Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and surprisingly humorous, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2020-09-28
First off, you can't really review a diary, now can you? These ares imply my thoughts and connections I had with Anne.

I studied writing in college (have a degree in Fiction Writing) and one of the common questions that would rise was - would you let others read your journals or would you read theirs? My answer was always "No" to letting others read mine - at least until I was way past gone and there was no one else alive that personally knew me. I then battled with the answer for authors, and honestly, I try to keep the same route unless the author says otherwise. I've read a ton of historical fiction based in World War II, I've watched movies, I've seen documentaries, I've even watched the multiple versions of this diary's adaptation, but I hadn't ever read the book. Until now.

It came up a lot, surprisedly, while in quarantine. Online, when people would whine about being stuck inside and not being able to go out, people brought up Anne and the others hidden away in the Secret Annex for 761 days. After doing research on it, I discovered it was Anne's wish to publish this diary. She didn't get to edit the entire thing, but she had gotten started. She writes in her diary how she wanted to be a journalist and share this with the world. That's the only reason I felt okay reading her diary.

That being said, reading this diary was like talking with a friend. Anne had such a perspective on life that was way beyond her years. I almost always forgot she started this diary as a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl and it ended shortly after fifteen. She made me laugh and smile, she made me really think of the world, even 75+ years later. For someone who was in hiding for her life, she really did try to hold on to hope.

"...But I looked out of the open window too, over a large area of Amsterdam, over all the roofs and on the horizon, which was such a pale blue that it was hard to see the dividing line. "As long as this exists," I thought, "and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts, I cannot be unhappy." (23 February, 1944)

Anne went through important milestones in her life while being constantly under watch by some adult. You think being a teenager is hard enough, add being the youngest and having every adult you're even remotely close to hovering over your shoulder. She mentions a few times where she was just in a cranky mood but felt like she couldn't justify it and therefore would have to say she had a headache or something when the adults asked. Nothing was private.

All I can say is that I'm thankful for Anne for keeping this diary. She may have passed, but she still lives on, and will continue to live on as long as we keep sharing these stories.

"We all live, but we don't know the why or the wherefore. We all live with the object of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same. We three have been brought up to good circles, we have the chance to learn, the possibility of attaining something, we have all reason to hope for much happiness, but... we must earn it for ourselves. And that is never easy. You must work and do good, not be lazy and gamble, if you wish to earn happiness. Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction." (6 July, 1944).    
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