social progress which have been central to the legitimation of modem
knowledge, culture and social institutions." These theories of knowledge
have lost their authority to justify modern social practices.
2. The question of the subject. The centrality of the subject moves to
the 'edge'. Boundaries collapse. Lyotard, echoing Nietzsche, uses the
university as an illustration of traditional fields or faculties which have
lost their claim to the legitimacy of knowledge, or as self-contained areas
of research. The postmodern world is one of uncertainty unstable and
unpredictable. These inconsistencies are quite different from those
prescribed in a Marxian dialectic: "....we no longer expect salvation to rise
from these inconsistencies as did Marx." An optimistic consequence of the
postmodern condition may be tolerance of difference. Or it may be the
possibility of knowledge as instruments of bureaucratic control, which
Lyotard sees in the computer society. Knowledge is local and
contextualized: "There are many language games." The premise of
Lyotard's argument rests on language theory as being the equivalent to
21


social theory.
3. The question of periodization. Lyotard implies an exchange of a
historical perspective for an extended notion of postmodernism. For him,
the postmodern condition is not a period of slackening, of nostalgia or loss
(as one finds in Habermas and others). One's loss (of unity, certainty) may
be another's gain. Although not specifically mentioned by Lyotard,
postmodern decentralization of the subject is an opportunity for
previously marginalized potential subjects, such as feminism and gender
studies.33 We need not rehearse the theoretical differences between
Habermas and Lyotard at greater length.34 My point is that Habermas,
as well as Lyotard, recognizes there is a crisis of modernity. Habermas
states: "Enlightenment thinkers...had the extravagant expectation that the
arts and the sciences would promote not only the control of natural forces,
but would also further understanding of the world and of the self, would
promote moral progress, the justice of institutions, and even the
happiness of human beings. The 20th century has shattered this
optimism. "35
Material based on the myth of Anne Frank, which is most of the
popular books, films and art on the subject, does not acknowledge the
Holocaust, or anything else, as a major disruption to modern certainties.
One can sympathize with reasons for this defensive mechanism. Any
attempt to 'teach the Holocaust7 to young people, an event which is both
distant in time and may have no ready connection to their lives, may be
laudable. Secondly, teachers who are trying to instill the basic intellectual
tools of the Enlightenment in these students may be reluctant to challenge
criteria of knowledge. The discourse of organizers of the Colorado Anne
Frank art and essay school competition, for example, is unquestioningly
modem in approach. Mr. Van Praag, as I have indicated above, is a more
interesting case. He uses, one could say manipulates, the heroic myth self-
consciously to obtain his desired end. His local truth or belief system, that
22


Anne Frank's memory should be used as a good example, is presented as a
universal truth. The difference between the two uses is not the content of
the myth, but Van Praag's self-realization that he is a joint author with
Anne of this interpretation of the Diary. In other words, he uses the text
of the myth in a very postmodern way.
Young's view of diaries and memoirs is based on a foundation of
many poststructuralist and postmodern theorists. Postmodernism is a
more general term referencing an epoch and/or theme questioning
"certainties" while poststructuralism is more specifically an intellectual
discussion regarding the nature of language and representation. I will
conflate the terms poststructuralist and postmodernism(s) for the purpose
of a brief overview of the literature, noting important divergences with
each example I cite when necessary. This conflation is valid here because
in spite of the diversity of positions within and across these two terms, the
common thread is a belief in language as the inescapable conduit of
meaning, and thus of an interpretation of reality.
Poststructuralist emphasis on language as the constituent of culture
is a transformative concept for an investigation of representations of the
Holocaust. Poststructuralist representations are considered to be language
texts. As text, one can or rather is obliged to make explicit 'the stories we
make up.' These narratives are formed by language (visual as well as
literary) and take place in the commentary itself. There is an insistence
that history continues to take place as one speaks/writes about it. The
Holocaust happens in its representation, and in the explications of these
representations. This does not mean that the Holocaust 'out there' never
took place.
To honor writing is a tendency both in modem and post-modern
theorists. This latter group, however, sees more complex relationships
between writing, authors, and readers. Roland Barthes, historian, literary
critic, and pivotal intellectual figure from the 1950' to his death inl980 was
23


instrumental in the development of French semiology and the periodical
Tel Quel His later work demonstrates writing and reading as an erotic
venture. In his "The Pleasure of the Text/' the form of playful fragments
anticipated postmodernism's situational knowledge in place of a stance of
objectivity and 'metanarrative/36
From Jacques Derrida and his American followers especially comes
attention to the silences in the text of representation; the elisions and gaps
are as important as what is there. Memory is also what is forgotten. What
is Derrida's justification for this assertion? He is critiquing Claude Levi-
Strauss' constructs of distinctions between nature and culture. According
to Derrida, the apparent coherence of the center cannot hold. It appears
coherent only because it will not acknowledge its contradictions. Instead
of ontology, which is an insistence on origins, Derrida argues for the
floating signifier, signs in free play, the game of shifting meanings:
"...everything became discourse... when everything became a system
where the central signified, the original or transcendental signified, is
never absolutely present outside a system of differences. The. absence of
the transcendental signified extends the domain and the interplay of
signification ad infinitum."37 Derrida has shown the possibility of either
affirmation and liberation, or postmodern purgatory, where signified
chases signified forever with no resolution of meaning.
As to issues of morality, of what is right and wrong, a component
that one may expect in Holocaust discourse, Derridian postmodernism
will not give absolute answers. However, I think that because the
methodologies of deconstruction are interrogations, a bursting of
ideological bubbles,38 a morality can emerge. So in the text of an exhibit of
photographs of Holocaust memorials, a children's book based on Anne
Frank's life, an art competition, or in the telling of the story of Anne's
Dutch helpers, words and art may be used to affirm events, beliefs, or to
deny them. Thus, what and how one tells about the Holocaust has a
24


strong moral dimension, although Derrida did not concern himself with
this issue.
Indeed, there can be an edge to postmodernism. In the theoretical
practice of Michel Foucault a consideration of power relations is key. His
position allows how there can be an urgency to a story. If one accepts that
the telling is always in the present and about the present, then one has to
investigate the meaning of conflicting values, and tellers vying for power
in the domain of texts and in the public cultural domain. As Chris
Weedon has commented about Foucault: 'The discursive constitution of
subjects, both compliant and resistant, is part of a wider social play for
power."39 There is then an immediacy and relevance to Holocaust studies
different from the complacent "let's consider all points of view" in
cultural relativism, or even in Habermas's social consensus. In the matter
of the Holocaust and Anne Frank, the story concerns representations of
life and death.
But if I have ruled out the case for diaries and memoirs as a direct
reflection of reality, I have created a problem for myself. If I consider
everything as a language text- the heroic myth of Anne Frank, Holocaust
diaries in general- how can I consider a discussion of gender? Gender
implies bodies, and bodies seem to imply a kind of authenticity of
experience that I have just denied. Judith Butler points out that talk about
the death of the subject may be seen as a conspiracy against women and
other disenfranchised groups who are now only beginning to speak on
their own behalf.40 Jane Flax4i criticizes Derrida's deconstruction of
women because he keeps a rigid bifurcation of male/female characteristics.
Woman turns out to be interchangeable with writing, the supplement, the
trace, signifying "sexual difference." He plays down cultural specificity in
the construction of woman, and the characteristics he assigns to woman
are the pervasive sexual stereotypes. Woman is the Real, outside
rationality, truth, culture. This portrayal of woman has nothing new or
25


postmodern about it, and Flax likens Derrida to Rousseau in his definition
of women: "The major difference I can see between Rousseau's position
and that of Derrida is he wants to identify, read like, become, or (at least)
openly envies woman as he has defined her. He still does not want her to
speak for herself or, as [Luce] Irigaray points out, among her or ourselves
without him."42
However, as I have hinted in my discussion of the views of Lyotard,
Derrida and Foucault, there is also opportunity in the fragmented cultural
map of postmodernism. Foucault provides a way of investigating
institutions. Historical discourse (like the Holocaust or the Diary of Anne
Frank) is shown to be a battle for meaning. Foucault opens up sexuality to
history and change. In The History of Sexuality,43 he deconstructs as
'subject positions' the social norms of women's bodies, femininity, and
homosexuality. He shows 'points of resistance' in simultaneous and
opposite discourses: "This type of analysis expands the field of potential
political activity in ways which are extremely important for feminism,
avoiding, as it does, the reductivism of singlercause analysis."44
Fortunately, there is a repertoire of feminist writings which has been
published in the last decade which may be called both gender centered and
poststructuralist that addresses this problem. Even Flax indicates that
Foucault may be of use in discussing women as one of the marginalized
elements within contemporary culture. After her reservations, Butler
goes on to state that poststructuralism offers a mode of critique and as such
it can be used as a part of a radical agenda. She does want to keep the term
'women' for use in 'identity politics.' Instead of eliminating it, she offers
the practical suggestion that:
To deconstruct is not to negate or to dismiss but to call into
question and, perhaps most important, to open up a term, like
"the subject," to a reusage or redeployment that previously has
not been authorized.... [To] deconstruct the subject of feminism
26


is to release the term into a future of multiple significations, to
emancipate it from the maternal or racialist ontologies to which
it has been restricted, and to give it play as a site where
unanticipated meanings might come to bear.45
This practice may give 'agency' to the term woman. She gives an
interesting answer to the critique that bodies (and thus violence to
women's bodies and sexual issues) do not exist in postmodernism. Rather,
to deconstruct the concept of bodies is not to negate or refuse either term.
If we insist on keeping the subject, women, without this deconstruction,
than we keep this subject in subordination. Nancy Fraser and Linda
Nicholson in "Social criticism without philosophy: An encounter
between feminism and postmodernism" also recognize that feminists and
postmodernists were working on a common nexus of problems, mostly
independently.46
Thus, one does not have to assume an 'essentialisf position, i.e.
that there are certain fixed traits, characteristics or, indeed, categories in a
subject of identity called 'genderi or 'Jew.' Historian Joan Scott shows the
possibility, in her seminal article "Gender: A useful category of historical
analysis,"47 of conjunction between two theoretical points of view,
poststructuralist and feminist. According to Scott, historically, gender
emerged as a category of analysis only in the late twentieth century, as a
term used by contemporary feminists "to insist on the inadequacy of
existing bodies of theory for explaining persistent inequalities between
women and men." The term gender is part of the debate between
modernism, with emphasis on discoverable, transparent facts, and
poststructuralism, with a focus on linguistic constructs, or the shift in
social science from scientific to literary paradigms.
One of Scott's major accomplishments is to demonstrate that this
methodology need not be restricted to literary theory and texts. Scott
widens the application of gender to government and to the nation-state,
27


"the real business of politics." Her examples point out the coding of gender
as integral to the politics of kinship, of Burke's history of the French
revolution, of divorce law, as well as to contemporary law and politics.
Thus gender is associated with the function of legitimation.
Scott, in reference to authors who analyze, or deconstruct, gender
states:
These interpretations are based on the idea that conceptual
languages employ differentiation to establish meaning and that
sexual difference is a primary way of signifying differentiation.
Gender, then, provides a way to decode meaning and to
understand the complex connections among various forms of
human interaction. When historians look for the ways in which
the concept of gender legitimizes and constructs social
relationships, they develop insight into the reciprocal nature of
gender and society and into the particular and contextually
specific ways in which politics constructs gender and gender
constructs politics.48
While Scott has a limited acceptance of psychoanalytic theory in the
creation of gender, a revised interpretation of Freudian theory has
recently brought forth a feminist practice of psychoanalysis that is
particularly helpful in approaching the issue of gender in the Diary of
Anne Frank.
Within French feminism, grounded in psychoanalytical and
literary paradigms, emerged suggestions for a different way of writing
women. "The key break from Marxism, existentialism, and
phenomenology in the French intellectual scene came after 1968 with the
discourse of structuralism and Lacanian psychoanalysis, which advanced
new concepts of language, theory subjectivity and society."49
Although Simone de Beauvoir is widely respected as one of the
mothers of 'first generation' feminism, 'second generation" French
feminism after the events of May 1968 took a different turn. A special
28


concern was/is the construction of sexual difference and women's
relations to language and writing.
These second generation French theorists took it for granted that
psychoanalysis was important. It could provide an emancipatory theory of
the personal and a path to the exploration of the unconscious.50
Cixous broke with the strict structuralism of Jacques Lacan. Cixous'
exquisitely written essay The laugh of the medusa, filled with joy and wit,
reads like a manifesto. Women are urged to write, and the writing will be
a flirtation with the Imaginary, a release of desire. Woman, "admirable
hysterics," must put herself into the text. Reinterpret the Medusa as
laughing at the concept of lack.51 Helene Cixous's vision of the female
body as the site of women's writing gave permission to women to seek
their own forms and trust intuition. Anne Frank wrote, not always but
often, from that perspective. It is significant for a new look at the Diary
that censorship by publishers was applied to just those freest diary entries,
those most closely related to the body.52
While the French were engaged with Lacanian psychoanalysis, in
America and England Freud was reevaluated. Feminist theorists are
ambivalent toward the legacy of Freud and psychoanalysis. Putting aside
his personal misogyny, Juliet Mitchell,55 Nancy Chodorow,54 and Carol
Gilligan proposed that Freud's theories could be helpful in explaining
cultural reproduction and cultural resistance to change. I make use in this
thesis especially of Carol Gilligan's work concerning traits in adolescent
girls and the cultural reproduction of patriarchy. 55
These and other feminists provide a framework for gender studies.
They legitimize the study of women in the Holocaust, and legitimize
gender as an issue in both the writing and in the reception of Anne
Frank's diary.
No subject, whether gender or Jew, can escape its own linguistic
construct. In my discussion of the Diary of Anne Frank, its myth and
29


alternate discourses, I am interested in the overlap of text and body, points
of convergence between meaning and experience.
30


FOOTNOTES
1. Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, David
Bamouw and Gerrold Van Der Stroom, eds. (New York: Doubleday,
1989), p. 628.
2. Eva Schloss with Evelyn Julia Kent, Eva's Story: A survivor's tale by the
step-sister of Anne Frank (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988), pp. 10-11.
3. As of 1989, "Her triumphal progress has ...taken on unprecedented
proportions. Between fifteen and sixteen million copies of the book have
been sold so tar."The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, p.74.
4. Henri van Praag. "The myth of the diary," in Anna G. Steenmeijer, ed.
with Otto Frank and Henri van Praag,A tribute to Anne Frank (Garden
City, New York: Anne Frank Foundation/ Doubleday & Company, Inc.,
1971), pp. 38-39.
5. Internet web site of the Anne Frank Foundation. Search words: Anne
Frank Foundation. A document about these subjects is offered on this site,
with an extensive bibliography and a list of addresses in the Netherlands
of organizations combating prejudice in Holland.
6. Although this interpretation is my own, Young writes of the Anne
Frank House as a filter of national interests. "The mixing of national and
Jewish ideals [is]... due as much to the redactor of Anne's diary, her father,
as they are to the Dutch caretakers of the foundation. While Otto Frank
would never have denied his daughter's Jewishness, he felt from the
outset that her diary, her story, and now the house would serve humanity
best through their universal implications. Accordingly, he wrote that "the
Jewish origins of the diary will not be specifically emphasized, but
nevertheless, the insights it provides as a Jewish testament may not be
forgotten...." Whether it was because of the universal success of the diary
and the play it spawned or Otto's own universalist reading of the diary
itself, Anne's father set a clear precedent for the widest possible application
of Anne's beliefs against discrimination and racism of all kinds." James E.
Young, "The Anne Frank House: Holland's Memorial 'Shrine of the
Book'," in James E. Young, ed., The Art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials
in History (Munich and New York: Prestel-Verlag/ The Jewish Museum,
1994), p. 134.
31


7. , Anne Frank 1929-1979 (Amsterdam: Keesing Boeken, c. 1979),
unpaginated.
8. Primo Levi, If This Is A Man: Remembering Auschwitz.; Survival in
Auschwitz; The Reawakening; Moments Of Reprieve (New York:
Summit Books, 1986).
9. ,Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 (Amsterdam: Anne Frank
Foundation, [1985], 1994). Its accompanying exhibition has toured the
world for oyer ten years.
10. Gene Brown, Anne Frank: Child of the Holocaust (New York:
Blackbirch Press/ Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1991), pp. 7, 59, 56. The
titles are "Barbara Jordan: Congressman," Better Davis: Film Star," Mother
Teresa: Protector of the Sick," "Georgia O'Keeffe: Painter of the Desert,"
"Anne Frank: Child of the Holocaust," "Marian Wright Edelman:
Defender of Chldren's Rights," "Benazir Bhutto: Prime Minister" and
"Wilma Mankiller: Chief of the Cherokee Nation."
11. Laura Tyler, Anne Frank: What Made Them Great (Englewood NJ
and New York: Silver Burdett Press, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1990), pp. 87,
7-8, 86. The illustrator is Gianni Renna Silver.
12. Richard Tames, Anne Frank (New York, London: Franklin Watts,
Inc., Lifetimes, [1989], 1991), pp. 9, 29.
13. Sandor Katz, Anne Frank Chelsea Juniors. Junior World Biographies
Series (New York, Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, Main Line
Book Co., 1996); Richard Amdur, Anne Frank,, The Chelsea House Library
of Biography. Introduction by Vito Perrone (New York, Philadelphia:
Chelsea House Publishers, 1993), pp. 8-9,102.
14. ibid., Sandor Katz, pp. 9, 73.
15. Lucinda Irwin Smith, Women Who Write: From the Past and the
Present to the Future (Englewood Cliffs, NJ and New York: Julian
Messner, Silver Burdett Press, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1989), pp. 145-159.
Anne Frank is included in the category "Writers from the Past" with Jane
Austen, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie,
and Lorraine Hansberry. "Contemporary Authors" are Dawn Garcia,
32


Nikki Giovanni, Jan Goodwin, Beth Henley, Tama Janowitz, Maxine
Hong Kingston, Norma Klein, Denise Levertov, Nancy Meyers, Joyce
Carol Oates, Carolyn See, and Anne Tyler.
16. Lipstadt, Deborah E., Denying the Holocaust: the growing assault on
truth and memory (New York, Toronto: Free Press, Maxwell Macmillan,
1993); Stern, Kenneth S., Holocaust denial (New York: American Jewish
Committee, 1993). A good summary of the arguments by Paul Rassinier in
Debunking the genocide myth.... (1978) and other denialists is found in
The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, Chapter 7, "Attacks on the
Authenticity of the Diary," pp. 84-101.
17. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, pp. 88, 97.
18. "The Anne Frank pages are not accessible. Due to copyright issues
(mostly having to do with images) and at the request of the copyright
owners, we have been asked to remove the Anne Frank pages from our
server. The Dutch Anne Frank Foundation now has a home page, which
they were kind enough to bring to our attention.... Sorry, but we don't
know of another site that contains the graphics which used to be accessible
here. Thank you. webmaster @cs.washington.edu"
19. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, p. 694.
20. Joseph Bodziock, "The Makers of History" in Sanford Pinsker and Jack
Fischel, eds., Literature, the Arts and the Holocaust, Holocaust Studies
Annual, Vol. HI (Greenwood, Florida: Penkevill Publishing Co., 1985), pp.
230, 229-238.
21. Kenneth Harper, "The Literature of Witness," in ibid., Pinsker and
Fischel, Literature, the Arts and the Holocaust, p. 239.
22. Eli Wiesel quoted by Alvin Rosenfeld, "The Problematics of Holocaust
Literature," in Alvin Rosenfeld and Irving Greenberg, eds.,Confronting
the Holocaust : The Impact of Elie Wiesel (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1979), p. 4.
23. ibid., Rosenfeld, p. 19.
24. Christopher Lasch, The Minimal Self (New York: Norton, 1984),
33


p. 129.
25. Kenneth Harper, "The Literature of Witness," p. 242.
26, 27. James E. Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative
and the Consequences of Interpretation (Bloomington and Indianapolis:
Indiana University Press, 1990), pp. 15-16.
28. Terence Des Pres, The Survivor (New York: Oxford University Press,
1976), p. 16.
29, 30. James E. Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust, pp. 17, 23-24.
31. Jurgen Habermas, "Modernity versus Postmodemity," New German
Critique, 22 (Winter 1981), 3-14. Reprinted in Hal Foster, ed., The Anti-
Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (Seattle: Bay Press, 1983).
32. Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Postmodern," in After the Great
Divide (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), pp. 178-221.
Reprinted in Joseph Natoli and Linda Hutcheon, A Postmodern Reader
(Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), pp. 105-156.
Habermas' fears may have been predictive. Mass culture in America today
is replete with a belief in angels and extra-terrestials. Fundamentalist
religion has substantial influence in state and national legislatures, which
I take as evidence of the ascendancy of a pre-modem mentality.
33. Jean-Frangois Lyotard, "Answering the Question: What is
Postmodernism?," in The Postmodern Condition: A Report on
Knowledge (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), pp. 71-82.
34. For further information see. the article by Martin Jay, "Habermas and
Modernism," Praxis International 4:1 (April 1984), 1-14. Cf. in the same
issue Richard Rorty, "Habermas and Lyotard on Postmodemity," 32-44. As
Huyssen explains: "Significantly, Habermas's notion of modernity the
modernity he wishes to see continued and completed is purged of
modernism's nihilistic and anarchic strain just as his opponents', e.g.,
Lyotard's notion of an aesthetic (post)modemism is determined to
liquidate any trace of the enlightened modernity inherited from the 18th
century which provides the basis for Habermas's notion of modem
culture." Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Postmodern," p. 128.
34


35. Jurgen Habermas, "Modernity versus Postmodernity," p. 10.
36. Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, (New York: The Noonday
Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc., 1975).
37. Jacques Derrida, "Structure, sign, and play in the discourse of the
human sciences," in Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato, eds.,The
Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man: The Structuralist
Controversy (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1970). Reprinted in Natoli and Hutcheon, pp. 224-225.
38. Jacques Derrida, "From/Of the Supplement to the Source: The Theory
of Writing," in Of Grammatology (Baltimore and London: The Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1976), pp. 279-314.
39. Chris Weedon, Feminist practice & poststructuralist theory (Oxford
and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, [1987], 1993), p.113.
40. Judith Butler, "Contingent foundations: Feminism and the question
of 'postmodernism'," in Steven Seidman, ed., The postmodern turn
(Cambridge, New York, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1994),
pp. 153-170.
41. 42. Jane Flax, Thinking Fragments: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and
Postmodernism in the Contemporary West (Berkeley: University of
California Press,1989) in Natoli and Hutcheon, p. 424. See also Jane Flax,
"Postmodernism and gender relation in feminist theory," Signs, 12,
(1987), 621-643.
43. Michel Foucault, "Method," in The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 (Paris
and New York: Editions Gallimard, Random House, Inc. [1976],1979), pp.
92-102. In Natoli and Hutcheon, pp. 333-341.
44. Chris Weedon,Feminist Practice & Poststructuralist Theory pp. 120-
123.
45. Judith Butler, "Contingent foundations," pp. 165-166.
46. Nancy Fraser and Linda Nicholson, "Social criticism without
philosophy: An encounter between feminism and postmodernism,"
35


Theory, Culture & Society (SAGE, London, Newbury Park, Beverly Hills
and New Delhi), Vol. 5 (1988), 373-94. In Steven Seidman, ed.,The
postmodern turn pp. 242-261.
47, 48. Joan Scott, "Gender: A useful category of historical analysis," in E.
Weed, ed., Coming to terms (New York: Routledge, 1989), p. 96. Most
important to the theorizing of gender is Scott proposition that gender is
primary in signifying relationships of power. Gender seems to have been
a persistent and recurrent way of enabling the signification of power in the
West, and in Islamic traditions. She defines power as differential control
over or access to material and symbolic resources. From the French
sociologist Pierre Bourdieu she takes the notion that references to
procreation and reproduction operate as collective illusions.
Her definition of gender has two parts and many subsets,
interrelated but analytically distinct. The core definition is that "gender is
a constitutive element of social relationships based on perceived
differences between the sexes, and gender is a primary way of signifying
relationships of power." Her four interrelated elements are 1. Symbolic
representation (often contradictory with a suppression of the metaphoric).
2. Normative concepts of interpretation of the symbolic (unequivocal
doctrines). Normative history is written in terms of social consensus, not
of conflict. 3. An analysis of gender relationships which includes politics
and reference to social organizations. Here, too, she is arguing for a new
history (in 1995, not so new but not pervasive, either). Instead of
scholarship which restricts the use. of gender to the kinship system
(household and family as the basis for social organization) she looks to
gender as constructed in the economy and the polity, which in our society
operate independently of kinship. 4. Gender as subjective identity. Scott
has a limited acceptance of psychoanalytic theory in the creation of gender,
but again urges modification against historical circumstances. Historical
research should be an investigation of the relationships among these four
aspects. She is interested in a more precise way of thinking about gender.
"The sketch I have offered of the process of constructing gender
relationships could be used to discuss class, race, ethnicity, or, ...any social
process." Joan Scott, pp. 92-100.
49. S. Best. & D. Kellner, "In Search of the Postmodern," Postmodern
Theory: Critical Interrogations (New York: Guilford Press, 1991), p. 18.
50. Toril Moi, "From Simone de Beauvoir to Jacques Lacan,"
36


Sexual/Textual Politics (New York: Routledge, 1985). An understanding
of Lacan's structuralist reading of Freud is the basis of much French
feminist thought, in its acceptance (by Julia Kristeva) or modification
(Helene Cixous). According to Lacan, "Name/Law of the Father" is entry
into the Symbolic and to language (culture). The child's repressed desire
for the lost mother, and thus for the Imaginary, is the creation of the
unconscious. The speaking subject is repressed desire, the lack and the
phallus.
51. Helene Cixous, "The laugh of the medusa," L'Arc, (1975). 39-54.
52. This equation of the possibility of a lack of order associated with
women seemed frightening and not an advance on gender stereotypes to
other French feminists such as Julia Kristeva. Kristeva's desire to theorize
a social revolution based on class and gender and to build an ethics of
feminism have more to do with de Beauvoir than with Cixous. See Toril
Moi, (ed.),The Kristeva reader (New York: Columbia, 1986).
53. J. Mitchell, "On Freud and the distinction beween the sexes," in J.
Strouse, ed., Women and analysis. (New York: Grossman Publishers,
1974). Mitchell argues that Freud has much to offer to the psychology of
women, female sexuality and to the understanding of patriarchy.
Mitchell's main point centers on an appreciation of Freud's asymmetrical
reading in terms of the sexes of the Oedipal situation and its resolution.
Freud's essay "Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical
Distinction Between the Sexes" deals with two distinct themes: the nature
of sexuality and feminine psychology to be deduced from interpersonal
(sociosexual) relationships. According to Mitchell, Freud was trying to
decipher 'the uneven relationship between the two sexual possibilities,
within a person as well as between persons.' This was one reason why he
resisted a substitution of the neutral terms active and passive for
masculine and feminine.
Opposition to Freud's asymmetry makes nonsense to Mitchell of
the more profound claim that under patriarchy women are oppressed a
claim that Freud's analysis alone can help us to understand. She will not
accept other feminist readings of patriarchy as representing the power of
men in general without this psychoanalytical component
Freud established the importance of a new realm the pre-Oedipal
phase, in particular for girls. This pre-Oedipal phase was at that point an
unexplored region in psychoanalysis, one 'where there are as yet no
37


signposts.' Mitchell thinks that in pointing out the territory, Freud does
the groundwork for an analysis of femininity. She holds that the complex
psychological formation of personhood through the Oedipal situation
within Freudian theory is as much a map of social, cultural factors as
biological. She describes what the Oedipal journey is like and its
consequences to sexuality. The importance of the father (or the name-of-
the-father of Lacan), the signification of patriarchy (Freud, 1925) is a key to
the understanding of the oppression of women under patriarchy.
54. Nancy Chodorow, "Feminism, Femininity, and Freud" and "Family
structure and feminine personality,"Feminism and psychoanalytic theory,
(New Haven: Yale Press, 1989). Chodorow begins with the historic (1960s
& 1970s) early feminist condemnation of Freudian theory. She
incorporates their anger, work and questions. What, then, is the
relationship between feminism, Freud and a psychoanalytic
understanding of female psychology?
She answers the feminists objections that oppression is cultural and
psychology has nothing to do with this oppression; a theory as mystified
as psychoanalysis is not needed; Freud was sexist. She answers that one
cannot talk of gender oppression without talking of sexualization in the
first place. We cannot step out of being sexed and gendered. Freud has
given a theory. He liberated sex from gender and procreation. He argues
there is nothing inevitable about the development of sexual object choice;
there is no innate femininity or masculinity. We are all potentially
bisexual, polymorphous. How one feels about one's physiology is a
developmental product, apart from biology. Woman (and man) is made,
not bom. For girls especially, this is a conflicted, difficult, costly process.
After the Oedipal process, women remain involved with the mother.
Thus, Freud provided perceptive social analyses concerning oppressions
of gender and sexuality.
55. Carol Gilligan, Joining the resistance: Psychology, politics, girls and
women," in L. Goldstein, ed., The female body (Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press, 1991) and Carol Gilligan, "In a different voice:
Women's conception of self and morality," Harvard Educational Review,
47, (1977) 481-517.
38


CHAPTER 2
ANNE FRANK: HOLOCAUST DIARY AS GENRE/GENDER
"Societies become what they choose to remember:"! So the
meganarrative of the Diary of Anne Frank and of the historical figure of
Anne Frank is a remembrance as universal icon and beneficial myth. In
the Introduction, I defined the varied uses of this dominant myth: to
foster hope for the future, to mourn the loss of innocence and of child-
victims, to inspire the brotherhood of man, to prevent a reoccurrence of
events like the Holocaust, in an endless chain of signification.
I demonstrate in this chapter that universal symbolism silences an
alternative discourse of gender.
The chapter has three parts. First, in "Holocaust Diary as Genre:
Five Case Studies of Personal Narrative," selected Holocaust diaries are
considered, to establish how Anne's Holocaust diary is similar to or
deviates from other Holocaust diaries. Differences explain in part her
power as an empathetic representation of the Holocaust. Second, in "Voice
As History: Women's Memoirs and the Study of Holocaust History" the
issue of gender is shown to revise assumptions about narratives of
Holocaust experience, as evidenced by memoirs and diaries of women. I
offer this section to establish the current scholarly basis for an alternative
reading of the Diary of Anne Frank. Third, the Diary of Anne Frank is
analyzed as a narrative of representation of Anne as an adolescent girl,
39


and subsequently as a Jewish adolescent girl.
Holocaust Diary as Genre: Five Case Studies of Personal Narrative
Five diaries have been selected for review. They were chosen both
for their content and their accessibility, in that all have been published in
English. Three were written by men, two by adolescents. Four originated
in the Warsaw Ghetto.
According to the Holocaust scholars Marie Syrkin and Ruth
Kunzer, there are two stages to the ghetto diarists appreciation of their
situation : confused hopefulness and certain hopelessness.2 In its
representation of experience, the Diary of Anne Frank shares with ghetto
diaries the stage of "confused hopefulness." Written before her
deportation to the death camps, it never moves to the stage of the
realization of certain death followed by hopelessness which we find in the
Warsaw ghetto chronicles. As Anne's posthumous step-sister Eva Schloss
states in the quotation which begins this thesis, Anne kept her Diary before
she faced death as an absolute certainty. I believe that this is a major
reason why the Diary of Anne Frank lends itself to readings as a
mythological representation of universal optimism.
Anne Frank was not, of course, the only diarist killed in the
Holocaust whose memory has become myth and symbol. Janusz Korczak,
educator and pioneer in child welfare, spent the last years of his life in the
Warsaw ghetto as the head of an orphanage sheltering 200 Jewish children.
On August 5, 1942 at age sixty-four, he accompanied the children in his
charge to the gas chamber of Treblinka. "Dr. Korczak has become a
legendary symbol of selfless devotion and humanity."3
As Igor Newerly suggests in his Preface to Janusz Korczak's Ghetto
Diary the sense of time in a Holocaust diary is like no other. On the one
40


hand, it is grotesque to compare the ghetto, so much worse a place, to the
Secret Annex of Anne Frank. The ghetto was, in Korczak's words, "1. A
prison 2. A plague-stricken area 3. A mating ground 4. A lunatic asylum
5. A casino. Monaco. The stake your head."3 However, I think that it is
analogous to Anne's condition in the unique sense of time: hiding creates
an artificial place where hope for a future release coexisted with doom,
where normal life is distorted and perverted. Time, in the sense of a
normal perspective of days and months, was replaced by an ephemeral
present instant and eternity:
Lying down to sleep, nobody was sure that he would not be
wakened by the sound of a prison van or shot dead in bed....[T]here
existed only the possibility of smuggling an existence from one
instant to the next, or of utter resignation the fusion of life in
some extrapersonal great existence. In something having eternal
meaning and dignity: Struggle truth and beauty God.4
Korczak arranged to have his diary leave the ghetto with Newerly
instead of saving himself. Thus, as in Anne's case, the diary becomes the
representation, the stand- in and substitute for the whole person, an
equivalency to life after extinction. The writing of the diary and its
publication are acts of remembrance. Anne wished to live on in her Diary.
Janusz Korczak wrote the Diary, in his own explanation, as "Not so much
an attempt at a synthesis as a grave of attempts, experiments, errors.
Perhaps it may prove of use to some, some time, in fifty years."5
Regarding censorship in the posthumous publication of diaries,
issues of age and gender emerge. Anne's diary and Korczak's differ.
When Korczak, like Anne, did not survive, his diary was published 'warts
and all.' I believe this was a sign of respect for him. The act of deletion
from Anne's diary by publishers, editors and her father (at least in his
acquiescence to the omissions) is in keeping with the discourse of control
/
41


of adolescents, a lack of respect, as well as of protective love.
Newerly knew the writer of the diary before the Holocaust, and thus
before its writing. He can compare and contrast the man in different
circumstances. Newerly attributes changes in Korczak's personality
evidenced by the text of the diary to dire circumstances in the ghetto:
This was a different Korczak. Exhausted, irritable, suspicious,
ready to raise hell over a barrel of sauerkraut, a sack of flour.
Bear this in mind, too,when reading the Diary, especially
Korczak's opinions on certain people.... At night, he thinks
and writes....It seems unbelievable that he could still write. In
such surroundings,... he can only talk to himself on paper,
making notes in haphazard abbreviations, almost a cipher;
something of his chance thoughts, some memories, a fleeting
impression.... The Diary has become no more that a register of
psychological moments. This is neither the legendary
Korczak not the real Korczak...a third being.... Strikingly
varied is the form, from stylistically elaborated sections...
through the concise chronicle accounts right up to thought
coded in abbreviations.... Even so, Korczak remains himself
from the very first to the very last page....In the deluge of total
bestiality, he seeks frantically for some minimal scrap of
sense.6
Who Anne, the thirteen or fifteen year old girl, was before her diary, is a
text made only after her death and the fame of the diary. Commentary of
those who knew her, and secondary sources based on this commentary are
contradictory: a girl both academically average, and one with
extraordinary insight, talent and application for writing, imaginative,
childish and mature, charming and nonconformist, ill-mannered,
profoundly Jewish or not. Which traits infuse texts about Anne depend
on the uses of her myth, or discourse of the commentator. While this
recreation of Janusz by the accounts of those who survived him are also
re-writings as representations, we have more of a record of his activities
42


and publications; over sixty years of material, as it were. Anne's youth
makes her remembrance malleable.
Newerly is sensitive to the manner in which Janusz' diary
conforms to literary conventions. In Januscz case, the beliefs of the author
are those of 'Young Poland,' a trend of artistic and literary character,
developed chiefly in Cracow at the turn of 19th to 20th centuries. It was
directed against the rationalistic point of view. The chief objective was to
come back to romantic traditions. Literary tradition is included as part of
Korczak's experience; therefore, the diary is not viewed by Newerly as a
mirror image of ghetto life. Newerly equates experience with
psychological states, psychological states with style, and style with literary
traditions.^
The Diary of Anne Frank is about Anne's aspirations to be a
professional writer as much as it has the experience of Jews in hiding
during the Holocaust. She creates dramatic situations, turns the
interaction of her companions into domestic vignettes. She uses her
writing for confession, a mode of self-exploration which is pervasive in
European romantic literature since Rousseau, Goethe and Schiller. We
know Anne's wide readings included the works of the German classics.
In the Warsaw Ghetto, a section of the Jewish underground, using
the name of Oneg Shabbat (Sabbath celebrants), kept diaries and records
which, smuggled out or hidden in ghetto milk cans, are a major source of
material for the history of the ghetto.8 One diary is that of a Warsaw
teenager, Mary Berg. Those of Emmanuel Ringelblum, the. historian and
Jewish nationalist, and Chaim Kaplan, a religious Hebrew educator, are
more famous.
The authors, with Anne Frank, have
one quality in common which partially explains their
effectiveness: they are written in innocence... [T]he reader
43


knows what is hidden from the writer. This tragic irony
makes the diaries peculiarly moving, and differentiates them
from the many circumstantial accounts which will be written
by survivors after a lapse of years.... Not only Anne
[Frank],...but the baffled, suffering men are still without our
grasp....Our ability to sympathize with the diarist is due not
merely to the fact that an individual moves us more readily
than an anonymous multitude, but rather that his sufferings
still wear a recognizable shape: they evoke fellow-feeling.
This sense will paradoxically lessen when we enter the
charnel house.9
The same move from "confused hopefulness to hopelessness"
characterized these three very different ghetto diarists during the brief
span of time from November 1940, the creation of the ghetto, to July 22,
1942, the beginning of mass deportations.
There is a range of ages and political orientation among the diarists.
Ringelblum, 40 years old, has a sense of social responsibility. He is writing
history as well as indictment. Kaplan, reclusive, is concerned with
Hebrew manuscripts and with judgment of the Jews as well as Germans.
The older men suffer from what they see as the spiritual as well as
physical decline surrounding them, including their own. Anne Frank
documents the psychological effects of increased starvation and
confinement in a garret apartment. But physical conditions, and therefore
the spiritual and psychological toll on herself and her companions is
never as severe.10
All the diarists relentlessly try to preserve the structures of civilized
life, of normalcy. Anne writes her Diary to the rhythms of study, food
prepared, meals, helping with the office work of her father's former
business: a struggle to adapt to the new conditions of restricted life, which
was in fact the first turn of a death machine. Mary Berg's detailed
observation of daily life juxtaposes the horrific -she turns away from a
weeping child who is hungry- with attempts to maintain 'ordinary7 life.
44


