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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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    Banning The Diary of Anne Frank


    Did you know that one of the most inspirational books to Jewish people has been banned in several states across the nation? It’s The Diary of Anne Frank, a book that many Beth Tfiloh students read during middle school to help us understand the atrocities that our ancestors experienced in the Holocaust. Many states have banned The Diary of Anne Frank graphic novel, claiming it displays too much gory detail and pain for children to endure, ignoring that many children endured the Holocaust in real life and the importance of educating a new generation about antisemitism.

    In Texas school districts, multiple Florida school districts and a few schools in Virginia The Diary of Anne Frank graphic novel has been banned from their book shelves. Last August, at the Keller Independent School District outside Fort Worth, Texas, educators removed The Diary of Anne Frank graphic novel. Explaining their desire to protect their students from explicit details regarding the Holocaust, the administration expressed that images depicting the distinct horrors of the Holocaust will have detrimental effects for children. Although the board of educators indicated their concern behind banning The Diary of Anne Frank novel,  regardless many parents feel that educators “really want to attack [their] curriculum and make sure that no social emotional learning ever enters [the classrooms],” as mentioned by Laney Hawes, a mother of four children who attend Keller Independent School District. 

    This ban demonstrates people’s attempts to silence the Holocaust, one of the most historical events in Jewish history. We were persecuted for our religion, discriminated against for our culture, and killed because we were different. When the Holocaust began to progress, Jewish businesses were burned, Jewish shops were ruined and defaced, and Jews became susceptible to extreme violence. As the Holocaust grew,  many innocent Jews were taken to ghettos, labor camps, and gas chambers. We must fight to keep Holocaust stories alive and to prevent this catastrophic event from occurring again.    

    Not only does the banning of The Diary of Anne Frank graphic novel represent individual states’ attempts to ignore the Holocaust, but also taxpayers’ desire to conceal history from their children. Moms for Liberty, a conservative non-profit, has banned this novel from multiple school districts in Florida. Furthermore, the Moms for Liberty and the board of educators in Indian River County felt that parts of The Diary of Anne Frank graphic novel “did not contribute to the themes of Holocaust education”.  Although educators and parents believe banning the new Diary of Anne Frank adaptation from their schools will become beneficial, they must realize their efforts erase history. These claims demonstrate how people wish to silence the Holocaust.

    Additionally, the discrimination and antisemitism Jews have experienced during the Holocaust continues to occur today. In recent years, synagogues have been burned, hate crimes have transpired on college campuses towards Jewish students, and many antisemitic people practice their freedom of speech by spewing antisemitic hatred towards Jews. With the rise of social media, antisemitism has been at a peak. Not only can antisemites proclaim their views in person towards Jews, they can also target Jewish creators and communities on social media. Although this hatred that Jews experience today cannot compare to the Holocaust, we, as Jews, have an obligation to share our history regarding the Holocaust in order to educate future generations. Many people do not understand the atrocities Jews have undergone. 

    Why does this matter? This answer is quite simple.  The Diary of Anne Frank is part of Jewish history. Any adaptation of this historical tragedy should be displayed. When visiting the Holocaust Museum, we can see shoes and suitcases belonging to children, stacked high. The Diary of Anne Frank was and is pure evidence of an innocent girl’s experience of terror. The pain of the Holocaust must continue to be shared. We must spread the voices of the past to the future to fully understand our roots. Our voices will not be silenced by people who want to erase history. As Jews continue to face discrimination today, we must vocalize the voices of the past to fight for justice.

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    About the Contributor
    Sunny Diamond
    Sunny Diamond, Reporter
    This is Sunny Diamond’s first year as a KolBt Reporter. Sunny is in 11th grade and outside of school is a StandWithUs intern, an NCSY board member and focuses on her organization, PlantMyStory. 

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