From the Attic, So to Speak

imagesYou know we’re living in wackadoodle times when Anne Frank has her own YouTube Channel.

Last week the Anne Frank Museum released the only known film footage of the 13 year-old scribe whose diary has been read throughout the world. Her newfound Internet celebrity is certainly incongruous and disturbing, even as it educates the Twitter generation that yes, the Holocaust really, really happened. Anne has become sign and symbol of all that the Nazis stole from Eastern Europe and the rest of the world, but as Sisterhood blogger Sarah Seitzer points out, that’s an awfully big burden for a young girl.

The video — just a glimpse of Anne as she admires her newlywed neighbors — gives me chills every time. I’ve always felt close to her; I already kept my own journal when I read hers as a kid, and with her sweet overbite and pointy chin, she could be a not-so-distant cousin. That there could be something new to be discovered about her is amazing, and the resurgence of interest in her ensures that her story — the one she wrote herself with a pen and paper cramped in an attic, the story that a permanent part of our collective Jewish story — will endure.

And somehow, I think, her eager spirit would enjoy this new way of connecting to to the world. After all, isn’t Anne’s love of life, her curiosity, her steadfast belief that “despite everything, people are really good at heart” that touches us all?

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