[Post by Robert Ellsberg]
‘She kept a diary, not simply as a distraction but as a duty, a responsibility to render her experience and her feelings in the most accurate terms. Along with the everyday experiences of a young girl confined indoors she recorded very unchildlike reflections on her perilous life.
“I see the 8 of us with our ‘Secret Annex’ as if we were a little piece of blue heaven, surrounded by heavy black rain clouds. The spot where we stand is still safe, but the clouds gather more closely about us and the circle which separates us from the approaching danger, closes more and more tightly.”
Nevertheless she believed it was her duty to maintain her courage, cheerfulness, and belief in the essential goodness of people, and to uphold her ideals,
“for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.”
While acknowledging the suffering that surrounded her “piece of blue heaven” and the approaching thunder “which will destroy us too” she thanked God for “all that is good and dear and beautiful” and maintained her faith in a better world.
Rarely has anyone so well defined the virtues needed in our age as this 14-yr-old already living under sentence of death. She was one of those in a dark age whose task is to maintain a candlelight of humanity as a guarantee that darkness does not have the final word.’
Roberts Ellsberg is publisher of Orbis Books. His dad, Daniel, gave us The Pentagon Papers. He knows a bit about patriotism, duty, and hope.