March 2021: Women's History Month & Shifting the Paradigm
Updated: Oct 15, 2021
We share the sentiment that women owned businesses are a critically important aspect of the movement for women's rights. We are very happy to share in the honoring of 'Women's History Month', by sharing a favorite story to continue to remember the women who made a mark for our evolution. We are also excited to create an atmosphere of inclusivity, by offering a 15% discount storewide til the end of March 2021, to all gender identity's - we celebrate the women past, but truly believe that it's beyond time to shift the paradigm, to one that is all inclusive.
To receive this discount, you can send an email to Moonrisebotanicals2020@gmail.com with what you wish to order & the code 'Honoring10%'.
There are so many women throughout history who have performed honorable acts to be remembered. Anne Frank is one of these women, who has deeply impacted me. I was an avid reader as a child, and at the age of six I came across 'The Diary of Anne Frank', in my grandmothers house. Typically visits to my grandmothers home included my siblings, and cousins. For this visit, it was just me - I had a lot of time and recall vividly being interested in the massive collection of National Geographic's in the guest room that my grandmother had collected in the. I spent hours looking through them, which opened my mind up to different cultural views I had not seen before. After a few days of this exploration, I noticed the book on a nearby shelf. In a period of four days, I had read the entire book. I was shocked and speechless. As soon as my little brain had time to process it, I was full of questions and curiosity. I began asking my grandmother many questions that she could not answer about this story. It completely shifted something within me, causing me to see the world from a different lens. I had already experienced some pretty heavy traumas at that age, but despite that was not prepared to learn about this aspect of history. The impact that this book would have on me was not clear at the time, however I had a feeling that it would be significant.
From the time I started writing until now, I have always had a journal. There have been a few periods in which I've taken a break from writing, but journaling has remained a constant and important practice. It has helped me find direction and assisted me in my healing process. In college I took a course on the history of the Holocaust. In this course, I read many more books about this subject. I found that the capacity at which humans have to create suffering, is far beyond even what Anne Frank's diary could relay. Anne Franks story opened my eyes to the systematic oppression of different races, genders and creeds. Because of this story, I continued on the journey to learn more deeply about cultures that have been oppressed - specifically Native American and African history. Learning about these aspects of history, has allowed me to hold such deep compassion for people of all walks of life. I am forever grateful to Anne Frank for the impact that her expression had on my capacity to accept humanity as it is.
Here is a short version of Anne Frank's story, accounting for her life experience, shared from the National Women's History Museum:
"When she was growing up, Anne Frank wanted to be a writer or a journalist. Unfortunately, her life was cut short by antisemitic persecution during the Holocaust. Although she was unable to witness it, Anne Frank’s writing in her diary became one of the most recognized accounts of life for a Jewish family in Europe during World War II.
Annelies Marie Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. She lived with her older sister Margot and her parents Otto and Edith Frank. In 1933, when Anne was about five years old, Adolf Hitler and the anti-Jewish National Socialist Party seized power. The Franks decided to flee to Amsterdam in the Netherlands in hopes of a better life. While her father left first to make arrangements, Anne Frank stayed with her grandparents in Aachen, Germany until February of 1934 when she joined the rest of her family in Amsterdam. Frank quickly acclimated to her new home and began attending a Dutch school nearby. Although Frank and her family enjoyed the safety of the Netherlands, this all changed when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and the Second World War began. Less than a year later, Nazis invaded the Netherlands. The Dutch army quickly surrendered, and the Nazi army began enforcing new laws restricting Jewish mobility. Jewish people were no longer allowed to visit non-Jewish places of business and Jewish children had to attend separate Jewish schools. Soon after, all Jews had to start wearing a Star of David on their clothes for identification.
By the summer of 1942, Jewish people in the Netherlands started receiving calls and notices to report to “work” at camp Westerbork near the German border. Many of them were unaware that Nazi officials were then transporting them to the two major Jewish killing centers, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Sobibor. On July 5, 1942, Frank’s sister Margot received a call to report to a labor camp in Germany. Suspicious of the call and fearing for their lives, the Franks decided to go into hiding instead of reporting to the camp. The very next day, the entire family began hiding in the annex behind the office the family owned at Prinsengracht 263. The family soon welcomed four Dutch Jews into the secret attic apartment to escape persecution. The group hid in the “Secret Annex” for two years, while their friends smuggled food and clothing to help keep them safe. Right before they went into hiding, Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday. While she was in hiding with her family, she began recording her experiences, thoughts, and feelings in her diary. She also wrote short stories and started a novel about her life.
Unfortunately, on August 4, 1944 the family’s hiding place was discovered by the Gestapo (German Secret State Police). The Franks and their four companions were arrested, along with two of the people that helped them hide. They were all sent to camp Westerbork on August 8, 1944 and prepared for transport. On September 4, 1944 they were placed on a train with 1,019 other Jews and transported to Auschwitz in Poland. Once they arrived, the men and women were separated, and Frank and her sister Margot were selected for manual labor because of their age. Over 350 of the people that arrived in the transport with the Franks were immediately taken to the gas chambers and murdered. In late October of 1944, Anne and her sister Margot were transported to another concentration camp in northern Germany called Bergen-Belsen. The living conditions at this camp were also horrific, and many died from starvation or disease. Anne and Margot both contracted typhus and died in March of 1945, a few weeks before the British army liberated the camp on April 15. Their mother Edith also died in early January 1945 in the Auschwitz camp.
When the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, their father Otto was the only one from the annex that survived. When he was released, he unfortunately learned that all of his family was dead. However, he returned to the Netherlands and discovered that his friend Miep Gies was able to preserve Anne Frank’s diary before the Nazis raided their hiding place. Otto read his daughters writings and saw that she wanted to become a journalist or a writer, so he published her diary in June of 1947. The book grew in popularity and was later translated into over 70 languages. In 1960, the secret annex where the family hid was turned into a museum called the Anne Frank House."
Written by Kerri Lee Alexander, NWHM Fellow | 2018-2020
I believe that stories have the power to change the outcome of the future. They have the power to completely alter one's life path. Stories have had a major influence on my capacity to heal my life, and make peace with my past. I am so grateful to all of the women who choose to share their story, to make their vulnerabilities known for the sake of continued growth and evolution of women's rights - to create a more empowered, embodied world within which all women can thrive.