The Diary Of Anne Frank As Anti-U.S. Propaganda
North Korea is one of the most repressive regimes in the world today. In this piece from 2004, take a look at how this dictatorship even uses The Diary of Anne Frank to inflame hatred of The United States:
If you want to hear "hate" coming out of the mouths of school kids, go to the schools of North Korea, as a Dutch television crew did, and you'll hear hate from that country's teenagers directed at the United States.There is much more to read in the whole piece.
Western television reporters rarely get into North Korea, but remarkably they let a Dutch television crew in to see how they're using Holland's most famous book, “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
That diary, of her life in hiding during World War II, is now being studied in North Korea's schools. But Anne Frank's plea for peace and freedom got lost in translation.
North Korea is using her diary, not to teach how Anne suffered at the hands of the German Nazis, but to warn the students how they could suffer at the hands of those they call "American Nazis." Correspondent Mike Wallace reports.
”After reading this book, I had a hatred for the American imperialists,” says one student.
“That warmonger Bush is just as bad as Hitler. Because of him we will always live in fear of war,” says another student.
Anne's plea for peace is a curious message for these students, because North Korea is constantly preparing for war. Dictator Kim Jong Il spends the country's meager resources maintaining a powerful military. And it turns out that North Korea is using Anne's diary to tell students they must sacrifice for the military -- because war with America is inevitable.
“The Americans enjoy war. It excites them. It's part of their nature,” says one student.
Here, they teach that today's Nazis are the Americans – and that today's Hitler is George W. Bush. And, to hammer that home, whenever North Korean students refer to President Bush, or to other Americans, they're taught to call them “Nazis,” or “warmongers."
“As long as the warmonger Bush and the Nazi Americans live, who are worse than Hitler's fascists, world peace will be impossible to achieve,” says another student.
These students sympathize with Anne, but according to Bartelsman, they do not respect her.
“She didn't win. She was not a hero, and North Korea, they are learning, the children, we all want to be a hero, and we don't want to be killed,” says Bartelsman.
‘We know that Nazi America is certain to start a war with us, but we will win that war,” says one student.
“Our students will fight with a pen in one hand and a weapon in the other until the last American is dead,” adds another student.
These youngsters parrot the words of North Korea's deputy minister of education, who uses Anne's diary to teach students that North Korea's top priority is to build a stronger military to defeat the Americans.
And to make sure the students give that same answer, Dutch television caught one teacher whispering to her students, telling them just what to say to the Dutch reporter.
Teacher: Say that we don't want war, but that that is impossible as long as our enemy lives. So for us war is inevitable. We are not going to beg for peace. Instead, we must crush our enemy without mercy.
Student: You should not beg for peace. As long as the imperialists live, there will be no end to war.
Another student read from the diary: “Why is there hunger when food rots away elsewhere? Why are people so crazy?”
When Bartelsman asked students if they could answer Anne's question, again their teacher told them just what to say: “Why isn't food distributed everywhere? Because the imperialist bourgeoisie take it -- that's why there is nothing left for the proletariat. Just say that.”
The student’s response: “Food is taken by the imperialist bourgeoisie, which is why there is nothing left for the proletariat.”
“The most shocking thing is their comparison for President Bush with Hitler. that is absolutely disgusting,” says Anne’s cousin, Buddy Elias, who was her playmate and her last living direct relative.
Elias was the one who approved giving North Korea the rights to publish her diary, for a symbolic payment of less than $2,000.
“We were not told that it would be misused in schools. That, we had no idea,” says Elias, who considers today’s Hitler to be Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s supreme leader. Kim insists that whenever anyone mentions his name, they must first call him respected or beloved.
Alarmingly, North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons as well as the missle technology to deliver them.