Elka Brandt

Elka Brandt is a senior at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

When I write, I can shake off all my cares.—April 5, 1944. Anne Frank’s journal was a hiding place within a hiding place; she wrote to create a little personal space for herself. At the same time, she was preparing to be heard, as she wrote on March 29, 1944: Mr. Bolkestein, the Cabinet Minister, speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London, said that after the war a collection would be made of diaries and letters dealing with the war Of course, everyone [in the Annex] pounced on my diary. Anne used her journal as a place of her own, as a place not only to “shake off all cares” but to protect hope, belief, and humanity, all of which were threatened in German-occupied Europe. Anne’s story is hers, and she had the strength against all odds to let it out. Is it possible for words to be heard over the din of a demanding, chaotic, and tragic world? Anne’s diary answers yes, if one is willing to write them.

Elka dedicates these words to the memory of her brother Oren Jacob.

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