Mary Berg7s friends take courses given by the Jewish vocational
educational institution, ORT. She records how hard they studied. Schools
are forbidden, yet there are dozens held in secret. Ringelblum notes over
sixty places for social gatherings at night. Kaplan believes that secret
dancing is frivolity, yet adds that it is a blessing to dance; it is a protest
against oppressors.
Thus, intellectual, spiritual life and Jewish institutions existed to
the end. Yet, these institutions and activities, whether dancing or
education, have altered, even perverse, meaning in the context of the
ghetto during the Holocaust.
The Frank family attempted to maintain some structure of a
normal life as a sign of hope and to retain sanity. Diaries are 'easier' (on
the reader) than death camp literature, in so far as diaries are exercises to
maintain personhood for as long as possible, whether within the culture
of the ghetto or garret.
The break between the Diary of Anne Frank, as an example of a
diary written in hiding, and the ghetto diaries, is the entrance of the ghetto
diarists into a psychological state of hopelessness. The diarists assimilate
the truth of the 'Final Solution' in the summer of 1942. The two men
bitterly reprimand the failure of the ghetto to resist. "Chicken-hearted
ones" writes Kaplan (June 16, 1942); Ringelblum asks (October 14, 1942):
"Why did we let ourselves be led like sheep to the slaughter?" although
acts of resistance were met with massive reprisals against the ghetto. Until
mid-1942, they hoped for partial survival of the Jews as a people, among
the slaughter of individuals. Also, physical weakness produced stupor
and passivity; numerous Jews presented themselves for deportation rather
than endure the ghetto. At this time too, Ringelblum hears on the BBC
that the world knows; and realized soon after that the democracies will
accept the annihilation of European Jewry as a byproduct of the war. It was
at this point in 1942 with no hope for survival that the underground
45


openly called for resistance knowing it was suicide.
A diary like Anne's in which the author's death is imminent but
not yet certain to the writer is easier on the reader than a diary of ghetto
life. The text is susceptible to the creation of a myth of courage and
optimism, because Anne is still intermittently courageous and optimistic.
There is, however, a collusion of ignorance among readers and
educators in the perpetuation of the dominant Anne Frank myth. By this
I mean that Anne knew her death was possible, even probable, if her
hiding place was discovered by the authorities during the German
occupation of Holland. The reader knows her fate as a certainty. Yet the
Diary of Anne Frank allows us to remember the Holocaust while not
confronting its horror. The myth of Anne Frank permits a kind of
forgetting as well as remembrance.
Voice As History:
Women's Memoirs and the Study of Holocaust History
I have reflected on the general characteristics of Holocaust diaries,
specifically on the changing psychological states of their authors that
created the space for the myth of Anne Frank. Anne Frank as universal
symbol of an innocent victim of the Holocaust is the dominant narrative
in academic and popular literature for the reception of her Diary.
However, the discussion of the Diary of Anne Frank is subject to
alternative Holocaust discourses, local narratives and positional truths.
Recent scholarship on women's Holocaust literature provides gender as
one of these alternative contexts for addressing Anne as a girl and woman.
46


At the very least, gender complicates the myth. At best, it is a useful
critical tool for looking at the tensions and contradictions in Anne's words
which are suppressed in the universal discourse. To understand gender in
the Diary of Anne Frank, I shall place it in the context of the very rich
recent primary and secondary literature on women's Holocaust
reminiscences.
Women's documentaries prove doubly important for the study of
Holocaust history and literature. From the theoretical point of view, the
emergence of women's Holocaust autobiographies marks a turning point
in the development from modem to both feminist and postmodern
memoir. The importance of women's memoir literature within Jewish
historiography, and the history of feminist practice in particular, is
reflected in the recognition that the lack of one's own literature would
perpetuate a primary form of invisibility. By deciding to speak with their
own voices, to write about their own lives, and to interpret their own
experiences in the form of memoirs, testimonials, and chronicles, women
have empowered themselves as mediators of historical knowledge, and
thus appropriated new roles of political behavior as well as literary texts.
The collective determination to break out of the historical molds of
silence and submission is one of the most striking features of women's
Holocaust and exile autobiographies written after 1933. Moreover, current
and future Jewish scholarship needs to recognize as landmark legacies the
importance of women's narratives towards illuminating the gender
specific aspects of Jewish communities in times of persecution and
imprisonment.
What is the justification for listening to women's voices,
specifically Jewish women's voices, as they recount their experiences of
the Holocaust? Is this discourse cutting the politics of identity too fine,
essentializing categories of gender and ethnicity? I will show that the
attention to gender-based concerns within women's narratives permeates
47


the organization of personal and professional accounts, family histories,
and the fate of children. The writings were there, but beneath the radar of
cultural perception until recently.
Holocaust documentaries and testimonies originate in
victimization of sexual subjugation, violence and mutilation. However,
women's survivor literature in the form of memoirs contains a wealth of
new information about their social and political networks which often
illuminate an entirely different dialectic of resistance and survival.
Written against the grain of gender-indifferent historical discourses,
women's memoirs, diaries, and letters draw unsettling new profiles of the
past, and thus launch provocative interpretations of women's roles and
destinies.
One of the most important differences between women's
testimonials and other documentary genres from this period is precisely
the insistence of women survivors on revealing relationships among
forms of oppression, and among those who suffered or profited from it. ll
Attention to the details of everyday life, emphasis on the gender politics of
the camps, focus on the fate of dependents, identification with other
women and their families provide the listener/reader with unique
readings of the Holocaust. Married and single women from all classes
and without fame offer their lives to public view. By focusing on external
circumstances and their impact on individuals, a privileged access to a
writing of experience emerges, the female experience(s) in particular, that
no other genre can provide. 12
The full spectrum of these autobiographical texts ranges from
personal oral reports on the one hand to polished autobiographies on the
other. Most of the memoirs I have chosen were written during or shortly
after the war, others as recently as the late 1980's. What prompted women
survivors to write their histories and to speak about the most difficult
times of their lives? Stated motivations varied. The women sometimes
48


wished to offer inspiration and advice to younger generations. Although I
view them as a woman's way of writing, in the sense that Cixous hopes
for, the subjects' themselves wrote from an urgency to propagate
individual truths, and to make known the lessons of their personal
sufferings, disillusionments, and achievements.13
For most women authors, writing their autobiographies was a
distinctly political act requiring careful justification. The common
autobiographical objectives center foremost on the mobilization of
historical memory in order to expose the processes of victimization and
the possibilities of resistance against all odds. In this sense, there is
agreement that these works are transgressions, whether considered as
autonomous and direct representations of selves or as written bodies. As
one autobiographer put it: "We have our whole lives to tell, lives that
have been censored, repressed, and suppressed from official versions of
history, literature and culture."14 Women in their texts often point
beyond the dialectic of resistance and capitulation, and, as autobiographies,
these texts might thus be seen as a "revenge on history1"is and the
destruction it caused.
One of the recurrent characteristics of women's Holocaust and exile
autobiographies is an open-ended structure which does not always adhere
to chronological and linear orders of presentation. Julia Kristeva talks of
women's time, in a way that forms one pattern of practice in these
memoirs.16 But the narratives often follow bird's eye. perspectives
designed to illuminate the ruptures between childhood memories and
adult retrospectives from a vantage point above the devastated
biographical landscapes. While this distancing can be a sign of
psychological disassociation, the act of writing brings the normal and the
unspeakable into proximity, if not integration. This process of inter-
weaving past and present comes across in a passage by Irene Gruenbaum,
who described the patterns of her memory in this way: "My thoughts
49


become entangled, they rush back and forth, remembering again and again
the people whom I once knew and loved, who no longer exist. They are
around me while I write. I feel their presence."17
What makes women's autobiographies so interesting is the fact that
rather than evoking the suffering during the war years, they juxtapose the
present with what preceded it in the past. The vignettes of life before the
Holocaust are offered to situate the reader in a present which otherwise
would reflect no historical continuity at all. Reflecting on this process,
Hilde Domin, a noted post-war poet who had escaped from Germany to
the Dominican Republic, offered the following metaphor for the ruptured
contours of her life in exile and thereafter:
I, Hilde Domin, am amazingly young. I was bom in 1951,
crying, as everyone does at birth. It was not in Germany, even
though German was my mother tongue. Spanish was
spoken, and many coconut palms grew in the garden around
our house.... My parents were dead when I was born.
But, of course, I had always been there. "Always" goes back to
just before the so-called first war. Of course my parents were
alive then, of course German was spoken....
When I, Hilde Domin, opened my eyes, tear-reddened, in
that house on the edge of the world where pepper and sugar
and mango trees grow, but a rose only with difficulty, and
apples, and wheat, and birches not at all, I was orphaned and
exiled. But I arose and went home into the word.... From
where I can not be exiled.
For many authors, the attempts to reconnect the mosaics of their
memories and to break the rings of silence and isolation resulted in
conscious postures of self-affirmation and social critique, a narrative
practice that permeates the entire genre of texts.19 By questioning the
popular images of women's dependencies and vulnerabilities, and by
50


questioning models of female identity, many memoir writers constructed
different notions of autonomy and responsibility. This telling of what one
knows becomes an act of political resistance, in the sense that Carol
Gilligan fosters in adolescent girls and women, and for which she admires
Anne Frank 20
The recognition that the culturally prescribed female role models
offered few solutions to the problems of their lives convinced many
authors to experiment with new autobiographical formats capable of
documenting their personal experiences as well as their political insights.
In the following excerpt from her memoir "Hindsight", Charlotte Wolff
reflects on her attempts to overcome social restrictions, and to live on the
resources of her own "intelligence and wits":
We are many persons in one, and contradictory drives can
bring spice and confusion into one's life. I had enough spice
and a great deal of confusion in my early days in London. Life
was like a motion picture, constantly changing in scenery and
faces. [...] People who live uneasily in a world of their own
need crutches to get along in the world around them. The roles
of women and men have started to be interchangeable, which
will lead to a better, balanced society in the future. But in the
social plight of our age we have to reconcile ourselves to half
measures. We are forced to use multiple personalities like
players acting different plays.2*
What was judged as subversive and unconventional, renegade and
provocative behavior in pre-Holocaust times suddenly became the
generator for a new sense of security and new strategies for survival.
Women who survived the Holocaust or exile never speak of resistance as
something apart from survival. To be alive meant to have resisted the.
terrors of their times. Many women's autobiographies show an implied
and often explicit plural subject rather than the singular subject associated
with conventional autobiographies.22
51


However, in contrast to this reveling in and mastery of multiple
selves (taking the risk of dipping into the pre-Oedipal?) a feature of some
womens memoirs is just the opposite: the attempt of the writers to appear
as 'objective' as possible in presenting the history of their lives. This
intention is reflected in the avoidance of emotional displays, and the
refrain from personal or political accusations so as not to offend the reader
by being too angry, or by showing too much outrage.
An example of this self-consciously objective style of reporting can
be found in the short autobiographical text by Ellen Schoenheimer, whose
account focuses on the family's ordeal in France after Hitler's invasion in
1940. Schoenheimer's text describes the plight of a mother who rescues her
son, Pierre, after a German bomb attack of a Jewish refugee convoy south
of Paris, where the youngster suffered a serious bullet wound to his head.
Despite the devastation all around her, the mother succeeded in rushing
Pierre to a nearby French catholic hospital where she volunteered to work
as an unpaid nurse in order to stay at her son's side. About her experiences
in this hospital she reports the following facts:
I asked after two weeks if the child would ever be able to move his
head again, and the doctor replied: "You ask too many questions, I
do not even know if the child will live." If one knows these
catholic hospitals, one understands that this reply was not prompted
by a lack of compassion. It is their faith that makes them so
outspoken. The doctor told me from the beginning: "There is no
more hope!"
That meant since he did not see any hope for the child, he as
a human could not do anything. The decision was up to God, the
doctors could only assist the patients by easing their pain, but not
more, help must come from God. This attitude results in a lack of
action in severe cases, contrary to other hospitals, where an
attempt is made to influence the condition by injections, blood
transfusions or oxygen.
52


But the turn came all the same. Maybe it all sounds slightly
exaggerated on paper but after all these weeks, my nerves were
overwrought. On account of the illness of another nurse, I was
transferred to the ward for severe infectious diseases. I was not
happy about it because it meant that I would only be able to see
Pierre at night, after I had changed my clothes, since I was not
permitted to go from one ward into another. There I took care for
five days of a very intelligent nine-year-old girl. Her condition was
deteriorated and she consisted only of skin, bones and gorgeous
blond curls which fell out the moment one touched her head. The
doctors prescribed "remedies" and one morning towards eleven
o'clock, there was foam on her lips, and I, who had never met such a
situation before, called the head nurse, who folded the hands of the
little girl, and asked me if I wanted to help her. Not knowing what
that implied, I answered in the affirmative. Then I had to wash the
body, to dress her, to put a thin chain with a cross around the neck
and a bow in the hair, to wrap the body in a sheet and to lay it out
in the mortuary. Then I had to call the parents. I do not know how I
accomplished all this. I had only one thought today it is this
little girl's turn, tomorrow it might be my son's and this gave me
the strength to face the ordeal.23
We hear a woman adapting to the outward game of medical-scientific
coolness in order to gain her private goal of humane care and contact with
her son.
There is a pronounced emphasis by women authors on their
interconnectedness, a self-continuousness with other people and their
histories experienced relationally rather than on the trials and struggles of
the self.
The narrators relationship to her social environment establishes
herself as a particular individual whose fate resembles that of many
others. Letting other voices speak and be heard in women's testimonials
restores the voices of all those who forfeited theirs. This positioning of the
author allows for a special relationship with the reader who is called into
the text as silent confidant. "Collaboration is inevitable because the reader
53


is an agent of the text."24
Women's memoirs are historical and political documents of
feminist import. When women emigres and survivors of the Holocaust
narrate their life stories, we can hardly place the results in the traditional
category of memoir literature. Social relationships between women and
men, and between women and women changed drastically in times of
persecution and imprisonment. For women, this often led to an
intensification, strengthening and deepening of their relationships with
each other, and to new forms of political solidarity and collaboration
among themselves.
When exile and the Holocaust did not break up and destroy
personal bonds between women, it often enhanced the process, leading to
a greater degree of self-reliance. Gerda Klein's Holocaust memoir entitled
All But My Life reveals such a process based on assertiveness. In a
revealing passage, Klein reflects on a surprising display of her own
defiance and fearlessness while confronting a corrupt camp official. She
projects an aggressive attitude that seemed very much unlike her former
timid self and finally acknowledges the new role and strength as her own:
I was thoroughly shaken. I hardly knew myself. I had never spoken
like that. I had never felt like that. I was different in a thousand
ways from yesterday. But the knowledge that such strength was
within me gave me the courage to go on. 25
Women's memoirs often reflect the emergence of a feminist
awareness and a new sense of cultural and social independence that is
manifested in critical stances towards patriarchal behavior.26 Especially
women living on their own resources in exile had to learn quickly how to
assert themselves in a man's world. Irene Gruenbaum was one of them,
and she remembers an incident in Albania, where she met a group of
fellow refugees outside a Jewish meeting place. The men were engaged in
54


conversation but when she approached they suddenly fell silent. Angrily,
she confronted them about their 'boy's club' mentality.
Do you think it is right to keep information from me that is
perhaps as important for my life as it is for yours and your
family? Does it hurt your pride, that a woman wants to take
part in your men's discussion? Have you forgotten that [my
husband] is not with me, and that I have to think for
myself?"27
Coming to terms with the dehumanizing issues surrounding the
Holocaust and exile life became crucial for the struggle for survival. The
added dimension of women's voices tells of gender-generated patterns of
persecution. To be sure, most accounts by men and women tell of
hardships and fear, of desperation and courage, of perseverance and
humiliation, of external and internal conditions surrounding life in the
camps and in exile. Yet, women's autobiographies portray an added sense
of victims' vulnerabilities. Women faced the ordeals of deportation and
transplantation in different ways than men. Women often had to
overcome overt patterns of sexual discrimination operating against them
inside Germany as well as in male dominated exile communities.
Hertha Beuthner describes such ordeals in the Jewish ghetto in
Shanghai, where, as a single woman, she was not able to rent a room of
her own. Instead, she was forced to move in with other refugee families or
work as a live-in-maid in other homes where she was constantly harassed
by the men of the house.28
The dynamics of gender-based socialization and oppression emerges
clearly in women's narratives. Abuse and exploitation by SS officials as
instruments of terror and control involved primarily women.2^ The
themes of sexual violence and humiliation are therefore constant fixtures
in most of the works written by and about women. In many aspects,
women's sexuality constituted an additional dimension of Nazi
55


persecution. Their memoirs document how the machinery of destruction
did single them out as women, as wives and as mothers. There are
frequent references how Nazi bureaucrats took advantage of their
vulnerabilities as single women, as caretakers of their families or as
guardians of their children.
Annemarie Wolfram relates such a case of sexual harassment in
her autobiographical account written in 1940. It concerns the
victimization of her mother and other women by Gestapo officers as seen
through the eyes of a young daughter. While working to obtain
emigration visas for her imprisoned husband, herself and the children,
the mother was forced to cooperate with the Nazi bureaucracy, and one
officer in particular, who knew how to exploit the situation on sexual
terms. The daughter reports the following episode:
A few of Mom's women friends said they thought that Mom's
particular Gestapo officer was unusually nice and friendly.
When Mom heard this she laughed full of bitterness, "I call this
the friendliness of a cannibal. It's written all over his face how
overjoyed he feels with anticipation. As if he were thinking:
'How appetizing she is looking. How good she will taste.' And
Mommy was right. One time the guy said to her, "We know
each other very well by now, don't we. I can see, you are.
wearing a different blouse today. You really look very attractive
in it." [...] Mom cried.30
Sexuality played a crucial role in the history of Jewish persecution
and annihilation, one which may not be overlooked in the portrayal of
the overall destruction. Women's memoirs provide us with detailed
descriptions of gender-based discrimination that constantly threatened
their survival. Marlene Heinemann's study Gender and Destiny. Women
Writers and the Holocaust provides a thorough investigation of sexual
abuse cases reported in the literature. Although the exchange of sex for
greater survival odds in the camps was also part of the male experience,
56


Heinemann points out that sexual exploitation as an instrument of power
was primarily directed towards female inmates. A quote from Fania
Finelon's autobiography Playing For Time underscores the brutality and
gender specificity of such abuse in the camps:
A couple of months previous, [commander Tauber] had brought a
thousand women out into the snow, lined them up, entirely
naked, in the freezing air, then moving along their ranks, lifted
their breasts with the tip of his whip. Those whose breasts sagged
went to the left, those whose breasts remained firm went to the
right and were spared a little longer, except of course for those
who perished from the cold.31
The range of cases documenting women's gender-based
victimization defies the categorizations subsumed under the terms sexual
abuse, assault, cruelty and rape. Perhaps the physical and psychological
traumas resulting from such brutalities have prevented many women
from ever reporting their case histories in writing.
Sometimes, however, women were able to rig the racism, sexism,
and sadism of their tormenters in order to secure their own survival.
There are a number of reported cases where women outsmarted the
patriarchal system by turning their vulnerabilities into unique tools for
escape. This became apparent when women exploited the role of sexual
temptress in order to outmaneuver Nazi officials, and thus succeeded in
overcoming their oppressors. Paula Littauer describes her tactics as a
Jewish refugee, when she escaped from Berlin in 1943. She attempted to go
across the border with a fake French passport. In order to save herself and
her women friend from detection by Nazi customs officials on the train,
she offered to pay a German prostitute to travel with her. At the border,
the German woman began to flirt with the officer and seduced him at the
right time in an adjacent train compartment. The scheme worked. Littauer
slipped across the check point and survived the war as an illegal refugee in
57


Belgium. The wit of women like her point to gender generated strategies
of resistance based on resourcefulness and courage.32
The legacies of women's memoirs extend well beyond the
established paradigms of remembrance. Besides accounting for an
objective, factual, and historical reality, women's memoirs succeed in
infusing our understanding of the Holocaust with a new gender-based
specificity without which the historical realm would remain remote and
abstract.33 The history of persecution, oppression, and destruction of
Jewish life was based very much on a differentiation between the sexes.
Rather than abstracting from these differences in order to distill universal
historical lessons, we need to focus more on the distinct circumstances
separating male and female experiences, without essentializing either.34
Anne Frank: Diaries. Gender, and the Adolescent Heroine
Now that I have demonstrated how gender has emerged as a useful
subject position in Holocaust studies, I shall continue the story about the
gender specificity of Holocaust history by applying the concept of gender to
the study of the Diary of Anne Frank.
In addition to the themes outlined in women's testimonials, an
acceptance of psychoanalytic theory in the creation of gender has recently
brought forth a feminist practice of psychoanalysis that is particularly
helpful in approaching the Diary of Anne Frank. Specifically, the Diary
illustrates themes in feminist practice based on a revised interpretation of
Freudian theory developed by Carol Gilligan.
Gilligan's essay "Joining the resistance" 35 centers on the
58


development of teenage girls. In it, she responds to charges that her
earlier work, which valued gender difference as a dynamic for women's
moral choices, was 'essentialist'. She demonstrates in her complex
exposition that there are possible points of 'resistance' in adolescence
which can bring about social change.
Gilligan's theory is that adolescence for girls in some ways parallels
the Oedipal situation in young boys. Until the age of about twelve, girls
exhibit energy, questioning, and self-confidence in their own knowledge.
But in adolescence, an idealization of 'the perfect woman' is accompanied
by loss. The loss is of themselves, of the embodied girl/woman, and with
it, disconnection from whatever particular and real knowledge they had.
Freud observed the price paid for entry into womanhood a seeming
diminishment of an attitude of intelligence and initiative. Gilligan
accepts Freud's model for how culture reproduces itself, but she sees a
capacity for change in the 'nominal essence' of woman. Anne Frank,
between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, struggled with the issues of how a
woman can be the subject of her own life.
The editing, or censorship, of Anne Frank's diary is a case in point.
When he first had the Diary published, Otto Frank had to bear several
points in mind. To begin with, the book had to be kept short so that it
would fit in with a series format by the Dutch publisher. In addition,
several passages dealing with Anne's sexuality were, omitted. According to
Mr. Frank, at the time of the diary's initial publication in 1947, it was not
customary to write openly about sex in books for young adults. Out of
respect for the dead, Otto Frank also omitted a number of unflattering
passages about his wife and other residents of the Secret Annex. Anne
Frank wrote without reserve about these subjects, and of her likes and
dislikes.
Gilligan's piece is about 'voice.' Her experiences working with 'The
Outing, Writing, and Theater Club' of the Atrium School, a girl's school in
59


Watertown, Massachusetts, include analysis of various art exhibits and
literature, including the Diary of Anne Frank. The girls' group fosters
independent expression. In conjunction with her research on girls,
Gilligan interviews teachers of the Laurel School in Cleveland. The latter
interviews reveal that adolescent girls are often 'corrected' by women who
have gained some measure of institutional authority. For example, the
girls at Laurel critique "To a Coy Mistress" with a reading which gives
voice to the young mistress. These older women have themselves
conventionally avoided anger and conflict in the public sphere as part of
their culturally inherited gender formation. Gilligan suggests an
alternative discourse of mothering, mentoring and the feminine. The
concept of 'voice' assumes the possibility of authenticity.
Gilligan's young women at the Outing Club read the Diary and have
much in common with the diarist. Anne is in conflict. What Anne is
learning, and fighting, is to what extent she must bring herself into line
with the world around her. Anne both hesitates and wishes to bring
herself into agreement with others so as not to 'mess up' relationships.
This urgent desire for human connection to bring one's own inner world
of thoughts and feelings into relationship with the thoughts and feelings
of others feels very pressing to girls who fight for authentic relationships
and who resist being shut up, put down, or ignored. 36
Anne Frank, in one of the diary entries suppressed until publication
in 1989, comments on the silences which surround the subject of sex. In
her full entry for March 18, 1944, at the age of fourteen, she writes:
Dearest Kitty,
I've told you more about myself and my feelings than
I've ever told a living soul, so why shouldn't that include sex?
Parents, and people in general, are very peculiar when
it comes to sex. Instead of telling their sons and daughters
everything at the age of twelve, they send the children out of
the room the moment the subject arises and leave them to
60


find out everything on their own. Later on, when parents
notice that their children have, somehow, come by their
information, they assume they know more (or less) than they
actually do. So why don't they try to make amends by asking
them what's what?
A major stumbling block for adults though in my
opinion it's no more than a pebble is that they're afraid their
children will no longer look upon marriage as purity is a lot
of nonsense. As far as I'm concerned, it's not wrong for a man
to bring a little experience to a marriage. After all,it has
nothing to do with the marriage itself, does it?
Soon after I turned eleven, they told me about
menstruation. But even then, I had no idea where the blood
came from or what it was for. When I was twelve and a half, I
learned some more from Jacques, who wasn't as ignorant as I
was. My own intuition told me what a man and a woman do
when they're together; it seemed like a crazy idea at first, but
when Jacques confirmed it, I was proud of myself for having
figured it out!
It was also Jacques who told me that children didn't
come out of their mother's tummies. ... Jacques and I found
out about the hymen, and quite a few other details, from a
book on sex education. ...When I came here, Father told me
about prostitutes, etc., but all in all there are still unanswered
questions.
If mothers don't tell their children everything, they hear it in
bits and pieces, and that can't be right....37
It is Anne's pride at her knowledge of her body that cannot be public
knowledge, and the suppression of which leads to psychological resistance,
i.e. a neurotic double vision in woman. There is a long entry for March 24,
1944 in which Anne comments on how easy it is to see the male genitals,
which she knows by photographs of male nudes, compared to a girl's parts.
She is intensely curious to get her descriptions right. "Until I was eleven
or twelve, I didn't realize there was a second set of labia on the inside,
since you couldn't see them.... I asked Mother one time what that little
bump was [the clitoris], and she said she didn't know. She can really play
61


dumb when she wants to!(my italics added). Anne then gives herself the
task of describing a woman, as a kind of dare/challenge to herself. "Okay,
here goes!..That's all there is, and yet it plays such an important role!"
Again, the tone is one of knowing the world honestly by knowing her
own body. Also, this is a writing exercise: describe a scene. It is clear from
Anne Frank the link between women's embodiment, owning one's body
with pride, and her direct perception of the world at large.
But both the suppression and the expression of what women know
is dangerous. A way out for girls, according to Gilligan, is to have more
honest women mentors, be they mothers or teachers. Part of Anne's
difficult relationship with her mother is Mrs. Frank's role of
indoctrinating Anne into the more restrained and constrained role of
traditional womanhood.
There is an aspect of their mother-daughter entanglements outside
of this theoretical frame. Anne's identification with her father and
denigration of her mother is typical of women who see traditional
women's activities as inadequate, in Freudian (pre-feminist) terms:
(April 11, 1944) I'm becoming more and more independent of
my parents. Young as I am, I face life with more courage and
have a better and truer sense of justice than Mother. I know
what I want. I have a goal, I have opinions, a religion and
love. If only I can be myself, I'll be satisfied. I know that I'm a
woman, a woman with inner strength and a great deal of
courage!
If God lets me live, I'll achieve more than Mother ever did, I'll
make my voice heard, I'll go out into the world and work for
mankind! I now know that courage and happiness are needed
first!"
This reading of the Diary of Anne Frank based on gender as a
historical frame of reference undermines the reading of Anne Frank as
idealized myth.
62


However, as textual deconstruction is a fluid process, let me further
question the seamlessness of the reading which forefronts gender.
Insistence on a singular reading undermines another important discourse.
Gilligan's feminist psychoanalytic theories when applied to an analysis of
the Diary of Anne Frank ignore the excruciating special conditions under
which it was written. The Holocaust is downplayed in gender-based
studies of the diary. Anne's Jewish identity is not explored when one
speaks of the diary as indicative of female adolescent development in
such extreme and life-threatening circumstances. The tension in the
communal household of the Secret Annex was intense. It may be that
Anne acted out her terrors on her loving family because of these
exceptional and abnormal conditions.
Anne herself revised her diary with a view to future publication.
Perhaps Otto Frank's censorship of Anne's harsh judgments of others,
especially of her mother, was an interpretation that, ironically, represented
Anne's final relations with her family more faithfully than her own
words. After all, in the concentration camps Anne in her last days was
quiet, her 'chatterbox' enthusiasm gone.3 The Frank women clung to
each other until they died, the mother at Auschwitz, the sisters within
days of each other at Belsen. The family, when directly threatened,
reacted as a loving, mutually protective unit. However, posterity insists on
having access to the 'true voice.' The complete written 'witness' of the
diary, in this case as the alternative discourse of a feminist text, ignores
Anne's last days.
63


Anne and Moshe: Two Adolescent Diaries of the Holocaust
I have considered the Diary of Anne Frank as the quintessential
heroic example of Holocaust literature, and as a subject of gender studies:
Anne Frank as a young woman struggling with the contradictions of the
roles of women in Western society at mid-century. There is an additional
reading of Anne Frank concerning gender. A discussion of the place of
women in Judaism is an unspoken text in the Diary Once again, Carol
Gilligan's thesis of judgments about traits in adolescent girls and the
cultural reproduction of patriarchy3? helps elucidate this problem of
gender bias although, as I have stated, Gilligan herself is not interested in
Anne's Jewish identity. The way in which Jewish post-Enlightenment
emancipation interacts with the conflicts of gender identity inherent in
woman's emancipation has not been a subject for Anne Frank studies.
Gender bias appears in commentaries on the Diary of Anne Frank
around the issue of women and Judaism. The most famous Holocaust
diary of adolescence, Anne Frank's, is often compared to that of the 18-
year-old Moshe Flinker's, The Diary of MosheA Commentary and
comparison of these two Holocaust diaries by such critics as James Young,
a leading writer on the representation of the Holocaust in art and
literature, and by Marie Syrkin immediately brings to light gender-based
perceptions and gender bias. Thus, an explication of the critical reception
of these two Holocaust diaries by adolescents is useful as a case study.
The Flinker and Frank families were economically both well-to-do
before the advent of Hitler. Moshe was one of the seven children of
Polish-born Eliezer Flinker, a businessman residing in Holland who fled
to Belgium in 1942 with his family to live openly in Brussels on an
'Aryan' permit. Moshe's diary was discovered in the basement of the
64


Flinker's apartment after the war and published in Israel in 1958.
The families differed in religious orientation. The Flinkers were
Orthodox, whereas the Franks were affiliated with the Liberal/Reform
movement of Judaism. The use of terminology is important. Young's text
refers to the Franks as assimilated, rather than as Liberal, which over-
emphasizes their identity in the non-Jewish world, rather than validating
their Jewish identity. The assumption of these critics is that a Liberal
(Reform) Jew is not really a Jew.
The boy Moshe's fundamentalist religion, his Zionism and his
plans for his future are taken seriously and sympathetically. Moshe
spends his days reading Hebrew and Yiddish books. His only non-
religious studies entail learning French and Arabic, because after the war,
he writes in December 1942, he intends to be "a Jewish statesman in the
Land of Israel." Marie Syrkin comments, "But the boy is not indulging in
an idle fantasy; he is a believer waiting for Redemption."^ Moshe, the
Zionist is "troubled by the premonition that the sufferings of the Jews will
prove meaningless, the survivors will reject redemption: "I have often
asked my Jewish acquaintances what they think the state of affairs will be
after the war and I have always received the same answer that everything
will be as it was; we shall continue to stay where we now live and life will
go on as before." (November 30, 1942) 42 The boy declares that this is not
G-d's will; in his world view, the Jews were driven out so they would
return to the land of Israel. Because he gives a religious rationale, he is
"brooding, scholarly, obviously an llui (a prodigy). He engages in a
theodicy which rivals that of [the Warsaw ghetto diarists] in its probing,"43
Moshe at no point diminishes the horror that is taking place; he
interprets the war and the destruction of the Jews as a preparation for the
coming of the Messiah:
I think that this war will end with the downfall of most of
65


the world because all have tortured our people. As I see it,
the only thing that is delaying the approach of our salvation
is that certain countries have not committed enough sins to
blacken their names completely. The most important of
these nations are England and America (the sins of Germany
and Russia are now sufficiently enormous). Now,when
England and America every day drop bombs on defenseless
towns, on women, children and the aged, their list of sins
must be getting longer.... But it is as yet impossible to be saved
for the American has not amassed his quota of sin. (June 13,
1943)44
After this Syrkin still can write, "Despite this passage, Moshe is no
religious zealot..." Yet she refers to him elsewhere as "the possessed boy
wandering on a Brussels street."45
Let us attach consideration of gender to Moshe's vision. Jewish
emancipation in Europe coincided with woman's emancipation as a
product of the Enlightenment. In Moshe's religious world, Anne Frank
could not have existed. First, as a woman, Anne is a product of the
Enlightenment in education and attitude. Second, the Orthodox religious
rationale for the Holocaust is that Jews became assimilated. In the
Orthodox view, the Jews had abandoned their traditions. This position
invalidates carte blanche the Franks' suffering, as the Orthodox blame Jews
like the Franks for their own annihilation.
If one looks at Moshe's diary as a reflection of the development of a
16-18 year old male adolescent, what emerges? At a time when according
to Freudian views of normal male development, one is beginning to
assume those prerogatives promised to males in infancy but delayed until
puberty choosing work and looking for a mate- what are his options? He
is a lonely boy, pretending to be Christian. He watches the gaiety and
indifference of young Belgians from afar.46
Normal social contact is denied him. He sublimates in religious
fervor. His father is a businessman, but Moshe can neither get a job, nor
66


attend a school to prepare for a profession. However, the role of 'Yeshiva
boy/ in a solitary school of one, corresponds more or less to a 'normal' and
accepted male role. There is nothing normal in his situation, but this
identification with G-d the Father approximates a path into manhood in
the prewar (and pre-emancipation) world. He funnels his personal rage
and disillusionment into his apocalyptic vision. "[H]e never questions
divine justice" says Syrkin. But to do so would be to face meaninglessness
and a crisis of identity.
An Orthodox girl would not be allowed to read the books in which
Moshe exercised his intelligence and took solace. The terrible dilemma of
the trapped Finker family is revealed through this sharply etched diary.
Yet its production as well as reception illuminate choices that are issues of
gender as well as of the Holocaust.
In James Young's comparison of Anne and Moshe, quotations from
the play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett entitledTTie Diary
of Anne Frank indiscriminately mix with passages from Anne Frank's
diary on which the play is based. The use of the play as a substitution for
Anne's diary is a sign of disrespect. The play is a separate work of art.
Both are interpreted as 'sunny,' a verdict I believe, accurate for the play but
not the diary. More sentimental than the diary, it is the play which
launched the process of turning Anne Frank into the idealized symbol of
the Holocaust victim, petulant but pure at heart. Young analyzes Anne
and Moshe's diaries:
It is worth comparing the language, themes, preoccupations,
and conclusions of the two best-known Holocaust diaries of
"young people," Young Moshe's Diary and The Diary of a
Young Girl. Both Moshe Flinker and Anne Frank were
Dutch-reared, teenaged diarists in hiding, who eventually
perished in the camps. But where Moshe was reared in a
religious home, a Zionist, and wrote his diary in Hebrew,
Anne was assimilated, non-Zionist, and wrote in Dutch.47
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At this point Anne is set up for a fall, as the word 'religious' is used
to deny her Liberal religious affiliation. The sentence is framed in a
dichotomy on Moshe's terms. I shall reverse the bias, to illustrate its base
in gender, compounded by Young's slant towards religious Orthodoxy.
The two diarists could be compared this way in my version of this
comparison: Whereas Anne read widely, identified in an almost mystical
way with the fate of the Jewish people, practiced to be a journalist, while
crammed into limited space with seven others which tested the limits of
civility, Moshe retreated into visions of religious retribution and Jewish
nationalism.
Moshe's wish to be an Israeli statesman is a vision of upper-middle
class careerism, one that presupposes peace and tranquility along with his
apocalypse. Anne's view of a world of widened opportunity for her and
Jewish women like her, is one not necessarily included in Moshe's vision
of the future. Young, whose deconstruction of texts is usually impressive,
privileges the transcendental over Anne's relational expressions about
people, without deconstructing Moshe's supernatural beliefs:
Alternately jaded and optimistic, Anne's diary reflects both
the darkness around her and her own compulsion to be -and
therefore, it seems, to see good. 'It's really a wonder that I
haven't dropped all my ideals,' Anne writes two weeks before
her capture, because they seem so absurd and impossible to
carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I
still believe that people are really good at heart. Lsimply can't
build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion,
misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into
a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will
destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I
look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right,
that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility
will return again.48
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In my reading, Anne's Judaism pervades her life and diary. She
attends a Jewish Lyceum (June 12, 1942) before going into hiding. She tells
of pogroms in Germany in 1938 and her uncles fleeing to America. On
June 15, a long list of laws against the Jews are included: after May 1940,
the good times were few and far between, she states. She attends a
Zionist club against her grandparents advice, although "I'm not a fanatic
Zionist." When locked in the overcrowded garrett, irritability is rampant
and counter-productive to survival. Her writing about people and their
interchanges relieves the likelihood of destructive confrontations,
numerous as these are nonetheless. Her preoccupation with Jewish fate,
and her solidarity with it, is constant. On October 9, 1942, she writes a long
entry on the news, which she receives intermittently:
Today I have nothing but dismal and depressing news to
report. Our many Jewish friends and acquaintances are being
taken away in droves. The Gestapo is treating them very
roughly and transporting them in cattle cars to Westerbork,
the big camp in Drenthe to which they're sending all the
Jews... If it's that bad in Holland, what must it be like in those
faraway and uncivilized places where the Germans are
sending them: We assume that most of them are being
murdered. The English radio says they're being gassed.
Perhaps that's the quickest way to die. I feel terrible...but
that's not the end of my lamentations...Fine specimens of
humanity, those Germans, and to think I'm actually one of
them! No, that's not true, Hitler took away our nationality
long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth
than the Germans and the Jews.
This entry is typical. Anne is hungry for news and she reacts deeply at
each revelation about the Jews. My interpretation is that she takes the
news as if it is happening to her. Anne lives in a precarious little society; a
modicum of good cheer is a tactic for mutual survival. Yet fright, horror
stories, guns are a leitmotif throughout Anne's diary.
69


