Friday, September 13, 2013

Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl

What would you do if you had to hide in an attic for two years? Anne Frank spent a lot of her time studying and writing in her diary. Her activities were limited because no one could know she was there. Anne was only thirteen years old when she went into hiding with eight other people in the Secret Annex. She had recently turned fifteen when their hiding place was betrayed to the Nazis. She died just before turning sixteen in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

First hand accounts are very important when reading about historical events. Many people do not intend for their diaries to be read by others. However, Anne had decided that she would publish portions of her diary after the war. While in hiding, she heard a broadcast on the radio asking for people to turn in their diaries and letters once the war ended, to document how people survived. She began making notes about what she wanted to publish from her diary. You can actually see her evaluate her actions and opinions with a more critical eye after making this decision. I wonder what would have been included if Anne had lived and published her diary, like she wanted to?

Reasons Anne's diary have been banned:
  • too depressing
  • sexuality
  • homosexuality

To this I would argue, it would be disturbing if people didn't find her diary depressing at times. Anne was a young girl hiding in an attic because she was born a Jew, and she was constantly afraid of being killed. Of course the reader is going to get depressed at times. Anne does write about discovering her sexuality, and is curious about her body. I think this is a normal part of growing up. Remember, she is age thirteen to fifteen when writing in her diary. Although she was very interested in love and relationships, this is not the only focus of her diary. Taking a few passages and obsessing about them does not do justice to her, or to her writing. We learn a lot about what was happening during the war, the availability of food, and public sentiment because of her. It is an important document of the Holocaust, and should be read, though I do think that her diary would appeal more to a younger audience.

This was one of the first books I read about the Holocaust, and I have read Anne's diary several times. I spent a lot of time studying the Holocaust, because I wanted to understand what happened to her. To read more about what happened to Anne, I would recommend Anne Frank Remembered: The Story Of The Woman Who Helped To Hide The Frank Family by: Miep Gies. 

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