Recently I noticed there have been, for obvious reasons, a number of articles appearing about the Diary of Anne Frank and her experiences during the second world war period.
With the renewed interest in that time I also noticed that the debunked debunk theory claiming that a novelist wrote the diary has been dragged out of mothballs to attempt to use baseless misinformation to defame her classic work. The diary was carefully studied and proven, once and for all, to be in her handwriting years ago.
This reminded me of a column I wrote some years back called: “The Urge to Debunk.”
There has been a movement afoot for a long time, (maybe longer than I have realized) to attempt debunking great works. Maybe there is some part of the human psyche that isn’t content with the joys of art or spirit and that prefers emptiness to vision. I am sorry for that part of us. It is missing a lot. I can think of some good examples of this. Many more could come with more effort but these should show what I’m talking about.
The greatest of books, the Bible, of course, comes to mind. Bookstores are crammed with books with every kind of message about secret societies passing down “The real truth.” Authors are outdoing themselves in complex efforts to show what “really took place” “and what the actual message of the Bible was and is, and yet the message of the Bible is a very simple and direct one. A divine message of Love and redemption that could not possibly be improved upon, so why try to alter it?
The writings of Shakespeare are considered the works of the greatest writer in the English language. A movement came forth to prove that not only did Shakespeare not write his own works but that in reality he may not have even existed. For years strange cyphers were studied and several candidates arose. Francis Bacon and Christopher Marlowe were two of them. And then… this died away. It was recognized that indeed, Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare.
A movie, “The Freedom Writers” got me thinking about Anne Frank. I had been deeply moved by her diary years ago as a young student. Looking her up on the net I discovered a movement had arisen to discredit her wonderful diary and paint it as nothing more than a hoax.
Complex assertions were made including the allegation that the whole diary had been written by a notable Jewish novelist and passed off as the work of a young girl. Why such an effort against the chillingly beautiful and brave account of a young girl who lived in hiding and, after capture by the Nazi’s, died in a concentration camp.
The original manuscripts of Anne finally became the property of the Dutch Government. At that point forensic experts were called in to settle the question once and for all. And the conclusion? The original Diary and the later additions were all written by the same girl who attended the Montessori school in Amsterdam, Anne Frank herself.
What do we have as humans against a good thing? What do we have against hope and faith? What do we have against our own courage? Let’s work on it this year. Let’s make space for the best in us. I promise to do my part.
Appreciate your comments .