In 2015, American University Professor Richard Breitman published a paper that discussed Otto Frank’s unsuccessful attempts to gain entry into the U.S. as he and his family fled Nazi persecution. According to Dr. Breitman, “Otto Frank’s efforts to get his family to the United States ran afoul of restrictive American immigration policies designed to protect national security and guard against an influx of foreigners during time of war.” Instead of seeing Otto Frank for what he was — a married Jewish man with a family — our government saw him for what he was not — a spy, a saboteur, a person to fear.

His daughter Anne while in hiding wrote in her diary the following words:

“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

I encourage my fellow citizens to cling to Anne’s ideals and not to President Donald Trump’s delusional grim reality of religious bigotry, paranoia, and xenophobia. If we had, Anne Frank, that beautiful spirit, might be alive today as a U.S. citizen. Imagine what she would have accomplished in a lifetime.

Sadly, we denied her family entry and she perished in a concentration camp. Have we not made any moral progress as a nation since Otto Frank and his family went into hiding back in 1941?

According to the CATO Institute, the odds of dying from a refugee terrorist attack are 1 in 3.64 billion. The odds of being struck by lightning twice in your lifetime are 1 in 9 million. Trump should ban lightning, not refugees, from entering the USA.

Gregory Greenleaf

Harpswell

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