June 12: Anne Frank Day
When you see something cruel or wrong taking place, do you say "It's none of my business" or "Why should I get involved?"
Sixty years ago, a 13-year-old girl began keeping a diary. Nothing special in that, except that the girl was Anne Frank. She and her family (of German-Jewish origin) lived in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. The Nazis were deporting increasing numbers of Jews to concentration camps, so Anne's father, Otto Frank, arranged for his and another family to hide in a secret room built above his office.
For two years, Anne wrote down what happened in that room and her thoughts about the news they heard on a radio - for example, how Jews were being murdered in the Nazi gas chambers. A friend called Miep risked her life by taking them food when it was safe to do so.
In August 1944, the Nazis found the secret hiding place and the Franks were sent to Auschwitz. There, Anne died of typhoid.
Otto survived and returned to Amsterdam where he found that Miep had managed to preserve the diary. In it, Anne had once written her belief:
"People are truly good at heart."
Discuss: Would you put you put yourself at risk to help a friend? A stranger? The victim of bullies? Someone suffering racial abuse? What are the dangers? What is "moral courage"?
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is published by Puffin (pound;5.99).
An Anne Frank exhibition is at Derby Assembly Rooms throughout June.The Anne Frank Trust UK publishes an educational pack and video, Moral Courage - Who's Got It? (pound;7.95 including postage), which explores various case studies and provides precise details of how the topic can be included in geography, history and English syllabuses at key stages 2, 3 and 4, as well as in projects on citizenship.The Anne Frank Trust UK, PO Box 11880, London N6 4LN Tel: 020 8340 9077 www.annefrank.org.uk