When Faced With Persecution

After much anticipation, I had the great pleasure to travel to Amsterdam and visit many of the tourist attractions to be found there. So it wasn’t by surprise that I found myself in Anne Frank’s house. This has been turned into a museum which commemorates her life and recounts her terrible experience at the hands of the Nazis.

The story has been referred to a thousand times and many know what Anne had to endure during those terrible years of World War II.  She died at the tender age of fifteen, very likely from typhus. The exact date of her death is not known. What is known for certain is that it occurred just a few weeks before British troops liberated the camp on 15 April 1945, which was unfortunate as she might have been saved with proper medication.

Walking around Anne Frank’s house, reading excerpts of the story written on the wall seems like something one would normally do in a museum. The higher up I went, however, the smaller the rooms became, the darker and more claustrophobic everything felt. The windows were all covered up with black boards. Nothing could be seen, neither from the outside, nor from the inside. The room was a cage, a cage with open doors. I knew full well that I could walk out but ‘they’ were somehow keeping you inside. It was not pleasant. Now imagine having to live like that indefinitely, not knowing whether you would make it out alive, hiding from other people. And not just any people, but people who were bent on persecuting you.

Where am I going with this? We sometimes are faced with a power struggle with people who try to belittle us and control us in one way or another. Well, there are many paths we can take, but when faced with such situations, there is one common thing which is present and that is fear. Fear from other people, especially those with the means to hurt you, be it weapons, money, or even with words. This is a terrible kind of fear when we feel that others have some hold over us, a power which can determine how our lives play out and in extreme cases, whether we live or die.

We create fear in our mind; we feel fear within ourselves because we care, because we feel and because we have things or people we don’t want to lose. When it comes to fearing others, there is often more to lose than to gain. Once you give others power over you, there is no turning back. There is just them with their control over you.

You simply become an obedient being ready to obey, without questioning, without asking, just bowing your head.

You simply become an accomplice to those who are persecuting you and those who are making you afraid.

We must remember that we are all equals and the moment we fear others so much that they push us into obeying them, is the moment that we are at our weakest point. We need to realise that it is necessary to stand our ground with such people as much as we can and that is the moment when we will be proactive in overcoming our fears.