There are many wonderful things about social media, but as with many things, there is a negative side as well. Over the last four or five months, there have been many, many posts from both Jews and non-Jews about how sheltering in place is akin to what Anne Frank and her family went through during World War II.
Many people were offended and spoke out about the comparison. Slowly, the “not so clever” Anne Frank memes are disappearing.
But one artist who is known for his strong empathetic heart had a different outlook.
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A few years ago, the renowned Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra ventured to Amsterdam to create this Anne Frank mural on a wall in a shipyard. This mural was one of many throughout the world centered around his “Let Me Be Myself” theme.
He wrote recently that he often thinks about Anne Frank during these times, but not in terms of comparing COVID-19 mandated shelter in place with her situation as so many have callously done. No, Eduardo Kobra has a different takeaway.
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In spite of how difficult these times are, he imagines the fear and heartbreak of sheltering in place because Nazis are hunting down you and your loved ones. This is why he thinks about Anne Frank so often today. This is a whole different outlook than those comparing their “staying home” to what Anne Frank and her family went through. Perspective, people. Empathy.
Kobra always stresses the importance of mutual respect in his work, a feature that sometimes gets lost today. But his message resonates worldwide and beyond. The third day after the Anne Frank mural was completed, a rainbow encircled the work. The message was clear.
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Cindy Saltzman, Publisher