Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Day Anne Frank was Arrested

It was on 04 August that Sylvio called to ask if I knew what day it was.

“Tuesday?”

“That’s funny,” he said in his Romanian accent. “Yes. But do you know what day it is? This is the day that Anne Frank was arrested.”

I didn’t know. If you ask me who Sylvio is, I won’t say. He’s one of my Jewish informants and I want to take care of him. He always has something interesting to say, something comic, something I don’t expect.

Sylvio’s call put memory on alert, as does most everything else. This time memory recalled that it was at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam where David McCalden first came to doubt the orthodox Holocaust story. He was on vacation with a couple guys and was doing the Anne-Frank-House tour. When he was upstairs in the quarters where, so the story goes, the Franks hid from the Germans, when he looked out the back window over the green filled with trees and bordered with windowed houses, it did not seem real to him that the Franks and others could have hid there secretly for month after month and after month. Looking at the neighborhood geography, as it were, the story did not compute.

Until that moment David McCalden had believed the H. story in its entirety, as almost all of us had. From that afternoon on, he began to doubt. And the more he looked into the story, the more he doubted. Until he came to America, hooked up with Willis Carto at Noontide Press, and had the original concept for The Institute for Historical Review and then the Journal of Historical Review, which at the beginning he edited himself. It became the international center for Holocaust revisionist studies.

Sylvio called again yesterday but I was too busy to talk to him. Too busy with what? No idea.

The market where we do most of our grocery shopping here in Baja is called Calimax. The other night I noticed that they have a new floor manager in the evening shift. I was sitting on a bench by the door, waiting for my wife when he came over and asked in Spanish if I needed coffee. At first I didn’t understand. I understood the words, but why was he asking me? Then I understood that my wife had asked him to ask me. I told him no, we didn’t need coffee.

But what I noticed was that he was a David McCalden look-alike. It was surprising how much he resembled David physically. Even his smile reminded me of David. I have seen the floor manager several times since. Each time I see him I feel a small pain in my heart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was standing outside the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam one morning trying to decide whether or not to plunk down the $10 (or whatever) they want for the tour. Suddenly out of nowhere this knock knock joke popped into my mind:

Knock, knock.
Whose there?
Guess.
Guess who?
GESTAPO! Your cab has arrived...

I decided skip the tour and ended up across the canal in the Jordaan neighborhood marveling at the sublime brush work of Gerard Born in a Delft shop. Born the most gifted living Delft master painter in the Netherlands.