Open Strong—Anne Frank

Essay in need of a Strong Opening

Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diary and death in a Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust, was allegedly baptized posthumously Saturday by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to whistleblower Helen Radkey, a former member of the church. The ritual was conducted in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic, according to Radkey, a Salt Lake City researcher who investigates such incidents, which violate a 2010 pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders.

Radkey discovered that Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, who died at Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945 at age 15, was baptized by proxy on Saturday. Mormons have submitted versions of her name at least a dozen times for proxy rites and carried out the ritual at least nine times from 1989 to 1999. This time, Frank’s name was discovered in a database that can be used for proxy baptism — a separate process, according to a spokesman for the church. The database is open only to Mormons.

A screen shot of the database shows a page for Frank stating “completed” next to categories labeled “Baptism” and “Confirmation,” with the date Feb. 18, 2012, and the name of the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.

Mormon posthumous proxy baptisms for Holocaust victims or Jews who are not direct descendants of Mormons has continued, despite church vows to stop such practices. Negotiations between Mormon and Jewish leaders led to a 1995 agreement for the church to stop the posthumous baptism of all Jews, except in the case of direct ancestors of Mormons, but some Mormons have failed to adhere to the agreement.

The name of Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel was recently submitted to the restricted genealogy website as “ready” for posthumous proxy baptism, though the church says the rite is reserved for the deceased, and Wiesel is alive. Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, was among a group of Jewish leaders who campaigned against the practice and prompted the 2010 pact by which the Mormon Church promises to at least prevent proxy baptism requests for Holocaust victims.

Wiesel last week called on Republican presidential candidate and Mormon Mitt Romney, a former Mormon bishop who has donated millions to the church, to speak out about the practice. The Romney campaign did not immediately reply.  The Frank case follows closely on an apology from the Mormon Church last week for recent posthumous baptisms of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal’s parents.

The latest baptism of Frank by proxy is especially egregious because she was an unmarried teenager who left no descendants. Mormon officials have stressed that in accordance with the agreements, church members are supposed to submit only the names of their own ancestors.

“The security of the names submissions process for posthumous rites must be questioned, in view of the rash of prominent Jewish Holocaust names that have recently appeared on Mormon temple rolls,” Radkey said about her latest find. “This one sailed straight through, with Anne’s correct name in their ‘secure’ database.”

Radkey said she expects, once word gets out, that church officials will scrub the records as they did with Wiesel and Weisenthal’s parents. The Mormon Church responded later Tuesday in a statement: “The Church keeps its word and is absolutely firm in its commitment to not accept the names of Holocaust victims for proxy baptism. While no system is foolproof in preventing the handful of individuals who are determined to falsify submissions we are committed to taking action against individual abusers who willfully violate the Church’s policy. Ritual baptism should be understood to be an offering based on love and respect; we regret when it becomes a source of contention.”


Exercise Specifics

In the Reply field below this post, write your strongest Opening Paragraph.

Your paragraph must contain a thesis sentence that clearly and boldly proclaims the claim you promise readers you will prove.

In addition, your Opening Paragraph:

  1. Will make strong, perhaps paradoxical claims.
  2. Will sum up a very strong argument your essay will make.
  3. Will NOT LOSE the argument.
  4. Will itself be an arugment.
  5. Will be memorable.
  6. Will be debatable, demonstatable, illustratable.
  7. Will be a good example of itself.

Well, maybe it won’t accomplish all 7 goals, but the more the better!

You have until the end of the period to write your best first draft.

Published by

davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels. www.davidbdale.wordpress.com

30 thoughts on “Open Strong—Anne Frank”

    1. A good, provocative thought, Marvel.

      Punctuation note: It removes the individual’s right to decide.

      Individual’s is the possessive singular. An individual is one person, so the possessive is singular. [The right of the individual = the individual’s right]

      THEN, because you’re stuck with the singular individual, you can’t call him or her THEMSELVES, which is so obviously plural.

      LUCKILY, you don’t have to. Most of the time, you can eliminate those contradictory pronouns, as I have in my correction above. Your complete comment, made grammatically correct, is:

      Baptism by proxy is absurd. It removes the individual’s right to decide.

      In the case of pronouns (especially reflexive pronouns like themselves, simpler is better.

      Good? If you learned something, let me know. I’m more likely to help in future.

      Like

  1. Jewish victims of the Holocaust who have been unfortunately dead for well over 70 years ago are being posthumously converted to Mormon, alongside a violation of rules already in place. With symbol of the twisted time of the Holocaust, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who died at the age of 15 with no spouse nor ancestors. Alongside this fact, noone can be posthumously converted or baptized if there are no ancestors to give accordance to the baptizers. In this case, Anne Frank has been baptized in the church of Mormon. There have been rules for many years that this is not allowed, especially in the case of Anne Frank, and even with fellow survivor Eli Wiesel, who was being converted against his will… even though he is alive. With all of this, it seems wise to ask the question if these unorthodox baptisms are even considered valid as they are against ones will, especially if they are not alive.

