Wednesday, July 30, 2014

August 4, 1944

Kegan is only five, but is very precocious. Today she asked me to read her the Diary of Anne Frank. While it is one of my favorite books, I don't think it is appropriate for a not quite six year old. She knows the premise, "During World War 2 there were a group of really bad people who felt like some people, like Jewish people, should not be allowed to live. So these Nazi's would send the Jewish people to concentration camps and sometimes kill them. Anne Frank and her family were so lucky that some very kind and brave people hid them for two years, bringing them food, and clothes, and protecting them from the Nazi's. Until someone found out and Anne and her family were arrested." 

She doesn't know much more than that and I still find myself questioning how appropriate it was to have told her that much. But she reads and saw something about World War 2 somewhere and I had to give her an intro a few months ago. Then she heard us talking about the Anne Frank house...and so her education is constantly growing while her innocence is being drained.

While I was telling her that I didn't read the Diary of Anne Frank until I was 12 and I felt she was a little too young for it still, she asked me, "Why did the Nazi's not like the Jews?" And as I have wondered myself for years, I found I could not adequately answer her question. How does a person or worse an entire group of people decide to systematically hate an entire demographic?

And then I thought, "Well it wasn't just the Jews the Nazi's were against." Luckily that stayed in my head because immediately my next thought was, "Kegan, you would have been a marked person, The Nazi's did not want transgender people to live either."  Even with her blonde hair and fair skin, she would have been a blight on their society. Not a blight like she might be in today's society in America, but so much so my daughter could be sent to a Concentration Camp, could be sent to the gas chamber, or just shot as she stepped off a train looking around at all the other unwanteds trying to find their bearings.

My daughter could have been an Anne Frank. Not because she is Jewish, but simply because the Nazis hated people like my child. 

And then my heart broke, again. Like it always does as I think of the cruelty my child will face even though it is not 1944 anymore. 

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The more we educate and have open dialogue, the safer our world becomes. Please share your thoughts, be honest, be brave, be kind. I can't wait to hear what you think!