She personalizes the Holocaust. On December 29, 1943 she thinks of
her dead grandparents, then of a friend:
And Hanneli? Is she still alive: What's she doing? Dear God,
watch over her and bring her back to us. Hanneli, you're a
reminder of what my fate might have been.... Why do I
always think and dream the most awful things and want to
scream in terror? Because, in spite of everything, I still don't
have enough faith in God. He's given me so much, which I
don't deserve, and yet each day I make so many mistakes!
Thinking about the suffering of those you hold dear can
reduce you to tears; in fact you could spend the whole day
crying. The most you can do is pray for God to perform a
miracle and save at least some of them. And I hope I'm doing
enough of that!
Young's conclusion regarding Anne is that:
Even though she felt the suffering of millions, in the context
of her assimilated world view, it seems to have been as an
extremely sensitive and intelligent member of the human
community, and not as one who identified herself as part of a
collective Jewish tragedy."(my italics added.) In contrast,
Moshe Flinker identified with practically all of Jewish history
and politics from the start of his diary: as a self-conscious
Zionist who writes in Hebrew, he is both ideologically and
linguistically part of his people, (my italics added.) Following
his afternoon prayers on the last day of his diary, Moshe
writes, The sky is covered with bloody clouds, and I am
frightened when I see it....'Where do these clouds come
from?...every thing is clear to me....They come from the seas
of blood...brought about by the millions of Jews who have
been captured and who knows where they are? 'We are the
bleeding clouds.... We are witnesses; we were sent by our
people to show you their troubles..."
Though both of these young diarists met the same end, they
grasped their circumstances in radically different ways.
Where Anne might have seen beauty and hope in a fiery
sunset, Moshe "saw" only apocalypse. The "vision" of events
70


in these diaries depended on the languages, figures,and even
religious training that ultimately framed these testimonies.4^
Anne's references to the sky come in longings for nature. She loves
her adopted country, Holland. She wants to become a Dutch citizen after
the war, and she is deeply Jewish:
(April 11, 1944) We've been strongly reminded of the fact that
we're Jews in chains, chained to one spot, without any rights,
but with a thousand obligations. We must put our feelings
aside; we must be brave and strong, bear discomfort without
complaint, do whatever is in our power and trust in God.
One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come
when we'll be people again and not just Jews.!
Who has inflicted this on us? Who has set us apart from all
the rest? Who has put us through such suffering? It's God
who has made us the way we are, but it7s also God who will
lift us up again. In the eyes of the world, we're doomed, but
if, after all this suffering, there are still Jews left, the Jewish
people will be held up as an example. Who knows, maybe
our religion will teach the world and all the people in it
about goodness, and that's the reason, the only reason, we
have to suffer. We can never be just Dutch, or just English,
or whatever, we will always be Jews as well. And we'U have
to keep on being Jews, but then, we'll want to be.
Be brave! Let's remember our duty and perform it without
complaint. There will be a way out. God has never deserted
our people. Through the ages Jews have had to suffer, but
through the ages they've gone on living, and the centuries of
suffering have only made them stronger. The weak shall fall
and the strong shall survive and not be defeated!
These are the words of a young woman who identified herself very much
with the Holocaust as a collective Jewish tragedy.
The very popularity of Anne's diary makes it suspect to academic
critics, except for feminists. With this latter exception, there is an overlap
of negativity based on gender compounded with religious issues. Young
71


inadvertently provides a case study which demonstrates his own
theoretical position: that the reader of diaries, too, re-writes the Holocaust.
It took Anne Frank, a young woman of emancipated Judaism to
conceptualize and to give voice to tragedy as she observed, lived and wrote
it. Most importantly, Anne Frank gazes at men, at everyone and
everything, an attitude discouraged in Orthodox women. In her diary, this
woman-in-formation sees and tells, not only of 'the good', but of the
wilderness, the darkness.
72


FOOTNOTES
1. Judith Miller, One by One by One: Facing the Holocaust. (New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1990), vii.
2. Marie Syrkin and Ruth Kunzer, "Holocaust Literature I: Diaries and
Memoirs," in Byron L. Sherwin and Susan G. Ament, eds., Encountering
the Holocaust: An Interdisciplinary Survey (Chicago: Impact Press, 1979).
3. Janusz Korczak, Ghetto Diary (New York: Holocaust Library, 1978),
book jacket and p. 185. Janusz Korczak was the pen name of Hersh
Goldszmit. He considered Polish, not Yiddish, as his mother tongue. His
wife, Stefana Wilczynska, like Korczak from an upper middle class Jewish
social milieu similar to the Franks, worked by his side at the Orphanage
and also stayed to protect and die with the children. The United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
commemorated the 100th anniversary of his birth in the year of the diary's
publication, 1978. The flap refers to "the entire civilized world" observing
this anniversary. In language appropriately inappropriate for a Jew, the
blurb states he "has become a patron saint to educators and physicians
through-out the world."A "Statement of Purpose" about the Holocaust
Library, publishers of the book, opposite the title page reads: "The
Holocaust Library was created and is managed by survivors. Its purpose is
to offer to the reading public authentic material, not readily available, and
to preserve the memory of our martyrs and hero untainted by arbitrary or
inadvertent distortions. With each passing the memory of the tragedy of
European Jews, the greatest crime in the annals of mankind, recedes into
history. The witnesses and survivors of the holocaust are still alive, their
memories remain vivid; yet, a malicious myth about their experience
keeps rising before our eyes, distorting and misinterpreting evidence,
perverting history. As new generations arise, so grows the incredible
ignorance about our tragedy. Millions of men and women, Jews and
Gentiles, are unaware of the basic facts of the tragedy, may have never
even heard the word "holocaust." This is a seed of a new disaster. The
holocaust story should be untiringly told and retold making the world
aware of its lessons. This can contribute to that more construction which
alone may prevent a repetition of the catastrophe in our haterand-
violence-stricken world. Advisory Board: Alexander Donat (Chairman),
Sam E. Bloch, William H. Donat, Hadassah Rosensaft, Leon W. Wells, Elie
Wiesel."
73


4, 5. ibid., Korczak, pp. 687, 67.
6. Newerly in Korczak, p. 73-74.
7. The practice of shocking bourgeois conventions was specific
to the 'Young Poland' literary program. Of his own diary, Korczak
wrote in 1943: "I have read it over. I could hardly understand it.
And the reader? No wonder, that the memoirs are incomprehensible to
the reader. Is it possible to understand someone else's reminiscences,
someone else's life? It seems that I ought to be
able to perceive without effort what I myself write about. Ah,
but is it possible to understand one's own remembrances?"
Korczak, p. 151. x
8. Chaim Kaplan, Scroll of Agony (New York: Macmillan, Collier, 1965,
1973; Emmanuel Ringelblum, Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto (New
York: McGraw Hill, Schocken, 1958, 1974). Excerpts in
Byron L. Sherwin and Susan G. Ament, eds., Encountering the Holocaust:
An Interdisciplinary Survey (Chicago: Impact Press, 1979), pp. 226-265;
and Mary Berg, Warsaw Ghetto (New York: Fischer, 1945). Mary Berg,
who wrote in Polish, reached the U.S. in 1944. Emmanuel Ringelblum
took part in the ghetto uprising, survived it and was recaptured by the
Germans in 1944. Ringelblum and Chaim Kaplan died in camps.
9,10. Marie Syrkin and Ruth Kunzer, pp. 227, 236. One of
Ringleblum's early entries (May 9, 1940) is of an eight-year-old
boy who screams "I want to steal, I want to rob, I want to eat,
I want to be a German." In a hospital, Jewish mental patients praised
Hitler and gave the Nazi salute. (September 9,1940).
Kaplan, a religious man, interrogates G-d, with language that
recalls the Book of Job. "But He Who sits in Heaven Laughs." (October
24,1940).] For the first two years, each new Nazi decree surprises the
inhabitants, as they do not make sense in normal human terms. The
overall cold logic and design to the whole has not yet been taken in.
This is also the state of "confused hopefulness" in which Anne wrote
her Diary.
One of the many black ironies in the ghetto offered by these
three diaries is that radical separation of the Jews produced at first
some nationalistic reactions. This false hopefulness for relative
autonomy is typical of the illusions and delusions, in rumors
especially, controlled by the Nazis.
Anne, too, despairs of the endless round of argumentative
political speculation and rumor within her group. Kaplan writes
74


sardonically of the Jewish police (December 21, 1940): "The residents of the
ghetto are beginning to think they are in Tel Aviv. Strong bona fide
policemen from among our brothers to whom you can speak in Yiddish."
Mary Berg is one of the ordinary people about whom Kaplan is
condescending. The Jewish policemen with symbols of authority give her
a thrill: "I experience a strange and utterly illogical feeling of satisfaction
when I see a Jewish policeman at a crossing." (December 22, 1940) She
describes the "cordial" attitude of the inmates of the ghetto to the Jewish
police at this stage. Ringelblum confirms this general feeling (February 19,
1941): "You would have minded a Polish policeman so why don't you
mind a Jewish one?"
The diaries trace how within a year the Jewish police was the most
hated element in the ghetto. No later discussion could be more poignant
than the ghetto dwellers range of emotions, condemning but also
sympathizing with, the position of the other delegated authority of the
Germans, the Jewish Council. An instrument of the Nazis, the Judenrat
had to carry out the administration of the ghetto, and eventually, make
the selection for deportation. In Warsaw, the members of the Council
were not acknowledged Jewish leaders. Kaplan labels them "this criminal
gang;" Ringelblum refers to them as "ruffians." When there is starvation
and typhus (January 1942) those with money fare better, and the poor at
first fill the quotas required by the Germans.
There is ambivalence of judgment when Adam Czemiakow, head
of the Council, committed suicide on July 24, 1942. Mary, who takes
things at face value more than Anne Frank or the older Warsaw diarists,
writes of his "great courage and energy until the last moment";
Ringelblum has only a brusque note: "too late, a sign of weakness should
have called for resistance a weak man." Kaplan, who has been
Czerniakow's and the Judenrat's most savage attacker, writes, "His end
proves conclusively that he worked and strove for the good of his people;
that he wanted its welfare and continuity even though not everything
done in his name was praiseworthy." This reflects the basic dilemma of
the ghetto that it had to live and die by quotas if it were not to perish at
once.
In the descriptions of cultural activity, the distortion of meanings in
the ghetto comes through. Mary Berg, many of whose friends were
budding painters and musicians, describes the concerts and art exhibits of
her fellow students. At an exhibition of the work of her school, still lifes
are the most popular. Drawings of beggars do not attract many viewers.
"The spectators feast their eyes on the apples, carrots and foodstuffs so
75


realistically painted." An especially liked exhibit is the architectural
designs for postwar houses surrounded by gardens: "The visitors at the
exhibition look with pride at these housing projects for Poland of the
future...which of us will live to see it?" (September 28, 1941). Thus, the
physicality of the sensation of hunger dominates the making and
reception of art. There is minimal sublimational activity: enough to
channel hunger into the conventional genre of still-life. Ironically, this
humble art class exercise represents the communal aspirations of the
ghetto. Comments praising representational accuracy, (that of language as
mimesis), which would be only part of an array of critical commentary at
an art exhibit 'outside/ become the expression of communal desire. It is
not noted whether still -lifes were drawn from life or memory.
In architecture, the drawings share the conviction of students
outside the ghetto that urban housing estates were the sign of modern life.
One cannot tell if the Jewish students preferred the idiom of highrises in
glass and steel, or vernacular style projects from Mary's comments.
Outside the ghetto such housing estates, of the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, and
others, stood for a combination of practicality and utopian social vision.
Here utopia the Poland of the future- denies the Poland of the present.
The mundane, housing, is a heaven to be entered not by dying but by
living. Thus, in the endless ironies of the ghetto, utopia, no where, is
truly unattainable for these Jewish adolescents. These architecture
students still have hope, even hope in Poland.
Six months before the ghetto's last stand, Mary Berg describes the
appeals of the Jewish underground (September 20, 1942): "The population
is summoned to resist with weapons in their hands and warned against
defeatist moods...' Let us die like men and not like sheep' ends a
proclamation in a paper called To Arms." The ghetto had few arms. "To
die with honor" becomes the slogan of the Jewish fighters and the
uprising of April 1943. According to Marie Syrkin: "The notion that
dismembered European Jewry had tangible means of resistance against the
Nazi machine is part of the mythology of hindsight." The scope of this
thesis does not include a the discussion of the issue of Jewish resistance.
11. R. Ruth Linden,Making Stories, Making Selves: Feminist Reflections
on the Holocaust (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1993).
12. Ellen S. Fine, "Women Writers and the Holocaust: Strategies for
Survival" in Randolph L. Braham, ed.,Reflections of the Holocaust in Art
and Literature. Social Science Monographs, Boulder and The Csengeri
76


Institute for Holocaust Studies. (New York: Columbia University Press,
1990).
13. See Doris Sommer, "Not Just a Personal Story" in Bella Brodzki and
Celeste Schenk, eds., Life/Lines. Theorizing Women's Autobiography
(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988), p. 108.
14., 15. Sybil Milton, "Women and the Holocaust" in Renate Bridenthal,
ed., When Biology became Destiny. Women in Weimar and Nazi
Germany (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984), pp. 78, 93.
16. J. Kristeva, "Women's time" in Toril Moi, ed., The Kristeva reader
(New York: Columbia, 1979, 1986).
17. Irene Gruenbaum, "Balkan Exile: The Autobiography of Irene
Gruenbaum" Yearbook of the Leo Baeck Institute 39 (1994) 239.
18. Hilde Domin, "Among Acrobats and Birds" in Andreas Lixl-Purcell,
ed.,Women of Exile. German-Jewish Autobiographies Since 1933
(Westport, New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), p. 210.
19. Vera Laska, ed., Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The
Voices of Eyewitnesses Contributions in Women's Studies, #37
(Westport, Connecticut and London, England: Greenwood Press, 1983), pp.
102-112.
20. Carol Gilligan, "In a different voice: Women's conception of self and
morality" Harvard Educational Review, 47 (1977), 481-517; Carol Gilligan,
"Joining the resistance: Psychology, politics, girls and women," in L.
Goldstein, ed., The female body. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan
Press, 1991).
21. Charlotte Wolff, Hindsight (New York: Quartet Books, 1983), p. 161.
22. Ellen S. Fine, "Women Writers and the Holocaust: Strategies for
Survival" in Randolph L. Braham, ed., Reflections of the Holocaust in Art
and Literature Social Science Monographs, Boulder and The Csengeri
Institute for Holocaust Studies (New York: Columbia University Press,
1990), p. 79-96.
77


23. Ellen Schoenheimer, "Refugee Life in France" in Andreas Lixl-Purcell,
Women of Exile. German-Jewish Autobiographies Since 1933 (Westport,
New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), p. 109-120.
24. J. Bruner, Actual minds, possible words (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1986) as quoted in Catherine Kohler Riessman, Narrative
analysis Qualitative Research Methods Series 30 (Newbury Park, London,
New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 1993), p.14.
25. Gerda Klein, All But My Life (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957), p. 100.
26. Not every woman's testimonial focuses on gender issues. Margarete
Stem was a young housewife and mother of two children. Stern was one
of the very few refugees from Europe who survived the brutal treatment
of the Japanese after their occupation of Manila. The pain and shame
surrounding Stern's imprisonment caused her not to elaborate on any
gender specific aspects of her torments except by stating that "I don't want
to speak about the tortures and horrors of this time, other than saying that
more than 90 percent [of us] in Fort Santiago did not survive
imprisonment." Margarete Stern, "Wien-Manila (Philippinen)"
Manuscript 01/178, Ball-Kaduri collection, Yad Vashem. Published in
German in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed., Erinnerungen deutsch-j I discher
Frauen 1900-1990 (Leipzig: Reclam, 1992). Eng. trans. The German
Internet Project.
27. Gruenbaum, p. 244.
28. Hertha Beuthner, "Meine persunlichen Aufzeichnungen" (1946).
Manuscript, memoir collection, Leo Baeck Institute. An excerpt from this
text was published in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed., Erinnerungen deutsch-
j\ discher Frauen 1900-1990 p. 280-298. Eng. trans. The German Internet
Project.
29. Marlene E. Heinemann, "Female-Centered Themes: Anatomy and
Destiny,"Gender and Destiny. Women Writers and the Holocaust.
(Westport, New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), p. 13-35.
30. Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed.,Women of Exile. German-Jewish
Autobiographies Since 1933 p. 84.
78


31. Fania Finelon, Playing For Time (New York: Atheneum, 1977), p. 158.
32. Paula Littauer, "Jewish Survivors' Report No. 5: My Experiences
during the Persecution of the Jews in Berlin and Brussels 1939-1944"
Manuscript, Ball-Kaduri collection (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1945). Excerpt
in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed.,Women of Exile. German-Jewish
Autobiographies Since 1933 p. 133-147.
33. Regarding the renewed interest in womens autobiographies,
biographies and narrative analysis, see also: Susan Groag Bell and Marilyn
Yalom, eds., Revealing Lives. Autobiography, Biography and Gender
(Albany: SUNY Press, 1990); Shari Benstock, ed., The Private Self. Theory
and Practice of Women's Autobiographical Writings (Chapel HUl: UNC
Press, 1988); Interpreting Women's Lives The Personal Narratives Group.
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989); Georges Gusdorf,
"Conditions and Limits of Autobiography" in James Olney, ed.,
Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1980); Monika Richarz, ed.,Jewish Life in Germany.
Memoirs from Three Centuries (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
1991).
34. Perhaps this is the reason why women's autobiographies and
biographies have become the material of much academic study. Memoirs
are scattered in private hands and local libraries worldwide. The largest
Jewish women's memoir collection available can be found at the Leo
Baeck Institute in New York. The archives contain over 120 personal
accounts of German-Jewish women who emigrated from Nazi-Germany
or who survived the Holocaust camps. The Houghton Library at Harvard
University holds another collection of recollections, submitted in 1940 for
an essay contest entitled "My Life in Germany before and after January 30,
1933". These historical documents were written in both English and
German and present a close up view of women's experiences inside the
Third Reich and as refugees. Also, transcripts of a post-war oral-history
project in many languages were initiated by the Wiener Library in London
and the Ball-Kaduri collection of autobiographical texts located at the Yad
Vashem library in Jerusalem, Israel. Among the texts are descriptive
accounts by German-Jewish women who managed to escape Nazi
occupied Europe during the height of the war. A memoir collection was
assembled by the Sociology Department at the University of Vienna and
the Center for Anti-Semitism Research at the Technical University in
79


Berlin. The Viennese archive collection, entitled "Dokumentation
lebensgeschichtlicher Aufzeichnungen," contains unpublished memoirs
by Austrian Jews. The texts were collected by Dr. Albert Lichtblau and Dr.
Therese Weber. It primarily contains accounts from Austrian Jews,
among them more than twenty women, whose recollections were
compiled by Dr. Albert Lichtblau during the 1980's. All together, these
collections alone hold well over 350 documents written by women from
all walks of life that illuminate every aspect of Holocaust history.
35, 36. Carol Gilligan, Joining the resistance: Psychology, politics, girls
and women," in Goldstein, L., ed., The female body (University of
Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, 1991), p. 27.
37. Anne Frank, The Diary of A Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. Otto
H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, eds. (New York London: Doubleday, 1991),
p. vii. All diary entries in this section refer to this edition.
38. Willy Lindwer, The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank (New York
London: Anchor/Doubleday,1988).
39. Carol Gilligan, "In a different voice: Women's conception of self and
morality,", pp. 481-517.
40. Moshe Flinker, Young Moshe's Diary: The Spiritual Torment of a
Jewish Boy in Nazi Europe (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1971.) The Flinkers
were betrayed by an informer and arrested by the Gestapo during the
Jewish holiday of Passover in 1944, with the incriminating evidence of
religious observance around them. The parents and Moshe were killed at
Auschwitz; Moshe's siblings survived.
41-46. Marie Syrkin and Ruth Kunzer, "Holocaust Literature I: Diaries
and Memoirs," pp. 240-242.
47-49. James E. Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative
and the Consequences of Interpretation (Bloomington and Indianapolis:
Indiana University Press, 1990), pp. 27-28.
80


CHAPTER 3
ANNE FRANK AND NARRATIVES OF HOLOCAUST RESCUE
The subject of rescuers, a term used to describe people who aided
Jews during the Holocaust, is rich ground for teaching the Holocaust as a
morally uplifting story. As such, the subject figures prominently in the
reception of the Diary of Anne Frank as "beneficial myth." Indeed, the
rescuers theme is now an important component of 'teaching the
Holocaust' to children through the empathetic vehicle of Anne's Diary.
For example Karen Shawn, under the auspices of the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, an American organization whose
mission is to combat anti-semitism by building bridges to the non-Jewish
community, published a lengthy curriculum for teaching about the
Holocaust through excerpts of the Diary of Anne Frank. 1 It illustrates how
the myth has been extended. Popularity, the strength of the iconization of
the Diary, permits it to be a point of entry and an umbrella for teaching
about the Holocaust in its entirety. The topic of rescuers is prominent.
This guide is part of a vast recent literature, on Holocaust rescuers. The.
bibliography of Those Who Dared: Rescuers and Rescued: A Teaching
Guide for Secondary Schools published by the Los Angeles Jewish
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Federation contains over 280 items.2
The very words chosen to describe these persons the English
phrases rescuer, helper, protector, or the translation of the Hebrew term as
righteous gentile (a phrase linked to the Avenue of Righteous Gentiles of
the Holocaust center, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem) implies a set of
valorized activities or character traits. I liken the rescuers theme to the
heroic myth of Anne Frank (whether or not the particular incident of
rescue concerns Anne's entourage) because both are judged to be a correct
ethical models. What is gained, but what is lost, by forefronting the
rescuers discourse?
Belief in objectivity in research about and in the characteristics of
rescuers typifies most educators' work on this subject. This belief in
objective practice is epitomized by Lawrence Baron, a leading proponent of
the view that research has established measurable characteristics of
rescuers of Jews. Baron is the author of The Dynamics of Decency: Dutch
Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. 3 The title indicates the use of
symbolic and universal language found in Baron, Samuel Oliner and
others with a similar orientation. "Dynamics of decency" is a phrase
which presupposes that these people are decent because they saved Jews, a
noble sentiment but a tautology. This stance by scholars of the Holocaust
ignores opposite behavior, the annihilation of Jews, which was also based
on appeals to decency. Decency is a more culturally constructed and fluid
concept than these objectivists acknowledge. This article is one of a large
group in a similar vein. Samuel (Dimer's Altruistic Personality Project for
The Free Press is a case in point. The very word altruism, like hero, good
and evil, light and darkness, which is the vocabulary of this discourse,
belong to the philosophy of idealism.4 The pursuit of characteristics of
rescuers is the subject of much interfaith inquiry, as these studies mostly
highlight Christian helpers of Jews.
The case for objectivity is presented in the essay "Teaching About
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the Rescuers of Jews." According to this school of thought, Holocaust
educators have neglected what the author considers the reality of
measurement of character traits when treating the rescue of Jews in Nazi-
occupied Europe:
[T]hey usually employ approaches which fail to incorporate
the findings of recent research into the ideological,
psychological, situational, and sociological factors which
prompted individuals and groups to save Jews... To assist
teachers in preparing units on rescue, current theories about
which factors contributed to the decisions of rescuers to aid
Jews... include: conditions which promoted rescue on the
national and local levels, personal skills and circumstances
which facilitated the rescue of Jews, prior positive
relationships with Jews, social marginality, childhood
relationships with parents, affective and intellectual
socialization, an previous record of acting upon professed
political and religious beliefs.5
Baron's confidence in the ability to measure these categories and to predict
behavior is based on assumptions that I think are problematic at best: that
there is such an entity as the moral person. The myth of Anne Frank and
the rescuers narrative, which is part of it, rests on a need to define the
moral person, and to use the example of this person to recreate or
reinforce Enlightenment values.
He is providing a specific instruction and advocacy to teachers.
A discourse of this group is to arrive at "suggestions on how to integrate
ethics into school curricula/'^ Indeed, Baron's thesis is that "the rescuers
emerge as decent human beings acting upon feelings and principles that in
a setting other than the Holocaust would sound rather ordinary. For
students, this perception may make the rescuers more realistic role models
of ethical behavior than the idealized images of rescuers presented in
conventional Holocaust courses."7
But it is the very perversion of language and criteria for ethical
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judgment that makes the Holocaust a situation in extremis. The
possibility that the Holocaust may signify the collapse of Enlightenment
certainties and belief in the universality of ethics is the unstated,
repressed, rescuers text. This agenda is apparent in the article "Restoring
Faith in Humankind" which in the mid-1980's claimed that there was too
little research about the rescuers.8
Indeed, Baron's criticism on the use of the Diary of Anne Frank as a
class assignment in Holocaust studies is that it centers too much on Anne:
Teachers often assign The Diary of Anne Frank to include
something about the rescue of Jews within their Holocaust
courses. To be sure, it is a moving account of Anne's
introspective maturation while hiding from the Germans
with her family. As such it gently pays homage to every
Jewish youngster whose childhood and life were lost in the
Holocaust. Yet this strength is also its greatest weakness: it is
about Anne and not her rescuers. Although Anne mentions
them frequently in the book, the reader never learns exactly
who they were or why they sheltered the Franks. Indeed,
Anne invented names for her helpers to keep their identities
from being discovered by the Nazis and to protect their
privacy in case her diary ever would be published. Yad
Vashem's postwar interview with Victor Kugler (alias Mr.
Kraler) and the recently released memoirs of Miep Gies (alias
Miep Van Santen) reveal how much was not known
previously about the motivations of Anne's guardians, the
extent of their rescue and resistance activities, and the
punishments some of them endured for concealing the
Franks and other Jewish friends in the "Secret Annex.9
If one agenda in the myth of Anne Frank is to shape future behavior
towards tolerance, than the shift from the victims of the Holocaust to the
rescuers of these victims, as recommended in this quotation, is an
example of how the myth is continuously being re-written to meet the
needs of the present.
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Miep Gies and Anne Frank: A Rescuer's Legacy
The rescuer motif has always been a strong theme in the Anne
Frank story. In her book of memoirs, Anne Frank Remembered: The
Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family, Miep Gies
writes of her association with, and role in, the life of Anne Frank and her
family.10 Accounts of association with Anne Frank find eager listeners and
readers.
The story of Anne Frank is so well known that Miep seems to
assume the reader has familiarity with it before opening her book. Miep
Gies' memoir begins with a quotation of a diary entry on the frontespiece
which assures the reader of Miep's closeness to the Franks "Monday, 8
May 1944. It seems as if we are never far from Miep's thoughts.... Anne
Frank."
Otto Frank's attempted rescue of eight people, including his family
and four friends, required an almost symbiotic relationship with people
'on the other side' in the office administrative headquarters in which they
hid. "The eight Jews in the 'Secret Annex' remained quiet during the day
while business was conducted as usual in the lower part of the building.
They stirred only at night when the building was deserted. Their friends
in the office below Mr. Koophuis and Mr. Kraler, Miep Van Santen and
Elli Vossen kept their secret, brought food and even gifts, and provided
what news they could of events in the city.11
Miep Gies is the last survivor of the four friends of the eight Jews in
the secret hiding place whose daily help allowed Otto Frank, alone of the
eight, to survive the Holocaust. It was Miep who found and saved
Anne's papers and diary after the Frank's discovery and arrest on August
4,1944.
Two impulses seem to contribute to an interest in publication of
rescuers' literature, both in those who were part of Anne's life or death,
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and to prospective audiences. One factor is fame, the popularity of the
diary as a commercial marketing success. The name recognition of a
known commodity lends interest in a new publication, video or film.
Reproduction of fame, as Baudrillard suggests, has a life of its own in
popular culture. Anne's renaming of people for reasons of security may
have launched the persona of Anne's protectors as characters.
Apart from fame or money, more noble motives seem to compel
the rescuers to represent the Anne Frank myth in their own way. Those
who lived through the experience of occupied Holland, or in proximity to
the Frank's in hiding or in the camps, share with other 'witnesses' a sense
of obligation, a need to add their trace to the story. As in every aspect of
the Holocaust, denialists have refuted the authenticity of Anne Frank's
diary. Every fragment of every participant's memory of Anne Frank is
thus recruited as 'evidence' in an attempt at double rescue of the Franks.
Perhaps those who knew her try to resist the un-writing of her existence
and of her only progeny, her Diary .
According to Miep, the Gies' had reasons not to write their
memoirs. They valued privacy and shared a reticence to exploit the
unwitting dead. Nevertheless, the fame of Anne's story was a factor for
Miep, who believed she had information to add. The decision seemed
necessary at the time. When I was persuaded to tell my story, I
had to think of the place that Anne Frank holds in history and
what her story has come to mean for the many millions of
people who have been touched by it. I'm told that every night
...somewhere in the world the curtain is going up on the stage
play made from Anne's diary. Taking into consideration the
many printings of Het Achterhuis ("The Annex")...and the
many translations that have been made of Anne's story, her
voice has reached the far edges of the earth. 12
Thus, a recurrent motivation in both rescuers and survivors is
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stated in this Prologue: She and her husband are the lone survivors to
witness these events.
Another recurrent motif in rescuers testimonies is the shaping of
their events into a moral tale. Miep considers rescuers ordinary people.
Her first sentence gets right to the heart of what she thinks makes a
rescuer: "I am not a hero.... There is nothing special about me."13 She
immediately shifts attention to the twenty thousand
good Dutch people, who did what I did or more much more -
during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like
yesterday in the hearts of those of us who bear witness. Never a
day goes by that I do not think of what happened then.... but it
was not enough.... My story is a story of very ordinary people
during extraordinarily terrible times. Times the like of which I
hope with all my heart will never, never come again. It is for all
of us ordinary people all over the world to see to it that they do
not.14
Miep is a witness to Anne's existence, but no one can corroborate Anne's
truth. Miep thus wisely tells us in her title that it is a story about herself as
author, and in part her memories of Anne. But Miep actively contributes
to the dominant Anne Frank myth, in order to galvanize 'ordinary people'
to be vigilant anti-fascists. The non-specific nature of this injunction does
not seem to concern her. The more universal and diffuse in application
the better, according to the universalist ideology of the Anne Frank myth.
The problem as I see the usefulness of the myth is that the more general it
becomes, the less clear is its applicability to specific political or moral
choices in any localized situation. Thus, the very justification for myth-
making, the usefulness of the myth in unifying cooperative citizens in a
tolerant democracy, may instead deplete its power as a guide for choice and
action.
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Anne Frank Remembered :
Miep Gies in the Context/Text of Pueblo. Colorado
My encounter with the remembrance of Anne Frank as shaped by
rescuer narratives took a personal turn when I participated in a visit of
Miep Gies to Colorado on March 28, 1996. With the self-consciousness I
advocate for the study of the myth of Anne Frank, I dissect the recreation
and the continuous modifications in the use of that myth by the rescuer. I
add my own representation of my encounter with the Anne Frank myth
through Miep Gies.
The 1,000 seat theater of the Sangre de Cristo arts and conference
center in Pueblo, Colorado is filled. On a brightly lit stage facing the
audience Miep Gies speaks as guest of honor.
The film Anne Frank Remembered, based in part on her book of
memoirs of the same name, won an Academy Award as best 1996
documentary three days earlier. The fame and popular reproduction of
Anne Frank continues, as evidenced by the making of this new
documentary. As the ultimate public relations event with proven draw
for its honorees, the televised Academy Awards put a camera briefly on
Miep Gies. Yet, her draw as an attraction preceded the added fame of the
Academy Awards. The Pueblo auditorium was booked to capacity two
weeks before the Awards spotlight.
I refer to this elderly dignified woman and stranger by the first
name Anne used in her diary, as does everyone else, with the illusion of
intimacy that comes with celebrity through the Diary. She is the last
survivor of the entourage, the last of the chief players in the Anne Frank
story. In the audience I recognize others who like myself have driven
the 125 miles from Denver and further for the occasion.
Why did we come long distances to hear Miep Gies? After all, her
book of memoirs Anne Frank Remembered set down the 'information'
88


she had to offer.
My reasons for trekking to Pueblo to see and hear Miep are part of
the 'rescuers' discourse. I have come because she is the last. Just as
advancing age is an impetus for inmates of the camps to give testimony, I
sense this encounter is my last chance to hear directly from Holocaust
participants like Miep. The impending extinction of the opportunity to
'bear witness', to set the record straight, to speak out, passes on to the
audience in Pueblo. We become a kind of second generation or shadow
witness. "I saw and heard Miep Gies in person and she told me thus." I
will become a 'witness' with hear-say 'evidence,' with as individual an
interpretation in my narrative as in the various readings of Anne's life
and Diary,
We are fans but we are also a serious audience. I come to honor
this woman, unequivocally. She is a catalyst, an original before the
popular cultural reproductions which constitute Anne Frank's fame. In
this sense, she is the real thing. But I do not privilege her narrative. In the
telling, her account of her experience can only be text like all others. It is
to a body before a voice that I pay tribute. I have no need to categorize
"rescuers" or even to draw lessons, which Miep does in her address. Apart
from what she has to say, I want to make my gesture of support by my
attendance for a woman who put herself and her family in mortal danger
to save Jews. This one sentence statement is as close to a correlation of
authenticity as possible, of a match between signified and signifier,
experience in the language of experience. This is the meaning for me of
Miep Gies' appearance in Pueblo.
In this pilgrimage and homage to Miep Gies, I see traits in her
which I decided she possessed long before I came face-to-face in Pueblo.
Her personal presentation of herself in dress and speech is straightforward.
She wears a black dress and pearls, an elderly shortish woman with well
coiffed gray hair, neither self-effacing nor flamboyant, with lasting good
89


taste which is neither fashionable nor dowdy. Her manner and speech
are sober, likable but without a display of coquettish charm. I see in and
extrapolate from these signs the characteristics which I imagine were
necessary to her role during the German occupation of Holland in hiding
Jews: commitment, loyalty, intelligence, trustworthiness, down-to-earth
practicality, a sense of self-worth.
Her visit marks a historical event for the town of Pueblo. The
Pueblo event typical of a shift in the locus of Holocaust studies in America
from Jewish venues, to Holocaust remembrance by non-Jewish
institutions. The opening of the exhibit Anne Frank In The World has
brought Miep to Pueblo.^5 Eight distinct Holocaust exhibits open that
night at the Sangre de Cristo arts and conference center. On the stage with
Miep are rows of Pueblo area local celebrities: political leaders and office
holders, school board members, trustees of the arts center. There are
Hispanics, as this is southern Colorado, a rabbi, pastor, and priest,
museum staff. The Anne Frank Holocaust narrative presented here is one
of ecuminicalism. On stage, too, are. about a half dozen elderly Jewish
Holocaust survivors.
In the seat closest to the podium while she speaks is Cornelius
(Cors) Suijk, International Director of the Anne Frank Center in
Amsterdam and New York. About half-way through Miep's talk, an
aberration occurs. Cors mouths Miep' speech. It is a soundless, but not
vague, lip movement. Conspicuous, exaggerated, like operatic grimaces of
pronunciation, communicated to (could this be unintentional?) and
visible to the whole audience. This mime continues through the rest of
the speech until Miep finishes. Either Cors wants us, the audience, to
know that he has written this address interpreting Miep. Or he has read
and heard it so many times (he accompanies Miep to her public
appearance bookings) that he knows the speech by heart.
The meaning of this interaction between Cors, Miep and the
90


audience emphasizes that her voice, her telling, is a representation of the
Holocaust through Anne Frank made into a story, a recitation of oral
history. Mythic history. Her rescuers tale and the myth of Anne Frank
has become conventional, in several definitions of the word.
Conventional means "conforming or adhering to accepted standards, as of
conduct or taste; pertaining to convention or general agreement;
established by general consent or accepted usage, as in conventional
symbols; ordinary, as conventional phraseology; of figurative art,
represented in a generalized or simplified manner; of or pertaining to a
convention, agreement, or compact; in law, resting on consent; of or
pertaining to a convention or assembly."^
His gesture, rude and demeaning to Miep, may be 'simple' sexist
condescension. But it also underscores the conventional linguistic arena
that is the telling of the Holocaust. Miep's speech is a translation, as all
discourse of remembrance is a translation, of experience. He has
translated her Dutch words into English, her speech is his in some
proprietorial sense. His association with her is of the same kind that the
audience wishes to have; in the telling we want to share her heroism.
Whatever the motivation for Cors' pantomime, it nevertheless
emphasizes that Miep has mastered the difficulty that so many survivors
have in communicating their memoirs. Miep's experience is coherent,
organized, and put in language that is understandable to the experience of
the listener and audience, a public one or two generations distant from the
events. Her story, noble as it is, has become generalized and
conventionalized.
The purpose, or use, of Miep's visit is Holocaust education, as
defined as a lesson in ethics. Her visits to schools draws newspaper
coverage in the Pueblo Chieftain. Indeed, her talk has an urgency about it.
By her manner and address, I perceive a need to disseminate the meaning
she has derived from her life through her role in the Anne Frank story.
91


Miep is no pawn. There is collusion between the two, Miep and Cors, in
the English production of Miep's Anne Frank, a symbiosis of mission
between her and the Anne Frank Foundation.
Her talk has definite messages which constitute this education.
In her message, I listen for the particulars of Miep encounters with the
Jews in hiding. I have a preference for Holocaust materials which are
detailed, with a minimum of generalizations, while the audience in
contrast applauds loudest at general phrases about truth, brotherhood and
a brighter future, which reinforce the myth of Anne Frank. The people
Miep protected were her friends. "What struck me most about Anne was
her curiosity....When I came in the evenings, the residents of the secret
annex would gather in silence. It was Anne who usually began, with
"Come on Miep, what's the news?" Anne's overture was considered
forward by the non-family residents of the annex, "who attributed this to
her too liberal education." Miep waits for her laugh; the audience
responds appreciatively.
Miep's affection and admiration for Otto Frank comes through. He
is the source of her moral interpretation of Holocaust education through
Anne's Diary. "After the war, the building which hid the Franks
continued to function as offices. With the publication of the diary, the
building began to have visitors. I am Austrian by birth. One of the
happiest events in my life was when I became a Dutch citizen. I could not
tolerate the Austrian and German visitors. Mr. Frank would keep me
away from them as he knew my anger, and thought I might say something
to them. He taught me not to judge individuals by their nationality."
Frank said, according to Miep, that this is the same as stereotyping Jews.
Once again, Otto Frank positions his experience to envision a better world,
to find moral uplift in the Holocaust, in America and Holland. Secondly,
Miep wants to convey to parents a lesson to teach their children: "Tell
children to speak up, to not be bystanders." Every message of tolerance
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Full Text

PAGE 1

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK: USES OF HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE by Francine Haber B.A., Smith College, 1965 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Humanities 1997

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1997 by Francine Haber All rights reserved.