    Like

    1. Your adverbs are very peculiar and confusing, Sundial. I think I can help (mostly by eliminating them). I hope you won’t mind too much that I ignore the content of your comments. It’s fine, but it’s beside the point of the exercise, which was to make simple and robust claims. Yours are confusing, which deprives them of their power. Let’s get to work.

      I’m going to use ALL CAPS to highlight the troublesome words.

      Jewish victims of the Holocaust who have been unfortunately dead for well over 70 years ago are being posthumously converted to Mormon, ALONGSIDE a violation of rules already in place. With symbol of the twisted time of the Holocaust, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who died at the age of 15 with no spouse nor ancestors. ALONGSIDE this fact, no one can be posthumously converted or baptized if there are no ancestors to give accordance to the baptizers. IN THIS CASE, Anne Frank has been baptized in the church of Mormon. There have been rules for many years that this is not allowed, ESPECIALLY in the case of Anne Frank, and even WITH fellow survivor Eli Wiesel, who was being converted AGAINST HIS WILL . . . . EVEN THOUGH he is alive. WITH ALL OF THIS, it seems wise to ask the question if these unorthodox baptisms are EVEN considered valid as they are against ones will, ESPECIALLY if they are not alive.

      Let’s fix those first.

      DESPITE a pact not to do so, Mormons are baptizing Jewish victims of the Holocaust who have been [unfortunately] dead for well over 70 years. Anne Frank, symbol of the twisted time of the Holocaust, a Jewish girl who died at 15 with no spouse nor ancestors, cannot meet the Mormon Church’s requirement that her baptism be requested by a descendant. Nevertheless, she has been repeatedly posthumously baptized. EVEN a living fellow survivor, Eli Wiesel, has been converted against his will. CONSIDERING THESE OUTRAGES, we ask, “Are these unorthodox baptisms—conducted without permission—be considered IN ANY WAY valid?

      Do those improvements make sense to you, Sundial? Do you mind receiving such specific corrections?

      Like

      1. Oh I definitely agree. I feel every time I get help when you edit and take away some words, and instead shorten the length in a way that is more pleasing to read I feel betters the piece as a whole. Thank you!

        Like

        1. That’s good to hear, Sundial, since the last thing I want to do is flog you with unwanted corrections. As for how to incorporate these models into your own writing, I have only this to offer: for forty or fifty years, these enhancements might be 2nd-draft or 3rd-draft improvements. By the time you’re my age, if you’re still writing, they’ll be second nature. But anything you can do to cut down on that timeline will make you a much better writer tomorrow. I had to learn them on my own. I didn’t have a writing coach to flog me.

          Like

  2. Anne Frank was a historic Jewish girl whose diary and death in a Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust. Anne was allegedly baptized posthumously by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The ritual was conducted in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic which violates a pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders. This is something that should not happen and has been avoided for too long.

    Like

    1. First I’m going to praise this work because it accomplishes so much with so little, Velez, and then I’m going to cut it down even further to demonstrate how a word can substitute for a sentence when words are precious. (They’re always precious.) If you need to squeeze a 5000-word argument into just 3000 words, you’ll appreciate tricks like these.

      I’ll use ALL CAPS for material that can be condensed.

      Anne Frank WAS a HISTORIC Jewish girl whose diary and death in a Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust. ANNE was allegedly baptized posthumously by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. THE RITUAL WAS CONDUCTED in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic WHICH violates a pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN AND HAS BEEN AVOIDED FOR TOO LONG.

      If I do this right, you’ll be able to see the substitutions.

      In an outrageous violation of a pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders, Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diary and death in a Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust, was allegedly baptized posthumously by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic.

      Phrased this way your four sentences are just one.

      I do this with respect, Velez, because your own work clearly indicates that if you’d had enough time you could have accomplished what I have done here in comments. Does it help you though to see it laid out in this way?

      Response always appreciated.

      Like

  3. Can you imagine, decades after your death, that people you have never met, making decisions on your behalf? Random people making decisions regarding something as important as religion, and you have zero say in the matter. Well that is just what is happening with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church has records of posthumously baptizing one of the symbols of the Holocaust, Anne Frank. Not baptism in the normal sense with the recipient of the baptism being alive, but long after death, they use her name and her spirit in the ritual.

    Like

    1. I like this very much, Wildwood. The outrage is palpable though it might not be sincere. Either way is OK. You’re pulling it off. Now, just because I can, I want to demonstrate a valuable rhetorical skill that might come in handy for you someday, I’m going to shrink your entertaining screed down to its one-sentence essence (leaving you three more sentences to develop your already effective position statement). While doing so, I’ll eliminate the very dangerous rhetorical question you use to open.

