Prepared by Cathy Kaemmerlen
This 55 minute play begins with Anne on stage writing, then backtracks to the story of Anne’s 25 months in hiding with seven others in the back annex of her father’s business in Amsterdam. Anne Frank: A Patch of Blue comes to life and is told in first person by Cathy Kaemmerlen. Anne’s spirit comes to life through excerpts and stories from her famous diary that documents the horror of the Holocaust instigated by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. In the end, nothing could silence her voice. Anne always maintained that there is good in all of us. Twenty million copies of her diary have sold to date and have been translated into 55 languages. With her natural and precocious writing gift, her words teach us lessons in tolerance, prejudice, fanaticism, hope, and in the universal problems of an adolescent trying to grow into adulthood. Especially designed for 5th and 8th grade social studies and language arts curriculum.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, professional actress, author, and storyteller, is known for her variety of characters, one-woman shows, and for her rapport with audiences. A performer and “creator of shows” since she can remember, she has toured in schools coast to coast, performing over 5000 in school programs since receiving a BA in English/elementary education from UNC-Charlotte, and a MFA in dance performance/choreography/theatre at the University of Wisconsin. She tours through Young Audiences of Atlanta, the Georgia and South Carolina Touring Arts Rosters, Fulton County SAP, Southern Artistry Profile, National Women’s History Project, and has received numerous grants and honors, including Outstanding New Interpreter for her region with the National Association of Interpreters. Now an author of two books through the History Press: General Sherman and the Georgia Belles and The Historic Oakland Cemetery of Atlanta, Speaking Stones and The Buzz on Honeybees due spring 2012 from Pelican Press, Cathy conducts book talks/mini performances and book signings.
Performing Artist Biography
Sara Gaare has been a teaching artist for the past year and a half performing all around metro Atlanta.. She also teaches and performs improv and sketch comedy in Atlanta with the Clarkston Community Center, The Village Theater, and Highwire Comedy Co. She created Power Suit, a monthly, all female comedy variety show she hosts and performs sketches in. Previously she lived in Chicago where she trained and performed at iO, The Second City, The Annoyance, ComedySportz, and many others. There she created the award winning sketch group MRS. that performed all around the city and did many sketch comedy festivals. Graduate of Pebblebrook High School in Cobb County and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she is the daughter of Cathy Kaemmerlen
Background on Art Form
Telling stories is an oral tradition, dating back to when mankind first developed a language or form of communication. Storytelling is a universal way of passing down information to be saved and remembered for generations to come. It is an interactive art form in which the storytellers’ passion for the story, material, and information is passed on to the audience, who sorts through, stores, and synthesizes what is heard. Cathy Kaemmerlen’s historical pieces bring history to life through the eyes and words of people of authenticity.
Prepare – Teachers, please read this to your students
Today we are going to see a play entitled Anne Frank: A Patch of Blue, based on the World War II Diary of Anne Frank, who lived in hiding for 25 months with her father, mother, sister, and four others in a secret annex above her father’s business in Amsterdam. They went into hiding to escape deportation by Hitler’s Nazi soldiers, who were trying to annihilate the Jewish population in Europe. Anne was 13 years old at the time, and used her diary as if she were talking to her best friend. She talks about the horrors that Jews and others are undergoing in Holland and elsewhere in World War 11; what it’s like to live in close quarters with 7 others with no privacy and never being able to go outside; what she is undergoing as an adolescent approaching adulthood with all the emotional upheavals and questioning: and her desire to become a writer and a person of significance, making a difference in a tumultuous world. We know that the secret annex eight were betrayed, discovered in August of 1944 and were sent to concentration camps. Only her father survived the holocaust. He was given her diary that was saved by helper Miep Gies. Her diary was first published in 1944, has sold 20 million copies, and has been translated into 55 languages. Actress Cathy Kaemmerlen is going to portray Anne Frank. It is said that Anne Frank’s voice could not be silenced by the Nazis.
Warm Up Questions for meeting the Georgia Performance Standards for “Listening/Speaking/Viewing”
-Describe the perfect audience.
-What are some of our class rules for being good listeners?
-How do we show someone we appreciate their visit to our school or classroom?
-How does being part of an audience help make you a good citizen?
-What are some examples of bad audience behavior or attitudes?
-How does a negative audience member effect your enjoyment of a show or performance?
-How would this make the performer feel?
-How do we want the performer to feel when they leave our school or classroom?
Warm up questions to set the stage for engaging students
-Read some sections from Anne’s diary. Have you kept a diary before? Why do you think Anne’s diary is so important to us today, and is so widely read and published?