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This thesis for the Master of Humanities degree by Francine Haber has been approved by M. Kent Casper kra 0. Bookman.

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Haber, Francine (M. H., Humanities) The Diary of Anne Frank: Uses of Holocaust Remembrance Thesis directed by Associate' Professor M. Kent Casper ABSTRACT This thesis takes as a central work The Diary of Anne Frank. It defines and explores the meaning of the myth of Anne. Frank as a conduit of remembrance. of the Jewish Holocaust, 1933-1945. This paper asks what remains silent in the discourses surrounding the Diary, as well as what conclusions can be drawn from its cultural representations. The. project begins with texts that were instrumental in establishing the heroic Anne Frank narrative. Using publications of The Anne Frank Foundation and children's books as prime examples it shows how and to what purpose the myth has been extended as well as fragmented. The. thesis proposes alternative readings to the Diary. It brings together sources from both Holocaust studies, gender and woman's studies in a commentary on The Diary of Anne Frank. The study shows how and to what purpose the protectors, or rescuers, of Anne Frank from 1942 to 1944, and the theme of Holocaust rescuers in general, has come to prominence as part of the. iconization of the Diary. iv

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This thesis takes care to differentiate deconstruction of the myth from Holocaust denialists' refusal to accept the authenticity of the Diary. This abstract accurately represents the. content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. Signed M. Kent Casper v

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT My thanks to Professors Myra L. Rich, Myra 0. Bookman of the graduate faculty of the School of Liberal Arts, and especially to my advisor, Professor M. Kent Casper for their support and for sharing their knowledge.

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CHAPTER 1. 2. 3. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose of the Study, Methodology and Review of the Literature 1 Text versus Bodies: Experience/ Body as Text. 16 ANNE FRANK: HOLOCAUST DIARY AS GENRE/ GENDER Holocaust Diary as Genre: Five Case Studies of Personal Narrative Voice As History: Women's Memoirs and the Study of Holocaust History Anne Frank: Diaries, Gender, and the Adolescent Heroine Anne and Moshe: Two Adolescent Diaries of the Holocaust ANNE FRANK AND NARRATIVES OF HOLOCAUST RESCUE 39 40 46 58 64 81 Miep Gies and Anne Frank: A Rescuer's Legacy 85 Anne Frank Remembered : Miep Gies in the Context/Text of Pueblo, Colorado 88 vii

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Uses and Meaning of "Rescuers of the Holocaust: Portraits by Gay Block" 4. SUJviM:ARY AND CONCLUSIONS BIBLIOGRAPHY viii 114 117

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Study. Methodology and Review of the Literature [I]n spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death.... -Anne Frank, Saturday, 15 July 1944. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, 1989-1 My posthumous step-sister, Anne Frank, wrote. in her Diary: 'I still believe. that deep down human beings are good at heart.' I cannot help remembering that she wrote this before she. experienced Auschwitz and Belsen. -Eva Schloss with Evelyn Julia Kent. Eva's Story: A survivor's tale by the step-sister of Anne Frank. 1988.2 Anneliese Marie. Frank, called Anne, was a 13 year-old Jewish girl who hid with her family and friends for two years in an attic from the Nazi occupation army in Amsterdam until her apprehension and subsequent murder at the Bergen-Belsen death camp in March 1945. Anne Frank has become the very embodiment of the Holocaust. This sensitive adolescent's diary written in hiding is a document which continues to resonate with meaning. Its many translations, as well as readers, stage 1

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adaptations, films and quests for information about its author, increase steadily.3 As a representation of the Holocaust, the Diary has qualities that have made it an instrument of sympathetic remembrance, especially in the task of educating youth about a dark period of recent history. Anne Frank is a symbol of the Holocaust. But what is being remembered, and what taught? In this thesis, I refer to the content of the symbol that is Anne Frank as a "heroic myth" and "dominant discourse." This myth in encapsulated form was articulated by Henri van Praag, Chairman of the Dutch Anne Frank Foundation, in an essay of 1971: The objection has often been raised that propaganda and publicity for the diary [of Anne Frank] create a new myth which helps people to sublimate their guilt feelings under cheap sentimentality .... [N]o culture can exist without myths. Educators and statesmen stimulate the development of beneficial myths .... The history of National Socialism, of which Anne. Frank was one of the millions of victims, has proved that demoniacal myths take hold where humane myths are lacking .... When moral achievement is the basis of the myth as is the case with the diary that moral achievement can be. amplified through the. myth, to the salvation of all those who see it as a shining example .... Why shouldn't this noble. humane. document by a courageous child further elucidate that testimony for us? ... [D]emocratic society needs an honest, pure. myth, directed toward the. future of mankind, which can inspire. our young people to actions of courage and sacrifice in the service of tomorrow's world .... From the pedagogical point of view it is relevant to explain here that education is impossible without identification with an exemplary past, an educational ideal.. .. The faith of youth has been re-affirmed ... by confrontation with the diary and by the vision of Anne Frank as the symbol of a child who believed in the future.4 The myth of the diary of Anne Frank, then, is one of cultural salvation. What is being said or salvaged is democratic society after the Holocaust: 2

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Anne represents moral achievement, courage and sacrifice. The Frank family and the Anne Frank Foundation in Amsterdam, and since about 1959, most commentary and activity in the U.S. centered around Anne Frank, has amplified the myth as a "shining example." This "beneficial myth" has taken hold because of its power and a need. Van Praag saw the needs or uses of the myth in opposition to Fascism, the. "demoniacal myth" which is a "distortion of authentic history." The Anne Frank myth is a pedagogical tool. When I refer in this thesis to the myth of Anne Frank, it is to this dominant use as a representation of idealism, to the. assumption that morality is universal and such traits as courage, good and evil, have an absolute and generally accepted meaning. The evolution of the development of the myth of the Diary can be traced chronologically. The dominant myth started early. From the days of its first publication in the. 1950's, to the mid-1960's, Anne was perceived as a symbol of the Holocaust and sometimes of oppressed children. By the time the text quoted above from the Anne Frank Foundation was written in 1971, the dominant myth of Anne Frank was firmly established. By then, and up to the present, it was expanded to include Anne as a representation of all oppressed peoples. These people and causes are defined according to national and ethnic readings. This extension of the uses of the myth is typical of the programs and exhibits organized by the Anne Frank Institute and most American education, (including a local Anne Frank Arts and Essay Competition held for school children in Colorado through the auspices of the University of Denver). The Dutch Anne Frank House and Museum in the Netherlands, a research and educational center, is dedicated in its mission to the second stage of the dominant myth. In its application, the myth is transformed according to its speaker or writer: in the case of the House and Museum, cite of the Foundation, there is both a universalist and nationalistic 3

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component. Through programs and exhibits, Anne Frank is represented as pertinent to post-colonial discourse. Immigration, especially Turkish and Indonesian, internal political and social tensions concerning the. legacy of the Dutch colonial past, are filtered through the. message of Anne. Frank .. S Anne's legacy in Holland is similar to its use to further a harmonious multicultural society in the United States. Memory for the. Dutch in this instance consists of a care-taking role for a 'shrine of the book.' This may be read as an extension of Anne's relevance other than as a symbol of a Jewish Holocaust, or as a diminution of the Jewish focus of the Holocaust, depending on one's vested interest in remembrance.6 Otto Frank, Anne's father, was instrumental in defining the universalist and humanistic content of his daughter's memory. The Anne Frank Foundation's publications are produced in accordance with its mission to interpret Anne's legacy as a mandate to educate against racism and fascism. The last entry in an Anne Frank Foundation book of 1979, published in Dutch and German editions to mark Anne Frank's fiftieth birthday (June 12, 1929), is a quotation from Otto Frank: Nowhere in het (sic) diary does Anne speak of hate. She. writes that she believes in spite of everything, in the good in man: and that when the war is over she will work for the world and for mankind. This I have taken over from her as my duty. I have. received many thousands of letters. Above all it is the younger people who wish over and over again to find out how such dreadful events cold come about. I answer them as well as I can. Often I write at the end: "I hope that Anne's book with influence you in later life to work, as far as your circumstances allow, for peace and reconciliation' Otto Frank, 1979. 7 Yet, Anne does speak in her diary of her hatred for the Germans and for what is happening to her and the Jews. Perhaps the myth of Anne Frank has to do with Mr. Frank's condition as a Holocaust survivor. Primo Levi spoke of 'survivors disease' 4

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as total withdrawal from life, an inability to cope. In spite of 'writing the Holocaust' himself and possessing an exquisite awareness of this danger, Levi eventually succumbed to suicide.B Otto Frank, blessed with a positive outlook his entire life, is photographed often after the war among groups of children. He asked a companion at Auschwitz, who related the event in the 1996 film Anne Frank Remembered by director, writer, and producer Jon Blair, to call.him 'Papa,' stating that it was not for the young man's sake but for his own need. Denial, too, is an effective coping mechanism. Mr. Frank could not protect his family and friends from slaughter. He turned impotence and failure into action. He would make a better world, one safe for Anne. Anne was gregarious and sociable; the world's children were her companions and friends. Ht;! could try to take care of them. His elisions and forgetfulness, about Anne's written despair in favor of the oft-quoted belief in human goodness, directed his own energies to life rather than to self-defeating bitterness. The father had a second chance to save .his daughter by tending her writings and spreading her words, though these words were filtered through a parent's eyes. And with every dedication of a school named for Anne. Frank, with every answer to a child's letter and royal performance of a play or film, perhaps she saved him, by providing an uplifting purpose to his life as a Holocaust survivor. The 1979 book of tribute is also both universalist and a particularly Dutch discourse. This publication offers a wealth of previously unpublished illustrations of the Frank family, of life. under of the camps. Several of these illustrations depict the Dutch resistance and heroism (but no photographs show meetings of the Dutch Nazi party). The collection of material was expanded as a multilingual Anne Frank in the World.9 Expansion of interpretations of the heroic myth can be found closer to home in juvenile literature written in English which takes Anne. Frank 5

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and her diary as subject. These books are meant to 'teach about the. Holocaust.' It is apparent that they are conceived as educational tools, for they include appendixes such as a glossary, index, further reading list, chronology, and the like. Nearly all of the books written for elementary and middle school children based on the diary or the. fame of Anne Frank since the 1980's end with a moral, uplifting message that is an essential ingredient of the dominant myth, thereby reinforcing and enlarging its scope. Curiously, however, many children's books tell a complex story nevertheless, a story or stories that may deny reaffirmation of the myth. These internal contradictions of texts point to a questioning, a breaking up of the myth itself at the same time that the myth is affirmed. The children's book Anne Frank: Child of the Holocaust by Gene Brown typically extends the myth. Brown intertwines prejudice in general and particular American situations with the narrative of Anne's background: "Jews.had lived in Germany for hundreds of years. Often they were victims of prejudice, much like that faced by some groups, such as blacks in the United States .... "She [Anne] set an example. for everyone, everywhere." The book is part of "The Library of Famous Women" series. The choice of this series' subjects are ethnically diverse and politically adventurous. Anne's fame exists prior to, is a criterion for, and is reinforced by her selection in the series.lO Yet, the book gives some political background to the. Holocaust, naive as it is: the link between the Depression and the Holocaust is made inevitable. Laws against the Jews are surveyed. Brown mentions (albeit briefly) Holocaust denialists and the subject of responsibility and betrayal. Along with the dominant myth of the inspirational, good Anne presented in this book, is a contradictory discourse. In addition to the topics just mentioned, this book slightly hints at some conflict in gender identity in a way atypical for much of the literature on Anne Frank, adult or juvenile: "What kind of life would she lead as an adult? She wanted "something 6

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besides a husband and children." Also included is this statement which was made by Otto Frank: "the father acknowledged that the diary 'revealed a person more complicated than the daughter he thought he knew."' The aspect of this book, too, which considers the quality of Anne's attraction to the opposite sex distinguishes it from all others; perhaps the orientation of a series devoted to famous women explains this latter subject position. The children's book Anne Frank: What Made Them Great by Laura Tyler, illustrated by Gianiti Renna assumes the view that history has heroes (and heroines). Books in this series according to its publishers are "compelling biographies that explore ... the crucial events that shaped the lives of famous individuals." Typical of the heroic myth of Anne Frank, the pictures are prettified. Anne is drawn as a generically attractive darkhaired child. Two images resemble her likeness in photographs. The rest are more akin to actresses who have impersonated Anne. The drawings are so normalized that the four scenes of Anne in the extermination camps are only as unpleasant as Hollywood depictions of scruffy homeless people. The Secret Annex has a scene of a social gathering in which a piano is being played, and Edith Frank is represented with light hair and features, Mother, rather than as a woman with a particular voice and history. The illustrations show a profound repression of the conditions and consequences of hiding during the Holocaust. Rather, the book's illustrations emphasizes normalcy and sentimentality.ll Anne is given interior thoughts by the author, and remains a heroine to the end. The recovery and publication Anne's diary serves as a redemption in this book. The last chapter "The Wonder of Life" if not quite a happy ending, provides one with hope. Thus the reader is emotionally let off the hook. We are told of Otto's survival, how happy he was to learn of the diary. The chapter is a homage to the Netherlands. The books ends: "The. main goal of the [Anne Frank] foundation is to continue Anne's struggle for peace in the world ... .It is 7

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impossible to forget that tragic August day when the refugees were discovered. But above all else, there remain the thoughts of a young girl. Even though she grew up with suffering, she taught the. world something about the wonder of life." Yet in contradiction to the dominant universalist myth that these passages represent, Tyler's written text keeps a focus on Jewish persecution. "The Franks were Jews. They were devout members of the. Jewish religion .... The Jews, especially, were wrongly considered inferior." While it extends the danger to "other people who appeared 'different'" it states clearly, "Throughout these nightmare years, Jews continued to be persecuted the most." What is more, in a chapter frankly called "From One Corner of Hell to Another"the book as written (but not as illustrated) gives one of the strongest portrayals of concentration camps in the Anne. Frank literature for children. Also, the au thor respects her subject; she attributes to Anne the word 'writer,'. a status of being and not of potential: "The diary became famous throughout the world. The book sold millions of copies. Over the years, it has been translated into dozens of languages, including Chinese and Arabic. There also was a stage. play and a movie. based on the diary. Today, Anne Frank's name is remembered everywhere. Just as she had wished, she did become a famous writer." These are representations of Anne's experience quite. different from the author's last pronouncements, which are a reaffirmation of the dominant myth. Representations of Anne Frank in children's literature are influenced by the book's country of origin. The first edition of Richard Tames' book Anne Frank was English. Thus, there is a photograph of a dining hall captioned "Did you get enough to eat? Jewish refugee children in England." The message is to portray England as sympathetic to Holocaust victims.12 Atypical of this literature, there are pictures of Jewish contemporary life intermingled with Anne's tale, even though the 8

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publishers are not a company with a specifically Jewish audience. Most of the book is about Anne's self-creation through writing. The last paragraph is unique in Anne Frank children's literature, sensitive to gender issues and adolescent identity formation: "Anne wanted to live after her death through her writing. She has." This book is different enough in its representation to qualify as an alternative reading in children's literature, rather than as a continuation of the dominant myth. The Chelsea House Publishers issued two books on the subject of Anne Frank for different age groups. Sandor Katz' Anne Frank is part of the Chelsea Juniors publications; Richard Amdur's Anne Frank is written for The Chelsea House Library of Biography.13 The central thesis of the Chelsea books is to justify biography as genre, in other words, to defend legitimation of the subject. The books endorse this world view of an integrated self and appeal to the American propensity for individualism. They "introduce ... the. men and women whose actions, ideas, and artistry have influenced the. course of world history. These. are stories of creativity, courage, and leadership -in the arts and sciences, in government and religion, in public life, and in private life." Amdur endorses the recurrent theme of education through empathy, a major use of Anne Frank in Holocaust studies, especially in schools and for children: "[B]iography is a human story .... [I]t makes of history something personal, a narrative with which we can make an intimate connection ... Such experience can be personally invaluable. We cannot ask for a better entry into historical studies .... What are the. values or beliefs that guide the subject's actions? How are those values or beliefs similar to yours? Above. all, remember: You are engaging in an important historical inquiry as you read a biography, but you are also reading a literature that raises important personal questions for you to consider." There is the assumption that 'learning from biography' means that moral lessons are taught. As in Van Praag explanation of the myth, Anne becomes an exemplary model upon 9

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whom to base behavior. Amdur saves the reader (and teacher) a great deal of work by his integration of historic events into the chronology of biography. Much recent material, such as forensic investigations authenticating the diary, is assimilated. It is one of the books most thorough and sympathetic to the Frank's identity as Jews, thorough in its documentation of the legal and bureaucratic nature of Jewish persecution in Europe. Although a popular and general text, it introduces the theme of gender and cultures. Most of all, he provides graphic details of Anne's final days in the camps that are based on current research. This book's apparatus fairly creaks, though, as a work written by committee. The explication of the causes for the Holocaust is flattened out, perhaps because it was written by consensus. One can see the work of an editorial board (these Anne Frank children's books all have special editorial boards) in the moral questions framed for middle and high school readers. The centrality of Anne's voice is missing, but in its place is a dense and serious work (which would have. benefited from footnotes), a handy introduction for young adults and reference. book for their teachers. However, even Amdur in the end represents Anne within the parameters of the noble myth. His final chapter (Chapter 7) is titled "The Eternal Spirit of a Young Dutch Jew." The chapter title and his devise of ending his book with the famous quotation with which I started this thesis (" .. .I haven't dropped all of my ideals .... I still believe that people. are. really good at heart.... I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.") is the representation most prevalent in the remembrance of Anne Frank. For preceding the final paragraph of the famous quote, Amdur gives the reader an encapsulation of 'denialist' actions, campaigns and literature which refuse to accept the authenticity of the diary in spite of any and all scientific proofs and legal actions. Thus, Amdur's last chapter is full of 10

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internal tensions. The heroic myth of Anne Frank is greatly extended in Sandor Katz book Anne Frank which is written at a level for seven to ten year-olds.14 In this book's glossary "Anti-Semitic" is defined as "the hatred of Jewish or Arab people." While both Arabs and Jews are indeed semitic peoples, this is a new use of the word, which has traditionally applied to hatred towards Jews. Katz belongs to the 'Jews and' school of Holocaust books for children. The glossary defines "Nazi Holocaust" as "the mass killing of six million Jews, as well as millions of Gypsies, homosexuals, communist, Catholics, and other innocent people, by the Nazis." One book for young adults, Lucinda Irwin Smith's Women Who Write15 focuses on Anne Frank as a woman writer. While not a feminist discourse per se as there is no particular theoretical basis for the selection or for analysis of the collection of writers who receive. a chapter each, this !s the only example of juvenile literature which frames the activity of writing as a gender-based activity. The use of Anne. Frank and the other women writers discussed in this book is to encourage aspiring young writers. The last chapter "You, the Writer" has advice on 'Developing Your Gift,'The Writing Process,"'The Write Traits," such as drive, confidence, objectivity, patience, persistence, and love. of language. As we see, in both reinforcement of the myth of Anne Frank and in tensions within texts, the central question of this thesis reappears as: What is being taught, what is remembered? I do not wish to imply that the myth of Anne Frank is false and that there is another 'true' Anne to be read in the diary. However, neither do I mean that these interpretations or readings are merely diverse points of view. This thesis is not based on a theory of relativism. Rather, the reading of the Diary is a necessary and unavoidable re-writing. This is what I mean by the uses of or the reception of the diary. Myth serves a purpose. Van Praag is self-conscious and has self-insight; others believe in the myth as the true version of the 11

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diary and of the holocaust, regardless of the circumstances of interpretation. Concentrating on the American situation, I will show in Chapter 3 how the theme of holocaust rescuers is an extension of the Anne Frank dominant myth. Since the 1980's there has been a general shift in Holocaust remembrance to the theme of rescuers. In the 1980's and 1990's it has become a major off-shoot in the aim to educate the public about the Holocaust by identification with an exemplary past, the educational ideal as culled from the Anne Frank story. As in the popular film Schindler's List, emphasis shifts from the Jews to rescuers of Jews. Why do a chapter on rescuers when discussing the uses of the Anne Frank Diary ? I establish that the memoirs of Miep Gies, one of the four protectors of the Frank family and four other Jews in hiding, reinforce this optimistic lesson of remembrance. The subject of rescuers makes the Holocaust uplifting. My analysis is not debunking the testimonies of survivors or rescuers. I wish to and feel obliged to state that I admire, even revere, Holocaust survivors and rescuers. Using a photographic exhibition by Gay Block sponsored in Denver by the Anti-Defamation League of the Rocky Mountains, I demonstrate that the theme of rescuers, heroism rather than cruelty or indifference, fits into the current American context of Holocaust studies. It is a non-threatening approach to a largely Christian America. However, what is at stake in how the. Diary is approached/read is a definition of education, and I do question the definition of in the myth of Anne Frank and the rescuers theme. The Diary is represented in this dominant myth as a 'metanarrative' an example of a universal ethic, and philosophical idealism. The myth is a continuation of Enlightenment values and assumptions, in the sense that it is proposed as an example of "the human spirit" at its supposed best. There is nothing wrong with using the Diary for the purpose. of educating and teaching 12

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these principles. It may indeed be necessary, as Van Haag suggests, for the establishment of common values. But we come back to the question in each discourse, what is lost or silenced? As the opening quotation by Eva Schloss, Anne Frank's posthumous step-sister implies, I think the death camps, for one. An alternative method of education about Anne Frank and the. Holocaust is to show the mechanism of the apparatus, the making of discourses. I believe that it is the use of a seamless myth of any kind that deflects critical thought. I propose a different use of the Diary of Anne Frank: that the process of dissecting myth-creation is essential to education as opposed to a belief in Anne Frank as icon to hope. The dominant myth of Anne Frank, in my opinion, can defeat the very questioning that opposes a totalitarian mindset or group think. Thus, a methodology of alternate discourses which both shows the mechanism, the apparatus of myth-making (such as the rescuers theme) and what is left unsaid in a text is an important part of this thesis. One reason for the. sensitivity around deconstructing the. uses of the Holocaust is the rise of neo-fascism in the West. Part of the apparatus of that movement is denying the Holocaust took place. One technique of the denialists is to pick apart details of memory, and to disconnect the language of Nazi ideology from its consequences.16 For this, and for many other reasons I explore in this Introduction, there is an urge to produce and to regard Holocaust testimonials as a factual work of documentation. Otto Frank, Anne's father, sued in Dutch . courts over the issue of authenticity of the Diary .17 The. Dutch government has taken extraordinary steps to authenticate the Diary as evidenced by The Critical Edition. Photographs from the Anne Frank archives owned by the family Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank Foundation were withdrawn from an on-line web site over issues of copyright, the only case I have come across in two years of 'surfing the 13

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web'.18 This protectiveness may be one of economic interest in the material, but also the family wishes to control materials as a consequence of its encounters with the denialists. Also in the 1980's began a flourishing of books and articles pertaining to feminist theory and criticism. These provided the tools and demonstrated an interest in subjects such as women in the Holocaust, and Anne's diary as gender study. I give such an alternative reading of the diary. Chapter 2 gives new insight into memoirs and diaries of women victims of the Holocaust, as a prelude to my analysis of Anne's diary. Yet the discourse of gender, which centers women's relationships in the Holocaust, may in its tum suppress the cruelty and selfishness of the. camps in favor of the memory of helpfulness and sharing which are cultural expectations for women. There is a risk of such a tendency toward a revived idealization of women by authors who forefront women as subject. Even so, the alternative. discourse of gender in Holocaust diaries, and in the Diary of Anne Frank shifts the frame away from the myth of Anne Frank as icon of goodness. The idea of Anne Frank as universal symbol suppresses the representation of Anne Frank as particularly a girl adolescent, or rather the myth emphasizes the more childish components of an adolescent girl. What if the following diary entry by Anne, which has been included in all English editions, had been singled out as the leitmotif of the Diary 's meaning instead of the oft-quoted optimistic quotation which heads this introduction? There's in people simply an urge to destroy, an urge to kill, to murder and rage and until all mankind without exception, undergoes a great change wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and disfigured, to begin all over again after that! -Anne Frank, Wednesday, 3 May, 1944. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, 1989.19 14

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Such selections or suppressions in the various editions of the diary as well as in spinoffs (plays, films) and commentary show that narratives about Anne Frank contradict themselves and have multiple agendas. In a study of the Diary of Anne Frank the forefronting of gender allows Anne's curiosity, her commentary on a women's place in mid-20th century Western society, her emphatic negative emotions, her observations about sex -to be taken seriously. Such statements in the Diary of Anne Frank express her anxieties about assuming a woman's role, if she had had the good fortune to live. into womanhood. Especially, it is about her body as a woman. In turn, the discourse of gender suppresses the situation of the Holocaust which caused the. Diary to be written: that Anne was a Jew. Forefronting gender neglects the Jewish dimension of her text and the reason she died. I have also discovered a curious gender bias by commentators who do consider Anne as a Jewess: her incipient feminism is denigrated as somehow defining her as less of a Jew. This discourse represents a contemporary struggle within Judaism as to the place of women, projected onto readings (re-writings) of the Diary. Thus, language, and the discourses of Holocaust remembrance based on the Diary of Anne Frank are as much the subject of this thesis as the specific categories I list as chapter titles. The myth of Anne Frank upon which its popularity is based is only one possible discourse. The shift of Holocaust rescuers to center stage is in keeping with dominant discourse I myth. Gender forefronts another subject position within the Diary Although I have listed these developments chronologically, these approaches exist simultaneously, exhibiting different means to different ends. My intention is not to consider the evolution of uses of the myth of Anne and the diary, but to consider them as alternative, simultaneous meanings, which may overlap or contradict each other. 15

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Text versus Bodies: Experience I Body as Text So far in this introduction, I have outlined the. problem of representation in the myth of Anne Frank. Before turning attention to the specifics of The Diary of Anne Frank in Chapter 2, it is illuminating to deal in this introduction with the issues at stake. in a discussion of the nature of Holocaust diaries and memoirs, their functions and characteristics. Doesn't my emphasis on the text, the telling of the. Holocaust, denigrate the experience of survivors and rescuers? Isn't it grist for the mill of Holocaust denialists, who focus on gaps of memory iri an attempt to destroy the memory of the Holocaust? In particular I wish to make the case that treating remembrance as text is more not less respectful of those who lived through or, like. Anne, died in the Holocaust, and is an educationally rewarding way of approaching Holocaust studies. This thesis demonstrates the tensions between theoretical models in Holocaust studies, namely text versus claims that an authentic voice is speaking and writing: voices that seek to be grounded in bodies and sites, identities and communities. In the. genre of Holocaust personal remembrance, the case for experience and the first-person voice initially seems strong. A diary, like. other personal narratives, seems to authenticate history, replicate history as personal drama, and presume some significance of the writer within history. Writing during the. Holocaust may be considered an especially significant act of self-creation, apart from the possible merits of one's writing considered either as historical document or literary. work. [T]he Holocaust changes the value of personal narratives, if not their functions, because it was an event designed to strip the. individual of significance. The narrative writers [such as] Anne Frank .... all were victims of the Holocaust, and consequently survivors of an attempt to remove them, their families, and in some cases their whole race from any locus in history. Yet each 16

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in his or her own way establishes an identity apart from the Holocaust. These writers do not write of their lives as 'momentary events within the overwhelming history of the. Holocaust; rather, the Holocaust is an event that is refracted through the lives of the writers. The writers make history, rather than are made by it, because they can perceive a structure and identity to their own lives, and consequently they can reproduce the Holocaust within the structure and identity of their own lives.20 The commentator Bodziock here invokes a narrative of heroism for a crosssection of people who were cast as being outside humanity by those responsible for their situation. He links the. corporeal existence and resistance of these 'real' people in..,the-world closely with their texts. Nevertheless, we are told that a 'literature of witness' may be a contradiction in terms. T.W. Adorno pronounced on the impossibility of poetry after Auschwitz.21 Eli Wiesel asserts that "Auschwitz negates any form of literature, as it defies all systems, all doctrines."22 There are. no metaphors for Auschwitz, just as Auschwitz is not a metaphor for anything else.23 These writers seem intent on denying questions of aesthetics where matters of conscience take precedence. Again, what is remembered, what forgotten? Making myth from experience in the age of mass communications in the. manner of docudramas or recreations of Holocaust experience, in plot, and character development, may be mehanisms which control and tame the Holocaust, a form of annihilation, forgetting rather than remembrance. Christopher Lasch encapsulated this view : "When Auschwitz became a social myth, a metaphor for modern life, people lost sight of the only lesson it could possibly offer: that it offers, in no lessons."24 Likewise, the dominant myth of Anne Frank has been criticized as too comfortable, too easy. Other means of approaching the Holocaust quantification or 17

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statistics promote a sense of abstraction, whereas individual life is full of the peculiarities and quirks that define humanity. Individual life gets its meaning from the context of experience. Hence, the 'felt truths' of the Holocaust.... Memoirs, autobiographies, and personal documents such as diaries and journals comprise this 'genre.' Specifically, [this is the] thinking of such books as Chaim Kaplan's Warsaw Diary, Odd Nansen's From Day to Day, Anne Frank's Diary, ... and others .... A prepubescent girl awaiting the onset of womanhood while living for almost two years without being able to venture outside ... may share the same. overall 'burden' of history [as other Holocaust writers], but their individual accounts are touchingly unique.25 So diaries do seem to offer the most compelling 'case' for experience, within this general problem of myth making (and Anne Frank, for-better or worse, has taken on the mantle of myth and symbol). In this view, testimonies such as diaries from the Holocaust give memory a human voice. Kenneth Harper resorted to the philosopher Suzanne Langer's idea of "a virtual experience" a theory of empathy by which the reader looks back at an experience that he has not had. The problems with Harper's approach remain, as long as one neither analyzes the nature of experience, nor the relationship between experience and the written text. Much of the discussion about the form and function of Holocaust diaries and memoirs hinges on the relationship between violent events and writing. It is almost as if violent events-perceived as aberrations or ruptures in the cultural continuum -demand their retelling, their narration, back into traditions and structures they would otherwise defy. For upon entering narrative, violent events necessarily reenter the continuum, are totalized by it, and thus seem to lose their 'violent' quality. Inasmuch as violence is 'resolved' in narrative, the violent event seems also to lose its 18

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particularity ie, its facthood once it is written.26 On the other hand, a writer of a Holocaust diary or memoir may wish to keep his/her text outside of this time continuum: "[T]he more violently wrenched from a continuum a catastrophe is perceived to be, the more desperate -and frustrated the writer's attempts become to represent its events as discontinuous."27 Frederick Hoffman concludes that violent events defy realistic/ factual representation. Terence Des Pres, author of one of the most influential books on survivor testimonies, has suggested the opposite: that the experiences Holocaust survivors describe defy fictionalization.28 In a more widely shared view, Saul Friedlander suggests that in the face of Holocaust realities, literary realism has given way to unabashedly archetypal and mythological representations.29 James Young, a poststructuralist scholar, states that to remain uninscribed in language is impossible, and that the entire. argument of realism is moot. I find his arguments convincing. This postmodern insistence on the gap between the object in the world and its sign may be terrifying to both survivors and those who wish the. Holocaust and its victims to be remembered, to draw lessons, since the purpose of the Holocaust diarist was to testify as a witness to true events. For diarists and memoirists attempting to document events, the possibility that they are somehow supplanting events or even creating new ones-in their writing becomes nearly unbearable. As the "pseudorevisionists" [Arthur Butz and his so-called Institute for Historical Review] of the Holocaust have demonstrated by exploiting the ever palpable dichotomy between words and events, if one can write the Holocaust, and even rewrite the Holocaust, then perhaps one can also unwrite the Holocaust. For the writer who may have. survived solely in order to testify to real experiences, this negation of the real in narrative -and not just its displacement drives him further to insist on the absolute. facticity of his literary testimony .... Whether the diarists and 19