      Despite signing a pact to refrain from the outrage of unauthorized baptism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has ONCE AGAIN, decades after her death, POSTHUMOUSLY baptized Anne Frank, our most enduring symbol of the Jewish Holocaust, into the Mormon faith.

      I offer this as an alternative to your charming but chatty version which reads: “Have you considered this? Yes, I mean exactly that! Well, it happens! And not just respectfully! It’s done with no regard for propriety!”

      Such a style is perfectly appropriate for a blog post or and advertorial profile—so there’s nothing incorrect about it, but it’s meant for another medium.

      Is this helpful or unwelcome, Wildwood? Responses always welcome.

      Like

  4. When the word holocaust comes to mind many think of the fears and victims it left behind. One of the victims was Anne Frank who was a young Jewish girl. She has become known for her diary and death during the Holocaust. Anne was recently baptized posthumously by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Converting Jewish victims of the Holocaust to Mormons has been taking place for years even though this action is violating a pact that was created. Converting someone who is not alive to have a say in the matter is not ethical and should not take place.

    Like

    1. This is a good first draft, flowers, but it misses a big opportunity.

      Look at your sequence:
      1. Your first sentence cites nameless victims of the Holocaust.
      2. Your second sentence names a particular well-known victim.
      3. Your third sentence is wasted and should be swallowed by 2 or 3.
      4. Your fourth sentence names Anne again, again as a victim, this time of the Mormon Church.

      In other words, you have a theme going that you could but don’t acknowledge. It could be very powerful.

      Anne Frank, the best-known victim of the Nazi Holocaust, has once again been victimized, this time by the Mormon Church decades after she should have been laid quietly to rest.

      After you complain about the mistreatment of baptizing Anne, you continue this theme in additional comments, accusing the Mormons of “violating a pact” and acting unethically. So what I’m saying should not be a surprise. The “once again victimized” theme is intrinsic in your own paragraph.

      These themes may not be obvious WHILE you’re doing an in-class exercise, I know. That’s why the course is designed to force you to do radical revision work following the posting of your first drafts.

      Do you find this helpful, flowers? Responses always appreciated.

      Like

  5. Free will, that what makes the society as a whole precious. However, making decisions on people’s behalf after their death; does it make it right?
    In this artical the victim of such senarion was Anne Frank who was…

    Like

    1. It’s clear you didn’t have time to finish, Wisemann, but let me respond to what you have posted anyway.

      You’ve made a provocative claim that has no apparent connection to your primary theme: the baptism of Anne Frank into a random religion. It’s a nice claim, but it provides you no traction to your subject matter. Your second sentence is a dangerous rhetorical question that surrenders control of the conversation to your reader before you’ve established your position. Then you refer to “this article” when your reader hasn’t read the article and has no idea what you mean.

      You could salvage your “free will” and “deciding for others” claims by bringing Anne Frank’s situation to the top. For example:

      Anne Frank, the ultimate victim of other people’s will, has once again been denied the dignity of making her own choices, this time by the Mormon church.

      I understand you didn’t have much time, but you were on the right track identifying will and choice as the appropriate themes.

      Is this helpful, Wisemann? Responses always appreciated.

      Like

  6. Baptism even at death! Come on now, what in the world is going on? Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who died in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, can’t rest in peace. It appears every church wants a piece of her. Now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently baptized her into their church.

    Like

  7. Imagine someone else making an important religious decision on your behalf after you have died. Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who is a symbol of the Holocaust died at Bergen Belsen death camp 70 years ago and was baptized by proxy on Saturday. The Mormons are making religious decisions for Anne Frank, she was baptized after death in a Mormon temple which violates a pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders. This not only violates a pact that was made but it is not ethical and they have been using Anne Frank’s name for many years.

    Like

  8. Anne frank was the unspoken voice for the Jews during the holocaust. Her diary and death became well known after the holocaust. Anne Frank was recently baptized nearly a decade later. People Anne Frank never met in her life is making decisions for her regarding religion. Christianity was the religion Jews believed in during the holocaust, that’s why they used her name and her spirt in the ritual.

    Like

  9. Jewish victims of the Holocaust, such an Anne Frank, who should be commemorated and honored, are now being posthumously baptized by the Mormon Church. There are already rules set in place that prevents this from happening, but Anne Frank has already been found in the Church’s database, meaning she has been converted. This has been ridiculed as Mormons are only to be converted to the Church if they have Mormon descendants, which Anne does not, as she died when she was only 15 years old. Although the Church claims that they are not converting any more Holocaust victims, there are still question as to why Anne Frank has been converted when nobody directly had a say for her.

