Remembering Anne Frank

Watching the remarkable documentary Remembering Anne Frank on BBC4 prompted the reflection that history has stories which demonstrate why later events develop in the way that they do. The Nazi persecution of the Jews was a brutally conceived policy so uniquely vile and directed against humanity itself that later responses to it, and to its reincarnations, operate within a special historical and existential framework. Resistance to a total genocide ultimately needs to be total, for as Hannah Arendt showed, the alternatives usually prove to bring about the triumph of totalitarian ideologies and mindsets, and the denial of the human. The calls for the destruction of the state of Israel now current in much of the world give Israel the right to resist, not only to defend its own citizens, but also the aspirations of mankind in general. 

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