Anne Frank is an iconic figure in history due to her courage in the face of tremendous misfortune. She is remembered fondly and with deep respect for the inspiring diary that she kept during her two years in hiding. On this day, many reflect and honor the memory of Anne Frank by reflecting on how she might have celebrated Hanukkah with her family. By looking through records of her family’s possessions, we can get an idea of the sorts of gifts that Anne might have given and received on Hanukkah.
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Hanukkah and Anne’s Family
The Franks were a religious Jewish family, so they likely celebrated all the customs associated with Hanukkah with vigor. This eight-day festival is well-known for being a time to exchange gifts with friends and family and making merry around the Menorah.
Foods Typical Of Hanukkah
One of the most common forms of Sabbath used to honor the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah was to feast on certain traditional foods. The oftentimes oil-based foods were meant to commemorate the “miracle of oil”. These would include traditional potato latkes, and sufganiyot, a type of fried doughnut.
Giving gift was another common practice for Hanukkah. The Franks were noted to receive a few parcels during their period of hiding, so this may have been a source of gifts given by either family members or close friends. It is likely that Anne and the other family members contributed to the festive gift-giving as well.
Though gift-giving has become a central part of the Hanukkah holiday, gifts given during this time in the 1930s were mostly of a practical nature. Since the Franks were experiencing a difficult time financially, any gifts given to the family and Anne were likely of practical use or remembrance, rather than frivolous. Some common items from the period included tools, books, toys, or handmade items.
Though Anne Frank never lived long enough to personally benefit from a Hanukkah celebration, we can assume from recordings and recollections of her family that she did participate in the joy of gift-giving during the Jewish holiday, when possibly surrounded by her family. While times were often difficult due to her situation and her circumstances, Anne’s courage and spirit remain a beacon of hope for many who seek to overcome oppressive forces. Naturally, we remember her with deep respect and fondness on this and every Hanukkah.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.