Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Hi, my name is Peter van Pels and I am the boy that loved Anne Frank. Anne immortalized me in her diary and now I want to tell my side of the story. I want the world to hear my voice and listen to what I went through in the Annex and in the camps. "I am Peter. I am here, and it feels like a miracle to me. Not just that I'm alive but that anyone is, ever." (page 251)
Anne and I spent over two years together during the second world war hiding from the Nazi's. We had an innocent relationship, we shared a first kiss, we fell in love and then the world ripped us apart. I am a intense young man, shy, quiet, not as talkative as Anne. I dream of freedom and of being anonymous. I guess if you really want to get to know me, you will have to read the book.
After we are arrested and deported to the camps, Anne and I never see each other again. She is in my dreams and thoughts and the memory of Anne and my family continue to help me survive this living hell.
Are you still there?
Are you listening?
My thoughts: The ending of Annexed was the most powerful part of the story for me. My grandfather fought in World War II and actually walked into one of the camps. The conclusion of Annexed and my grandfather's story connected and for me the connection was very powerful. I want to tell you my grandfather's story so it lives on. My grandfather was a Bombardier and Chemical Specialist in the 9th Army Air Force. His unit followed the 101st Airborne and supported them from the air and ground. Towards the end of the War his unit walked into a camp in Germany after the Nazi's had evacuated it. He found many ill and sickly people. One man pointed at my grandfather, who was smoking a cigarette, and raised his arms to him. He took his cigarette and held it for the man to smoke. When he finished puffing the cigarette, the man smiled at my grandfather and died before him. This profoundly affected my grandfather for the rest of his life. The man died right after receiving an act of kindness and I like to think he died happy and at peace. Hopefully just like Peter van Pels.