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Ordinary Lives

The experiences of Hatsuyo Nakamura and Anne Frank reveal how ordinary individuals confronted with the incomprehensible horrors of war and discrimination often achieve extraordinary feats. There are many similarities between Hatsuyo Nakamura and Anne Frank. They both suffered great losses due to war, they both were subjected to discrimination of the most oppressive nature, and they both found a way to persevere in the midst of the horrors of war. While their cultures, religions, and economic circumstances differed, the experiences of both Hatsuyo Nakamura and Anne Frank reveal how ordinary people, confront with unimaginable horrors, often achieve extraordinary feats.

We see that both Hatsuyo and Anne confronted the horrors of war and discrimination firsthand. Hatsuyo lived through the atomic bombing of Hiroshima while Anne faced the persecution of the Jews by HitlerÆs Nazis. Both faced discrimination but for different reasons. Anne faced discrimination because of being Jewish. The Germans forbid the Jews to participate in communal life, segregating them and curtailing most of their freedoms. Anne maintains that Jacques told her, ôI donÆt dare do anything anymore, æcause IÆm afraid itÆs not allowedö (Frank 173). Hatsuyo faced discrimination from her own people because of fears over the illnesses people exposed to the bombing might develop, ôNon-hibakusha employers developed a prejudice against the survivors as word got around that they were prone to all sorts of ailmentsö (Hersey 183).

AnneÆs Jewish background and religion are important to her ability to find faith and strength in the midst of the horrors of war. However, war changes perspectives and attitudes toward religion. Her grandparents do not want her to go to a Zionist organization meeting. Anne has a realistic view of the Zionists but in response to the knowledge her grandparents do not wish her to attend the meeting, sh


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Ordinary Lives. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:37, May 25, 2020, from