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  10. What gives someone the right to decide what happens to your body, and make choices for you after your death? It seems absurd that there even is a concept of baptizing deceased people who had not been. However this is exactly what the Mormon church is doing to Jewish people and those not of their faith. The Mormon church of Latter Day Saints has been baptizing the Holocaust survivor Anne Frank. This is unethical and morally wrong. This is distinct in the case of Anne Frank, a young girl who lost her life in the holocaust and left no descendants to represent her. The deceased should be respected and no one should be forced to be baptized, especially when they do not have the option to resist.

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  11. Anne Frank may not be alive, but her religion is ever changing. Historically known as a Jewish girl who died because of her religion in a Nazi concentration camp, has suddenly become a Mormon. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been priorly known for baptizing the dead, but have agreed to no longer do so since a 2010 pact between Jewish leaders and the Mormon Church. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Anne Frank and for many other deceased Jewish citizens; as her baptism has been recorded only a couple of years after the fact of the pact. The Mormon church’s decision to continue their practice of baptising the spirit of the dead is an ethical dilemma, violating the values of the deceased.

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  12. When thinking of the Holocaust, the thoughts behind this reflects on innocent people dying due to hatred by a fascist leader. One of the innocent people who died decades ago was Anne Frank, a Jewish girl. She explains how life was during this traumatic time with her diary. Recently, Anne Frank was baptized posthumously, which transforms victims of the Holocaust to Mormons. Allowing converting to take place even though the person is not alive is wrong, and this should not take place in present day times.

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  13. In the eyes of the Mormon church, the Holocaust victim Anne Frank, who was killed at Bergen Belsen death camp in 1945, is currently living in the Dominican Republic. Well at least she recently baptized there at one of their temples. You are probably thinking about how someone that has been dead for over half a century could be baptized in 2018. The Mormon church has been posthumously baptizing deceased people who they believe wanted to be Mormons while alive but never had the opportunity to change religions. In 2010, Jewish leaders and the church of Mormon made a pact that the Mormons would stop posthumously baptizing people. However, the Mormon church has violated this pact multiple times since its creation. It is obvious to see that Mormons are liars.

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  14. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saint may be dishonoring the dead in their attempts to honor them. Multiple times Mormon temples have baptized individuals, including Holocaust victim Anne Frank, without permission. This has sparked controversy in the Jewish and Mormon communities, as the church has continued these baptisms despite saying they would stop. A church based on loved, respect, and honesty may not be so honest after all.

    Like

  15. just imagine, how would it feel when someone else making a decision on your behalf even after your death?? the same case happened with the brave and historic girl named Anne Frank. who was made a symbol of holocaust after she died in the Nazi concentration camp at the age of 15. and there was a horrible incidence that occurred in the Latter-day Saints church of Jews. the church was accused, that they posthumously baptizing one of the symbols of the Holocaust by the name of Anne Frank even after her long death.

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  16. Anne Frank was a historic Jewish girl whose death in the Nazi concentration camp made her a symbol of the Holocaust. Allegedly she was baptized by a Mormon of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wiesel, a holocaust survivor called Republican Mitt Romney to speak about the practice. Even though he did not get a respond right away, there was an apology from the Mormon church about the posthumous baptisms. This type of practice is not right and the people should leave the bodies alone and let them be in peace. It can be seen as disrespectful and can offend some people.

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  17. In many religions baptism, more often than not, is done at a very young age, so does it in fact make a difference if it is done after death? Many mormon churches are under scrutiny for baptizing deceased Jewish people without any consent, most famously Anne Franke. Although pacts have been made since 2010 between the Mormon church and Jewish leaders to terminate this behavior, Mormon churches have continued to illegally baptize on countless occasions. Performing a baptism on a deceased person, no matter their religion, without their consent is both immoral and disrespectful, and should be restricted at all costs.

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  18. (Overslept for class today)

    Anne Frank, known solely for her diary written when she was in hiding during WWII, has been baptized a Mormon 70 years after her death. This isn’t the case for just Anne Frank either. Many other Holocaust victims are also being baptized post death as well. The Mormon church also vows that this practice will not stop.

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  19. Anne Frank is a well known beams when it comes to the term Holocaust. She was proxy baptized unwilling after she had died even when a pact was made to prohibit baptism on people after they died. Ellie Wiesel was on the side of prohibiting the Mormons to baptize the dead people from the holocaust. The Mormons should definitely not continue to baptize dead people because it is disrespectful.

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  20. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are baptizing people by proxy, who weren’t even members of the Mormon religion. One proxy baptism was done on Anne Frank, who is Jewish and died in the Holocaust. Proxy baptisms, like Anne Franks, are happening to other deceased members of the Jewish faith, which is breaking a pact between the Mormon Church and Jewish leaders. The act of baptizing a member of another religion, after they have died and with no consent, is morally wrong and should not happen.

    Like

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