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Paper Sky: What Happened After Anne Frank's Diary Ended Paperback – March 27, 2014
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About the Author
Beth Jacobs is a published writer of non-fiction and poetry. She is also a psychologist who studies and supports the profound value of personal journaling.
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Jacobs’ exhaustive research is apparent with every entry in this continuing diary as she follows Anne and her family for nearly 8 months, until Anne’s death at the German Bergen-Belsen camps.
On July 15, 1944, Anne wrote, “I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty, too, shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”
However, that peace and tranquility was not the case for Anne and her family. In Paper Sky, Jacobs reveals her acute awareness of Anne’s every -often times- conflicting human emotions, of every holocaust scene, that somehow we don’t want to see. We feel our own senses ignited by the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the camps. The lice quickly multiple, leaving us scratching and checking to make sure there is nothing on our own arms or legs.
We experience with Anne a sense of freedom following their arrest that quickly turns to her longing for that small attic. We are led to understand the constant game of ‘musical chairs’ expertly played to stay out of harm’s way, off the trains and to remain upright during roll calls. We also understand Anne’s gentle awareness of the sudden smallness of her loving father Pim, as he struggles to protect his family.
I find one of the most interesting parts of Paper Sky is Anne’s relationship to her beloved Kitty. A relationship that changes over the months from Kitty being the one she shares her innermost thoughts with, to a Kitty that comforts and protects her, to Anne’s need to protect and comfort Kitty. Kitty becomes the source of Anne’s sanity. Ultimately, without even the tiniest scrape of paper to write on, Anne and Kitty become one, watching the world slip away.
You will walk away from reading this book, both longing to taste freedom and the final ending of this story, and the longing to keep that diary, scattered on the annex floor so long ago, safely locked away following Anne’s last entry.
Rev. Tricia L. Teater, MPA, Director and Head Priest, Udumbara Zen Center, Evanston, Il.
Doralee Grindler Katonah, Psy.D, M.Div. is adjunct faculty at Sofia University/The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. She is a clinical psychologist who offers spiritually integrated psychotherapy. She has taught internationally and has published in the area of somatic psychology. Doralee is a practitioner of Zen Buddhism for many years.
The premise that Anne would continue to journal is entirely plausible; a musician would still think musically whether an instrument was handy or not. A writer would still write on what came to hand and then in the mind if that was the only outlet available particularly if one is a journal writer.
Thus begins Paper Sky's disintegrating journey of Anne Frank's end of life through the landscape of Nazi prison camps. Jacob's creates a visceral experience of the emotional, psychological and physical decent of the young Anne Frank. "Paper Sky" should be read as a testimony to the endurance of the human spirit as well as a powerful but difficult reminder of the sacrifices made during a period of history we should never forget.