-Anne lived in the Secret Annex with seven others and had very little privacy. How do you think you would cope in a situation like this? Do you think there would be “stresses” and “strains?”
-What is your definition of a hero? Miep Gies, one of the helpers, says she was no hero. Do you think Anne Frank and her family thought differently?
-There was a growing list of restrictions the Nazis placed on Jews during World War II. Make a list of these restrictions, things that Anne could no longer do. How would your day be different with these restrictions?
-How would you feel if you were made to wear a yellow star on your clothes that made you stand out in front of others? What is a stereotype? Do we have stereotypes today and can you name examples of them in our daily lives?
-How would you feel if you had to go underground, live a life in hiding, live in fear of being discovered?
-What are some things that you would take with you to go into hiding? What would you need to take with you in order to survive?
Vocabulary to review before the show
Allies: the twenty six nations led by the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union who united to oppose the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II.
Annihilation: the act or process of being completely destroyed or wiped out.
Anti-Semitism: opposition to and discrimination against Jews.
Aryan: the myth of the Nazis that the Aryans were of racial superiority. Aryans were people of pure German background with distinct racial characteristics including fair skin. To Aryanize was to rid an organization and ultimately a society of all races deemed inferior and install only those with Aryan characteristics.
Auschwitz-Birkenau: the largest of the Nazi death camps located in southwestern Poland. Over one million Jews were murdered here or used as slave laborers. The Secret Annex 8 were all taken to this concentration camp. Mr. Van Daan (Van Pels) was gassed here.
Bergen-Belsen: a concentration camp in northern Germany for the detainment of prisoners of war and other exchangeable prisoners. As the number of prisoners increased, housing conditions deteriorated, food became scarce, and diseases such as typhus became rampant. Anne and her sister Margot were sent here and died in late winter 1945.
Call -up notice: a government order to report to the military or police. During the Nazi era a call-up notice could mean anything from reporting to work, to being deported to death camps. Margot Frank received a call-up notice, forcing the Franks to go into hiding earlier than they planned.
Death camps: Designed for assembly line killing, these concentration camps gassed their victims with amazing efficiency.
Deportation: The forced removal of Jews from their homes in Nazi-occupied countries under the pretext they would be resettled in the east. Most were deported via cattle cars to concentration and death camps.
The Stab in the back theory: The Nazis under Hitler believed their military defeat in World War I was caused by the back stabbing by the Jews, Communists, and civilian government and they vowed to destroy those who betrayed Germany.
Dutch Opekta Company: Otto Frank’s business which made pectin, a powdered fruit extract used to make jam.
Forced Labor camp: camps where prisoners were used as slave labor. Mauthausen in Austria was one of these and was where Peter Van Daan (real name Van Pels) of the annex eight died.
Fuhrer: leader. Adolf Hitler’s title in Nazi Germany.
Gas chambers: large chambers in which people were executed by poison gas, built and used in Nazi death camps. Mr. Van Daan (Van Pels) was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz.
Gentile: someone who is not Jewish.
Holocaust: the systematic, state directed genocide of six million Jews and five million other civilians, including Slavs, gypsies, and others during World War II.
Lavatory: another word for bathroom
Mauthausen: a camp for men in northern Austria with brutal conditions, where many of the death marches led before liberation. Peter Van Daan (Van Pels) died here.
Occupation: control of a country by a foreign military power. The Netherlands was occupied by the Nazis from 1940-1945.
Ration cards: what all citizens were given to be used for purchase of food and goods. With rampant shortages of both, rations cards were highly sought after as nothing could be purchased without them during war time.
Razzia: a forced round up of Jews in the Netherlands
SS(Schutzstaffel): Hitler’s black shirted, elite guards who also ran the concentration and death camps.
Stereotype: to reduce someone to an oversimplified classification; to give a fixed impression of; to lump people together in a group without concern for individualization
Theresienstadt: Nazi concentration camp in Czechoslovakia created to deceive the world about the Nazi treatment of the Jews. Mrs. Van Daan (van Pels) died here.
Typhus: Epidemic disease spread in unsanitary conditions through mites, fleas and body lice to humans with symptoms that set in quickly: severe headache with continuous high fever, shivers, nausea, dizziness, cough, rash, severe muscle pain, stupor, and sensitivity to light, delirium and weakness.
Undergrounders/onderduikers: those forced to go into hiding to escape danger, annihilation, or deportation or to conduct underground activities to aid in helping others to resist and fight enemy regimes.
Westerbork: a transit camp for Dutch Jews in Holland. The Secret Annex 8 were all taken here after being discovered.
