Six smiling girls, one standing, five crouching in a sandbox. This rare photo of Anne Frank and her childhood friends paints a picture of a time of cherub-like happiness, made possible only by the innocence of youth. It’s a rare opportunity to see Anne and her friends far before any of the atrocities that were inflicted on them were even on the horizon – grinning, radiant, and blissful.
The photo was taken in Amsterdam in 1937. Cut to seventy-five years later: four of the other girls survived the war and grew up to have long lives and families, and the girl known to the world as Anne Frank is forever immortalized in memory through her published diary. One cannot help but be reminded of a line from one of Anne’s last entries in her diary: “I think that I will come out all right, this cruelty too will end and peace and tranquility will return again.” Anne may not have survived the war, but through her message of acceptance and tolerance, we can do honor to her memory and see to it that that peace and tranquility does one day return. Hope for a better future can survive even the darkest of times.