Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging

Harry Turtledove's short story is available online at TOR:

I had previously read one of Turtledove's novels and was not impressed. However, this short story was quite well done.

We get the account of an eighth-grade class that visits Anne Berkowitz in a retirement home. Anne was a Jew living in the Netherlands during World War II. We hear her account of the atrocities of the time and how they made it through. As the story unfolds, we gradually realize that this is Anne Frank. However, in this history she lived. After the war ended she destroyed her diary so she wouldn't have to relive some of the memories. However, the students can hear her first hand accounts.

The story does a good job of gradually unfolding the story, letting the reader realize on their own who this "Anne" is. It raises some interesting questions. Anne Frank died in a concentration camp. However, she is well known today because of her diary. However, if she had lived, she would have likely lived a very anonymous life as an unknown holocaust survivor.

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