A Cultural Review of Germany in the 1940’s according to
The Diary of Anne Frank
It has been said, to understand the present a person must know and understand the past. Focusing on that quote specifically to understanding the past is what The Diary of Anne Frank allows the reader to do. There are many different cultures around the world and many cultures within cultures. Looking specifically at Germany in the time period of the 1940’s, the reader can see that there in fact is a culture within in a culture. The great thing about this piece of literature is that it is the actual person in the culture writing what is going on during that time frame. The Diary of Anne Frank lets the reader dive into a part of history that the culture was different from any other and experience what it was like to be a Jew in the 1940’s in Western Europe. It is sort of ironic how during that time period there were people living in peace and people living in turmoil. This diary only tells about her experience while she is hiding out, but it also gives reference to what is going on outside her family’s hide out. So from that point of view the reader can get the view of what the culture was like while Jewish people were hiding out and what is was like to be taken away and put in a concentration camp. Living in peace may mean how the German people are living because they do not have to face persecution from the government or it could mean how the Jewish that are living in hideouts are at peace because they have not been sent to a concentration camp yet. On the other hand living in turmoil can mean that the Jewish people are living fear of being caught and taken to a concentration camp and that the people that are already in the camps are already in turmoil. When it is said that someone is living in fear means that they are fearful because something may happen to them. In this case it is the fact that they could be taken away from their families if they are caught in hiding. In Anne Frank’s case, she is afraid because she wants to be an actress and those dreams may never come true. It is also the fear of not knowing. Being in suspense of not knowing what is going to happen is sometimes worse that what actually is going to happen. While Jewish people are living in hideouts there is no doubt they are living in fear. The reader can tell that in fact all of the residents with Anne Frank are living in fear because every time something happens they assume that it is the Green Police coming to get them. Living in the concentration camps is living in hope. Not knowing what is going on outside the fence of the camp is left up to the imagination of the person looking out it. Sometimes the only way to move on in life, especially living in a concentration camp, is to hope for something better. Just like when it comes to religion, people believe that there is a higher power. It gives them hope to move on to the next day because if there was no higher power to believe in and give a cause for living then in fact what would be the reason to live. The reader can see this evidence because the father of Anne Frank tells everyone that they do not have to live in fear anymore and they can live in hope that the war will end. It may be far fetched to say that freedom was still available to the Jewish people. But while hiding out there was still some freedom that they could enjoy. Meal time was something that everyone looked forward to during the day. Just being able to eat was such a moral booster. Even though it was just maybe a potato and bread, it still had an effect that gave them strength to move on to the next day. Life in the German concentration camps was equally unbearable. After arriving, the Jews found the camps weren’t much better than the railway’s cattle cars. Row after row of barrack-style houses stood in the center of these camps. Inside each barrack there was little more than beds, three or four high with little space between them and hardly any room...
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