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memoirists write these events from memory or a the very moment they occur, words and events remain linked by the inscribing hand, a literal part of both the experience and the record of it. But for the reader with only words on a page, the authority for this link is absent. The words in a translated and reproduced Holocaust diary are. no longer traces of the crime, as they were for the writer who inscribed them; what was evidence for the writer at the moment he wrote is now, after it leaves his hand, only a detached and free,..floating sign, at the mercy of all who would read and misread it.30 Yet, Young's view -that there is no recording, only construction, no mimesis, only poesis-has a great advantage, in that it differentiates experience and text. As Young states; this allows for the factuai experience of the writer, but liberates the writer's text from the. kind of factual survey that are the grist for denialists. In other words, we read meaning, not only facts, from a Holocaust diary. I agree with Young's case. for consideration of Holocaust discourse, including diaries, as text. If modernist practice presumes that texts are a mimesis of the external reality of objects, what other limitations to that practice, those pointed out in the quotation of Young's, apply to and are important to understand in a study of the Diary of Anne Frank? The Enlightenment is the intellectual as well as temporal equivalent of the modern era. The characteristics of Enlightenment thought, in addition to universality, include rationality and objectivity as the legitimation of truth. Enlightenment values, the basis of modernism and modem criteria for what is considered as knowledge, is the dynamic in most texts which construct heroic myth of Anne Frank and of Holocaust rescuers. It is my contention, hardly an original one, that the Holocaust ended the period in which one could have faith in modernism. The. debate over the crisis of modernism is complex. Let us briefly take the 20

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famous exchange between Jean-Franc;ois Lyotard and Ji.irgen Habermas as a touchstone. Habermas in his 1981 Adorno prize lecture in Frankfiirt, made the case for continuing the "project of modernity." Habermas holds on to the intentions of the Enlightenment as an emancipatory theory with unfulfilled potential. Legitimacy of knowledge resides in a social consensus reached through discussion. He equates postmodernism with the neoconservative movement,31 in part out of fear of the rise of the political right in Germany.32 In contrast to Habermas' critical theory Lyotard states that contemporary culture is in a 'postmodern condition.' His three main assumptions about this condition are: 1. The question of totality. Lyotard articulates the theme of the decline of grands recits or metanarratives: "Metanarratives refer to foundational theories (theories of knowledge, morality or aesthetics) and grand stories of social progress which have been central to the legitimation of modem knowledge, culture and social institutions." These theories of knowledge have lost their authority to justify modern social practices. 2. The question of the. subject. The centrality of the subject moves to the 'edge'. Boundaries collapse. Lyotard, echoing Nietzsche, uses the. university as an illustration of traditional fields or faculties which have lost their claim to the legitimacy of knowledge, or as self.;.contained areas of research. The postmodem world is one of uncertainty unstable. and unpredictable. These inconsistencies are quite different from those prescribed in a Marxian dialectic: .... we no longer expect salvation to rise from these inconsistencies as did Marx." An optimistic consequence of the. postmodern condition may be tolerance of difference. Or it may be the possibility of knowledge as instruments of bureaucratic control, which Lyotard sees in the computer society. Knowledge is local and contextualized: "There are many language games." The premise of Lyotard's argument rests on language theory as being the equivalent to 21

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social theory. 3. The question of periodization. Lyotard implies an exchange of a historiCal perspective for an extended notion of postmodernism. For him, the postmodern condition is not a period of slackening, of nostalgia or loss (as one finds in Habermas and others). One's loss (of unity, certainty) may be another's gain. Although not specifically mentioned by Lyotard, postmodern decentralization of the subject is an opportunity for previously marginalized potential subjects, such as feminism and gender studies.33 We need not rehearse the theoretical differences between Habermas and Lyotard at greater length.34 My point is that Habermas, as well as Lyotard, recognizes there is a crisis of modernity. Habermas states: "Enlightenment thinkers ... had the extravagant expectation that the arts and the sciences would promote not only the control of natural forces, but would also further understanding of the world and of the self, would promote moral progress, the justice of institutions, and even the happiness of human beings. The 20th century has shattered this optimism. "35 Material based on the. myth of Anne Frank, which is most of the. popular books, films and art on the subject, does not acknowledge the Holocaust, or anything else, as a major disruption to modern certainties. One can sympathize with reasons for this defensive mechanism. Any attempt to 'teach the Holocaust' to young people, an event which is both distant in time and may have. no ready connection to their lives, may be. laudable. Secondly, teachers who are trying to instill the basic intellectual tools of the Enlightenment in these students may be reluctant to challenge criteria of knowledge. The discourse of organizers of the Colorado Anne Frank art and essay school competition, for example, is unquestioningly modem in approach. Mr. Van Praag, as I have indicated above, is a more interesting case. He uses, one could say manipulates, the heroic myth self consciously to obtain his desired end. His local truth or belief system, that 22

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Anne Frank's memory should be used as a good example, is presented as a universal truth. The difference between the two uses is not the content of the myth, but Van Praag' s self-realization that he. is a joint author with Anne of this interpretation of the Diary. In other words, he uses the text of the myth in a very postmodem way. Young's view of diaries and memoirs is based on a foundation of many poststructuralist and postmodem theorists. Postmodernism is a more general term referencing an epoch and I or theme questioning "certainties" while poststructuralism is more specifically an intellectual discussion regarding the. nature of language and representation. I will conflate the terms poststructuralist and postmodernism(s) for the purpose of a brief overview of the literature, noting important divergences with each example I cite when necessary. This conflation is valid here because in spite of the diversity of positions within and across these two terms, the common thread is a belief in language as the. inescapable conduit of meaning, and thus of an interpretation of reality. Poststructuralist emphasis on language. as the constituent of culture is a transformative concept for an investigation of representations of the Holocaust. Poststructuralist representations are considered to be language texts. As text, one can or rather is obliged to make explicit 'the stories we make up.' These narratives are formed by language. (visual as well as literary) and take place in the commentary itself. There. is an insistence that history continues to take place as one speaks/writes about it. The Holocaust happens in its representation, and in the explications of these representations. This does not mean that the Holocaust 'out there' never took place. To honor writing is a tendency both in modem and post-modern theorists. This latter group, however, sees more complex relationships between writing, authors, and readers. Roland Barthes, historian, literary critic, and pivotal intellectual figure from the 1950' to his death inl980 was 23

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instrumental in the development of French semiology and the periodical Tel Quel His later work demonstrates writing and reading as an erotic venture. In his "The Pleasure of the Text," the form of playful fragments anticipated postmodernism's situational knowledge in place of a stance of objectivity and 'metanarrative.'36 From Jacques Derrida and his American followers especially comes attention to the silences in the text of representation; the elisions and gaps are as important as what is there. Memory is also what is forgotten. What is Derrida's justification for this assertion? He is critiquing Claude Levi Strauss' constructs of distinctions between nature and culture. According to Derrida, the apparent coherence of the. center cannot hold. It appears coherent only because it will not acknowledge its contradictions. Instead of ontology, which is an insistence on origins, Derrida argues for the floating signifier, signs in free play, the game of shifting meanings: ... everything became discourse ... when everything became a system where the central signified, the original or transcendental signified, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences. The. absence of the transcendental signified extends the domain and the interplay of signification ad infinitum."37 Derrida has shown the possibility of either affirmation and liberation, or postmodern purgatory, where signified chases signified forever with no resolution of meaning. As to issues of morality, of what is right and wrong, a component that one may expect in Holocaust discourse, Derridian. postmodernism will not give absolute answers. However, I think that because the methodologies of deconstruction are interrogations, a bursting of ideological bubbles,38 a morality can emerge. So in the text of an exhibit of photographs of Holocaust memorials, a children's book based on Anne Frank's life, an art competition, or in the telling of the story of Anne's Dutch helpers, words and art may be used to affirm events, beliefs, or to deny them. Thus, what and how one tells about the Holocaust has a 24

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strong moral dimension, although Derrida did not concern himself with this issue. Indeed, there can be an edge to postmodernism. In the theoretical practice of Michel Foucault a consideration of power relations is key. His position allows how there can be an urgency to a story. If one accepts that the telling is always in the present and about the present, then one has to investigate the meaning of conflicting values, and tellers vying for power in the domain of texts and in the public cultural domain. As Chris Weedon has commented about Foucault: 'The discursive constitution of subjects, both compliant and resistant, is part of a wider social play for power."39 There is then an immediacy and relevance to Holocaust studies different from the complacent "let's consider all points of view" in cultural relativism, or even in Habermas's social consensus. In the matter of the Holocaust and Anne Frank, the story concerns representations of life and death. But if I have ruled out the case for diaries and memoirs as a direct reflection of reality, I have created a problem for myself. If I consider everything as a language textthe heroic myth of Anne Frank, Holocaust diaries in general-how can I consider a discussion of gender? Gender implies bodies, and bodies seem to imply a kind of authenticity of experience that I have just denied. Judith Butler points out that talk about the death of the subject may be seen as a conspiracy against women and other disenfranchised groups who are now only beginning to speak on their own behalf.40 Jane Flax41 criticizes Derrida's deconstruction of women because he keeps a rigid bifurcation of male I female characteristics. Woman turns out to be interchangeable with writing, the supplement, the trace, signifying "sexual difference." He plays down cultural specificity in the construction of woman, and the characteristics he assigns to woman are the pervasive sexual stereotypes. Woman is the. Real, outside rationality, truth, culture. This portrayal of woman has nothing new or 25

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postmodern about it, and Flax likens Derriqa to Rousseau in his definition of women: "The major difference I can see between Rousseau's position and that of Derrida is he wants to identify, read like, become, or (at least) openly envies woman as he has defined her. He still does not want her to speak for herself or, as [Luce] Irigaray points out, among her or ourselves without him."42 However, as I have hinted in my discussion of the views of Lyotard, Derrida and Foucault, there is also opportunity in the fragmented cultural map of postmodemism. Foucault provides a way of investigating institutions. Historical discourse (like the Holocaust or the Diary of Anne Frank) is shown to be a battle for meaning. Foucault opens up sexuality to history and change. In The History of Sexuality, 43 he deconstructs as 'subject positions' the social norms of women's bodies, femininity, and homosexuality. He shows 'points of resistance' in simultaneous and opposite discourses: "This type of analysis expands the field of potential political activity in ways which are extremely important for feminism, avoiding, as it does, the reductivism of single,-cause analysis." 44 Fortunately, there is a repertoire of feminist writings which has been published in the last decade which may be called both gender centered and poststructuralist that addresses this problem. Even Flax indicates that Foucault may be. of use in discussing women as one of the. marginalized elements within contemporary culture. After her reservations, Butler goes on to state that poststructuralism offers a mode of critique and as such it can be used as a part of a radical agenda. She does want to keep the term 'women' for use in 'identity politics.' Instead of eliminating it, she offers the practical suggestion that: To deconstruct is not to negate or to dismiss but to call into question and, perhaps most important, to open up a term, like "the subject," to a reusage or redeployment that previously has not been authorized.... [To] deconstruct the subject of feminism 26

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is to release the term into a future of multiple significations, to emancipate it from the maternal or racialist ontologies to which it has been restricted, and to give it play as a site where unanticipated meanings might come to bear.45 This practice may give 'agency' to the term woman. She gives an interesting answer to the critique that bodies thus violence to women's bodies and sexual issues) do not exist in poshnodernism. Rather, to deconstruct the concept of bodies is not to negate or refuse either term. If we insist on keeping the subject, women, without this deconstruction, than we keep this subject in subordination. Nancy Fraser and Linda Nicholson in "Social criticism without philosophy: An encounter between feminism and postmodernistn" also recognize that feminists and poshnodernists were working on a common nexus of problems, mostly independently.46 Thus, one does not have to assume an 'essentialist' position, i.e. that there are certain fixed traits, characteristics or, indeed, categories in a subject of identity called 'gender' or 'Jew.' Historian Joan Scott shows the possibility, in her seminal article "Gender: A useful category of historical analysis,"47 of conjunction between two theoretical points of view, poststructuralist and feminist. According to Scott, historically, gender emerged as a category of analysis only in the late twentieth century, as a term used by contemporary feminists "to insist on the inadequacy of existing bodies of theory for explaining persistent inequalities between women and men." The term gender is part of the debate between modernism, with emphasis on discoverable, transparent facts, and poststructuralism, with a focus on linguistic constructs, or the shift in social science from scientific to literary paradigms. One of Scott's major accomplishments is to demonstrate that this methodology need not be restricted to literary theory and texts. Scott widens the application of gender to government and to the nation-state, 27

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"the real business of politics." Her examples point out the coding of gender as integral to the politics of kinship, of Burke's history of the French revolution, of divorce law, as well as to contemporary law and politics. Thus gender is associated with the function of legitimation. Scott, in reference to authors who analyze, or deconstruct, gender states: These interpretations are based on the idea that conceptual languages employ differentiation to establish meaning and that sexual difference is a primary way of signifying differentiation. Gender, then, provides a way to decode meaning and to understand the complex connections among various forms of human interaction. When historians look for the ways in which the concept of gender legitimizes and constructs social relationships, they develop insight into the reciprocal nature of gender and society and into the particular and contextually specific ways in which politics constructs gender and gender constructs politics.48 While Scott has a limited acceptance of psychoanalytic theory in the creation of gender, a revised interpretation of Freudian theory has recently brought forth a feminist practice of psychoanalysis that is particularly helpful in approaching the issue of gender in the. Diary of Anne Frank. Within French feminism, grounded in psychoanalytical and literary paradigms, emerged suggestions for a different way of writing women. "The key break from Marxism, existentialism, and phenomenology in the French intellectual scene came after 1968 with the discourse of structuralism and Lacanian psychoanalysis, which advanced new concepts of language, theory subjectivity and society."49 Although Simone de Beauvoir is widely respected as one of the mothers of 1 first generation' feminism, 1 second generation" French feminism after the events of May 1968 took a different tum. A special 28

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concern was I is the construction of sexual difference and women's relations to language and writing. These second generation French theorists took it for granted that psychoanalysis was important. It could provide an emancipatory theory of the personal and a path to the exploration of the unconscious.50 Cixous broke with the strict structuralism of Jacques Lacan. Cixous' exquisitely written essay The laugh of the medusa, filled with joy and wit, reads like a manifesto. Women are urged to write, and the writing will be a flirtation with the Imaginary, a release. of desire. Woman, "admirable hysterics," must put herself into the text. Reinterpret the Medusa as laughing at the concept of lack. 51 Helene Cixous' s vision of the female body as the site of women's writing gave permission to women to seek their own forms and trust intuition. Anne Frank wrote, not always but often, from that perspective. It is significant for a new look at the Diary that censorship by publishers was applied to just those freest diary entries, those most closely related to the. body.52 While the French were engaged with Lacanian psychoanalysis, in America and England Freud was reevaluated. Feminist theorists are ambivalent toward the legacy of Freud and psychoanalysis. Putting aside his personal misogyny, Juliet Mitchell,S3 Nancy Chodorow,54 and Carol Gilligan proposed that Freud's theories could be helpful in explaining cultural reproduction and cultural resistance to change. I make use in this thesis especially of Carol Gilligan's work concerning traits in adolescent girls and the cultural reproduction of patriarchy. 55 These and other feminists provide. a framework for gender studies. They legitimize the study of women in the Holocaust, and legitimize gender as an issue in both the writing and in the reception of Anne Frank's diary. No subject, whether gender or Jew, can escape its own linguistic construct. In my discussion of the Diary of Anne Frank, its myth and 29

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alternate discourses, I am interested in the overlap of text and body, points of convergence between meaning and experience. 30

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FOOTNOTES 1. Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, David Barnouw and Gerrold VanDer Stroom, eds. (New York: Doubleday, 1989), p. 628. 2. Eva Schloss with Evelyn Julia Kent, Eva's Story: A survivor's tale by the step-sister of Anne Frank (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988), pp. 10-11. 3. As of 1989, "Her triumphal progress has ... taken on unprecedented proportions. Between fifteen and sixteen million copies of the book have. been sold so far."The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, p.74. 4. Henri van Praag. "The myth of the diary," in Anna G. Steenrneijer, ed. with Otto Frank and Henri van Praag,A tribute to Anne Frank (Garden City, New York: Anne Frank Foundation/ Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1971), pp. 38-39. 5. Internet web site of the Anne Frank Foundation. Search words: Anne Frank Foundation. A document about these subjects is offered on this site, with an extensive bibliography and a list of addresses in the Netherlands of organizations combating prejudice in Holland. 6. Although this interpretation is my own, Young writes of the Anne Frank House as a filter of national interests. "The mixing of national and Jewish ideals [is] ... due as much to the redactor of Anne's diary, her father, as they are to the Dutch caretakers of the foundation. While Otto Frank would never have denied his daughter's Jewishness, he felt from the outset that her diary, her story, and now the house would serve humanity best through their universal implications. Accordingly, he wrote that "the. Jewish origins of the diary will not be specifically emphasized, but nevertheless, the. insights it provides as a Jewish testament may not be forgotten .... Whether it was because of the. universal success of the. diary and the play it spawned or Otto's own universalist reading of the diary itself, Anne's father set a clear precedent for the widest possible application of Anne's beliefs against discrimination and racism of all kinds." James E. Young, "The Anne Frank House: Holland's Memorial 'Shrine of the Book'," in James E. Young, ed., The Art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History (Munich and New York: Prestel-Verlag/ The Jewish Museum, 1994), p. 134 31

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7. ----,Anne Frank 1929-1979 (Amsterdam: Keesing Boeken, c. 1979}, unpaginated. 8. Primo Levi, If This Is A Man: Remembering Auschwitz.; Survival in Auschwitz; The Reawakening; Moments Of Reprieve (New York: Summit Books, 1986}. 9. ---,Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945 (Amsterdam: Anne Frank Foundation, [1985], 1994}. Its accompanying exhibition has toured the world for oyer ten years. 10. Gene Brown, Anne Frank: Child of the Holocaust (New York: Blackbirch Press/ Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1991), pp. 7, 59, 56. The. titles are "Barbara Jordan: Congressman," Better Davis: Film Star," Mother Teresa: Protector of the Sick," "Georgia O'Keeffe: Painter of the Desert," "Anne Frank: Child of the Holocaust," "Marian Wright Edelman: Defender of Chldren's Rights," "Benazir Bhutto: Prime Minister" and "Wilma Mankiller: Chief of the Cherokee Nation." 11. Laura Tyler, Anne Frank: What Made Them Great (Englewood NJ and New York: Silver Burdett Press, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1990), pp. 87, 7-8, 86. The illustrator is Gianni Renna Silver. 12. Richard Tames, Anne Frank (New York, London: Franklin Watts, Inc., Lifetimes, [1989], 1991), pp. 9, 29. 13. Sandor Katz, Anne Frank, Chelsea Juniors. Junior World Biographies Series (New York, Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, Main Line. Book Co., 1996); Richard Amdur, Anne Frank,, The. Chelsea House Library of Biography. Introduction by Vito Perrone (New York, Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1993), pp. 8-9, 102. 14. ibid., Sandor Katz, pp. 9, 73. 15. Lucinda Irwin Smith, Women Who Write: From the Past and the Present to the Future (Englewood Cliffs, NJ and New York: Julian Messner, Silver Burdett Press, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1989), pp. 145-159. Anne Frank is included in the category "Writers from the Past" with Jane Austen, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie, and Lorraine. Hansberry. "Contemporary Authors" are Dawn Garcia, 32

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Nikki Giovanni, Jan Goodwin, Beth Henley, Tama Janowitz, Maxine Hong Kingston, Norma Klein, Denise Levertov, Nancy Meyers, Joyce Carol Oates, Carolyn See, and Anne Tyler. 16. Lipstadt, Deborah E., Denying the Holocaust: the growing assault on truth and memory (New York, Toronto: Free Press, Maxwell Macmillan, 1993); Stern, Kenneth S., Holocaust denial (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1993). A good summary of the. arguments by Paul Rassinier in Debunking the genocide myth.... (1978) and other denialists is found in The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, Chapter 7, "Attacks on the Authenticity of the Diary," pp. 84-101. 17. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, pp. 88, 97. 18. "The Anne Frank pages are not accessible. Due to copyright 1ssues (mostly having to do with images) and at the request of the copyright owners, we have been asked to remove the Anne Frank pages from our server. The Dutch Anne Frank Foundation now has a home page, which they were kind enough to bring to our attention .... Sorry, but we don't know of another site that contains the graphics which used to be accessible. here. Thank you. webmaster @cs.washington.edu" 19. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, p. 694. 20. Joseph Bodziock, "The Makers of History" in Sanford Pinsker and Jack Fischel, eds., Literature, the Arts and the Holocaust, Holocaust Studies Annual, Vol. ill (Greenwood, Florida: Penkevill Publishing Co., 1985), pp. 230, 229-238. 21. Kenneth Harper, "The. Literature of Witness," in ibid., Pinsker and Fischel, Literature, the Arts and the Holocaust, p. 239. 22. Eli Wiesel quoted by Alvin Rosenfeld, "The Problematics of Holocaust Literature," in Alvin Rosenfeld and Irving Greenberg, eds.,Confronting the Holocaust : The Impact of Elie Wiesel (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979), p. 4. 23. ibid., Rosenfeld, p. 19. 24. Christopher Lasch, The Minimal Self (New York: Norton, 1984), 33

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p.129. 25. Kenneth Harper, "The Literature of Witness," p. 242. 26, 27. James E. Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative and the Consequences of Interpretation (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1990), pp. 15-16. 28. Terence Des Pres, The Survivor (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), p. 16. 29, 30. James E. Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust, pp. 17, 23-24. 31. Jiirgen Habermas, "Modernity versus Postmodernity," New German Critique, 22 (Winter 1981), 3-14. Reprinted in Hal Foster, ed., The AntiAesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (Seattle: Bay Press, 1983). 32. Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Postmodem," in After the Great Divide (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), pp. 178-221. Reprinted in Joseph Natoli and Linda Hutcheon, A Postmodern Reader (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), pp. 105-156. Habermas' fears may have been predictive. Mass culture in America today is replete with a belief in angels and extra-terrestials. Fundamentalist religion has substantial influence in state and national legislatures, which I take as evidence of the ascendancy of a pre,modem mentality. 33. Jean-Franc;ois Lyotard, "Answering the. Question: What is Postmodernism?," in The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), pp. 71-82. 34. For further information see. the. article. by Martin Jay, "Habermas and Modernism," Praxis International 4:1 (April 1984), 1-14. Cf. in the same issue Richard Rorty, "Habermas and Lyotard on Postmodemity," 32-44. As Huyssen explains: "Significantly, Habermas's notion of modernity the modernity he wishes to see continued and completed is purged of modernism's nihilistic and anarchic strain just as his opponents', e.g., Lyotard's notion of an aesthetic (post)modernism is determined to liquidate any trace of the enlightened modernity inherited from the 18th century which provides the basis for Habermas' s notion of modem culture." Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Postmodern," p. 128. 34

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35. Jiirgen Habermas, "Modernity versus Postmodernity," p. 10. 36. Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, (New York: The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc., 1975). 37. Jacques Derrida, "Structure, sign, and play in the discourse of the human sciences," in Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato, eds., The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man: The Structuralist Controversy (Baltimore. and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970). Reprinted in Natoli and Hutcheon, pp. 224-225. 38. Jacques Derrida, "From/Of the Supplement to the Source: The Theory of Writing," in Of Grammatology (Baltimore. and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), pp. 279-314. 39. Chris Weedon, Feminist practice & poststructuralist theory (Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, [1987], 1993), p.113. 40. Judith Butler, "Contingent foundations: Feminism and the question of 'postmodernism' ," in Steven Seidman, ed., The postmodern turn (Cambridge, New York, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 153-170. 41, 42. Jane Flax, Thinking Fragments: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Postmodernism in the Contemporary West (Berkeley: University of California Press,1989) in Natoli and Hutcheon, p. 424. See also Jane Flax, "Postmodernism and gender relation in feminist theory," Signs, 12, (1987), 621-643. 43. Michel Foucault, "Method," in The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 (Paris and New York: Editions Gallimard, Random House, Inc. [1976],1979), pp. 92-102. fu Natoli and Hutcheon, pp. 333-341. 44. Chris Weedon,Feminist Practice & Poststructuralist Theory, pp. 120-123. 45. Judith Butler, "Contingent foundations," pp. 165-166. 46. Nancy Fraser and Linda Nicholson, "Social criticism without philosophy: An encounter between feminism and postmodemism," 35

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Theory, Culture & Society (SAGE, London, Newbury Park, Beverly Hills and New Delhi), Vol. 5 (1988), 373-94. In Steven Seidman, ed.,The postmodern turn pp. 242-261. 47, 48. Joan Scott, "Gender: A useful category of historical analysis," in E. Weed, ed., Coming to terms (New York: Routledge, 1989), p. 96. Most important to the theorizing of gender is Scott proposition that gender is primary in signifying relationships of power. Gender seems to have been a persistent and recurrent way of enabling the signification of power in the West, and in Islamic traditions. She defines power as differential control over or access to material and symbolic resources. From the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu she takes the notion that references to procreation and reproduction operate as collective illusions. Her definition of gender has two parts and many subsets, interrelated but analytically distinct. The core definition is that ''gender is a constitutive element of social relationships based on perceived differences between the sexes, and gender is a primary way of signifying relationships of power." Her four interrelated elements are 1. Symbolic representation (often contradictory with a suppression of the metaphoric). 2. Normative concepts of interpretation of the symbolic (unequivocal doctrines). Normative history is written in terms of social consensus, not of conflict. 3. An analysis of gender relationships which includes politics and reference to social organizations. Here, too, she is arguing for a new history (in 1995, not so new but not pervasive, either). Instead of scholarship which restricts the use. of gender to the kinship system (household and family as the basis for social organization) she looks to gender as constructed in the economy and the polity, which in our society operate independently of kinship. 4. Gender as subjective identity. Scott has a limited acceptance of psychoanalytic theory in the creation of gender, but again urges modification against historical circumstances. Historical research should be an investigation of the relationships among these. four aspects. She is interested in a more precise way of thinking about gender. "The sketch I have offered of the process of constructing gender relationships could be used to discuss class, race, ethnicity, or, ... any social process." Joan Scott, pp. 92-100. 49. S. Best. & D. Kellner, "fu Search of the Postmodem," Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations (New York: Guilford Press, 1991), p. 18. 50. Toril Moi, "From Simone de Beauvoir to Jacques Lacan," 36

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Sexual/Textual Politics (New York: Routledge, 1985). An understanding of La can' s structuralist reading of Freud is the basis of much French feminist thought, in its acceptance (by Julia Kristeva) or modification (Helene Cixous). According to Lacan, "Name/Law of the Father" is entry into the Symbolic and to language (culture). The child's repressed desire for the lost mother, and thus for the Imaginary, is the creation of the unconscious. The speaking subject is repressed desire, the lack and the phallus. 51. Helene Cixous, "The laugh of the medusa," L'Arc, (1975). 39-54. 52. This equation of the possibility of a lack of order associated with women seemed frightening and not an advance on gender stereotypes to other French feminists such as Julia Kristeva. Kristeva's desire to theorize. a social revolution based on class and gender and to build an ethics of feminism have more to do with de Beauvoir than with Cixous. See Toril Moi, (ed.),The Kristeva reader (New York: Columbia, 1986). 53. J. Mitchell, "On Freud and the distinctionbeween the sexes," in J. Strouse, ed., Women and analysis. (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1974). Mitchell argues that Freud has much to offer to the psychology of women, female sexuality and to the understanding of patriarchy. Mitchell's main point centers on an appreciation of Freud's asymmetrical reading in terms of the. sexes of the. Oedipal situation and its resolution. Freud's essay "Some. Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes" deals with two distinct themes: the. nature of sexuality and feminine psychology to be deduced from interpersonal (sociosexual) relationships. According to Mitchell, Freud was trying to decipher 'the uneven relationship between the. two sexual possibilities, within a person as well as between persons.' This was one reason why he resisted a substitution of the neutral terms active and passive for masculine and feminine. Opposition to Freud's asymmetry makes nonsense to Mitchell of the more profound claim that under patriarchy women are oppressed -a claim that Freud's analysis alone can help us to understand. She will not accept other feminist readings of patriarchy as representing the power of men in general without this psychoanalytical component Freud established the importance of a new realm-the pre-Oedipal phase, in particular for girls. This pre-Oedipal phase was at that point an unexplored region in psychoanalysis, one 'where there are as yet no 37

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signposts.' Mitchell thinks that in pointing out the territory, Freud does the groundwork for an analysis of femininity. She holds that the complex psychological formation of personhood through the Oedipal situation within Freudian theory is as much a map of social, cultural factors as biological. She describes what the Oedipal journey is like and its consequences to sexuality. The importance of the father (or the name-of the-father of Lacan), the signification of patriarchy (Freud, 1925) is a key to the understanding of the oppression of women under patriarchy. 54. Nancy Chodorow, "Feminism, Femininity, and Freud" and "Family structure and feminine personality,"Feminism and psychoanalytic theory, (New Haven: Yale Press, 1989). Chodorow begins with the historic (1960s & 1970s) early feminist condemnation of Freudian theory. She incorporates their anger, work and questions. What, then, is the relationship between feminism, Freud and a psychoanalytic understanding of female psychology? She answers the feminists objections that oppression is cultural and psychology has nothing to do with this oppression; a theory as mystified as psychoanalysis is not needed; Freud was sexist. She answers that one cannot talk of gender oppression without talking of sexualization in the first place. We cannot step out of being sexed and gendered. Freud has given a theory. He liberated sex from gender and procreation. He argues there is nothing inevitable about the development of sexual object choice; there is no innate femininity or masculinity. We are all potentially bisexual, polymorphous. How one feels about one's physiology is a developmental product, apart from biology. Woman (and man) is made, not born. For girls especially, this is a conflicted, difficult, costly process. After the Oedipal process, women remain involved with the mother. Thus, Freud provided perceptive social analyses concerning oppressions of gender and sexuality. 55. Carol Gilligan, ".Joining the. resistance: Psychology, politics, girls and women," in L. Goldstein, ed., The female body (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991) and Carol Gilligan, 11In a different voice: Women's conception of self and morality," Harvard Educational Review, 47, (1977) 481-517. 38

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CHAPTER 2 ANNE FRANK: HOLOCAUST DIARY AS GENRE/GENDER "Societies become what they choose to remember:"! So the meganarrative of the Diary of Anne Frank and of the historical figure of Anne Frank is a remembrance as universal icon and beneficial myth. In the Introduction, I defined the varied uses of this dominant myth: to foster hope for the future, to mourn the loss of innocence and of child victims, to inspire the brotherhood of man, to prevent a reoccurrence of events like the. Holocaust, in an endless chain of signification. I demonstrate in this chapter that universal symbolism silences an alternative discourse. of gender. The chapter has three parts. First, in "Holocaust Diary as Genre: Five Case Studies of Personal Narrative," selected Holocaust diaries are considered, to establish how Anne's Holocaust diary is similar to or deviates from other Holocaust diaries. Differences explain in part her power as an empathetic representation of the Holocaust. Second, in "Voice As History: Women's Memoirs and the Study of Holocaust History" the issue of gender is shown to revise assumptions about narratives of Holocaust experience, as evidenced by memoirs and diaries of women. I offer this section to establish the current scholarly basis for an alternative reading of the Diary of Anne Frank. Third, the Diary of Anne Frank is analyzed as a narrative of representation of Anne as an adolescent girl, 39

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and subsequently as a Jewish adolescent girl. Holocaust Diary as Genre: Five Case Studies of Personal Narrative Five diaries have been selected for review. They were chosen both for their content and their accessibility, in that all have been published in English. Three were written by men, two by adolescents. Four originated in the Warsaw Ghetto. According to the Holocaust scholars Marie Syrkin and Ruth Kunzer, there are two stages to the ghetto diarists appreciation of their situation: confused hopefulness and certain hopelessness.2 In its representation of experience, the Diary of Anne Frank shares with ghetto diaries the stage of "confused hopefulness." Written before her deportation to the death camps, it never moves to the stage of the realization of certain death followed by hopelessness which we find in the Warsaw ghetto chronicles. As Anne's posthumous step-sister Eva Schloss states in the quotation which begins this thesis, Anne kept her Diary before she faced death as an absolute certainty. I believe that this is a major reason why the Diary of Anne Frank lends itself to readings as a mythological representation of universal optimism. Anne Frank was not, of course, the only diarist killed in the Holocaust whose memory has become myth and symbol. Janusz Korczak, educator and pioneer in child welfare, spent the last years of his life in the Warsaw ghetto as the head of an orphanage sheltering 200 Jewish children. On August 5, 1942 at age sixty-four, he accompanied the children in his charge to the gas chamber of Treblinka. "Dr. Korczak has become a legendary symbol of selfless devotion and humanity."3 As Igor Newerly suggests in his Preface to Janusz Korczak's Ghetto Diary the sense of time in a Holocaust diary is like no other. On the one 40

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hand, it is grotesque to compare the ghetto, so much worse a place, to the Secret Annex of Anne Frank. The ghetto was, in Korczak's words, "1. A prison 2. A plague-stricken area 3. A mating ground 4. A lunatic asylum 5. A casino. Monaco. The stake.-your head."3 However, I think that it is analogous to Anne's condition in the unique sense of time: hiding creates an artificial place where hope for a future release coexisted with doom, where normal life is distorted and perverted. Time, in the sense of a normal perspective of days and months, was replaced by an ephemeral present instant -and eternity: Lying down to sleep, nobody was sure that he would not be .. wakened by the sound of a prison van-or shot dead in bed .... [T]here. existed only the possibility of smuggling an existence from one instant to the next, or of utter resignation the fusion of life in some extrapersonal great existence. In something having eternal meaning and dignity: Struggle-truth and beauty-God.4 Korczak arranged to have his diary leave the. ghetto with Newerly instead of saving himself. Thus, as in Anne's case, the. diary becomes the representation, the stand-in and substitute for the whole. person, an equivalency to life after extinction. The writing of the diary and its publication are acts of remembrance. Anne wished to live on in her Diary. Janusz Korczak wrote the Diary, in his own explanation, as "Not so much an attempt at a synthesis as a grave of attempts, experiments, errors. Perhaps it may prove of use to some, some time, in fifty years."S Regarding censorship in the posthumous publication of diaries, issues of age and gender emerge. Anne's diary and Korczak's differ. When Korczak, like Anne, did not survive, his diary was published 'warts and all.' I believe this was a sign of respect for him. The act of deletion from Anne's diary by publishers, editors and her father (at least in his acquiescence to the omissions) is in keeping with the discourse of control I 41

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of adolescents, a lack of respect, as well as of protective love. Newerly knew the writer of the diary before the Holocaust, and thus before its writing. He can compare and contrast the man in different circumstances. Newerly attributes changes in Korczak's personality evidenced by the text of the diary to dire circumstances in the. ghetto: This was a different Korczak. Exhausted, irritable, suspicious, ready to raise hell over a barrel of sauerkraut, a sack of flour. Bear this in mind, too, when reading the Diary, especially Korczak' s opinions on certain people.... At night, he thinks and writes ... .It seems unbelievable that he could still write. In such surroundings, ... he. can only talk to himself on paper, making notes in haphazard abbreviations, almost a cipher; something of his chance thoughts, some memories, a fleeting impression.... The Diary has become no more that a register of psychological moments. This is neither the. legendary Korczak not the real Korczak. .. a third being .... Strikingly varied is the form, from stylistically elaborated sections ... through the concise chronicle accounts right up to thought coded in abbreviations.... Even so, Korczak remains himself from the very first to the very last page ... .In the deluge of total bestiality, he seeks frantically for some minimal scrap of sense.6 Who Anne, the thirteen or fifteen year old girl, was before. her diary, is a text made only after her death and the. fame of the. diary. Commentary of those who knew her, and secondary sources based on this commentary are contradictory: a girl both academically average, and one with extraordinary insight, talent and application for writing, imaginative, childish and mature, charming and nonconformist, ill-mannered, profoundly Jewish or not. Which traits infuse texts about Anrte depend on the uses of her myth, or discourse of the commentator. While this recreation of Janusz by the accounts of those who survived him are also re-writings as representations, we have more of a record of his activities 42

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and publications; over sixty years of material, as it were. Anne's youth makes her remembrance malleable. Newerly is sensitive to the manner in which Janusz' diary conforms to literary conventions. In Januscz case, the beliefs of the author are those of 'Young Poland,' a trend of artistic and literary character, developed chiefly in Cracow at the turn of 19th to 20th centuries. It was directed against the rationalistic point of view. The chief objective was to come back to romantic traditions. Literary tradition is included as part of Korczak's experience; therefore, the diary is not viewed by Newerly as a mirror image of ghetto life. Newerly equates experience with psychological states, psychological states with style, and style with literary traditions.7 The Diary of Anne Frank is about Anne's aspirations to be a professional writer as much as it has the experience of Jews in hiding during the Holocaust. She creates dramatic situations, turns the interaction of her companions into domestic vignettes. She uses her writing for confession, a mode of self-exploration which is pervasive. in European romantic literature since Rousseau, Goethe. and Schiller. We know Anne's wide readings included the works of the German classics. In the Warsaw Ghetto, a section of the Jewish underground, using the name of Oneg Shabbat (Sabbath celebrants), kept diaries and records which, smuggled out or hidden in ghetto milk cans, are a major source of material for the history of the ghetto.s One diary is that of a Warsaw teenager, Mary Berg. Those of Emmanuel Ringelblum, the. historian and Jewish nationalist, and Chaim Kaplan, a religious Hebrew educator, are more famous. The authors, with Anne Frank, have one quality in common which partially explains their effectiveness: they are written in innocence ... [T]he reader 43

