Today Would Have Been Anne Frank’s 89th Birthday Had She Not Been Taken From Her Family and Sent to a Concentration Camp

Today would have been Anne Frank’s 89th birthday. The Auschwitz Memorial and the Anne Frank Center have the details:

One has to wonder whether 89 years from now school children will read the diaries and journals of the children that the President and Attorney General Sessions, after receiving policy recommendations from the wickedest of sons Stephen Miller, have ordered be separated from their parents and interned. And just what those diaries will say. How they will indict us as a society. How they will convey our cruelty and heartlessness to future generations.

While it is true that US military bases have been used during past administrations, both Democratic and Republican, to temporarily house unaccompanied minors who were sent to the US and entered without documentation to get them away from violence in their native countries, what the President and Attorney General Sessions have ordered is something new and different: children separated from parents who have requested asylum. Showing up at a port of entry or presenting oneself to Customs and Border Patrol personnel after an undocumented entry to request asylum are not criminal offenses. The former is actually allowed by US law, the latter, at worst, is a civil misdemeanor. And both situations, as a result of US Senate ratified treaty obligations pertaining to asylum seekers that have the force of US law, require humane treatment of asylum seekers. They are also separating children from parents who have made an undocumented entry into the US without claiming asylum, justifying it by claiming the law requires it. Here too undocumented entry is a civil misdemeanor, not a criminal offense. There is nothing in the law that requires that children be separated from their parents if families are apprehended while attempting an undocumented entry or after making an undocumented entry.

The reality of America is once again very, very far away from the ideal that is America. These children will record their judgements of America in the diaries and journals they keep. Judgements that will stand with those recorded in Anne Frank’s diary. And history will not remember this time in America favorably.

Open thread!

54 replies
  1. 1
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    If they requested asylum, there are rules. Federal and International.

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I am aware. Hence my including it in the post. US policy is now to ignore those rules – statutory and treaty based.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There WERE rules. It’s obvious this administration doesn’t care about petty things like rules when they have an agenda to uphold and thugs willing to carry those out.

    We’re gonna need to make a LOT more rules after these evil men are gone. We can’t let something this terrible happen again.

  4. 4
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    I hope there will come a day when Sessions, that woman with the Nordic name who is probably the White House COS’s mistress, Trump, and anyone else important enough to have been involved in this will face their own Nuremberg tribunal.

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Probably? I have zero doubt Kelly and Nielsen are banging on the side. He’s been way too interested in elevating her career for it to be otherwise. Plus they are around each other a lot. Irresponsible not to speculate etc.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @Yutsano: Consider me the voice of the liberal establishment.

    There are rules. Those rules are being ignored. Is that okay?

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m not disagreeing with you. I agree with you that there are rules against this. And I agree with you that they’re being ignored and/or willfully violated. That’s why I did this post this way. Was to make that point.

  8. 8
    Jerzy Russian says:

    On my last trip to Amsterdam, we walked by the Anne Frank House on the way to the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. The line was very long and stretched around the block. If I ever make it back to Amsterdam again I will just suck it up and stand in line to get in.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    This is where I grew up, though not on the street where this asshole lives:

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Tracking and going to bed.

  11. 11
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    Anne Frank died in 1945? That’s so sad that she died so close to the end, though she never could have known that. One must wonder if her story would still have been as well known as it is today if she had lived long enough to be liberated

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well that explains where the idea to stop the military exercises came from:

  13. 13
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    Crimes against humanity in our name. If you work for ICE you are complicit in evil doing.

  14. 14
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jerzy Russian: I went back in the 80’s. It was both sobering and depressing. The biggest surprise to me was how much space they had. I had pictured a tiny, cramped space when I read the book, but they had several large rooms.

  15. 15
    Brachiator says:

    Gena Turgel, who tended to Anne Frank when she was transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, died recently at age 95.

    Link to a story about her.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: Yep. Saw that yesterday.

  17. 17

    “Do not think now that you will now escape judgement.” – http://adviceunasked.blogspot......scism.html

  18. 18
    Joyce H says:

    Tent cities. Enormous, city-sized campgrounds, filled with kids.

    They’re planning to put babies and toddlers in tents. In Texas. In the summer. Well, that sure makes sense.

