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Anne Frank

Oct 30, 2008
Eiji Yoshikawa

I regularly visit Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam. I have been to other places where she used to live while her family was hiding from the Nazis. For instance, Aachen/Aken, a southern city in Germany, is a pretty little town where Anne’s mother Edith was born. They lived there for a while, right before crossing the border into Holland.

When you follow someone’s route, you can feel how that person was feeling also. So that you see the life-sized person as your trip goes on.

Before the family went into hiding in the last secret house, they lived in another apartment in Amsterdam. Now, nobody visits it. Even the local bakery and butcher shop don’t know about. After searching for the place on foot for hours, I found it and sat near the stone steps that had the indentations of footsteps in them. The steps led up to her door on the second floor.

I sat for awhile and looked at the small park in front of the house. Then, as I closed my eyes, I could hear Anne and her sister Margot’s footsteps going up and down, slamming the door and playing in the park.

Anne had a dream to be a writer, and wanted to help other people. She made that dream come true, and I’d like to thank her so much for what she has done and is still doing. Her diary encouraged Nelson Mandela and his friends when they were in prison on Robben Island.

I would like to encourage everyone to visit her house and any other places in the world where innocent people were killed. Take your friends and family. That’s the best way for us to grow and make the world a better place to live in.

It’s normal and more common to visit fun places when you have holidays, but to see the whole picture, you need to see the shadow and dark side instead of only looking at the sunny side. Where there’s a light, there’s a shadow filled with truth.

Thank you, Ms. Miep, for risking your own life and helping Anne’s family while they were hiding, and for keeping Anne’s diary. You are the truest human.

Eiji Yoshikawa is a retired Pro Boxer who majored inFrench literature and did his thesis on Jean Cocteau and Cinematography. He founded the "Peacemakers", Japan's first neighborhood watch, and spends much of his time visiting schools and communities teaching children about non-violence. In 2004, Japan Inc. Magazine called him the "Compassionate Pugilist". We are proud to offer "Letters from the Compassionate Pugilist" as our first guestcolumnist. Contact Eiji at www.eiji.tv or via email.

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