Yellow star: the six-pointed Star of David is the Jewish symbol that the Nazis forced all Jews, above the age of six, to wear as a mark of shame.
-What causes ordinary people to become heroes and helpers in trying times? Why do you think Miep Gies and the other helpers decided to help the Franks?
-How did the residents get information from the outside world while in hiding?
-Have you ever been a member of some organization that excluded people from joining? What is the reason these people were excluded? How would you feel if you were the excluded person?
-What can we learn from Anne Frank’s diary and the Holocaust that will help us be better people in the future?
-How can we become more caring, accepting, human beings so that there never again is a Holocaust?
-Why do you think the Germans voted Hitler and the Nazis into power? What could have been done to stop Hitler’s rise to power?
-How can we balance loyalty to a group or nation and accept the rights and differences of other people?
-In our country, we are a melting pot. How do we treat people from different nationalities? How do we treat our minorities?
-There is talk today about a global society. Do you think you can think of yourself as a citizen of the world as well as a citizen of the United States?
-Anne wrote: “Paper has more patience than people.” Why do you think you can confide things in a diary easier than face to face with friends?
-Why has Anne Frank’s diary become so popular and well read and throughout the world? What does it say to you?
-Anne Frank’s voice was not silenced by the Nazis. What does this mean to you?
Activities to try out
-Create your own journal/diary and write in it at least three times a week.
-Look in the newspapers or online for examples of people who are helpers in today’s society.
-Find a story in the news about someone who had to go into hiding and why. How could you be a helper to this person?
-Find a story about a natural disaster somewhere in the world. What diseases were people worried about as a result?
-Find some examples of hatred and violence and discrimination in the world. What do you think causes these things to happen?
Chronology of Anne Frank’s Story
-June 12, 1929: Annelies Marie Frank, known as Anne, born in Frankfurt, Germany.
-September 1, 1939: Second World War begins with the German attack on Poland.
-1939-1940: Deportations of Jews to ghettos and concentration camps begin.
-May 10, 1940: Occupation of the Netherlands by German troops. Anti-Jewish laws come into force.
-June 12, 1942: Mass gassings of Jews and others begins at Auschwitz.
-June 16, 1942: Anne is given a diary for her 13th birthday.
-July 5, 1942: Margot Frank receives her call-up notice and the next day the family moves into the secret annex.
-June 6, 1944: D-Day and beginning of Allied invasion.
-August 4, 1944: arrest of the Secret Annex eight who are taken to Westerbork.
-September 3, 1944: All eight are on the last transport from Westerbork to Auschwitz.
-Late October 1944: Anne and Margot are taken to Bergen-Belsen.
-January 6, 1945: Edith Frank dies at Auschwitz.
-January 27, 1945: Auschwitz is liberated by the Red Army. Otto Frank survives.
-Late February/early March, 1945: Margot and then Anne die of typhus in Bergen-Belsen.
-1947: First edition of Anne’s diary is published in Holland and called The Secret Annex.
-August 19, 1980: Otto Frank dies.
ANNE FRANK by Josephine Poole, Alfred A Knopf, c 2003.
ANNE FRANK: LIFE IN HIDING by Johanna Hurwitz, Jewish Publication Society c 1988.
ANNE FRANK: THE BIOGRAPHY by Melissa Muller
MEMORIES OF ANNE FRANK: REFLECTIONS OF A CHILDHOOD FRIEND by Alison Leslie Gold, written from memories of Hannah Goslar
ANNE FRANK: A HIDDEN LIFE by Mirjam Pressler Dutton Children’s Books, NY, c 1992.
ANNE FRANK: THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL, introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, A Modern Library Book, c 1952.
ANNE FRANK’S TALES FROM THE SECRET ANNEX , Bantam Books, c 1982
ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED by Miep Gies, A Touchstone Book, Simon and Schuster c 1982
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE CRITICAL EDITION prepared by the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, Doubleday, c 1986
The Diary of Anne Frank with Millie Perkins, 1959 film, available in DVD
Anne Frank Remembered/Academy Award Winner, DVD 1995, based on the book by Miep Gies
Anne Frank: The Whole Story, DVD 2001, based on Melissa Muller’s book
A&E Bio: Anne Frank: the Life of a Young Girl, 2004 DVD
Anne Frank House
PO Box 730
1000 As Amsterdam
The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust
c/o Murphy Holocaust Teacher Training and Resource Center
State University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118
United States Holocaust Museum
Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education, Breman Museum.
Atlanta, GA 30309. Phone: 404-870-1872. Fax: 404-881-4009
Post-program question for discussion:
Why did Anne Frank and her diary become so famous?