    One thing that makes this administration different from any other is that they don’t staff out a policy before they announce and implement it. Any other administration, a president or attorney general might say, ‘hey, what if we took away the children of asylum seekers?’ – and that question would be staffed out! The question would be put to all departments that would have to implement the policy and they’d come back weeks later with input. I’m sure the Justice Department’s input would be – “you guys KNOW this is illegal as all fuck, right?”

    But even if that was overridden, issues of WHERE to keep the children would already be considered before the government suddenly had thousands of terrified children on their hands.

    Like – a tent city of 5000? How many caretakers will you have for them? Where will you get these caretakers and how will you vet them to make sure they’re not dangerous? And how will you pay for it? Medical staff? Will you take doctors and nurses from other areas of the government and how will those other areas manage without them? Who will pay them, their former departments or the department running the camp? How many children are not yet potty trained? How is this army base going to manage the sudden increase in sanitary facilities need? Do they have the infrastructure to cope, or will the camp be ankle deep in sewage within a month?

    Oh, and Texas? In the summer? What’s your heat mitigation plan? And hurricane season? How quickly can you acquire enough buses to evacuate five thousand children and the adults you have looking after them?

    Will there be a school? Other activities? How will THAT be staffed? If there are no activities provided, how are you going to manage teenagers in an enormous camp ground with nothing to do?

    Any other administration, even if they decided to implement such an inhumane policy, would have at least considered and answered these questions before implementation. But because this is Trump World now, they just fling the policy out and let the rest of the government figure out how to handle it WHILE they’re implementing it.

    And they wouldn’t have to answer ANY of these questions, and headed off inflicting unnecessary emotional trauma, if they’d just allowed the children to stay with their parents as was the policy before.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Joyce H: Pretty much.

  20. 20
    eemom says:

    Not sure why you chose to phrase it this way, but Anne Frank wasn’t taken “from” her family. The entire family was taken and murdered, as were the others in the hiding place, with the sole exception of Otto Frank, Anne’s father, who survived.

  21. 21

    @Joyce H: No worries, Trump hires the “Best People”(aka lowest bidder).

  22. 22

    @eemom: There were eventually separated to different camps, right?

  23. 23
    Mike in NC says:

    Just another plug for “Five Came Back” on Netflix, about how five of the country’s greatest movie directors responded to WW2.

  24. 24

    @Joyce H: The word isn’t “inhumane.” It’s “criminal.” As in, “crime against humanity.”

  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    @Jerzy Russian:
    If you ever get back, go. The people there have not forgotten, and now we are becoming the country that we and the rest of the world defeated 73 yrs ago.
    Yes. We need to learn the lessons that were learned decades ago in Europe, that bad people will surface whenever and where ever they can. And we’re seeing some real slime crawling out of the ooze right now, people who have no decency, no humanity, no…,. they are just fucked up shitheads. VDE is bringing me around to his solution. Second to that would be jail sentences of say 40 – 50 yrs without parole. Just so they get the concept of it and have time to savor it.

  26. 26
    Gretchen says:

    @eemom: The family was sent to Auschwitz. The parents remained there while the two daughters, Anne and Margot, were sent to Bergen-Belsen, where they died shortly before the end of the war. So, yes, they were taken from their parents.

  27. 27
    eemom says:

    “If they requested asylum, there are rules. Federal and International.”

    As is usual around here these days, I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, or if it is supposed to have any relevance to the story of Anne Frank. Assuming it is, there is a whole other aspect of her story that deserves mention, i.e., the hideous anti-Semitism of FDR and the other powerful men (and they WERE all men) that ruled this country in her time, and the many, many Jews who sought asylum here and were turned away.

  28. 28
    eemom says:


    Congratulations, literalist. You win a prize.

    btw, it’s Auschwitz.

    Also, “they died” there. Nice touch.

  29. 29
    eemom says:



    My point was just that the WHOLE FAMILY was “taken” and murdered.

    But don’t let that interfere with your banality, little Eichmanns.

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    @Ruckus: No looking forward not back this time. It’s time to sit down and address white racism* in this country. We have to start getting everyone ready for the idea we have always been and will be a multicultural society. But if anyone can make it work it’s us. We’ve been the impossible country since our founding. Let’s go even more impossible.

