Never Met a Stranger: Frankly speaking



By T.W. Burger

When I was very young, I had a huge crush on Anne Frank.

Like a lot of such matters of the heart, it made no sense. I had fallen for a photograph of her face. I wanted to know her, which was a real problem as she had been born 20 years before me and had died four years before my birth.

It broke my heart.

It still does.

I have found myself thinking of her and her family and several other people during this time when much of the world is trying to stay home, avoiding contact with others and dodging, hopefully, the deadly coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes.

The Frank family and a few others hid in an attic, the famous “Secret Annex” because they were Jewish. For some reason, thugs throughout history have insisted on attempts to attack Jews. It’s as though to do so is symptomatic of some brain disease from which they suffer.

Anne and her family hid from the subhuman “master race” in 1942 during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Two years later they were discovered. In 1945, Anne and her older sister died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Anne’s father, Otto, was the only person from the attic to survive the war.

Today, stupid people are still trying to deny that the whole Holocaust ever happened.

Also today, many of us are penned up with our families, hiding, in a fashion, from an implacable, ruthless foe. The Frank family waited in dread for, and finally heard, the dire sound of heavy boots on the attic stairway.

We won’t hear the coronavirus coming.

Perhaps ironically, The Anne Frank house, now a museum in Amsterdam, now closed until June 1 as a precaution against the coronavirus.


T.W. Burger was raised in Athens. He graduated from Athens High School in 1967. He worked as a driver of everything from fork trucks to garbage trucks and concrete mixers, has been an apprentice mortician and ambulance attendant.

He has been a newspaper reporter since 1985, mostly in Gettysburg, PA, with various stints at other publications. Semi-retired, he is still working as a freelance writer and lives on the banks of Marsh Creek just outside of Gettysburg.

He is the author of "The Year of the Moon Goose" is currently writing “Never Met a Stranger.”

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