The Holocaust remains one of the most tragic pages in the history of the whole humanity. Millions of Jews died as a result of the fascist politics of anti-Semitism. The scope of physical violence against the Jews was so unprecedented that the acts of rescue or help were more than rare. Still, dozens of people made a moral decision to help the Jews avoid persecution and inevitable death. Today, the story of Anne Frank sheds the light on the courage and moral endurance of the Jewish helpers, who risked their lives for the sake of other people’s survival.
The Holocaust was the time of serious emotional and physical difficulties for millions of the Jews. Millions of others died in gas chambers. According to Miller, “the act of rescue was a rare occurrence during the Holocaust. Few protested or chose to help when their Jewish neighbors or colleagues were singled out, segregated, and ultimately deported.” This is actually what Martin Niemoller describes in his poem – when fascists come for the Communists, non-communists would not speak; when fascists come for the Jews, non-Jews would not speak, too. Nevertheless, the acts of help were real and proven. The heroism of the Jewish helpers was later glorified and praised by those, who managed to survive with their help.
In her memoirs, Anne Frank describes the generous and, at times, unbelievably courageous help she received from Otto Frank’s employees. Their names were Victor Kugler, Miep Glies, Johannes Kleiman, and Bep Voskuijl. Needless to say, the help they provided was absolutely unconditional. They created and maintained the atmosphere of living and hope, by coming upstairs to talk about politics and business and bringing flowers and birthday gifts with them (The Diary of Anne Frank). It is interesting to note, that the responsibilities and tasks were strictly divided among the four Anne Frank’s helpers. Together they ensured that the hiding Jews had enough food and clothes to manage their daily needs. Bep Voskuijl and Miep Gies were responsible for the delivery of the most essential goods (foods and clothes), while Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman cared for the financial side and the people’s safety (The Diary of Anne Frank). For instance, Gies provided ration coupons, while Voskuijl arranged a bookcase that would move to conceal the entrance to the Secret Annex (The Diary of Anne Frank).
Certainly, food and clothes were not enough to ensure a relatively secure existence of the Jews. The helpers also provided a range of other necessities, including newspapers and Latin correspondence (The Diary of Anne Frank). Anne Frank specifically mentions the fact of bringing Cinema & Theater magazine, which allowed her to stay informed about the latest developments in cinematography. The lives of the helpers were filled with danger, because they risked their lives and safety just to help their Jewish friends avoid deportation and death in a concentration camp. However, those risks eventually turned them into public heroes, whose names are forever remembered by the whole Jewish community.
The acts of help during the Holocaust were rare. Nevertheless, dozens of people made a moral decision to provide assistance to the Jews. The story of Anne Frank sheds the light on the courage and moral endurance of the Jewish helpers, who could lose their lives but still continued delivering their material, physical and emotional helps to the Jews. They would provide food and clothes, newspapers and materials, and their support was the most valuable in all aspects. Today, their courage and decisiveness is widely praised and acknowledged by the members of the international Jewish community.