Isolation and the Inspiring Story of Anne Frank

Amsterdam water canal

Isolation can heighten feelings of anxiety and fear. It can cause us to lose perspective and to lose hope. During this time of isolation, due to COVID-19, my mind was drawn to the story of Anne Frank. Anne Frank was a girl who knew something about isolation. She understood, better than most, the fear, loneliness, and uncertainty isolation and the factors surrounding it can bring. 

It is normal to feel anxious and fearful and even wonder when, or if life will ever return to normal. Often our sleep is disrupted due to our anxiety and worries about the future. Anne experienced all of those feelings.

When we are isolated, it is easy to focus only on the negative, rather than all the good that still exists. Anne is an excellent example of someone who never lost sight of the beauty of life.  She didn’t let her troubles keep her from hoping and dreaming.  

Her story holds encouragement for those of us dealing with our feelings of loneliness and fear.  It is also something that might benefit students struggling with their grief over the loss of graduation, school, and interactions with their peers. We can empathize with Anne’s story and also gain a new perspective on our current situation.

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Focus on the beauty around you

Anne's Story of Isolation

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, inspired me so much that during a recent trip to Europe, I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. I saw the room where she slept and the small desk where she wrote her diary. I tried to imagine living in this space, sharing the small bedrooms with a parent or a stranger for two years. It makes me a little bit claustrophobic just thinking about it. 

I think of my own home compared with the space in the secret annex, almost half of it would fit in my bedroom alone.

Anne, along with many other children and families, hid in attics and secret rooms.  They could not go outside or even look out without endangering their lives. They were in a forced isolation that makes my stay-at-home order look like a luxury vacation.

For over two years, Anne and her family hid in the secret annex. They could not go to the store or walk outside or contact anyone outside the annex. During the day, they couldn’t even flush the toilet and had to be extremely quiet when walking around. 

During my tour at the Anne Frank House, I walked up the wooden staircase to the annex, and across the creaky wooden floors. I can tell you, moving around without making any noises, would have been very difficult!

The children could not attend school, play outside, go to parties, or talk to friends. Anne, her family, and those hiding with them no longer had the freedom to come and go as they pleased. They were utterly dependent on the help of those hiding them.

 These people risked their lives to bring them food and news from the outside. They were the helpers and unsung heroes we can all aspire to become.

Anne Frank says there's always something to be grateful for

Learning from Anne Frank

So as I sit here at home, writing this at a desk by the window, I am thankful. Thankful that I can look outside and even walk outdoors. I can drive myself to the grocery store and walk around without fear. 

Anne represents the Jewish people and the horrific events of The Holocaust; however, more than that, she symbolizes hope, faith, and human resilience. We can all relate to her because we all know what it’s like to doubt ourselves, to feel lonely and afraid, and to have dreams for a better life.

Anne Frank was a remarkable young woman. Although Anne would never live to see it, she accomplished a goal of hers while in isolation.  The dream of being a published writer. She left a beautiful legacy, and there is so much we can learn from her life. 

Here are several lessons from her diary that can teach us how to deal with times of isolation and inspire us to live fully.

To Never Lose Faith

Anne Frank had reasons to doubt the good in humanity.  She had reasons to question God and her faith.  However, she never stopped believing in God or in the good that still existed in the world.

Quote about nature and God

Every Individual Matters

You matter. Your story matters. You never know the difference you can make if you’ll only share your unique gifts with the world. 

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
― Anne Frank  

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” ― Anne Frank 

Self-Doubt is Normal

We will all have self-doubts.  That’s a part of life.  However, moving forward, even when we’re afraid or don’t know if we’ll ever be “good enough” is what matters.  

If you have something that makes your heart sing, then do it for you, and the joy it gives you. I am so glad that Anne didn’t stop writing for as long as she was still alive.

live after I'm dead

To Learn From Our Mistakes

This might be one of the greatest lessons to learn from Anne’s story and The Holocaust.  We must remember what happened, learn from it, and prevent it from happening again.

“What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.” ― Anne Frank

The Benefits of Journaling

A diary is a great way to get our thoughts down and our feelings. It is useful for kids and adults alike.  Often if we have a safe space, such as a diary, we have the freedom to express our feelings without fear of repercussions or reproach. Writing is freeing and therapeutic. 

“The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings; otherwise, I’d absolutely suffocate.” ― Anne Frank

To Be Dreamers

Oh, what a kindred spirit I find in Anne. She had so many dreams, and I bet, given a chance, she would have accomplished every one.

Quote from Anne Frank

Focus on The Positive

Anne taught us to focus on what we have to be grateful for, despite our troubles.

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. 
― Anne Frank 

Final Thoughts About Anne

Anne and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in July 1942. She was 13 years old. After two years of hiding in an annex over the warehouse where her father worked, they were captured by the Nazis and taken to concentration camps.

Anne went from the isolation of the annex to a concentration camp where she died at the age of 15.  She loved to write and hoped to one day be a famous writer. Sadly, Anne never saw this come to pass. She never had the opportunity to return to school, to fulfill her dreams, or to see her diary published. Anne never had the chance to return to a normal life. 

Perhaps, as a tribute to Anne, and to all those who lost their lives too soon, we can do our best to live our lives fully.  Chasing our dreams, inspiring those around us, and always believing there is more good than bad to be uncovered. 

Our isolation is temporary; eventually, children will return to school, and we will celebrate with family once again.  Anne Frank never stopped dreaming while in isolation, and I know she would have lived life passionately given a chance.  

So what about you?  What will you do with your life?

Anne Frank One Candle Defies and Defines the Darkness

Anne’s diary, from those two years in isolation,  has inspired millions of people around the world! Anne did, in fact, live on after she was dead.

Recommendations for Books & Movies About Anne Frank

Books:

  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Anne Frank’s Tales from the Secret Annex: A Collection of Her Short Stories, Fables, and Lesser-Known Writings by Anne Frank
  • Eva’s Story: A Survivor’s Tale By the Step Sister of Anne Frank by Eva Schloss
  • Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family by Miep Gies 
  • Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife by Francine Prose

Movies & Television Shows 

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour through the secret annex in Amsterdam. You can look inside each of the rooms and learn facts behind their use.

 

“Who else but me is ever going to read these letters?” Anne Frank

Millions Anne, millions.

 

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4 Comments

  • Rachel at Reply

    What a beautifully written blog and so inspiring!!

    • Charity at Reply

      I am happy you found it inspiring. Thank you for your feedback!

  • Angela at Reply

    This blog was wonderful. Inspiring and appropriate, especially now, when I find ridiculous restrictions invading my reality.

    • Charity at Reply

      Thank you! I found Anne’s story to be so relevant to the current situation. I’m glad you were inspired by it!

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