Social Sensitivity

The primary social issue addressed in Anne Frank is obviously the persecution of Jews. A familiarity with the history of anti-Semitism may help the reader to better understand the events of the book. Not a new practice, anti-Semitism can be traced back to biblical times and has taken various forms throughout the history of modern man. In the Middle Ages, Jews were forced to wear “Star of David” badges to distinguish them from the rest of society. Designed to humiliate, the badge was referred to as the “Badge of Shame.” Similarly, when the Nazis occupied Holland, they not only required Jews to wear the badge, they also forced Jews to turn in their bicycles. Jews could shop only during restricted hours and could buy goods only from “Jewish shops.”

Anne Frank is a valuable introduction to the Holocaust because it provides a good deal of information about this extremely violent event without subjecting readers to gory details. Anne shares her knowledge and feelings about the suffering the war has brought and tells of families separated and taken away in cattle cars to a place of no escape. She realizes that the terrible conditions under which she lives in hiding are nonetheless better than those endured by Jews on the outside

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