    *Along with a LOT of other prejudices. But racism is our original sin.

  31. 31
    Gretchen says:

    @Joyce H: That’s what I want to know too! Who is changing the diapers on these tiny children? Anyone? Daycare centers are required to have a 1:4 child/caregiver ratio for little ones. Is the federal government providing this 24/7? How much is that costing? If they are not providing adequate care, how much danger are these children in? Not to mention the attachment disorders you get when small children don’t have a reliable caretaker, and these can’t be fixed later. This is pure evil.

  32. 32
    Gretchen says:

    @eemom: what’s your point? You and I spelled it the same. Yes, they “died” of typhus. Nazis were responsible for their deaths but didn’t literally kill them in the gas chambers. If the whole family is in one place, and the children are taken to another place where they die, I’m not seeing your objection to the phrasing that the children were taken or that I am being too literal. That is literally what happened.

  33. 33
    eemom says:


    Further congratulations.

    And you changed the spelling, as you know, after I pointed it out.

    Anyway, whatever. This “discussion” is too fucked up even for me. Have a good evening.

  34. 34
    Gretchen says:

    @eemom: Objections to the current policy is about families who, once they are detained, being separated from their children. The Frank family was detained and then the children were separated from the parents. It looks like an exact parallel to me, which, as an American whose father was one of the first American troops to liberate the Nazi concentration camps, finds the parallel profoundly disturbing.

  35. 35
    West of the Rockies says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    Probably not going to happen. But I truly, genuinely hope the lot of them feel deep and abiding shame, the scorn of their peers, and the eventual revulsion of their own family.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    Yes, this exactly.
    I have no idea how to do this, this racism has been festering for 150+ yrs and this pustule of a man that managed to steal an election, with the help of his owner, has allowed it to boil to the surface. But, and it is a massive – ugly – hairy butt, it has to be discussed and outlawed. With real fangs, not just with wishes and prayers, neither of which has ever worked even once. Others have figured out how, I’m just not sure it’s possible here. We have too much freedumb for money here and that makes this type of thing dramatically harder. I believe we need to fix our politics/money policies so that we can have any chance to make this work. And something like is done in other, more civilized parts of the world, make it obvious that a lot of what passes for news programs is pure bullshit propaganda, for the racist and money interests.

  37. 37
    Gretchen says:

    @eemom: when you’re calling people who agree that a policy is brutal “little Eichmans”, you are not operating in good faith.

  38. 38
    sukabi says:

    @Joyce H: children as young as 12-18 months. Can’t feed themselves, need diaper changes, baths, comfort and care. There is no way these babies will be properly cared for. Same is true for the other kids. In a tent in Texas in the middle of summer. There are going to be many that don’t survive.

    This is monstrous. Time to bombard congress.

  39. 39
    Jager says:

    @Joyce H: Sheriff Joe will be put in charge, he’s got a lot of tent city experience in hot climates.

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    Nothing/no one but the best.

    Assholes. Every last fucking one of them. Those responsible by voting for this shit, those who can’t seem to summon the whatever to do what’s it called, checks and balances, and the maniacal asswipe in charge with his friends and helpers. MFA.

  41. 41
    PJ says:

    I am not religious, but I still hope for divine justice for crimes like these.

  42. 42
    SectionH says:

    @Yutsano: I had that Truth & Reconciliation shit from Mr S before the 2008 election. No More!

    Mr S is completely into the Truth and Retribution thing. His phrase, and I’m gonna use it a lot in the next few months.

  43. 43
    Procopius says:

    I’m mildly surprised, but not shocked, that they are doing this. When the Republicans made torture official policy and the Democrats then condoned it, although claiming to end the actual practice, it was obvious that many Americans are much worse people than I previously thought. Oh, not all Americans, but around half. What was the last poll that showed how many Americans approved the use of torture? 65%? So how is ripping kids from their parents’ arms so much worse? Has anybody conducted a poll yet what percentage of the total public approve of this policy? I am very grateful that there are people running as Democratic candidates whom the DCCC/DSCC/DNC are actively trying to destroy, and many of them are winning.

  44. 44
    Procopius says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    … there are rules.

    Hahahahahahaha! You make the comedy.

