Posts Tagged Germanic American Institute

Would You Save Anne Frank?

Park Square is partnering with World Without Genocide and the Germanic American Institute to host a lecture on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Join us Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. Learn More.

Would you Save Anne Frank?

Guest Writer: Ellen J. Kennedy, Ph.D., Executive Director, World Without Genocide.

On August 4, 1944, Anne Frank, her family, and the others hiding in that tiny attic in Amsterdam were discovered by police.  Someone had turned them in because they were Jews.

Four days later they were all taken to Westerbork detention camp, where they worked at hard labor and lived in the punishment block.  On September 2 they were sent to Auschwitz.

They had already been stripped of their citizenship.  The Dutch people had been told that all Jews were to be hated, despised, denied all rights, and, ultimately, denied even the right to life itself.

On August 25, 2017, people in Texas were trying to get to safe ground out of the path of Hurricane Harvey.  The Texas Border Patrol set up immigration checkpoints throughout the southeast part of the state, and motorists at every checkpoint were asked if they are U.S. citizens.

Undocumented immigrants couldn’t escape from the storm because they feared detention at the checkpoints and then deportation because of their immigration status.

Texas boarder patrol checkpoint

“By keeping checkpoints open, the Border Patrol is putting undocumented people and mixed-status families at risk out of fear of deportation,” Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy at the American Civil Liberties Union, said. “This is a disgusting move from the Border Patrol that breaks with past practices. The Border Patrol should never keep checkpoints open during any natural disasters in the United States. Everyone, no matter the color of their skin or background, is worth saving.”

What would Anne Frank think? What would she have written in her diary?

The Germans and the Dutch decided in 1944 that Anne Frank was not worth saving.  Our administration decided in 2017 that undocumented immigrants are not worth saving.

We all think that every one of us would have stood up to save Anne Frank and the others in that Secret Annex – even though they weren’t citizens any more.  Today, we must stand up to protect the people who aren’t citizens in our country.

The moment is here to stand up, speak out, and to say that everyone is worth saving.  Everyone.  Contact your elected officials, in the name of Anne Frank.  Do it now.

Dr. Ellen Kennedy is the Executive Director of World Without Genocide, a human rights organization at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. 


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