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knows what is hidden from the writer. This tragic irony makes the diaries peculiarly moving, and differentiates them from the many circumstantial accounts which will be written by survivors after a lapse of years .... Not only Anne [Frank], ... but the baffled, suffering men are still without our grasp .... Our ability to sympathize with the diarist is due not merely to the fact that an individual moves us more readily than an anonymous multitude, but rather that his sufferings still wear a recognizable shape: they evoke fellow-feeling. This sense will paradoxically lessen when we enter the charnel house.9 The same move from "confused hopefulness to hopelessness" characterized these three very different ghetto diarists during the brief span of time froin November 1940, the creation of the ghetto, to July 22, 1942, the beginning of mass deportations. There is a range of ages and political orientation among the diarists. Ringelblum, 40 years old, has a sense of social responsibility. He is writing history as well as indictment. Kaplan, reclusive, is concerned with Hebrew manuscripts and with judgment of the Jews as well as Germans. The older men suffer from what they see as the spiritual as well as physical decline surrounding them, including their own. Anne Frank documents the psychological effects of increased starvation and confinement in a garret apartment. But physical conditions, and therefore the spiritual and psychological toll on herself and her companions is never as severe.IO All the diarists try to preserve the structures of civilized life, of normalcy. Anne writes her Diary to the rhythms of study, food prepared, meals, helping with the office work of her father's foriner business: a struggle to adapt to the new conditions of restricted life, which was in fact the first turn of a death machine. Mary Berg's detailed observation of daily life juxtaposes the horrific -she turns away from a weeping child who is hungry-with attempts to maintain 'ordinary' life. 44

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Mary Berg's friends take courses given by the Jewish vocational .educational institution, ORT. She records how hard they studied. Schools are forbidden, yet there are dozens held in secret. Ringelblum notes over sixty places for social gatherings at night. Kaplan believes that secret dancing is frivolity, yet adds that it is a blessing to dance; it is a protest against oppressors. Thus, intellectual, spiritual life and Jewish institutions existed to the end. Yet, these institutions and activities, whether dancing or education, have altered, even: perverse, meaning in the context of the. ghetto during the Holocaust. The Frank family. attempted to maintain some structure of a normal life as a sign of hope and to retain sanity. Diaries are 'easier' (on the reader) than death camp literature, in so far as diaries are exercises to maintain personhood for as lorig as possible, whether within the culture of the ghetto or garret. The break between the Diary of Anne Frank, as an example of a diary written in hiding, and the ghetto diaries, is the entrance. of the. ghetto diarists into a psychological state of hopelessness. The diarists assimilate the truth of the 'Final Solution' in the summer of 1942. The two men bitterly reprimand the failure of the ghetto to resist. "Chicken-hearted ones" writes Kaplan (June 16, 1942); Ringelblum asks (October 14, 1942): "Why did we let ourselves be led like sheep to the slaughter?" although acts of resistance were met with massive reprisals against the ghetto. Until mid-1942, they hoped for partial survival of the Jews as a people, among the slaughter of individuals. Also, physical weakness produced stupor and passivity; numerous Jews presented themselves for deportation rather than endure the ghetto. At this time too, Ringelblum hears on the BBC that the world knows; and realized soon after that the democracies will accept the annihilation of European Jewry as a byproduct of the war. It was at this point in 1942 with no hope for survival that the underground 45

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openly called for resistanceknowing it was suicide. A diary like Anne's in which the author's death is imminent but not yet certain to the writer is easier on the reader than a diary of ghetto life. The text is susceptible to the creation of a myth of courage and optimism, because Anne is still intermittently courageous and optimistic. There is, however, a collusion of ignorance among readers and educators in the perpetuation of the dominant Anne Frank myth. By this I mean that Anne knew her death was possible, even probable, if her hiding place was discovered by the authorities during the German occupation of Holland. The reader knows her fate. as a certainty. Yet the Diary of Anne Frank allows us to remember the Holocaust while not confronting its horror. The myth of Anne Frank permits a kind of forgetting as well as remembrance. Voice As History: Women's Memoirs and the Study of Holocaust History I have reflected on the. general characteristics of Holocaust diaries, specifically on the changing psychological states of their authors that created the space for the myth of Anne Frank. Anne. Frank as universal symbol of an innocent victim of the Holocaust is the dominant narrative in academic and popular literature for the reception of her Diary. However, the discussion of the Diary of Anne Frank is subject to alternative Holocaust discourses, local narratives and positional truths. Recent scholarship on women's Holocaust literatUre provides gender as one of these alternative contexts for addressing Anne as a girl and woman. 46

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At the very least, gender complicates the myth. At best, it is a useful critical tool for looking at the tensions and contradictions in Anne's words which are suppressed in the universal discourse. To understand gender in the Diary of Anne Frank, I shall place it in the context of the very rich recent primary and secondary literature on women's Holocaust reminiscences. Women's documentaries prove doubly important. for the study of Holocaust history and literature. From the theoretical point of view, the emergence of women's Holocaust autobiographies marks a turning point in the development from modern to both feminist and postmodern memoir. The importance of women's memoir literature within Jewish historiography, and the history of feminist practice in particular, is reflected in the recognition that the lack of one's own literature would perpetuate a primary form of invisibility. By deciding to speak with their own voices, to write about their own lives, and to interpret their own experiences in the form of memoirs, testimonials,. and chronicles, women have empowered themselves as mediators of historical knowledge, and thus appropriated new roles of political behavior as well as literary texts. The collective determination to break out of the historical molds of silence and submission is one of the most striking features of women's Holocaust and exile autobiographies written after 1933. Moreover, current and future Jewish scholarship needs to recognize. as landmark legacies the importance of women's narratives towards illuminating the gender specific aspects of Jewish communities in times of persecution and imprisonment. What is the justification for listening to women's voices, specifically Jewish women's voices, as they recount their experiences of the Holocaust? Is this discourse cutting the politics of identity too fine, essentializing categories of gender and ethnicity? I will show that the attention to gender-based concerns within women's narratives permeates 47

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the organization of personal and professional accounts, family histories, and the fate of children. The writings were there, but beneath the radar of cultural perception until recently. Holocaust documentaries and testimonies originate in victimization -of sexual subjugation, violence and mutilation. However, women's survivor literature in the form of memoirs contains a wealth of new information about their social and political networks which often illuminate an entirely different dialectic of resistance and survival. Written against the grain of gender-indifferent historical discourses, women's memoirs, diaries, and letters draw unsettling new profiles of the past, and thus launch provocative interpretations of women's roles and destinies. One of the most important differences between women's testimonials and other documentary genres from this period is precisely the insistence of women survivors on revealing relationships among forms of oppression, and among those who suffered or profited from it. 11 Attention to the details of everyday life, emphasis on the gender politics of the camps, focus on the fate of dependents, identification with other women and their families provide the listener I reader with unique readings of the Holocaust. Married and single women from all classes and without fame offer their lives to public view. By foeusing on external circumstances and their impact on individuals, a privileged access to a writing of experience emerges, the female experience(s) in particular, that no other genre can provide. 12 The full spectrum of these autobiographical texts ranges from personal oral reports on the one hand to polished autobiographies on the other. Most of the memoirs I have chosen were written during or shortly after the war, others as recently as the late. 1980's. What prompted women survivors to write their histories and to speak about the most difficult times of their lives? Stated motivations varied. The women sometimes 48

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wished to offer inspiration and advice to younger generations. Although I view them as a woman's way of writing, in the sense that Cixous hopes for, the subjects' themselves wrote from an urgency to propagate individual truths, and to make known the lessons of their personal sufferings, disillusionments, and achievements.13 For most women authors, writing their autobiographies was a distinctly political act requiring careful justification. The common autobiographical objectives center foremost on the mobilization of historical memory in order to expose the processes of victimization and the possibilities of resistance against all odds. In this sense, there is agreement that these works are transgressions, whether considered as autonomous and direct representations of selves or as written bodies. As one autobiographer put it: "We have our whole lives to tell, lives that have been censored, repressed, and suppressed from official versions of history, literature and culture."14 Women in their texts often point beyond the dialectic of resistance and capitulation, and, as autobiographies, these texts might thus be seen as a "revenge on history"lS and the destruction it caused. One of the recurrent characteristics of women's Holocaust and exile autobiographies is an open-ended structure which does not always adhere to chronological and linear orders of Julia Kristeva talks of women's time, in a way that forms one pattern of practicein these memoirs.16 But the narratives often follow bird's eye. perspectives designed to illuminate the ruptures between childhood memories and adult retrospectives from a vantage point above the devastated biographical landscapes. While this distancing can be a sign of psychological disassociation, the act of writing brings the normal and the unspeakable into proximity, if not integration. This process of inter weaving past and present comes across in a passage by Irene Gruenbaum, who described the patterns of her memory in this way: "My thoughts 49

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become entangled, they rush back and forth, remembering again and again the people whom I once knew and loved, who no longer exist. They are around me while I write. I feel their presence."17 What makes women's autobiographies so interesting is the fact that rather than evoking the suffering during the war years, they juxtapose the present with what preceded it in the past. The vignettes of life. before the Holocaust are offered to situate the reader in a present which otherwise would reflect no historical continuity at all. Reflecting on this process, Hilde Domin, a noted post-war poet who had escaped from Germany to the Dominican Republic, offered the following metaphor for the ruptured contours of her life in exile and thereafter: I, Hilde Domin, am amazingly young. I was born in 1951, crying, as everyone does at birth. It was not in Germany, even though German was my mother tongue. Spanish was spoken, and many coconut palms grew in the garden around our house .... My parents were dead when I was born. But, of course, I had always been there. "Always" goes back to just before the so-called first war. Of course my parents were alive then, of course German was spoken .... When I, Hilde. Domin, opened my eyes, tear-reddened, in that house on the edge of the world where pepper and sugar and mango trees grow, but a rose only with difficulty, and apples, and wheat, and birches not at all, I was orphaned and exiled. But I arose and went home into the word .... From where I can not be exiled.18 For many authors, the attempts to reconnect the mosaics of their memories and to break the rings of silence and isolation resulted in conscious postures of self-affirmation and social critique, a narrative practice that permeates the entire genre of texts.19 By questioning the popular images of women's dependencies and vulnerabilities, and by 50

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questioning models of female identity, many memoir writers constructed different notions of autonomy and responsibility. This telling of what one knows becomes an act of political resistance, in the sense that Carol Gilligan fosters in adolescent girls and women, and for which she admires Anne Frank.20 The recognition that the culturally prescribed female role models offered few solutions to the problems of their lives convinced many authors to experiment with new autobiographical formats capable of documenting their personal experiences as well as their political insights. In the following excerpt from her memoir "Hindsight", Charlotte Wolff reflects on her attempts to overcome social restrictions, and to live on the resources of her own "intelligence and wits": We are many persons in one, and contradictory drives can bring spice and confusion into one's life. I had enough spice and a great deal of confusion in my early days in London. Life was like a motion picture, constantly changing in scenery and faces. [ ... ] People who live uneasily in a world of their own need crutches to get along in the world them. The roles of women and men have started to be interchangeable, which will lead to a better, balanced society in the. future. But in the social plight of our age we have to reconcile ourselves to half measures. We are forced to use multiple personalities like players acting different plays.21 What was judged as subversive and unconventional, renegade and provocative behavior in pre,...Holocaust times suddenly became. the generator for a new sense of security and new strategies for survival. Women who survived the Holocaust or exile never speak of resistance as something apart from survival. To be alive meant to have resisted the. terrors of their times. Many women's autobiographies show an implied and often explicit plural subject rather than the. singular subject associated with conventional autobiographies.22 51

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However, in contrast to this reveling in and mastery of multiple selves (taking the risk of dipping into the pre-Oedipal?) a feature of some women's memoirs is just the opposite: the attempt of the writers to appear as 'objective' as possible in presenting the history of their lives. This intention is reflected in the avoidance of emotional displays, and the refrain from personal or political accusations so as not to offend the reader by being too angry, or by showing too much outrage. An example of this self-consciously objective style of reporting can be found in the short autobiographical text by Ellen Schoenheimer, whose account focuses on the family's ordeal in France after Hitler's invasion in 1940. Schoenheimer's text describes the plight of a mother who rescues her son, Pierre, after a German bomb attack of a Jewish refugee convoy south of Paris, where the youngster suffered a serious bullet wound to his Despite the devastation all around her, the mother succeeded in rushing Pierre to a nearby French catholic hospital where. she volunteered to work as an unpaid nurse in order to stay at her son's side. About her experiences in this hospital she reports the following facts: I asked after two weeks if the child would ever be able to move his head again, and the doctor replied: "You ask too many questions, I do not even know if the child will live." If one knows these catholic hospitals, one understands that this reply was not prompted by a lack of compassion. It is their faith that makes them so outspoken. The doctor told me from the beginning: "There is no more hope!" That meant since he did not see any hope for the child; he as a human could not do anything. The decision was up to God, the doctors could only assist the patients by easing their pain, but not more, help must come from God. This attitude results in a lack of action in severe cases, contrary to other hospitals, where an attempt is made to influence the condition by injections, blood transfusions or oxygen. 52

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But the tum came all the same. Maybe. it all sounds slightly exaggerated on paper-but after all these weeks, my nerves were overwrought. On account of the illness of another nurse, I was transferred to the ward for severe infectious diseases. I was not happy about it because it meant that I would only be able to see Pierre at night, after I had changed my clothes, since I was not permitted to go from one ward into another. There I took care for five days of a very intelligent nine-year-old girl. Her condition was deteriorated and she consisted only of skin, bones and gorgeous blond curls which fell out the moment one touched her head. The doctors prescribed "remedies" and one morning towards eleven o'clock, there was foam on her lips, and I, who had never met such a situation before, called the head nurse, who folded the hands of the little girl, and asked me if I wanted to help her. Not knowing what that implied, I answered in the affirmative. Then I had to wash the body, to dress her, to put a thin chain with a cross around the. neck and a bow in the hair, to wrap the. body in a sheet and to lay it out in the mortuary. Then I had to call the parents. I do not know how I accomplished all this. I had only one thought today it is this little girl's tum, tomorrow it might be my son's -and this gave me the strength to face the ordeal.23 We hear a woman adapting to the. outward game of medical-scientific coolness in order to gain her private goal of humane care. and contact with her son. There is a pronounced emphasis by women authors on their interconnectedness, a self-continuousness with other people and their histories experienced relationally rather than on the trials and struggles of the self. The narrator's relationship to her social environment establishes herself as a particular individual whose fate resembles that of many others. Letting other voices speak and be heard in women's testimonials restores the voices of all those who forfeited theirs. This positioning of the author allows for a special relationship with the reader who is called into the text as silent confidant. "Collaboration is inevitable because the reader 53

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is an agent of the text."24 Women's memoirs are historical and political documents of feminist import. When women emigres and survivors of the Holocaust narrate their life stories, we can hardly place the results in the traditional category of memoir literature. Social relationships between women and men, and between women and women changed drastically in times of persecution and imprisonment. For women, this often led to an intensification, strengthening and deepening of their relationships with each other, and to new forms of political solidarity and collaboration among themselves. When exile and the Holocaust did not break up and destroy personal bonds between women, it often enhanced the process, leading to a greater degree of self-reliance. Gerda Klein's Holocaust memoir entitled All But My Life reveals such a process based on assertiveness. In a revealing passage, Klein reflects on a surprising display of her own defiance and fearlessness while confronting a corrupt camp official. She projects an aggressive attitude that seemed very much unlike her former timid self and finally acknowledges the new role and strength as her own: I was thoroughly shaken. I hardly knew myself. I had never spoken like that. I had never felt like that. I was different in a thousand ways from yesterday. But the. knowledge that such strength was within me gave me the courage to go on.25 Women's memoirs often reflect the emergence of a feminist awareness and a new sense of cultural and social independence that is manifested in critical stances towards patriarchal behavior.26 Especially women living on their own resources in exile had to learn quickly how to assert themselves in a man's world. Irene Gruenbaum was one of them, and she remembers an incident in Albania, where she met a group of fellow refugees outside a Jewish meeting place. The. men were engaged in 54

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conversation but when she approached they suddenly fell silent. Angrily, she confronted them about their 'boy's club' mentality. Do you think it is right to keep information from me that is perhaps as important for my life as it is for yours and your family? Does it hurt your pride, that a woman wants to take part in your men's discussion? Have you forgotten that [my husband] is not with me, and that I have to think for myself?"27 Coming to terms with the dehumanizing issues surrounding the Holocaust and exile life became crucial for the struggle for survival. The added dimension of women's voices tells of gender-generated patterns of persecution. To be sure, most accounts by men and women tell of hardships and fear, of desperation and courage, of perseverance and humiliation, of external and internal conditions surrounding life in the camps and in exile. Yet, women's autobiographies portray an added sense of victims' vulnerabilities. Women faced the ordeals of deportation and transplantation in different ways than men. Women often had to overcome overt patterns of sexual discrimination operating against them inside Germany as well as in male dominated exile communities. Hertha Beuthner describes such ordeals in the Jewish ghetto in Shanghai, where, as a single woman, she was not able to rent a room of her own. Instead, she was forced to move in with other refugee families or work as a live.,.in-maid in other homes where she was constantly harassed by the men of the house.28 The dynamics of gender-based socialization and oppression emerges clearly in women's narratives. Abuse and exploitation by SS officials as instruments of terror and control involved primarily women.29 The themes of sexual violence and humiliation are therefore constant fixtures in most of the works written by and about women. In many aspects, women's sexuality constituted an additional dimension of Nazi 55

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persecution. Their memoirs document how the machinery of destruction did single them out as women, as wives and as mothers. There are frequent references how Nazi bureaucrats took advantage of their vulnerabilities as single women, as caretakers of their families or as guardians of their children. Annemarie Wolfram relates such a case of sexual harassment in her autobiographical account written in 1940. It concerns the victimization of her mother and other women by Gestapo officers as seen through the eyes of a young daughter. While working to obtain emigration visas for her imprisoned husband, herself and the children, the mother was forced to cooperate with the Nazi bureaucracy, and one officer in particular, who knew how to exploit the situation on sexual terms. The daughter reports the following episode: A few of Mom's women friends said they thought that Mom's particular Gestapo officer was unusually nice and friendly. When Mom heard this she laughed full of bitterness, "I call this the friendliness of a cannibal. It's written all over his face how overjoyed he feels with anticipation. As if he were thinking: 'How appetizing she is looking. How good she will taste.' And Mommy was right. One time the guy said to her, "We know each other very well by now, don't we. I can see, you are. wearing a different blouse today. You really look very attractive '"[]M 'd30 mIt. ... om cne Sexuality played a crucial role in the history of Jewish persecution and annihilation, one which may not be overlooked in the portrayal of the overall destruction. Women's memoirs provide us with detailed descriptions of gender-based discrimination that constantly threatened their survival. Marlene Heinemann's study Gender and Destiny. Women Writers and the Holocaust provides a thorough investigation of sexual abuse cases reported in the literature. Although the exchange of sex for greater survival odds in the camps was also part of the male experience, 56

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Heinemann points out that sexual exploitation as an instrument of power was primarily directed towards female inmates. A quote from Fania Finelon's autobiography Playing For Time underscores the brutality and gender specificity of such abuse in the camps: A couple of months previous, [commander Tauber] had brought a thousand women out into the snow, lined them up, entirely naked, in the freezing air, then moving along their ranks, lifted their breasts with the tip of his whip. Those whose breasts sagged went to the left, those whose breasts remained firm went to the right and were spared a little longer, except of course for those who perished from the cold.31 The range of cases documenting women's gender-based victimization defies the categorizations subsumed under the terms sexual abuse, assault, cruelty and rape. Perhaps the physical and psychological traumas resulting from such brutalities have prevented many women from ever reporting their case histories in writing. Sometimes, however, women were able to rig the racism, sexism, and sadism of their tormenters in order to secure their own survival. There are a number of reported cases where women outsmarted the patriarchal system by turning their vulnerabilities into unique tools for escape. This became apparent when women exploited the role of sexual temptress in order to ouhnaneuver Nazi officials, and thus succeeded in overcoming their oppressors. Paula Littauer describes her tactics as a Jewish refugee, when she escaped from Berlin in 1943. She attempted to go across the border with a fake. French passport. In order to save herself and her women friend from detection by Nazi customs officials on the train, she offered to pay a German prostitute to travel with her. At the. border, the German woman began to flirt with the officer and seduced him at the. right time in an adjacent train comparhnent. The scheme worked. Littauer slipped across the check point and survived the war as an illegal refugee in 57

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Belgium. The wit of women like her point to gender generated strategies of resistance based on resourcefulness and courage.32 The legacies of women's memoirs extend well beyond the established paradigms of remembrance. Besides accounting for an objective, factual, and historical reality, women's memoirs succeed in infusing our understanding of the Holocaust with a new gender-based specificity without which the historical realm would remain remote and abstract.33 The history of persecution, oppression, and destruction of Jewish life was based very much on a differentiation between the. sexes. Rather than abstracting from these differences in order to distill universal historical lessons, we need to focus more on the distinct circumstances separating male and female experiences, without essentializing either.34 Anne. F:rank: Diaries. Gender. and the. Adolescent Heroine. Now that I have demonstrated how gender has emerged as a useful subject position in Holocaust studies, I shall continue the story about the gender specificity of Holocaust history by applying the concept of gender to the study of the Diary of Anne Frank. In addition to the themes outlined in women's testimonials, an acceptance of psychoanalytic theory in the creation of gender has recently brought forth a feminist practice of psychoanalysis that is particularly helpful in approaching the Diary of Anne Frank. Specifically, the Diary illustrates themes in feminist practice based on a revised interpretation of Freudian theory developed by Carol Gilligan. Gilligan's essay "Joining the resistance" 35 centers on the 58

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development of teenage girls. In it, she responds to charges that her earlier work, which valued gender difference as a dynamic for women's moral choices, was 'essentialist'. She demonstrates in her complex exposition that there are possible points of 'resistance' in adolescence which can bring about social change. Gilligan's theory is that adolescence for girls in some ways parallels the Oedipal situation in young boys. Until the age of about twelve, girls exhibit energy, questioning, and self-confidence in their own knowledge. But in adolescence, an idealization of 'the. perfect woman' is accompanied by loss. The loss is of themselves, of the embodied girl/ woman, and with it, disconnection from whatever particular and real knowledge they had. Freud observed the price paid for entry into womanhood -a seeming diminishment of an attitude of intelligence and initiative. Gilligan accepts Freud's model for how culture. reproduces itself, but she. sees a capacity for change in the 'nominal essence' of woman. Anne Frank, between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, struggled with the. issues of how a woman can be the subject of her own life. The editing, or censorship, of Anne Frank's diary is a case in point. When he first had the Diary published, Otto Frank had to bear several points in mind. To begin with, the book had to be kept short so that it would fit in with a series format by the Dutch publisher. In addition, several passages dealing with Anne's sexuality were. omitted. According to Mr. Frank, at the time of the diary's initial publication in 1947, it was not customary to write openly about sex in books for young adults. Out of respect for the dead, Otto Frank also omitted a number of unflattering passages about his wife and other residents of the Secret Annex. Anne Frank wrote without reserve about these subjects, and of her likes and dislikes. Gilligan's piece is about 'voice.' Her experiences working with 'The Outing, Writing, and Theater Club' of the Atrium School, a girl's school in 59

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Watertown, Massachusetts, include analysis of various art exhibits and literature, including the Diary of Anne Frank. The girls' group fosters independent expression. In with her research on girls, Gilligan interviews teachers of the Laurel School in Cleveland. The latter interviews reveal that adolescent girls are often 'corrected' by women who have gained some measure of institutional authority. For example, the girls at Laurel critique "To a Coy Mistress" with a reading which gives voice to the young mistress. These older women have themselves conventionally avoided anger and conflict in the. public sphere as part of their culturally inherited gender formation. Gilligan suggests an alternative discourse of mothering, mentoring and the feminine. The concept of 'voice' assumes the possibility of authenticity. Gilligan's young women at the Outing Club read the Diary and have much in common with the diarist. Anne is in conflict. What Anne is learning, and fighting, is to what extent she must bring herself into line with the world around her. Anne both hesitates and wishes to bring herself into agreement with others so as not to 'mess up' relationships. This urgent desire for human connection to bring one's own inner world of thoughts and feelings into relationship with the thoughts and feelings of others feels very pressing to girls who fight for authentic relationships and who resist being shut up, put down, or ignored. 36 Anne Frank, in one of the. diary entries suppressed until publication in 1989, comments on the. silences which surround the subject of sex. In her full entry for March 18, 1944, at the age of fourteen, she writes: Dearest Kitty, I've told you more about myself ana my feelings than I've ever told a living soul, so why shouldn't that include. sex? Parents, and people in general, are very peculiar when it comes to sex. Instead of telling their sons and daughters everything at the age of twelve, they send the children out of the room the moment the subject arises and leave them to 60

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find out everything on their own. Later on, when parents notice that their children have, somehow, come by their information, they assume they know more (or less) than they actually do. So why don't they try to make amends by asking them what's what? A major stumbling block for adults -though in my opinion it's no more than a pebble is that they're afraid their children will no longer look upon marriage as purity is a lot of nonsense. As far as I'm concerned, it's not wrong for a man to bring a little experience to a marriage. After all,it has nothing to do with the marriage itself, does it? Soon after I turned eleven, they told me about menstruation. But even then, I had no idea where the blood came from or what it was for. When I was twelve and a half, I learned some more from Jacques, who wasn't as ignorant as I was. My own intuition told me what a man and a woman do when they're together; it seemed like a crazy idea at first, but when Jacques confirmed it, I was proud of myself for having figured it out! It was also Jacques who told me that children didn't come out of their mother's tummies .... Jacques and I found out about the hymen, and quite a few other details, from a book on sex education .... When I came here, Father told me about prostitutes, etc., but all in all there are still unanswered questions. If mothers don't tell their children everything, they hear it in bits and pieces, and that can't be right.. .. 37 It is Anne's pride at her knowledge of her body that cannot be public knowledge, and the suppression of which leads to psychological resistance, i.e. a neurotic double vision in woman. There is a long entry for March 24, 1944 in which Anne comments on how easy it is to see the. male genitals, which she knows by photographs of male nudes, compared to a girl's parts. She is intensely curious to get her descriptions right. "Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn't realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn't see them .... I asked Mother one time what that little. bump was [the clitoris], and she said she didn't know. She can really play 61

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dumb when she wants to!"(my italics added). Anne then gives herself the task of describing a woman, as a kind of dare/ challenge to herself. "Okay, here goes! .. That's all there is, and yet it plays such an important role!" Again, the tone is one of knowing the world honestly by knowing her own body. Also, this is a writing exercise: describe a scene. It is clear from Anne Frank the link between women's embodiment, owning one's body with pride, and her direct perception of the world at large. But both the suppression and the expression of what women know is dangerous. A way out for girls, according to Gilligan, is to have more honest women mentors, be they mothers or teachers. Part of Anne's difficult relationship with her mother is Mrs. Frank's role of indoctrinating Anne into the more restrained and constrained role of traditional womanhood. There is an aspect of their mother-daughter entanglements outside of this theoretical frame. Anne's identification with her father and denigration of her mother is typical of women who see traditional women's activities as inadequate, in Freudian (pre-feminist) terms: (April 11, 1944) I'm becoming more. and more independent of my parents. Young as I am, I face life with more courage and have a better and truer sense of justice than Mother. I know what I want. I have a goal, I have opinions, a religion and love. If only I can be myself, I'll be satisfied. I know that I'm a woman, a woman with inner strength and a great deal of courage! If God lets me live, I'll achieve more than Mother ever did, I'll make my voice heard, I'll go out into the world and work for mankind! I now know that courage and happiness are. needed first!" This reading of the Diary of Anne Frank based on gender as a historical frame of reference undermines the reading of Anne Frank as idealized myth. 62

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However, as textual deconstruction is a fluid process, let me further question the seamlessness of the reading which forefronts gender. Insistence on a singular reading undermines another important discourse. Gilligan's feminist psychoanalytic theories when applied to an analysis of the Diary of Anne Frank ignore the excruciating special conditions under which it was written. The Holocaust is downplayed in gender-based studies of the diary. Anne's Jewish identity is not explored when one speaks of the diary as indicative of female adolescent development in such extreme and life-threatening circumstances. The tension in the. communal household of the Secret Annex was intense. It may be. that Anne acted out her terrors on her loving family because of these exceptional and abnormal conditions. Anne herself revised her diary with a view to future publication. Perhaps Otto Frank's censorship of Anne's harsh judgments of others, especially of her mother, was an interpretation that, ironically, represented Anne's final relations with her family more faithfully than her own words. After all, in the concentration camps Anne in her last days was quiet, her 'chatterbox' enthusiasm gone.38 The. Frank women clung to each other until they died, the mother at Auschwitz, the sisters within days of each other at Belsen. The family, when directly threatened, reacted as a loving, mutually protective unit. However, posterity insists on having access to the 'true voice.' The complete written 'witness' of the diary, in this case as the alternative discourse of a feminist text, ignores Anne's last days. 63

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Anne and Moshe: Two Adolescent Diaries of the Holocaust I have considered the Diary of Anne Frank as the quintessential heroic example of Holocaust literature, and as a subject of gender studies: Anne Frank as a young woman struggling with the contradictions of the roles of women in Western society at mid-century. There is an additional reading of Anne Frank concerning gender. A discussion of the place of women in Judaism is an unspoken text in the Diary Once again, Carol Gilligan's thesis of judgments about traits in adolescent girls and the cultural reproduction of patriarchy39 helps elucidate this problem of gender bias although, as I have stated, Gilligan herself is not interested in Anne's Jewish identity. The way in which Jewish post-Enlightenment emancipation interacts with the conflicts of gender identity inherent in woman's emancipation has not been a subject for Anne Frank studies. Gender bias appears in commentaries on the Diary of Anne Frank around the issue of women and Judaism. The most famous Holocaust diary of adolescence, Anne Frank's, is often compared to that of the.lB year-old Moshe Flinker's, The Diary of Moshe.40 Commentary and comparison of these two Holocaust diaries by such critics as James Young, a leading writer on the representation of the Holocaust in art and literature, and by Marie Syrkin immediately brings to light gender-based perceptions and gender bias. Thus, an explication of the. critical reception of these two Holocaust diaries by adolescents is useful as a case study. The Flinker and Frank families were economically both well-to-do before the advent of Hitler. Moshe was one of the seven children of Polish-born Eliezer Flinker, a businessman residing in Holland who fled to Belgium in 1942 with his family to live. openly in Brussels on an 'Aryan' permit. Moshe's diary was discovered in the. basement of the 64

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Flinker's apartment after the war and published in Israel in 1958. The families differed in religious orientation. The Flinkers were Orthodox, whereas the Franks were affiliated with the Liberal/Reform m<:>Vement of Judaism. The use of terminology is important. Young's text refers to the Franks as assimilated, rather than as Liberal, which over emphasizes their identity in the non-Jewish world, rather than validating their Jewish identity. The assumption of these critics is that a Liberal (Reform) Jew is not really a Jew. The boy Moshe' s fundamentalist religion, his Zionism and his plans for his future are taken seriously and sympathetically. Moshe spends his days reading Hebrew and Yiddish books. His only non religious studies entail learning French and Arabic. because after the war, he writes in December 1942, he intends to be "a Jewish statesman in the Land of Israel." Marie Syrkin comments, "But the boy is not indulging in an idle fantasy; he is a believer waiting for Redemption."41 Moshe, the Zionist is "troubled by the premonition that the sufferings of the Jews will prove meaningless, the survivors will reject redemption: "I have often asked my Jewish acquaintances what they think the state of affairs will be after the war and I have always received the same answer -that everything will be as it was; we shall continue to stay where we now live and life will go on as before."{November 30, 1942) 42 The boy declares that this is not G-d's will; in his world view, the Jews were driven out so they would return to the land of Israel. Because he gives a religious rationale, he is "brooding, scholarly, obviously an Ilui (a prodigy). He. engages in a theodicy which rivals that of [the Warsaw ghetto diarists] in its probing,"43 Moshe at no point diminishes the horror that is taking place; he interprets the war and the destruction of the Jews as a preparation for the coming of the Messiah: I think that this war will end with the downfall of most of 65

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the world because all have tortured our people. As I see it, the only thing that is delaying the approach of our salvation is that certain countries have not committed enough sins to blacken their names completely. The most important of these nations are England and America (the sins of Germany and Russia are now sufficiently enormous). Now,when England and America every day drop bombs on defenseless towns, on women, children and the aged, their list of sins must be getting longer .... But it is as yet impossible to be saved for the American has not amassed his quota of sin. (June 13, 1943)44 After this Syrkin still can write, "Despite this passage, Moshe is no religious zealot..." Yet she refers to him elsewhere as "the possessed boy wandering on a Brussels street."45 Let us attach consideration of gender to Moshe's vision. Jewish emancipation in Europe coincided with woman's emancipation as a product of the Enlightenment. In Moshe's religious world, Anne Frank could not have existed. First, as a woman, Anne. is a product of the Enlightenment in education and attitude. Second, the. Orthodox religious rationale for the Holocaust is that Jews became assimilated. In the Orthodox view, the Jews had abandoned their traditions. This position invalidates carte blanche the. Franks' suffering, as the Orthodox blame Jews like the Franks for their own annihilation. If one looks at Moshe's diary as a reflection of the development of a 16-18 year old male adolescent, what emerges? At a time. when according to Freudian views of normal male. development, one is begii1Iling to assume those prerogatives promised to males in infancy but delayed until puberty choosing work and looking for a mate-what are his options? He is a lonely boy, pretending to be Christian. He watches the gaiety and indifference of young Belgians from afar.46 Normal social contact is denied him. He sublimates in religious fervor. His father is a businessman, but Moshe can neither get a job, nor 66

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attend a school to prepare for a profession. However, the role of 'Yeshiva boy,' in a solitary school of one, corresponds more or less to a 'normal' and accepted male role. There is nothing normal in his situation, but this identification with G-d the Father approximates a path into manhood in the prewar (and pre-emancipation) world. He funnels his personal rage and disillusionment into his apocalyptic vision. "[H]e never questions divine justice" says Syrkin. But to do so would be to face meaninglessness and a crisis of identity. An Orthodox girl would not be allowed to read the books in which Moshe exercised his intelligence and took solace. The terrible dilemma of the trapped Finker family is revealed through this sharply etched diary. Yet its production as well as reception illuminate choices that are issues of gender as well as of the Holocaust. In James Young's comparison of Anne and Moshe, quotations from the play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett entitledThe Diary of Anne Frank indiscriminately mix with passages from Anne Frank's diary on which the play is based. The use of the play as a substitution for Anne's diary is a sign of disrespect. The play is a separate work of art. Both are interpreted as 'sunny,' a verdict I believe. accurate for the play but not the diary. More sentimental than the diary, it is the play which launched the process of turning Anne Frank into the idealized symbol of the Holocaust victim, petulant but pure at heart. Young analyzes Anne and Moshe' s diaries: It is worth comparing the language, themes, preoccupations, and conclusions of the two best-known Holocaust diaries of "young people," Young Moshe's Diary and The Diary of a Young Girl. Both Moshe Flinker and Anne Frank were Dutch-reared, teenaged diarists in hiding, who eventually perished in the camps. But where Moshe was reared in a religious home, a Zionist, and wrote his diary in Hebrew, Anne was assimilated, non-Zionist, and wrote in Dutch.47 67

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At this point Anne is set up for a fall, as the word 'religious' is used to deny her Liberal religious affiliation. The sentence is framed in a dichotomy on Moshe's terms. I shall reverse the bias, to illustrate its base in gender, compounded by Young's slant towards religious Orthodoxy. The two diarists could be compared this way in my version of this comparison: Whereas Anne read widely, identified in an almost mystical way with the fate of the Jewish people, practiced to be a journalist, while crammed into limited space with seven others which tested the limits of civility, Moshe retreated into visions of religious retribution and Jewish nationalism. Moshe's wish to be an Israeli statesman is a vision of upper-middle class careerism, one that presupposes peace and tranquility along with his apocalypse. Anne's view of a world of widened opportunity for her and Jewish women like her, is one not necessarily included in Moshe's vision of the future. Young, whose deconstruction of texts is usually impressive, privileges the transcendental over Anne's relational expressions about people, without deconstructing Moshe's supernatural beliefs: Alternately jaded and optimistic, Anne's diary reflects both the darkness around her and her own compulsion to be -and therefore, it seems, to see -good. 'It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals,' Anne writes two weeks before her capture, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. tsimply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.48 68