  45. 45
    worn says:

    @Gretchen: Forget it, Gretchen, it’s eemom.

  46. 46
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Joyce H:
    Can you say ” epic humanitarian crisis in U.S. Child refugee camps.”
    This is appalling….No, there isn’t a word: any word i think of is understatement.

  47. 47
    donnah says:


    This is so significant. Trump is the mouthpiece and benefits from ignoring a lot of rules and laws, but Mitch McConnell and his cronies have been the ones crafting and recreating and ignoring a whole host of laws and clauses since Trump took office. Not only will Democrats have to write laws about abuse of power and emolument definitions, tax return disclosures, and many more, they’ll have to add teeth to ones that exist so that the Republicans can’t continue to abuse them for their own gain.

    It’s going to take a lot of work and time to rebuild our democracy.

  48. 48

    @MagdaInBlack: the term is “crime against humanity.” I hope we say it more.

  49. 49
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    I will

  50. 50
    The Other Chuck says:

    @eemom: Wow . You are an irredeemable piece of fucking garbage.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @eemom: I chose to phrase it that way because in the second Auschwitz Memorial tweet – the third tweet overall – at the top of the post, the Auschwitz Memorial makes it clear that she and her sister were separated from their parents at Auschwitz and transferred to Bergen-Belsen where they died shortly before the end of the war and the liberation of the camps. I did this specifically in order to set up the comparison points in the second half of the post regarding the President’s policy, established in the later summer/early fall of last year, to separate children from their parents when they come to the US seeking asylum, as well as when they come to the US as undocumented entries, which is a civil misdemeanor, not a crime.

    This leads to your next comment here @eemom:, which indicated you were confused by how I structured the post. I wanted to both draw attention to what would have been Anne Frank’s 89th birthday and then use that to pivot to the President’s vile policy to separate children from their parents when they come to the US seeking asylum or just a better life and try to enter without documentation. Moreover, I wanted to make sure to point out that the policy is actually illegal under US law, as well as under the international treaties we are obliged to follow because they were ratified by the Senate and therefore have the force of US law.

    Finally, if I see you call another commenter here a “little Eichmann” or anything similar as you did in this comment @eemom: simply because you are confused/have expressed confusing and they’ve tried to explain it to you, I will blacklist you. There are real, actual neo-NAZIs and NAZI wannabes out and about in the US, our allies, and our partners making mischief. You want to call them out for what they are, then I’m completely supportive. You want to get into petty, pointless spats with commenters here that annoy you? Great, knock yourself out. Calling commenters here who annoy you, given that based on your comments over the past month or so everything and anything can and does annoy you, “little Eichmanns” annoys me. That is not a good thing. Are we clear?

  52. 52
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman: \

    …Calling commenters here who annoy you, given that based on your comments over the past month or so everything and anything can and does annoy you, “little Eichmanns” annoys me. That is not a good thing. Are we clear?

    I’ll never see her talk about anything but pie, so that’s really OK. Thanks for calling her out.

  53. 53
    eemom says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Maybe if you learned how to write clearly, you wouldn’t be so quick to go swinging your big old censor-dick. THAT clear?

  54. 54
    barb 2 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thank you Adam for being the voice of sanity.

    The Washington State GOP is full of racist — their target is Native Americans. They tried to get a racist statement in the GOP platform at the Convention — it was passed forward to the National GOP. I don’t think that it was in the final platform.

    Now the white idiots controlling the Bureau of Indian Affairs are trying to nullify treaties with Native American Tribes. Of course, the GOP is using racist doublespeak.

    However, the tribes have been making sure that they have smart Native American lawyers who understand treaty law. Plus there is the ACLU. Trump hates the tribes and their c.a.s.i.n.*.s. Trump and his kind are always trying to get back at anyone who crosses them.

    Trump always wants the last word — to be the winner. Laws be damned. He thinks he is the law.

    Thank you for reminding us of our loss of Ann Frank and all the others.

    My two Senators are already aware of the Internment camps for Children and Gov. Jay Inslee is speaking out.

    Reservation Indians also have a history of being separated from the Parents and sent off to “schools” where many of the children never returned. So the US has a very long racist history. My grandmother hid the fact that her grandmother was a Native American.

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