Subscribe to our daily newsletter
76 years ago today, a Jewish family went into hiding when they couldn’t immigrate to the USA
Desperation made their family, and others, try to escape their home country.
The Frank family, including Otto—Anne Frank’s father—saw what was coming in Germany as Hitler rose to power in the 1930s and began attacking Jewish people, as well as Roma people, gays, leaders of labor unions, political opponents… you get the picture.
Knowing what was headed their way, in 1938, Otto applied to have the Frank family emigrate to the United States, which allowed limited immigration at the time.
‘I am forced to look out for emigration and as far as I can see USA is the only country we could go to,” Otto Frank wrote in English to a friend in the United States in 1941.
However, as citizens of the Netherlands, all applications for such were housed in Rotterdam and were destroyed when Germany bombed that city in May 1940. Every single person and family who had applied had to re-apply.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands had fallen to Nazi Germany’s invasion, so any chance of the Franks getting out of the country was lost. That is when they went into hiding in the house today known as the Anne Frank House—on July 6, 1942.
A picture taken on November 16, 2017, shows the room of Anne Frank in her former house in the Rivierenbuurt in Amsterdam. The Ymere housing association and the Anne Frank Foundation reached an agreement to sell the house to the foundation. KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP/Getty Images)
The rest of the story has been told in Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, as well as countless historical accounts.
New research by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shows that even if their original paperwork had survived, it’s possible they would have never gotten out of the Netherlands; as war erupted all over Europe, more and more people sought refuge in the United States, visas were trimmed back to just 30,000 per year by 1939. The political sentiment of U.S. citizens at the time also favored immigration restrictions.
The report released today studied the paperwork involved in order for the Frank family to immigrate into the U.S., and it indicates they weren’t explicitly denied visas, but “their efforts were thwarted by American bureaucracy, war, and time,” according to the historians. Quite simply, the processing of a visa application to the USA was extremely cumbersome and required affidavits from friends or relatives, as well as mounds of other paperwork. In short, the Franks probably wouldn’t have succeeded.
The family became so desperate, they tried to come to the USA via Cuba, but that route was closed down as well after Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was bombed by Japan.
“All their attempts failed, so going into hiding was their last attempt trying to get out of the hands of the Nazis,” said Annemarie Bekker from the Anne Frank House.
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A study looks at the ingredients of a good scare.
Catching fear in a bottle<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDYyNzg1Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTQwMTcyMn0.WtpJ1E_dhK2o09fBpKARynj4_p5NXeklgsXsbd7xr9w/img.jpg?width=980" id="8ff51" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f10dd9188b173f4a36e85e9325507c6b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Credit: Photo Boards/Unsplash<p>Previous studies have tracked physiological signs of fear arousal, but none have established a one-to-one correlation between that arousal and specific, actual fear events.</p><p>Andersen says that much of the research has been conducted in lab settings with weak fear stimuli, observing subjects as they experience things like scary videos. Scares in these situations tend to be weak and difficult to measure. Even harder to track in these situations is the link between enjoyment and fear. </p>
Eyes everywhere<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/109695164" width="100%" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="267ba87cfb8591ed5830499574d2272a"></iframe><p>Andersen and his colleagues conducted their experiments at <a href="https://dystopia.dk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dystopia</a> Haunted House, a commercial attraction in Vejle, Denmark constructed in an old, run-down factory. The Recreational Fear Lab has a long-standing partnership with the spook shack.</p><p>They outfitted 100 volunteers with heart monitors and sent them on their terrifying way through the 50-room horror mansion. The facility incorporates a number of fright mechanisms including frequent jump scares in which a sudden threat takes a visitor by surprise.</p><p>Researchers surreptitiously observed their participants on closed-circuit video as they made their way through the attraction. They tracked each individual's scares, scoring them for intensity according to their visible reactions. After exiting the attraction, individuals self-reported their experiences in the haunted house.</p><p>Combining these self-reports with observer notes and each participant's heart-rate data gave the researchers subjective, behavioral, and physiological insights into the ways in which fear is experienced, and when it's a good thing or not.</p>
A pair of inverted U-shapes<p>In analyzing their data, the researchers saw two separate inverted u-shape curves. One depicted participants' enjoyment based on their self-reports and observed behavior. A similar u-curve was detected in their heart rates showing that just the right amount of heartbeat acceleration is associated with fun, but too much is too much. It's the terror Goldilocks zone.</p><p>Says Andersen, "If people are not very scared, they do not enjoy the attraction as much, and the same happens if they are too scared. Instead, it seems to be the case that a 'just-right' amount of fear is central for maximizing enjoyment."</p><p>The research suggests that being scared is enjoyable when it represents just a quick minor physiological deviation from one's normal state. When it goes on too long, however, or triggers too severe a physiological change, it becomes disturbing. Game over.</p><p>Andersen notes that this is not dissimilar to the factors known to make interpersonal play enjoyable: just the right amount of uncertainty and surprise. These are, maybe not coincidentally, also the ingredients of a successful joke.</p>
A meteorite that smashed into a frozen lake in Michigan may explain the origins of life on Earth, finds study.
- A new paper reveals a meteorite that crashed in Michigan in 2018 contained organic matter.
- The findings support the panspermia theory and could explain the origins of life on Earth.
- The organic compounds on the meteorite were well-preserved.
Meteor streaks through Michigan sky<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="80b7f30820153b35fc515592d7475f53"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EPu2qnqMYBo?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
The meteorite that smashed into Strawberry Lake carried pristine extraterrestrial organic compounds.
Credit: Field Museum