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In my reading, Anne's Judaism pervades her life and diary. She attends a Jewish LyceumGune 12, 1942) before going into hiding. She tells of pogroms in Germany in 1938 and her uncles fleeing to America. On June 15, a long list of laws against the Jews are included: after May 1940, the good times were few and far between, she states. She attends a Zionist club against her grandparents advice, although "I'm not a fanatic Zionist." When locked in the overcrowded garrett, irritability is rampant and counter-productive to survival. Her writing about people and their interchanges relieves the likelihood of destructive confrontations, numerous as these are nonetheless. Her preoccupation with Jewish fate, and her solidarity with it, is constant. On October 9, 1942, she writes a long entry on the news, which she receives intermittently: Today I have nothing but dismal and depressing news to report. Our many Jewish friends and acquaintances are being taken away in droves. The Gestapo is treating them very roughly and transporting them in cattle cars to Westerbork, the big camp in Oren the to which they're sending all the Jews ... If it's that bad in Holland, what must it be like in those faraway and uncivilized places where the Germans are sending them: We assume that most of them are being murdered. The English radio says they're being gassed. Perhaps that's the quickest way to die. I feel terrible ... but that's not the end of my lamentations ... Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I'm actually one of them! No, that's not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and the Jews. This entry is typical. Anne is hungry for news and she reacts deeply at each revelation about the Jews. My interpretation is that she takes the news as if it is happening to her. Anne lives in a precarious little society; a modicum of good cheer is a tactic for mutual survival. Yet fright, horror stories, guns are a leitmotif throughout Anne's diary. 69

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She personalizes the Holocaust. On December 29, 1943 she thinks of her dead grandparents, then of a friend: And Hanneli? Is she still alive: What's she doing? Dear God, watch over her and bring her back to us. Hanneli, you're a reminder of what my fate might have been .... Why do I always think and dream the most awful things and want to scream in terror? Because, in spite of everything, I still don't have enough faith in God. He's given me so much, which I don't deserve, and yet each day I make so many mistakes! Thinking about the suffering of those you hold dear can reduce you to tears; in fact you could spend the whole day crying. The most you can do is pray for God to perform a miracle and save at least some of them. And I hope I'm doing enough of that! Young's conclusion regarding Anne is that: Even though she felt the suffering of millions, in the context of her assimilated world view, it seems to have been as an extremely sensitive and intelligent member of the human community, and not as one who identified herself as part of a collective jewish tragedy."(my italics added.) In contrast, Moshe Flinker identified with practically all of Jewish history and politics from the start of his diary: as a self-conscious Zionist who writes in Hebrew, he is both ideologically and linguistically part of his people. (my italics added.) Following his afternoon prayers on the last day of his diary, Moshe writes, The. sky is covered with bloody clouds, and I am frightened when I see it.. .. 'Where do these clouds come from? ... everything is clear to me .... They come from the. seas of blood ... brought about by the millions of Jews who have been captured and who knows where they are? 'We are the bleeding clouds .... We are witnesses; we were sent by our people to show you their troubles ... Though both of these young diarists met the same end, they grasped their circumstances in radically different ways. Where Anne might have seen beauty and hope in a fiery sunset, Moshe "saw" only apocalypse. The "vision" of events 70

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in these diaries depended on the languages, figures,and even religious training that ultimately framed these testimonies.49 Anne's references to the sky come in longings for nature. She loves her adopted country, Holland. She wants to become a Dutch citizen after the war, and she is deeply Jewish: (April 11, 1944) We've been strongly reminded of the fact that we're Jews in chains, chained to one spot, without any rights, but with a thousand obligations. We must put our feelings aside; we must be. brave and strong, bear discomfort without complaint, do whatever is in our power and trust in God. One day this terrible war will be over. The time will come when we'll be people again and not just Jews.! Who has inflicted this on us? Who has set us apart from all the rest? Who has put us through such suffering? It's God who has made us the way we are, but it's also God who will lift us up again. In the eyes of the world, we're doomed, but if, after all this suffering, there are. still Jews left, the. Jewish people will be held up as an example. Who knows, maybe our religion will teach the world and all the people in it about goodness, and that's the reason, the only reason, we have to suffer. We can never be just Dutch, or just English, or whatever, we will always be Jews as well. And we'll have to keep on being Jews, but then, we'll want to be. Be brave! Let's remember our duty and perform it without complaint. There will be. a way out. God has never deserted our people. Through the ages Jews have had to suffer, but through the ages they've gone on living, and the centuries of suffering have. only made them stronger. The weak shall fall and the strong shall survive and not be defeated! These are the words of a young woman who identified herself very much with the Holocaust as a collective Jewish tragedy. The very popularity of Anne's diary makes it suspect to academic critics, except for feminists. With this latter exception, there is an overlap of negativity based on gender compounded with religious issues. Young 71

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inadvertently provides a case study which demonstrates his own theoretical position: that the reader of diaries, too, re-writes the Holocaust. It took Anne Frank, a young woman of emancipated Judaism to conceptualize and to give voice to tragedy as she observed, lived and wrote it. Most importantly, Anne Frank gazes at men, at everyone and everything, an attitude discouraged in Orthodox women. In her diary, this woman-in-formation sees and tells, not only of 'the good', but of the wilderness, the darkness. 72

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FOOTNOTES 1. Judith Miller, One by One by One: Facing the Holocaust. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), vii. 2. Marie Syrkin and Ruth Kunzer, "Holocaust Literature I: Diaries and Memoirs," in Byron L. Sherwin and Susan G. Ament, eds., Encountering the Holocaust: An Interdisciplinary Survey (Chicago: Impact Press, 1979). 3. Janusz Korczak, Ghetto Diary (New York: Holocaust.Library, 1978), book jacket and p. 185. Janusz Korczak was the pen name of Hersh Goldszmit. He considered Polish, not Yiddish, as his mother tongue. His wife, Stefana Wilczynska, like Korczak from an upper middle class Jewish soCial milieu similar to the Franks, worked by his side at the Orphanage and also stayed to protect and die with the. children. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) commemorated the lOOth anniversary of his birth in the year of the diary's publication, 1978. The flap refers to "the entire civilized world" observing this anniversary. In language appropriately inappropriate. for a Jew, the blurb states he "has become a patron saint to educators and physicians through-out the world." A "Statement of Purpose" about the Holocaust Library, publishers of the book, opposite the title page reads: "The Holocaust Library was created and is managed by survivors. Its purpose. is to offer to the reading public authentic material, not readily available, and to preserve the memory of our martyrs and hero untainted by arbitrary or inadvertent distortions. With each passing the memory of the. tragedy of European Jews, the greatest crime in the annals of mankind, recedes into history. The witnesses and survivors of the holocaust are still alive, their memories remain vivid; yet, a malicious myth about their experience keeps rising before our eyes, distorting and misinterpreting evidence, perverting history. As new generations arise, so grows the incredible ignorance about our tragedy. Millions of men and women, Jews and Gentiles, are unaware of the basic facts of the tragedy, may have never even heard the word "holocaust." This is a seed of a new disaster. The holocaust story should be untiringly told and retold making the world aware of its lessons. This can contribute to that more construction which alone may prevent a repetition of the catastrophe in our hate,-and violence-stricken world. Advisory Board: Alexander Donat (Chairman), Sam E. Bloch, William H. Donat, Hadassah Rosensaft, Leon W. Wells, Elie Wiesel." 73

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4, 5. ibid., Korczak, pp. 687, 67. 6. Newerly in Korczak, p. 73-74. 7. The practice of shocking bourgeois conventions was specific to the 'Young Poland' literary program. Of his own diary, Korczak wrote in 1943: "I have read it over. I could hardly understand it. And the reader? No wonder, that the memoirs are incomprehensible to the reader. Is it possible to understand someone else's reminiscences, someone else's life? It seems that I ought to be able to perceive without effort what I myself write about. Ah, but is it possible to understand one's own remembrances?" Korczak, p. 151. 8. Chaim Kaplan, Scroll of Agony (New York: Macmillan, Collier, 1965, 1973; Emmanuel Ringelblum, Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto (New York: McGraw Hill, Schocken, 1958, 1974). Excerpts in Byron L. Sherwin and Susan G. Ament, eds., Encountering the Holocaust: An InterdisciplinanJ Survey (Chicago: Impact Press, 1979), pp. 226-265; and Mary Berg, Warsaw Ghetto (New York: Fischer, 1945). Mary Berg, who wrote in Polish, reached the U.S. in 1944. Emmanuel Ringelblum took part in the ghetto uprising, survived it and was recaptured by the Germans in 1944. Ringelblum and Chaim Kaplan died in camps. 9, 10. Marie Syrkin and Ruth Kunzer, pp. 227, 236. One of Ringleblum's early entries (May 9, 1940) is of an eight-year-old boy who screams "I want to steal, I want to rob, I want to eat, I want to be a German." In a hospital, Jewish mental patients praised Hitler and gave the Nazi salute. (September 9, 1940). Kaplan, a religious man, interrogates G-d, with language that recalls the Book of Job. "But He Who sits in Heaven Laughs." (October 24, 1940).] For the first two years, each new Nazi decree surprises the inhabitants, as they do not make sense in normal human terms. The overall cold logic and design to the whole has not yet been taken in. This is also the state of "confused hopefulness" in which Anne wrote her Diary. One of the many black ironies in the ghetto offered by these three diaries is that radical separation of the Jews produced at first some nationalistic reactions. This false hopefulness for relative autonomy is typical of the illusions and delusions, in rumors especially, controlled by the Nazis. Anne, too, despairs of the endless round of argumentative political speculation and rumor within her group. Kaplan writes 74

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sardonically of the Jewish police (December 21, 1940): "The residents of the ghetto are beginning to think they are in Tel Aviv. Strong bona fide policemen from among our brothers to whom you can speak in Yiddish." Mary Berg is one of the ordinary people about whom Kaplan is condescending. The Jewish policemen with symbols of authority give her a thrill: "I experience a strange and utterly illogical feeling of satisfaction when I see a Jewish policeman at a crossing." (December 22, 1940) She describes the "cordial" attitude. of the inmates of the ghetto to the Jewish police at this stage. Ringelblum confirms this general feeling (February 19, 1941): "You would have minded a Polish policeman so why don't you mind a Jewish one?" The diaries trace how within a year the Jewish police was the most hated element in the ghetto. No later discussion could be more poignant than the ghetto dwellers range of emotions, condemning but also sympathizing with, the position of the other delegated authority of the Germans, the Jewish Council. An instrument of the Nazis, the Judenrat had to carry out the administration of the ghetto, and eventually, make the selection for deportation. In Warsaw, the members of the Council were not acknowledged Jewish leaders. Kaplan labels them "this criminal gang;" Ringelblum refers to them as "ruffians." When there is starvation and typhus Ganuary 1942) those with money fare better, and the. poor at first fill the quotas required by the Germans. There is ambivalence of judgment when Adam Czerniakow, head of the Council, committed suicide on July 24, 1942. Mary, who takes things at face value more than Anne Frank or the older Warsaw diarists, writes of his "great courage and energy until the last moment"; Ringelblum has only a brusque note: "too late, a sign of weakness-should have called for resistance-a weak man." Kaplan, who has been Czerniakow's and the ]udenrat's most savage attacker, writes, "His end proves conclusively that he worked and strove for the good of his people; that he wanted its welfare and continuity even though not everything done in his name was praiseworthy." This reflects the basic dilemma of the ghetto-that it had to live and die by quotas if it were nof to perish at once. In the descriptions of cultural activity, the distortion of meanings in the ghetto comes through. Mary Berg, many of whose friends were budding painters and musicians, describes the concerts and art exhibits of her fellow students. At an exhibition of the work of her school, still lifes are the most popular. Drawings of beggars do not attract many viewers. "The spectators feast their eyes on the apples, carrots and foodstuffs so 75

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realistically painted." An especially liked exhibit is the architectural designs for postwar houses surrounded by gardens: "The visitors at the exhibition look with pride at these housing projects for Poland of the future ... which of us will live to see it?" (September 28, 1941). Thus, the physicality of the sensation of hunger dominates the making and reception of art. There is minimal sublimational activity: enough to channel hunger into the conventional genre of still-life. Ironically, this humble art class exercise represents the communal aspirations of the ghetto. Comments praising representational accuracy, (that of language as mimesis), which would be only part of an array of critical commentary at an art exhibit 'outside,' become the expression of communal desire. It is not noted whether still -lifes were drawn from life or memory. In architecture, the drawings share the conviction of students outside the ghetto that urban housing estates were the sign of modern life. One cannot tell if the Jewish students preferred the idiom of highrises in glass and steel, or vernacular style projects from Mary's comments. Outside the ghetto such housing estates, of the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, and others, stood for a combination of practicality and utopian social vision. Here utopia the Poland of the futuredenies the Poland of the present. The mundane, housing, is a heaven to be entered not by dying but by living. Thus, in the endless ironies of the ghetto, utopia, no where, is truly unattainable for these Jewish adolescents. These architecture students still have hope, even hope in Poland. Six months before the ghetto's last stand, Mary Berg describes the appeals of the Jewish underground (September 20, 1942): "The population is summoned to resist with weapons in their hands and warned against defeatist moods ... Let us die like men and not like sheep' ends a proclamation in a paper called To Arms." The ghetto had few arms. "To die with honor" becomes the slogan of the Jewish fighters and the uprising of April 1943. According to Marie Syrkin: "The notion that dismembered European Jewry had tangible means of resistance against the Nazi machine is part of the mythology of hindsight." The scope of this thesis does not include a the discussion of the issue of Jewish resistance. 11. R. Ruth Linden,Making Stories, Making Selves: Feminist Reflections on the Holocaust (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1993). 12. Ellen S. Fine, "Women Writers and the Holocaust: Strategies for Survival" in Randolph L. Braham, ed.,Reflections of the I-folocaust in Art and Literature. Social Science Monographs, Boulder and The Csengeri 76

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Institute for Holocaust Studies. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990). 13. See Doris Sommer, "Not Just a Personal Story" in Bella Brodzki and Celeste Schenk, eds., Life/Lines. Theorizing Women's Autobiography (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988), p. 108. 14., 15. Sybil Milton, "Women and the Holocaust" in Renate. Bridenthal, ed., When Biology became Destiny. Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984), pp. 78, 93. 16. J. Kristeva, "Women's time" in Toril Moi, ed., The Kristeva reader (New York: Columbia, 1979, 1986). 17. Irene Gruenbaum, "Balkan Exile: The Autobiography of Irene Gruenbaum" Yearbook of the Leo Baeck Institute 39 (1994) 239. 18. Hilde Domin, "Among Acrobats and Birds" in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed., Women of Exile. German-jewish Autobiographies Since 1933 (Westport, New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), p. 210. 19. Vera Laska, ed., Women in the Resistance and in the Holocaust: The Voices of Eyewitnesses Contributions in Women's Studies, #37 (Westport, Connecticut and London, England: Greenwood Press, 1983), pp. 102-112. 20. Carol Gilligan, "In a different voice: Women's conception of self and morality'' Harvard Educational Review, 47 (1977), 481-517; Carol Gilligan, "Joining the resistance: Psychology, politics, girls and women," in L. Goldstein, ed., The female body. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991). 21. Charlotte Wolff, Hindsight (New York: Quartet Books, 1983), p. 161. 22. EllenS. Fine, "Women Writers and the Holocaust: Strategies for Survival" iri Randolph L. Braham, ed., Reflections of the Holocaust in Art and Literature Social Science Monographs, Boulder and The Csengeri Institute for Holocaust Studies (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 79-96. 77

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23. Ellen Schoenheimer, "Refugee Life in France" in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, Women of Exile. Gennan-]ewish Autobiographies Since 1933 (Westport, New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), p. 109-120. 24. J. Bruner, Actual minds, possible words (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986) as quoted in Catherine Kohler Riessman, Narrative analysis Qualitative Research Methods Series 30 (Newbury Park, London, New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 1993), p.14. 25. Gerda Klein, All But My Life (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957), p. 100. 26. Not every woman's testimonial focuses on gender issues. Margarete Stem was a young housewife and mother of two children. Stern was one of the very few refugees from Europe who survived the brutal treatment of the Japanese after their occupation of Manila. The. pain and shame surrounding Stern's imprisonment caused her not to elaborate on any gender specific aspects of her torments except by stating that "I don't want to speak about the tortures and horrors of this time, other than saying that more than 90 percent [of us] in Fort Santiago did not survive imprisonment." Margarete Stern, "Wien-Manila (Philippinen)" Manuscript 01/178, Ball-Kaduri collection, Yad Vashem. Published in German in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed., Erinnerungen deutsch-j I discher Frauen 1900-1990 (Leipzig: Reclam, 1992). Eng. trans. The German Internet Project. 27. Gruenbaum, p. 244. 28. Hertha Beuthner, "Meine persunlichen Aufzeichnungen" (1946). Manuscript, memoir collection, Leo Baeck Institute. An excerpt from this text was published in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed., Erinnerungen deutsch-j I discher Frauen 1900-1990, p. 280-298. Eng. trans. The German Internet Project. 29. Marlene E. Heinemann, "FemaJe,..Centered Themes: Anatomy and Destiny,"Gender and Destiny. Women Writers and the Holocaust. (Westport, New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), p. 13-35. 30. Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed.,Women of Exile. German-Jewish Autobiographies Since 1933 p. 84. 78

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31. Fania Finelon, Playing For Time (New York: Atheneum, 1977), p. 158. 32. Paula Littauer, "Jewish Survivors' Report No. 5: My Experiences during the Persecution of the Jews in Berlin and Brussels 1939-1944" Manuscript, Ball-Kaduri collection (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1945). Excerpt in Andreas Lixl-Purcell, ed.,Women of Exile. German-Jewish Autobiographies Since 1933 p. 133-147. 33. Regarding the renewed interest in women's autobiographies, biographies and narrative analysis, see also: Susan Groag Bell and Marilyn Yalom, eds., Revealing Lives. Autobiography, Biography and Gender (Albany: SUNY Press, 1990); Shari Benstock, ed., The Private Self. Theory and Practice of Women's Autobiographical Writings (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1988); Interpreting Women's Lives The Personal Narratives Group. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989); Georges Gusdorf, "Conditions and Limits of Autobiography" in James Olney, ed., Autobiography: Essays Theoretical and Critical (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980); Monika Richarz, ed.,Jewish Life in Germany. Memoirs from Three Centuries (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991). 34. Perhaps this is the reason why women's autobiographies and biographies have become the material of much academic study. Memoirs are scattered in private hands and local libraries worldwide. The largest Jewish women's memoir collection available .. can be found at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. The archives contain over 120 personal accounts of German-Jewish women who emigrated from Nazi-Germany or who survived the Holocaust camps. The Houghton Library at Harvard University holds another collection of recollections, submitted in 1940 for an essay contest entitled "My Life in Germany before and after January 30, 1933". These historical documents were written in both English and German and present a close up view of women's experiences inside the Third Reich and as refugees. Also, transcripts of a post-war oral-history project in many languages were initiated by the Wiener Library in London and the Ball-Kaduri collection of autobiographical texts located at the Yad Vashem library in Jerusalem, Israel. Among the texts are descriptive accounts by German-Jewish women who managed to escape Nazi occupied Europe during the height of the war. A memoir collection was assembled by the Sociology Department at the University of Vienna and the Center for Anti-Semitism Research at the Technical University in 79

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Berlin. The Viennese archive collection, entitled "Dokumentation lebensgeschichtlicher Aufzeichnungen," contains unpublished memoirs by Austrian Jews. The texts were collected by Dr. Albert Lichtblau and Dr. Therese Weber. It primarily contains accounts from Austrian Jews, among them more than twenty women, whose recollections were compiled by Dr. Albert Lichtblau during the 1980's. All together, these collections alone hold well over 350 documents written by women from all walks of life that illuminate every aspect of Holocaust history. 35, 36. Carol Gilligan, Joining the resistance: Psychology, politics, girls and women," in Goldstein, L., ed., The female body (University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, 1991), p. 27. 37. Anne Frank, The Diary of A Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, eds. (New York London: Doubleday, 1991), p. vii. All diary entries in this section refer to this edition. 38. Willy Lindwer, The Last Seven Months of Amie Frank (New York London: Anchor /Doubleday,l988). 39. Carol Gilligan, "In a different voice: Women's conception of self and morality,", pp. 481-517. 40. Moshe Flinker, Young Moshe's Diary: The Spiritual Torment of a jewish Boy in Nazi Europe (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1971.) The Flinkers were betrayed by an informer and arrested by the Gestapo during the Jewish holiday of Passover in 1944, with the incriminating evidence of religious observance around them. The parents and Moshe were killed at Auschwitz; Moshe' s siblings survived. 41-46. Marie Syrkin and Ruth Kunzer, "Holocaust Literature. I: Diaries and Memoirs," pp. 240-242. 47-49. James E. Young, Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative and the Consequences of Interpretation (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1990), pp. 27-28. 80

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CHAPTER3 ANNE FRANK AND NARRATIVES OF HOLOCAUST RESCUE The subject of rescuers, a term used to describe people who aided Jews during the Holocaust, is rich ground for teaching the Holocaust as a morally uplifting story. As such, the. subject figures prominently in the. reception of the Diary of Anne Frank as "beneficial myth." Indeed, the rescuers theme is now an important component of 'teaching the Holocaust' to children through the empathetic vehicle of Anne's Diary. For example Karen Shawn, under the auspices of the Anti Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, an American organization whose mission is to combat anti-semitism by building bridges to the non-Jewish community, published a lengthy curriculum for teaching about the Holocaust through excerpts of the Diary of Anne Frank.t It illustrates how the myth has been extended. Popularity, the strength of the iconization of the Diary, permits it to be a point of entry and an umbrella for teaching about the Holocaust in its entirety. The topic of rescuers is prominent. This guide is part of a vast recent literature. on Holocaust rescuers. The. bibliography of Those Who Dared: Rescuers and Rescued: A Teaching Guide for Secondary Schools published by the Los Angeles Jewish 81

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Federation contains over 280 items.2 The very words chosen to describe these persons the English phrases rescuer, helper, protector, or the translation of the Hebrew term as righteous gentile (a phrase linked to the A venue of Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust center, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem)-implies a set of valorized activities or character traits. I liken the rescuers theme to the heroic myth of Anne Frank (whether or not the particular incident of rescue concerns Anne's entourage) because both are. judged to be a correct ethical models. What is gained, but what is lost, by forefronting the rescuers discourse? Belief in objectivity in research about and in the characteristics of rescuers typifies most educators' work on this subject. This belief in objective practice is epitomized by Lawrence Baron, a leading proponent of the view that research has established measurable characteristics of rescuers of Jews. Baron is the author of The Dynamics of Decency: Dutch Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. 3 The title indicates the use of symbolic and universal language found in Baron, Samuel Oliner and others with a similar orientation. "Dynamics of decency" is a phrase which presupposes that these people are decent because they saved Jews, a noble sentiment but a tautology. This stance by scholars of the Holocaust ignores opposite behavior, the annihilation of Jews, which was also based on appeals to decency. Decency is a more culturally constructed and fluid concept than these objectivists acknowledge. This article is one of a large group in a similar vein. Samuel Oliner' s Altruistic Personality Project for The Free Press is a case in point. The very word altruism, like hero, good and evil, light and darkness, which is the vocabulary of this discourse, belong to the philosophy of idealism.4 The pursuit of characteristics of rescuers is the subject of much interfaith inquiry, as these. studies mostly highlight Christian helpers of Jews. The case for objectivity is presented in the essay "Teaching About 82

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the Rescuers of Jews." According to this school of thought, Holocaust educators have neglected what the author considers the reality of measurement of character traits when treating the rescue of Jews in Nazi occupied Europe: [T]hey usually employ approaches which fail to incorporate the findings of recent research into the ideological, psychological, situational, and soCiological factors which prompted individuals and groups to save Jews... To assist teachers in preparing units on rescue, current theories about which factors contributed to the decisions of rescuers to aid Jews ... include: conditions which promoted rescue on the national and local levels, personal skills and circumstances which facilitated the rescue of Jews, prior positive relationships with Jews, social marginality, childhood relationships with parents, affective and intellectual socialization, an previous record of acting upon professed political and religious beliefs.s Baron's confidence in the ability to measure these categories and to predict behavior is based on assumptions that I think are problematic at best: that there is such an entity as the moral person. The myth of Anne. Frank and the rescuers narrative, which is part of it, rests on a need to define. the moral person, and to use the example of this person to recreate or reinforce Enlightenment values. He is providing a specific instruction and advocacy to teachers. A discourse of this group is to arrive at "suggestions on how to integrate ethics into school curricula."6 Indeed, Baron's thesis is that "the. rescuers emerge as decent human beings acting upon feelings and principles that in a setting other than the Holocaust would sound rather ordinary. For students, this perception may make the rescuers more realistic role models of ethical behavior than the idealized images of rescuers presented in conventional Holocaust courses."7 But it is the very perversion of language and criteria for ethical 83

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judgment that makes the Holocaust a situation in extremis. The possibility that the Holocaust may signify the collapse of Enlightenment certainties and belief in the universality of ethics is the unstated, repressed, rescuers text. This agenda is apparent in the article "Restoring Faith in Humankind" which in the mid-1980's claimed that there was too little research about the rescuers.B Indeed, Baron's criticism on the. use of the Diary of Anne Frank as a class assignment in Holocaust studies is that it centers too much on Anne: Teachers often assign The Diary of Anne Frank to include something about the rescue of Jews within their Holocaust courses. To be. sure, it is a moving account of Anne's introspective maturation while hiding from the Germans with her family. As such it gently pays homage to every Jewish youngster whose childhood and life were. lost in the Holocaust. Yet this strength is also its greatest weakness: it is about Anne and not her rescuers. Although Anne mentions them frequently in the book, the reader never learns exactly who they were or why they sheltered the Franks. Indeed, Anne invented names for her helpers to keep their identities from being discovered by the. Nazis and to protect their privacy in case her diary ever would be published. Yad Vashem's postwar interview with Victor Kugler (alias Mr. Kraler) and the. recently released memoirs of Miep Gies (alias Miep Van Santen) reveal how much was not known previously about the motivations of Anne's guardians, the extent of their rescue and resistance activities, and the punishments some of them endured for concealing the Franks and other Jewish friends in the "Secret Annex.9 If one agenda in the myth of Anne Frank is to shape future behavior towards tolerance, than the shift from the victims of the Holocaust to the rescuers of these victims, as recommended in this quotation, is an example of how the myth is continuously being re-written to meet the needs of the present. 84

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Miep Gies and Anne Frank: A Rescuer's Legacy The rescuer motif has always been a strong theme in the Anne Frank story. In her book of memoirs, Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family, Miep Gies writes of her association with, and role in, the life of Anne Frank and her family.lO Accounts of association with Anne Frank find eager listeners and readers. The story of Anne Frank is so well known that Miep seems to assume the reader has familiarity with it before opening her book. Miep Gies' memoir begins with a quotation of a diary entry on the frontespiece which assures the reader of Miep' s closeness to the Franks "Monday, 8 May 1944. It seems as if we are never far from Miep's thoughts .... Anne. Frank." Otto Frank's attempted rescue of eight people, including his family and four friends, required an almost symbiotic relationship with people 'on the other side' in the office administrative headquarters in which they hid. "The eight Jews in the 'Secret Annex' remained quiet during the day while business was conducted as usual in the lower part of the building. They stirred only at night when the building was deserted. Their friends in the office below-Mr. Koophuis and Mr. Kraler, Miep Van Santen and Elli Vossen -kept their secret, brought food and even gifts, and provided what news they could of events in the dty.n Miep Gies is the.last survivor of the four friends of the: eight Jews in the secret hiding place whose daily help allowed Otto Frank, alone of the eight, to survive the Holocaust. It was Miep who found and saved Anne's papers and diary after the Frank's discovery and arrest on August 4, 1944. Two impulses seem to contribute to an interest in publication of rescuers' literature, both in those who were part of Anne's life or death, 85

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and to prospective audiences. One factor is fame, the popularity of the diary as a commercial marketing success. The name recognition of a known commodity lends interest in a new publication, video or film. Reproduction of fame, as.Baudrillard suggests, has a life of its own in popular culture. Anne's renaming of people for of security may have launched the persona of Anne's protectors as characters. Apart from fame or money, more noble motives seem to compel the rescuers to represent the Anne Frank myth in their own way. Those who lived through the experience of occupied Holland, or in proximity to the Frank's in hiding or in the camps, share with other 'witnesses' a sense of obligation, a need to add their trace to the story. As in every aspect of the Holocaust, denialists have refuted the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary. Every fragment of every participant's memory of Anne Frank is thus recruited as 'evidence' in an attempt at double rescue of the Franks. Perhaps those who knew her try to resist the. un-writing of her existence and of her only progeny, her Diary According to Miep, the Gies' had reasons not to write their memoirs. They valued privacy and shared a reticence to exploit the unwitting dead. Nevertheless, the fame of Anne's story was a factor for Miep, who believed she had information to add. The decision seemed necessary at the time. When I was persuaded to tell my story, I had to think of the. place that Anne Frank holds in history and what her story has come to mean for the many millions of people who have been touched by it. I'm told that every night ... somewhere in the world the curtain is going up on the stage play made from Anne's diary. Taking into consideration the many printings of Het Achterhuis ("The Annex") ... and the many translations that have been made of Anne's story, her voice has reached the far edges of the earth.12 Thus, a recurrent motivation in both rescuers and survivors is 86

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stated in this Prologue: She and her husband are the lone survivors to witness these events. Another recurrent motif in rescuers testimonies is the shaping of their events into a moral tale. Miep considers rescuers ordinary people. Her first sentence gets right to the heart of what she thinks makes a rescuer: "I am not a hero .... There is nothing special about me."13 She immediately shifts attention to the twenty thousand good Dutch people, who did what I did or more -much more -during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the hearts of those of us who bear witness. Never a day goes by that I do not think of what happened then .... but it was not enough .... My story is a story of very ordinary people during extraordinarily terrible times. Times the like of which I hope with all my heart will never, never come again. It is for all of us ordinary people all over the world to see to it that they do not.14 Miep is a witness to Anne's existence, but no one can corroborate Anne's truth. Miep thus wisely tells us in her title that it is a story about herself as author, and in part her memories of Anne. But Miep actively contributes to the dominant Anne Frank myth, in order to galvanize 'ordinary people' to be vigilant anti-fascists. The non-specific nature of this injunction does not seem to concern her. The more universal and diffuse in application the better, according to the universalist ideology of the Anne Frank myth. The problem as I see the usefulness of the myth is that the. more general it becomes, the less clear is its applicability to specific political or moral choices in any localized situation. Thus, the very justification for myth making, the usefulness of the myth in unifying cooperative citizens in a tolerant democracy, may instead deplete its power as a guide for choice and action. 87

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Anne Frank Remembered : Miep Gies in the Context /Text of Pueblo, Colorado My encounter with the remembrance of Anne Frank as shaped by rescuer narratives took a personal tum when I participated in a visit of Miep Gies to Colorado on March 28, 1996. With the. self-consciousness I advocate for the study of the myth of Anne Frank, I dissect the recreation and the continuous modifications in the use of that myth by the rescuer. I add my own representation of my encounter with the Anne Frank myth through Miep Gies. The 1,000 seat theater of the Sangre de Cristo arts and conference center in Pueblo, Colorado is filled. On a brightly lit stage facing the audience Miep Gies speaks as guest of honor. The film Anne Frank Remembered, based in part on her book of memoirs of the same name, won an Academy Award as best 1996 documentary three days earlier. The fame and popular reproduction of Anne Frank continues, as evidenced by the making of this new documentary. As the ultimate public relations event with proven draw for its honorees, the televised Academy Awards put a camera briefly on Miep Gies. Yet, her draw as an attraction preceded the added fame of the Academy Awards. The Pueblo auditorium was booked to capacity two weeks before the Awards spotlight. I refer to this elderly dignified woman and stranger by the first name Anne used in her diary, as does everyone else, with the illusion of intimacy that comes with celebrity through the Diary. She is the. last survivor of the entourage, the last of the chief players in the Anne Frank story. In the audience I recognize others who like myself have driven the 125 miles from Denver and further for the. occasion. Why did we come. long distances to hear Miep Gies? After all, her book of memoirs Anne Frank Remembered set down the 'information' 88

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she had to offer. My reasons for trekking to Pueblo to see and hear Miep are part of the 'rescuers' discourse. I have come because she is the last. Just as advancing age is an impetus for inmates of the camps to give testimony, I sense this encounter is my last chance to hear directly from Holocaust participants like Miep. The. impending extinction of the. opportunity to 'bear witness', to set the record straight, to speak out, passes on to the audience in Pueblo. We become a kind of second generation or shadow witness. "I saw and heard Miep Gies in person and she told me thus." I will become a 'witness' with hear-say 'evidence,' with as individual an interpretation in my narrative as in the various readings of Anne's life and Diary, We are fans but we are also a serious audience. I come to honor this woman, unequivocally. She is a catalyst, an original before the popular cultural reproductions which constitute Anne Frank's fame. In this sense, she is the real thing. But I do not privilege her narrative. In the. telling, her account of her experience can only be text like all others. It is to a body before a voice that I pay tribute. I have no need to categorize "rescuers" or even to draw lessons, which Miep does in her address. Apart from what she has to say, I want to make my gesture of support by my attendance for a woman who put herself and her family in mortal danger to save Jews. This one sentence statement is as close to a correlation of authenticity as possible, of a match between signified and signifier, experience in the language of experience. This is the meaning for me of Miep Gies' appearance in Pueblo. In this pilgrimage and homage to Miep Gies, I see traits in her which I decided she possessed long before I carne face-to-face in Pueblo. Her personal presentation of herself in dress and speech is straightforward. She wears a black dress and pearls, an elderly shortish woman with well coiffed gray hair, neither self-effacing nor flamboyant, with lasting good 89

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taste which is neither fashionable nor dowdy. Her manner and speech are sober, likable but without a display of coquettish charm. I see in and extrapolate from these signs the characteristics which I imagine were necessary to her role during the German occupation of Holland in hiding Jews: commitment, loyalty, intelligence, trustworthiness, down-to-earth practicality, a sense of self-worth. Her visit marks a historical event for the town of Pueblo. The Pueblo event typical of a shift in the locus of Holocaust studies in America from Jewish venues, to Holocaust remembrance by non-Jewish institutions. The opening of the exhibit Anne Frank In The World has brought Miep to Pueblo.lS Eight distinct Holocaust exhibits open that night at the Sangre de Cristo arts and conference center. On the stage with Miep are rows of Pueblo area local celebrities: political leaders and office holders, school board members, trustees of the arts center. There are Hispanics, as this is southern Colorado, a rabbi, pastor, and priest, museum staff. The Anne Frank Holocaust narrative presented here is one of ecuminicalism. On stage, too, are. about a half dozen elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors. In the seat closest to the podium while she speaks is Cornelius (Cors) Suijk, International Director of the Anne Frank Center in Amsterdam and New York. About half-way through Miep's talk, an aberration occurs. Cors mo1,.1ths Miep' speech. It is a soundless, but not vague, lip movement. Conspicuous, exaggerated, like operatic grimaces of pronunciation, communicated to (could this be unintentional?) and visible to the whole audience. This mime continues through the rest of the speech until Miep finishes. Either Cors wants us, the audience, to know that he has written this address interpreting Miep. Or he has read and heard it so many times (he accompanies Miep to her public appearance bookings) that he knows the speech by heart. The meaning of this interaction between Cors, Miep and the 90

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audience emphasizes that her voice, her telling, is a representation of the Holocaust through Anne Frank made into a story, a recitation of oral history. Mythic history. Her rescuers tale and the myth of Anne Frank has become conventional, in several definitions of the word. Conventional means 11 conforming or adhering to accepted standards, as of conduct or taste; pertaining to convention or general agreement; established by general consent or accepted usage, as in conventional symbols; ordinary, as conventional phraseology; of figurative art, represented in a generalized or simplified manner; of or pertaining to a convention, agreement, or compact; in law, resting on consent; of or pertaining to a convention or assembly."16 His gesture, rude. and demeaning to Miep, may be 'simple' sexist condescension. But it also underscores the conventional linguistic arena that is the telling of the Holocaust. Miep' s speech is a translation, as all discourse of remembrance is a translation, of experience. He has translated her Dutch words into English, her speech is his in some proprietorial sense. His association with her is of the. same kind that the audience wishes to have; in the telling we want to share her heroism. Whatever the motivation for Cors' pantomime, it nevertheless emphasizes that Miep_ has mastered the difficulty that so many survivors have in communicating their memoirs. Miep's experience is coherent, organized, and put in language that is understandable to the experience of the listener and audience, a public one or two generations distant from the events. Her story, noble as it is, has become generalized and conventionalized. The purpose, or use, of Miep's visit is Holocaust education, as defined as a lesson in ethics. Her visits to schools draws newspaper coverage in the Pueblo Chieftain. Indeed, her talk has an urgency about it. By her manner and address, I perceive a need to disseminate the meaning she has derived from her life through her role in the Anne Frank story. 91

