Anne Frank and Rachel Scott: Teens linked by terror




Posted on June 22, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 22 at 7:01 PM

PLANO —  Holocaust victim Anne Frank and Columbine massacre victim Rachel Scott were two teenage girls living on different sides of the world, decades apart.

But a 90-year-old man with close ties to the family of Anne Frank said she Rachel share a definite connection.

Cor Suijk's life is haunted with regret. His family helped hide 13 Jews during World War II. Suijk later became friends with Otto Frank, Ann Frank's father. The Franks were also hidden by a Dutch family. 

Frank wrote a diary detailing her fears, hopes and experiences. 

"Anne Frank met a world full of indifference," Suijk said.

Perhaps that's where Frank and Rachel Scott are different. But according to Suijk, they are connected through tragedy in two different times: the holocaust and Columbine. 

Like Anne Frank's diary, Rachel's writings were found after she was killed. Her diaries were turned into a national challenge, attempting to spread compassion through acts of kindness. 

"The connection is that Anne Frank was an innocent victim of cruel injustice," Suijk said. "And the same is true for Rachel."

Suijk, the Director of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, is in Plano. He is sharing his stories with educators at a Rachel's Challenge summit. 

He often talks about another similarity between Frank and Scott: their parents surprise when they learned their daughters' deepest feelings, after they died. 

"To decide what kind of parent we are, how much do we know about our children," Suijk said.

Suijk, who has devoted his life to educating the world about the holocaust, said Rachel's Challenge is helping make the world a more compassionate place. He said without trying, the result is always failure.