Ilana Kramer

When I Could Separate…

When I was 10 years old, I could divvy, split up, break apart my life from hers. There was a distinctive difference between the life of Anne Frank and my own. We had a sea between us, we had five decades between us, we had her attic entrapment against my lakeside summers, her muted romantic longing against my Hebrew school-cut-class-make-outs. I could delineate exactly how we were different (exactly how were we different?) and this served as some intangible, necessary armor. Because in truth, all 10 years of me was horrified —slack-jawed and sad-hearted, sirening out across the past decades: Save her! My almost-friend, my almost-me. But, somehow as I ticked through my childhood Hebrew school reading list of Anne Frank, the Rosens (Number the Stars), and so many more, I found a healthy distance, the soothing community retort to my nighttime terrors of Nazi hide and chase scenes: “Never again.”

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