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Miep is no pawn. There is collusion between the two, Miep and Cors, in the English production of Miep's Anne Frank, a symbiosis of mission between her and the Anne Frank Foundation. Her talk has definite messages which constitute this education. In her message, I listen for the particulars of Miep encounters with the Jews in hiding. I have a preference for Holocaust materials which are detailed, with a minimum of generalizations, while the audience in contrast applauds loudest at general phrases about truth, brotherhood and a brighter future, which reinforce the myth of Anne Frank. The people. Miep protected were her friends. "What struck me most about Anne was her curiosity .... When I came in the. evenings, the residents of the secret annex would gather in silence. It was Anne who usually began, with "Come on Miep, what's the news?" Anne's overture was considered forward by the non-family residents of the annex, "who attributed this to her too liberal education." Miep waits for her laugh; the audience responds appreciatively. Miep's affection and admiration for Otto Frank comes through. He. is the source of her moral interpretation of Holocaust education through Anne's Diary. "After the war, the building which hid the Franks continued to function as offices. With the publication of the diary, the building began to have visitors. I am Austrian by birth. One. of the happiest events in my life. was when I became a Dutch citizen. I could not tolerate the Austrian and German visitors. Mr. Frank would keep me. away from them as he knew my anger, and thought I might say something to them. He taught me not to judge individuals by their nationality." Frank said, according to Miep, that this is the same as stereotyping Jews. Once again, Otto Frank positions his experience to envision a better world, to find moral uplift in the Holocaust, in America and Holland. Secondly, Miep wants to convey to parents a lesson to teach their children: "Tell children to speak up, to not be bystanders." Every message of tolerance 92

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draws applause. Through this civic event and the exhibitions, especially in towns like Pueblo, Anne Frank has become the entry point for ascribing meaning to the Holocaust to non-Jews and Jews alike. Ironically, what is suppressed is the discourse of the Holocaust as an exceptional event. If the Holocaust is analogous to racism and prejudice, then why single it out for study? In trying to make the Holocaust relevant, there is a trivialization built into the discourse, which is a danger of the Anne Frank myth. After her address, Miep signs books all evening which are not her own: the various editions of the Diary of Anne Frank and other Holocaust titles. The authorship of the Diary has in a real sense expanded to include Anne's protectors and the Anne Frank Foundation, the keepers of an icon. Uses and Meaning of "Rescuers of the Holocaust: Portraits by Gay Block" From the particular example of Miep Gies' book and lecture, I will show that the uses and meanings of the rescuers theme in Anne Frank literature, as a seamless myth of optimism, is a prototype for the general subject of Holocaust rescuers. The image of Anne Frank as exemplary model has shifted to put the theme of Holocaust rescuers at center stage. Miep' message is clarified and amplified in my study of the photographic exhibition "Rescuers of the Holocaust: Portraits by Gay Block" (with text by Malka Drucker), which was displayed from June 15-August 1, 1995 at the Tabor Center in downtown Denver under the auspices of the Anti-Defamation League of the Rocky Mountains (ADL). The installation of the exhibition was designed and supervised by the 93

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author of this thesis. The exhibition's subject and presentation reveals more about the nature of Holocaust studies in the United States and the discourse that arises in the affiliation of a national Jewish organization such as the ADL with Holocaust studies. The rescuer's narrative as part of the Anne Frank myth -hope for the future, of education seen as a means to avoid another Holocaustserves as a bridge in America between the Jewish two percent of the country, and its non-Jewish population. The exhibition "Rescuers of the Holocaust" fits the mission of the Anti-Defamation League. Both the ADL and the exhibit reflect on Jewish/non-Jewish relations in America and the presentation of the Holocaust as dependent on these present-day relations. Both emphasize and concentrate on a rapport between Jews and non-Jews. The ADL has seized upon the identification of Jews in America with the Holocaust as the most salient Jewish cultural feature in non-Jewish America-perhaps to the exclusion of nearly all else in Jewish history and culture. I conclude from the material in the "Rescuers" exhibit that the impetus for documentation of Holocaust rescuers comes from four main motivations. First, there is a response to Holocaust denial, (an ever constant theme in Anne Frank studies and Holocaust studies in general), as though the. rational response. to the discourse of the. denialists can be met by accumulation of fact. An assumption that anti-semitism can be. faced by rational activity is a way of avoiding inaction ("What else. can we. do?") or despair ("How could these attitudes persist after the Holocaust?"). Secondly, the process and fabrication of this exhibit as a way of making sense of the lives of both the rescuers and the rescued is paramount. This activity of taking photographs and assembling documentation to make an exhibition shares with other testimonials and artworks the attempt to give meaning to these individuals' lives. Thirdly, it practices positive reinforcement to non-Jews. By celebrating the heroism of everyday life by 94

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mostly Christians, it suggests a model for such behavior in the present. While statistically the behavior of 'righteous Christians' who hid or saved Jews was minuscule in the general population, the playing up of this aspect stresses bonding rather than difference. This is in keeping with the mosaic concept of America itself, which stresses respect for difference, but is most comfortable with areas of mutual interest and agreement. And fourth, the pressure of time is a factor in this collection of portraits and testimonies, as it is in the upsurge of Holocaust documentation in general since the mid-1970's. The veteran participants of the 1930's and of World War IT are elderly. There is the compulsion to take testimonials before the 'material' disappears, much as at an archaeological site which is threatened by certain natural disaster. "Rescuers" has been a popular and commercially successful exhibit. A company which circulates independently curated shows, Curatorial Assistance located in California, has booked "Rescuers" for exhibit steadily since 1990. It has been shown across America for five years in its present form, appearing in smaller or larger formats with slightly different selections. The content has merited the attention of the national press, as well as the Jewish press. It has been shown in prestigious as well as small community art museums, colleges, libraries and Jewish community centers. These venues include. the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts in 'Houston, Texas as a selection of high-profile established art centers. Medium size museums in a variety of geographic areas include the Lawton Art Gallery, Greenbay Wisconsin; Presentation House, Vancouver, B.C.; Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, Des Moines Fine Art Center; Witte Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Mead Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts; and the Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Examples of educational institutions typically not identified as presenters of Jewish culture, which either alone or in 95

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collaboration with a Jewish institution has housed "Rescuers" include Texas A & M University,Tufts University, Santa Monica College, Occidental College, Los Angeles, Cincinnati Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Goethe Institute/Schatten Gallery of Emory University. Various Jewish galleries and organizations, (such as the ADL of the Rocky Mountains), also accepted the exhibition. A selection of these venues are the Jewish Community Center of Cleveland; Charach-Epstein Museum Gallery, West Bloomfield, Michigan; Levis Jewish Community Center, Boca Raton, Florida; Hollywood Arts & Cultural Center, Hollywood, Florida; and one of the most prestigious Jewish Museums in America, the Judah Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California. This cross-cultural appeal is, in my experience as a former curator and administrator of a Jewish museum, difficult to obtain outside of the Jewish community exhibit circuit. The challenge of presenting exhibits and programs which center on Jewish culture and yet have. wide. appeal is difficult. Why, then, does the exhibit have such appeal? In 1986 photographer Gay Block and writer Maika Drucker set out to create portraits of men and women who saved Jews during the. Holocaust. "Hiding Jews in their homes, or helping them in countless other ways, the rescuers risked certain death."17 Block and Drucker used the resources at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and archive in Jerusalem, to locate living rescuers in Canada, Israel, the United States, and the various European countries of the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Russia. They interviewed over one hundred (105 as of July 1995) individuals in an effort to understand what made people risk their lives to save the lives of others, often strangers. The photographs and accompanying interviews presented by the ADL are part of Block and Drucker's much larger, ongoing, project, "Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the. Holocaust", which was published as a book and made into a video in 1992.18 96

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The two artists who sought out the rescuers, conducted interviews, took the photographs and amassed the visual documentation are Jewish. Apart from the individuals studied as representatives of what came to be formulated as a discourse of good and evil, there is the intense personal search and curiosity on the part of the Jewish 'investigator'. The artists are stand-ins for the eventual viewer, and the subgroup of Jewish viewer. What alchemy, substance, experience, anything, led these 'rescuers' to behave in a way towards Jews that was so contrary to the rest of the population? Asks Drucker: Who were these people who did not say,"That's not my problem?" Why were they different from others? Were they afraid? Why did they take such great risks? What has life been like for the rescuers since the war? Did they remain altruists? Have they been changed by their wartime experience? What did their deeds mean to them and to their children?19 The investigation-quest was personal. Drucker relates how she first became aware of Holocaust rescuers during a visit in 1979 to Yad Vashem's Holocaust memorial. "Carob trees flanked a path called the Avenue of the. Righteous, and on a small marker beside. each tree was the name of a person who had rescued Jews."20 Ten years later the rabbi she calls her mentor, Harold Schulweis, created the Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers. She found out that many of the rescuers were still alive. She considered writing a children's book about "these special people and their remarkable stories." The photographer Gay Block joined her.. At first they did not know their own motivations: As Jews we felt a responsibility to know about the history of our people, but after our first two interviews, one with Zofia Baniecka, whose empathetic spirit spoke to us even though we had no common language, and one with the kind and gentle Bert Bochove, we knew that our reason for meeting the rescuers was not simply to 97

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learn history. We wanted to meet more. people like them, people who had risked their lives to save strangers, and we hoped that these rescuers could teach us about courage and compassion. The original idea grew into an extensive impressionistic study of Holocaust rescuers that has resulted in a book, a film, and a traveling exhibition of the portraits.21 The two artists represent a Jewish approach to these people as though to an oracle. The American preference for individuals rather than, or as, political theory is reinforced by the exhibition: As a series of visual documents, these portraits build on each other to provide a contemporary link with a moment in history. They remind us that it is the individual who makes history and ultimately determines our definition of ourselves.22 Gay Block's style is that of a documentary photographer. Most critics accept that she presents her extraordinary subjects to be seen as ordinary people, and she does little to inflate their stories or their lives. In her color portraits, for instance, she simply captures them in familiar surroundings. "Some sit coolly on living room couches, others strike a relaxed pose, pet in hand. We encounter the optimist, the. skeptic, the. stoic and the martyr. Each one offers some particular perspective on the experience."23 This writer, as well as the two artists, stresses individual action: (W]e are reminded to look into the hearts and minds of individuals for acts of courage, compassion and support, not governments or church hierarchies. In the end, we each look history squarely in the. eye ... Or, as rescuer Maria Grafin von Maltzan tells us: 'All my life I've said that I'd prefer to be in a tough situation than go to bed with a bad conscience' .24 More evidence that the "Rescuers" exhibition's interpretation of the Holocaust fits current American concerns and the ADL' s mission is 98

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illustrated by the review in The Washington Post. The reviewer cites rescuer Jan Karski that holocausts start from little things, such as dislike for one's neighbor, or Catholics, or Jews, or immigrants. It is told as a cautionary tale ("Be carefuL because you may be caught into it 50 years from now.") Then follows an American lesson in tolerance related specifically to American politics: These are wise words to remember at a time when hate crimes are on the rise and messengers of bigotry are crawling into mainstream politics, not only here but in Europe. Antisemitic incidents reported to the Anti-Defamation League increased by 11 percent to 1,879 in 1991, a record high. There were 950 incidents of assault, harassment and threats against Jews, up 25 percent from 1990. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute reported a 4i percent increase in incidents against homosexuals between 1989 and 1990.25 The reviewer then refers to 'the human spirit' and its potential for good and evil. This idealistic view of the Holocaust, while trying for relevance to viewers lives, may be a way of avoiding specific political issues. For example the analogy of discrimination or hate against Jews as being the equivalent of homophobia is one supported by the ADL and most Reform Jewish institutions. However, it is a divisive and contentious position within the Jewish community. The Orthodox Jewish official view is much more conservative on social issues. The issue of homosexuality erupts in the shaping of events to commemorate the Holocaust. Indeed, The Holocaust Institute at the Center of Judaic Studies, University of Denver, will neither include nor publicize gay students events as part of the annual Holocaust Awareness Week. Apart from individual personalities, and institutional rivalry, the homosexual question has worsened relations between the ADL and the Holocaust Institute. Also, the ADL and most official Jewish organizations do not support affirmative 99

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action. There is a rift here. between Jews on the basis of gender. Because Jewish men are overrepresented in certain educational institutions and professions, after being excluded by means of quotas, they are fearful of and (wrongly, in my view) equate quotas with affirmative action. Bigotry and discrimination against women are opposed by the ADL; however, specifics as to a definition of these terms are divisive. So to get agreement about opposition to anti-semitism through Holocaust studies, idealistic terms such as good and evil and the human spirit serve better than specific situations or ideology. A definition of 'the human spirit' sometimes leads to a flip-flop in writing the Holocaust. Americans want a happy ending. This discourse is shown to perfection in Time magazine's review of the exhibit. It was published in the 'Ethics' rather than the art section of the magazine under the heading "A Conspiracy of Goodness: Rescuing Jews during World War II took a special kind of heroism: ordinary human compassion."26 Again, the Holocaust is shaped in terms of good and evil, the. rescuers put on scales of justice to balance out Nazi officials: Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Mengele these are the familiar faces of evil from World War II .... And yet, 50 years later, some less familiar faces are beginning to emerge from the terrible history of the Holocaust. They belong to the handful of ordinary people who not only saw the horror around them but also risked their lives of of compassion for its victims; those under Nazi rule who dared to hide Jews in their houses and apartments and on their farms .. 27 Cited is an eight-year study of altruism by Samuel and Pearl Oliner, researchers from Humboldt State University in California, that claims that these protectors may have saved 500,000 lives. Yet, altruism is not the word the rescuers use. They protest that what they did was natural and even quite ordinary. "We didn't think about it," says Johtje Vos, 82 years 100

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old in 1992, who with her late husband Aart saved dozens of Jews in Laren, Holland. ... We did what any human being would have done."28 History, sadly, does not bear out that claim, as Gorman acknowledges in her "Ethics" essay.29 "Throughout the Nazi occupation, cases of citizens rescuing Jews were the exception, not the rule. And denunciation in those cruel times seemed much more common. The rescuers know that, of course. "30 Yet, the Time magazine writer puts forward the proposition that since they were ordinary human beings, what she, too, labels as altruism (saving Jews) is accessible. to anyone. Turning protectors into paragons would let the rest of humanity off the hook. While we know they were not paragons, we also know they were exceptions. So this good-evil, saints-sinners dichotomy, in my opinion, does not tell us very much. The discourse of the rescuers is the story we want to hear; we would like to think that we would have. all been rescuers. This is Block's stated view. "[W]e could all have done what these people did ... we could all be heroic. And so, maybe that's the point."31 Block noted that most people are strongly receptive to the rescuers' stories. "There is a hunger for examples of goodness," she says. "People want to find out that we can learn from goodness and not from evil."32 According to Gorman, some Jews feared that the horror of the Holocaust might be white-washed by their presence. On the other hand, some rescuers have. received hate mail and threats for their long-ago roles in sheltering Jews.33 America prefers the discourse of optimism to tragedy, or worse, to amorality."[T]hese photographs begin to negate the idea that evil is more interesting than goodness," writes the curator of New York's Museum of Modern Art.34 Although the rescuers themselves vary in attitude towards the events they shaped the optimist, the skeptic, the stoic and the martyrthe collection has been referred to as a pact between Jew and non-Jew. The black-and-white photos-past images of rescuers, their family members, 101

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multiple cartes d'identites-are Block's own reproductions of the originals. In this appropriation is an implied pact between Jew and non-Jew to never repeat these events. This pact unfolds further in Block's twenty-two minute video-tape: Though not as viscerally engaging as the photomontage technique [of the photo panels], the video does chronicle personal accounts of nervy escapes and clever hideouts as well as some of the social activist theories that have developed in the wake of these successful rescue missions.35 Drucker felt that all accounts of rescue, regardless of the number of people actually saved," provide the only light in the darkness of the war that claimed 6 million Jews over two-third of world Jewry."36 Recognition began in the late 1970's, but it was slow in coming. Gay Block has written that many Holocaust survivors feel it is criminal, practically, to honor the few that did help. I can certainly understand how they feel, when so many were not helped at al1."37 I took my own unscientific sampling of the reaction of Holocaust survivors to the exhibit. These survivors are all active members of the ADL in Denver, and so perhaps predisposed to this point of view when invited to the opening of the exhibit. Their reactions were entirely positive. The pact between the ADL and America's non-Jewish peoples is to permit the latter to identify themselves with rescuers rather than with the banality of evil, which is an alternative discourse about the behavior of ordinary people. The denial of the. Holocaust provides an additional urgency to and interpretation of the project and exhibit. Thus, Block and Drucker's survey jmplies that if Jews cannot be believed as to their own experience, here are gentiles to speak on their behalf: Consequently, Block's expose can be. understood as a self-affirming testimonial for all of us, proof to the jaded nay-sayers who continue. 102

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to question the human evidence from the black days of the Final Solution. We behold the aging faces of those who know bettersome with the deeply etched lines of experience, others with soft glazed, remorseful eyes.38 The rescuers often remained silent for years after the war, coming forth as they realized that otherwise their experiences would die with them. Typical is the story of Johtje and Aart Vos. It happened "nonchalantly."39 First a friend asked if they would keep a suitcase for him in their home near Amsterdam because the Germans were confiscating his home and possessions. And then, "would you take my little boy? It was the autumn of 1940. By and by, we became. aware. of the dangers .... Shall we go on with this, or stop? That was the only moment we consciously made a decision," she said."40 They hid dozens of Jews in their home over the next four years. They were warned of Nazi raids by a friend who was the chief of police. For 20 years afterward, Mrs. Vos and her husband, who died in 1990, never talked about the experience, not even with their children. She moved to Woodstock, N.Y. in 1951, where some of her neighbors heard of their rescue efforts and would call them heroes. "We couldn't stand that," she said. "It made us feel awkward, because we didn't think people should make a big thing out of something every decent human being should do."41 But in recent years they agreed to speak of their experience, she said, persuaded that they had an obligation to do so as the last generation that saw what happened.42 This rediscovery and inclusion meant a great deal to many of the. people involved. The project recognizes these 'ordinary' people. "For many years I felt that I didn't do enough. But gradually I started having some good feelings, too, thinking of how many we did save in our little house," states Thina Strobos in 1988."43 As one gets older the loss of witnesses to one's life can create a sense of personal loss. Maika Drucker conducted her interviews between 1986 and 1988. In her introductory 103

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essay to the book that accompanied the exhibition, Drucker writes: Although no one acted for the sake of recognition or for medals, most rescuers appreciate the medal awarded them by Yad Vashem. Since 1962, the institution has honored over nine thousand rescuers, called in Hebrew Hasidei Umot Ha-olam, the Righteous Among the Nations, with most of the medals having been presented since 1980. In many of the homes we visited, the memorial's bronze medal on which is inscribed, "Whoever saves a single life is as one who has saved an entire world." held a place of honor.44 Because the rescuer often remembers that time more vividly than any other in his or her life, each interview offered a personal, emotional picture of the Holocaust and the sense of what it felt like to live under a totalitarian regime or occupation, reported Drucker: When Ivan Vranitic described [carrying] a little girl on his shoulders for ten kilometers in Yugoslavia to protect her from waist-deep snow, youthful strength shone. in 60-year-old eyes even as he cried, remembering her frostbitten toes.45 Thus, the Rescuers exhibition validates a slice of life of the persons interviewed. As has been hypothesized above, this close focus on individuals can be used to reverse the pessimism of post-Holocaust history into American optimism, and individual actions cater to Americans' unwillingness to theorize in other than idealistic, global terms. It is the rescuers who are rescued from oblivion. Some rescuers are. well-known, with celebrity status and mass-cultural attention. The merit of their actions is a factor independent of who has come to media attention, or to history's attention, or who was forgotten before this project. Among the well-known heroes are Raoul Wallenberg, who saved as many as 100,000; Pere Marie. Benoft, who issued false papers to 4,000 in France; and Pastor Andre Trocme, who led his village of Le Chambon to 104

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shelter 5,000 Jews. Some rescuers suffered directly because of their actions. Thus, the narrative conventions of a happier ending to the Holocaust is reestablished by their rediscovery by Block and Drucker. An example of punition, which is partially reversed by the spotlight of this exhibit, is Aristides de Sousa Mendes: We interviewed Sebastian Mendes, son of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Portuguese ambassador to France during the war. He wept as he told us how his father, after being forbidden by the Portuguese government to issue visas to Jews, had issued some 10,000 visas in Bordeaux before being recalled back to Portugal. There he was stripped of his rank and ostracized: in 1954 he died in a paupers' hospital.46 Adjectives such as 'daring' and 'brilliant leadership' are also applied to people who saved in twos and threes, taking enormous risks to themselves and their families. For it is the anonymity of most of these faces that impresses, wearing "expressions of contentment, bitterness and defiance" in their later years. "The stories the rescuers tell are riveting, and it is obvious that for many the wartime years were the most important of their lives."47 Mostly, the surviving rescuers have blended back into the old neighborhoods where their families have lived for generations or emigrated anonymously to the. United States and elsewhere. One woman Block and Drucker found in Prague wept in gratitude that someone was finally interested in hearing her stories of the. war. Most of the rescuers are like the Vos' and play down the significance of what they did, as well as the danger they faced. 48 Even the socially prominent suppressed their memories in order to go on with their lives. Jan Karski, the Polish diplomat featured in Rescuers and in Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah in 1943 witnessed the 105

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extermination of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Beltzec death camp. He told this message in Britain and the United States, but no one seemed to actively respond. Meetings with leaders Anthony Eden and President Roosevelt among others elicited the response that the Allies had to focus on winning the war, and that the fate of the Jews was hopeless. Karski wrote articles for Life and the New York Times about what was happening to Europe's Jews. He delivered more than 200 lectures. By the end of 1944, his book, Story of a Secret State, was a Book of the Month Club selection. He relates how for 30 years after World War IT ended, he ran from his memories. He wanted to forget, to become normal, above all to assimilate into American society. Until he received a letter from Claude Lanzmann, who was making the film Shoah. Karski told the film maker he did not want to remember the terrible. things he saw in Poland concerning the Jews. Lanzmann replied that he had a duty to appear in the film. "That is why we should not let humanity forget."49 One of Karski's conclusions as to the significance of the Holocaust is an inadvertent justification for the establishment of the state of Israel. "The Jews were totally helpless; they had no country; they were abandoned by all governments, churches, societies." He also believes that "Jewish children must learn about the rescuers so they do not lose faith in humanity."SO These statements are not mutually exclusive. A justification for the State of Israel after the Holocaust was as a safe haven, and a place where Jews could undertake their own defense and survival, without dependence. on gentiles. The implication is a loss of faith by Jews in non-Jewish humanity .. Indeed, the theses of the exhibition's creators and organizers do not guarantee what conclusions are drawn from it. Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes wrote extensively of the equivocal signification of the photograph vis-a-vis reality. The photographer Gay Block, who thinks that lessons can be drawn, nevertheless restates the existence of an obligatory distancing from the overpowering experience itself, the inevitable 106

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aestheticization that takes place, even in this documentary treatment. Block said: The stories were so difficult to listen to. They were so heart wrenching. The photography seemed so silly, so superficial, superfluous and .. needless. Because the stories were so emotional, I had to turnoff a little bit, even, and not be so emotionally involved or I would not have been able to do it.Sl The theme of a search for some configuration of traits that make a rescuer, takes Block and Drucker only so far. "At first, their sheer diversity astonished me," Drucker said. "They came from the wealthy, from the poor, form religious, for atheistic, peasant, aristocrat, educated and illiterate." She found two "unifying characteristics: an innate, high tolerance of risk and a sensitivity to what was going on around them.52 These two traits do not seem to me to tell us much about why these people made the decisions they did. A prominent sociological study of Christian rescue of 'the Jews in Poland is inconsistent. The group includes both rich and poor, educated and barely literate, believers and atheists. Yet the study's author Nechama Tee concluded that on closer examination one can see a series of interrelated characteristics. For example, after close questioning she concluded that many had a long history of repeated charitable deeds. 53 She notes, for example, that many of the rescuers were individualists. Most of us do what society demands at the moment. But because the rescuers were not as constrained by the expectations of the. group, they were better able to act on their own.54 This hypothesis was adopted by Time magazine, a bastion of American individualism. Yet, individualists in defiance of a group could identify the rescuers and the resistance movement as social misfits or terrorists just as easily. They were so identified by the dominant power. This explanation and concept of individualists, while probably true, would fit any deviant, no matter 107

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what his/her actions. The ingredients of .what made a rescuer still seems to me to be missing. These people are united "by what seems in almost all cases to have been an immediate, intuitive decision to do whatever they could to save the lives of Jews."SS As Charles Hagen wrote in his photography review in the New York Times, the facts of what these people did speak for themselves, but what they say is still tantalizingly incomplete. These interviews were conducted 50 years after the. fact. By letting the subjects speak for themselves, describing their activities during the war and their lives before and after it in great detail, the exhibit brings a sense of immediacy to the dramatic events in which they took part. Block and Drucker "have done an admirable job in presenting the rescuers, and their remarkable stories, but in the end their deeds remain essentially mysterious, and glorious."56 In my opinion, it is sufficient to honor the rescuers because of their acts, rather than attempt to establish motivation. The use of the Holocaust rescuers discourse in education to teach ethical behavior becomes more complex when institutional memory is involved. Representations augment and delete memory when it comes to the role an institution played in saving Jews during the Holocaust. While I shall not consider the vast literature on this aspect of the rescuers theme., two examples hint at the complex process of self-definition involved in remembering history. For example, the French Cardinal Henri de Lubac's Christian Resistance to Anti-Semitism: memories from 1940-1944.57 sets down reminiscences of the clandestine group Cahiers du T'emoignage chretien. A French group, which affirmed the. basic humanity of Jews, opposed the occupation and Vichy policies concerning the Jews. The Cardinal does not find it sufficient to recall the heroism of this group, and numerous individual acts (of hiding Jewish children, the public stance of Cardinal 108

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Saliege and others) but instead has as his discourse the rehabilitation of each and every Catholic cleric and a defense for the Church in its entirety. His book, written to answer a body of unflattering literature about the French Catholic hierarchy's role during these years, brings attention to the very critics of that role. Religious communities' self-examination of actions taken or not taken during the Nazi era extends to American Jewry. Were We Our Brother' Keepers? The Public Response of American Jews to the Holocaust 1938-1944 by Haske! Lookstein curiously parallels de Lubac's book.60 It is an internal review by a cleric of his own religion's response. Lookstein, an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi develops a different discourse about seeing and knowing. The thesis is that a great deal was known. The overall response of American Jewish organizations is judged to have been uneven and inadequate. The author's concluding words are: "The Final Solution may have been unstoppable by American Jewry, but it should have been unbearable for them. And it wasn't." 59 Guilt and regret dominate the text. As exhibited by Lookstein, Jewish guilt may be as easy a response as self-justification. 109

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FOOTNOTES 1. Karen Shawn, The End of Innocence: Anne Frank and the Holocaust (New Anti-Defamation League, [1989], 1994). 2. Alex Grobman,Those Who Dared: Rescuers and Rescued: A Teaching Guide for Secondary Schools (Los Angeles: Martyrs Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust of The Jewish Federation, 1995). 3. Lawrence Baron, The Dynamics of Decency: Dutch Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, Frank P. Piskor Faculty Lecture (Canton, New York: St. Lawrence University, May 2, 1985), pp. 7-8. 4. For studies with an idealistic psycho-social orientation on rescuers, see Samuel P. Oliner, The altruistic personality : rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe (New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, 1988); "The Need to Recognize the Heroes of the Nazi Era," The Reconstructionist XLVIII: 4 (June 1982), pp. 7-14 and "The Unsung Heroes in Nazi Occupied Europe: The. Antidote to Evil," Nationalities Papers Xll: 1 (Spring 1984), pp. 134-135; Lawrence Baron, "The Holocaust and Human Decency: A Review of Research on the. Rescue. of Jews in Nazi Occupied Europe," Humboldt Journal of Social Relations Xill: 1/2 (Fall/Winter & Spring/Summer, 1985/1986), pp.23T-251; Philip Hallie, Lest Innocent Blood be Shed: The Story of the Village of Le Chambon and How Goodness Happened There (New York: Harper and Row, 1980). An extensive bibliography is included by Lawrence Baron, "Teaching About the Rescuers of Jews," in Zev Garber, Alan L. Berger and Richard Libowitz, eds., Methodology in the Academic Teaching of the Holocaust, (Lanham, MD : University Press of America, 1988). 5. ibid, Lawrence Baron, "Teaching About the Rescuers of Jews," in Methodology in the Academic Teaching of the Holocaust, pp. xxi-x:xi, 143154. 6. Lawrence Baron, "Teaching About the Rescuers of Jews," in Methodology in the Academic Teaching of the Holocaust, p. 14. See also Pearl M. Oliner, "Legitimating and Implementing Prosocial Education," Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, XIII: 1/2 (1986), pp. 389-408. 110

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7. Lawrence Baron, "Teaching About the. Rescuers of Jews," in Methodology in the Academic Teaching of the Holocaust, p. 143. 8. Lawrence Baron, "Restoring Faith in Humankind," Sh'ma, XIV: 276 (September 7, 1984), pp. 124-128. 9. Victor Kugler as told to Eda Schapiro, "The Reminiscences of Victor Kugler," Yad Vashem Studies, XIII (1979), pp. 353-385. Kugler is the. 'Mr. Kraler' of Anne Frank's Diary; Miep Gies with Alison Leslie Gold, Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family (New York, London: Simon and Schuster, 1987). 10. ibid., Miep Gies with Alison Leslie Gold, Anne Frank Remembered .... First Touchstone Edition(paperback), 1988. 11. Anne Frank, Anne Frank: The Diary of a young girl., (New York, London: Vallentine, Mitchell & Co., Ltd./ Doubleday/ Bantam Books, [1952] [1967] 1993, p. 277. Anonymous Afterword. Pseudonyms include Jan Gies (who Anne named Henkin the diary) and the secretary Bep Vokuijl. Miep keeps all Anne's made,..up names, except for the reconvertionto the real of the names of herself and her husband. 12-14. Miep Gies with Alison Leslie Gold, Anne Frank Remembered, pp. 11-12. 15. ---, Anne Frank In The World 1929-1945, [1985] 1994. 16. Jess Stein, ed., Random House College Dictionary, Revised unabridged edition (New York and Toronto: Random House, Inc., 1983.) 17. Susan Kismaric, "Rescuers of .the Holocaust," Museum of Modern Art Quarterly (Winter 1992): 14. 18. Gay Block and Maika Drucker,Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust (New York and London: Holmes & Meier, 1992), p. 44. 19-21. Maika Drucker, "Knights of the Spirit," ARTnews, May 1992, p. 117. 22. Susan Kismaric, "Rescuers of the Holocaust," p. 17. 1 1 1

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23, 24. M. A. Greenstein, "Some Perspectives on the Real: Rescuers of the Holocaust," Artweek, (November 29, 1990): 20. 25. Judy Mann, "Reasons To Remember,"The Washington Post, 4 March, 1992, p. 17. 26, 27. Christine Gorman, "A Conspiracy of Goodness," Time, March 16, 1992, p. 65. 28. Gay Block and Maika Drucker,Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust p. 44. 29-30. Christine Gorman, "A Conspiracy of Goodness," p. 65. 31-32. Anne W. Tucker, "Learning Experiences: An Interview with Gay Block," Spot/ Houston Center For Photography (Fal11992): p. 8. 33. Christine Gorman, "A Conspiracy of Goodness,"p. 65. 34. Susan Kismaric, "Rescuers of the Holocaust," p. 14. 35. M.A. Greenstein, "Some Perspectives on the Real: Rescuers of the Holocaust," p. 20. 36. Gay Block and Maika Drucker,Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, p. 117. 37. Steve Appleford, "Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust Come to Light in Photograph Exhibition," Los Angeles Times, 18 November, 1990, p. 102. 38. M. A. Greenstein, "Some Perspectives on the Real: Rescuers of the Holocaust," p. 20. 39-42. As related to Eleanor Blau, "Chronicle: When the moral necessity is clear the decision, for some, is also clear," New York Times, National Ed., 15 January, 1992, p. 37. 43. M. A. Greenstein, "Some Perspectives on the Real: Rescuers of the Holocaust," p. 1. 112

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44-46. Gay Block and Maika Drucker,Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust p. 116. 47. Steve Appleford, "Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust Come to Light in Photograph Exhibition," p. 102. 48. Charles Hagen, "Two Additional Chapters In the Jewish Experience," The New York Times, February 28, 1992, p. 3. 49, 50. Judy Mann, "Reasons To Remember," p. 18. 51. Steve Appleford, "Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust Come to Light in Photograph Exhibition," p. 102. 52. Judy Mann, "Reasons To p. 17 53, 54. Nechama Tee, When Light Pierced the Darkness: Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Poland, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 166,181. 55. Jed Perl, "Photography: Rescued,"The New Criterion, April 1992, p. 52. 56. Charles Hagen, "Two Additional Chapters In the Jewish Experience," P 3. 57. Lubac, Henri de, Christian Resistance to Anti-Semitism: memories from 1940-1944, introduction by Michel Saales (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990). 58, 59. Lookstein, Haskel, Were we our brothers' keepers? Foreword by Elie Wiesel (New York, Bridgeport: Hartmore House, 1985), p. 216. 113

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CHAPTER4 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS A powerful theme throughout this paper is the poststructuralist notion of the crisis of representation. The Diary of Anne Frank has continuously changing readings, as well as multiple readings that exist at any one moment in time. The pervasive and dominant remembrance of Anne Frank is as a universal symbol of hope. She has become. a substitute for, or a way of access to, Holocaust studies in general. Especially as a pedagogical tool, the prevalent reading of the Diary of Anne Frank teaches the Holocaust as an opportunity for reconciliation, between victims and perpetrators, Jew and gentile. By the introduction of the. concept of narrative, and of power in discourse (the stories told to give meaning to events), the use of this particular dominant reading is shown to extend easily to current needs in American and Dutch society. Such needs include an insistence on the possibility of discovery of common values and the active construction of a self-image of a tolerant society. As an educational ideal, this approach may be self-conscious, or the assumption may be that a universal and ideal approach is the only possible interpretation of the Diary. Both Otto Frank, Anne's father, and the Anne Frank Foundation believed the Diary to be a generalized lesson for all humanity. 114

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A comparison of the Diary of Anne Frank with other Holocaust diaries establishes that Anne wrote in a psychological state of intermittent optimism or confused hopefulness. Whereas diarists of the Warsaw ghetto manifested this first stage of awareness, they passed into a second stage in which they foresaw their own death as certain. In the ghetto, it was the external event of the onset of mass deportations in the summer of 1942 which induced this second stage. Anne did not write after her arrest and deportation to the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen death camps. Thus, her writings permit the reader a certain distance from the. ultimate horror of the Holocaust. In addition, the dominant interpretation of her writings accentuates optimism and underplays the fear and anger she expressed in the Diary. The image of Anne Frank as exemplary model has shifted to put the. theme of Holocaust rescuers at center stage. Starting with the Frank's Dutch protectors and extending to helpers in general, the centrality of the rescuers theme demonstrates more than any other interpretation of the Holocaust today a non-threatening exercise in remembrance. Rescuers represent, in this narrative, the heroism of ordinary people. The implication is that a heroic example of behavior will inspire imitation. As to what is forgotten or suppressed in these. universalist discourses, the subject of both gender and Jew may be. sacrificed. Alternative readings of the Diary reveal the nature of power relations in the texts of Holocaust studies, and are. not merely additional interpretations. Yet, there is potential conflict between the. premise of the importance of language and the exploration of integral identities, such as 'gender' or 'Jew.' Indeed, there is a tendency in the literature pertaining to women and the Holocaust to idealize and essentialize the qualities ascribed to gender. Investigation of the overlap of text and body, points of convergence between meaning and experience, inspires this study of the use of narrative in the Diary. 115

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There are suggestions within this explication of the uses of the Diary of Anne Frank which I believe could yield further results. Specifically, issues of gender as an alternate discourse receives more attention in thes thesis than the consideration of Anne Frank as a Jew. The interaction between the linguistic construct of these. two identities in the Diary and in the literature surrounding the Diary would be a fruitful direction for future study. Diaries written during the Holocaust have meaning apart from the absolute accuracy in detail of the writer's recollections. To remain uninscribed in language is impossible; the entire argument of realism is moot. Although the Holocaust ended the period in which one could have. faith in certainties, any attempt to 'teach the Holocaust' to young people, an event which is both distant in time and may have no ready connection to their lives, may be laudable. So the Diary of Anne Frank will continue to be an accessible means of entry to the study of the Holocaust. 116

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