The Diary of a Young Girlby Published 01 Jan 1970
|The Diary of a Young Girl.pdf|
Anne Frank's extraordinary diary, written in the Amsterdam attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, has become a world classic and a timeless testament to the human spirit. Now, in a new edition enriched by many passages originally withheld by her father, we meet an Anne more real, more human, and more vital than ever. Here she is first and foremost a teenage girl—stubbornly honest, touchingly vulnerable, in love with life. She imparts her deeply secret world of soul-searching and hungering for affection, rebellious clashes with her mother, romance and newly discovered sexuality, and wry, candid observations of her companions. Facing hunger, fear of discovery and death, and the petty frustrations of such confined quarters, Anne writes with adult wisdom and views beyond her years. Her story is that of every teenager, lived out in conditions few teenagers have ever known.
"The Diary of a Young Girl" Reviews
I confess to feeling slightly voyeuristic while reading this. It was constantly in the back of my mind that this was no ordinary novel, or even a true-to-life account. This was someone’s diary. Every page written in confidence, each word revealing the thoughts closest to the heart of this young girl. As a journal-keeper myself, I sometimes find myself wondering, “What if someone else were to read this?” which causes me to wonder how much to filter my words. But then, isn’t the purpose of a diary or journal just the opposite? To record one’s honest and unfiltered thoughts? While reading Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl I do not get the sense that there is any such ‘filtering’ going on. From the ages of 12-15 Anne lived an extraordinary life, and quickly grew far beyond her years in her understanding and handling of a horrendous situation.
There are surprises in this book. No matter how broad or limited your understanding of the world events that threw Anne and her family into a life in hiding, I had – before reading this – held the general assumption that, “Well, it was wartime. They were in hiding for their lives. They must have been miserable all the time. Who could possibly find anything good or redeeming in the confines of such a life?” In hindsight, of course, I have had to reconsider. I found bits of beauty, kindness, and even humour popping up in the most unexpected places. And why shouldn’t I? Aren’t our lives much the same? Oh – we’re not dodging bombs and trying to sleep to the sound of gunfire (at least not in Canada). But we, each of us, are often faced with some sort of tragedy or travesty. Sometimes we may have an entire ‘bad year’, or longer. And yet, doesn’t the buoyancy of the human spirit always shine through? It is really tough work to be miserable 24 hours a day. No matter how difficult or challenged our day-to-day life, we all have those little pockets of joy that arise, and sometimes it is those tiny occurrences that make the rest of it bearable.
On a personal level, I found myself comparing Anne’s childhood to that of my parents. After all, she was only a year younger than my Mom and Dad. I think back to stories they’ve told from their teen years, and it boggles the mind to think that at the exact moment my Dad and his brothers were tipping a cow, Anne was in hiding on the other side of the world. At a time when my mother was discovering make-up, Anne was realizing that life would never again be so youthful, so joyous and carefree as before the war. A generation was losing its innocence, but in very different ways.
I would recommend Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl to absolutely everyone, for I believe that it holds some truth or enlightenment for everyone. I do not own this copy – it was borrowed from my daughter’s school library. She will be reading it next. She is 10. And you can bet that before long I will purchase my own copy, for I will be reading it again someday soon.
If only Anne Frank's diary was the figment of someone's imagination. If it meant that this spirited, intelligent and articulate girl hadn't died along with so many others in Belsen concentration camp, and that the holocaust had never happened, that would be a wonderful thing, but it did happen, and that makes the reading of this diary even more heartbreaking.
For a 13 year old girl, Anne was so articulate - the way she expresses her thoughts and feelings about herself and others is remarkable. She's able to analyse herself in a particularly honest way, her abilities, failures, weaknesses.
As Jews in Nazi occupied Holland, Anne and her parents and sister Margot, had to flee their home in Amsterdam to escape capture. From 1942 - 1944 they occupy rooms in an old office building, which they call 'The Secret Annexe'. Anne's diary details daily life within the confines of their safe house. They share the rooms with another couple and their teenage son and also with a former dentist. As can be expected, there were many disagreements, living in such close proximity to others, and even within their own families. Just a few of the office staff knew about The Secret Annexe, and these are the people who kept them supplied with food, but given the fact that everything was rationed due to the war, things became a bit fraught at times. The alternative however, didn't bear thinking about.
In August 1944, Anne's diary suddenly becomes silent. No more words will be written in its pages. Someone had betrayed them to the Nazis and they were arrested and transported to various concentration camps. The diary was left behind and was found by the office cleaner. After being interned in two concentration camps, Anne and her sister Margot were finally sent to Bergen-Belsen where they both died - Anne was just 15 years old. Only Otto Frank (the girls' father) survived, and the diary was returned to him.
This is one of those books where a silence descends on finishing it. How do you write a review? How do you do it justice? I honestly don't know. All I can think is, what a great contribution Anne would have made to an ugly world if she'd lived, her ambition was to be a writer, and yet, even in death, she HAS made a contribution by allowing us to share those two years in hiding with her, and giving us a chance to see what a beautiful soul she was. Feel so sad right now.
Maybe the first thing that most people would get shocked is that I rate with only 3 stars one of the best selling books of the 20th century (and now 21st century too) and even more, a book about the Holocaust.
First thing that I learned about this book is honesty.
Anne Frank teaches us all about honesty, about telling what you really think, and so I am doing the same.
For starters, I wonder how many people really, I mean REALLY read the book, because to rate with 5 stars a famous book that everybody tells you that it's a book that all people should read, and then they got in this commnunity for readers and maybe they feel the compromise to make the rest to think that you really read the book.
If not the case, hey, I don't see why anyone can be offended by this comment, and it's true, I don't see either anyone who will complain, since to me it would be only a defense mechanism behind their own guilt of really not reading the book but making the rest that they did.
I didn't think about this scenario but commenting about other thing with a reader friend, that thought stuck in my mind.
I invested so much time in that because, one has to be honest, the book is tedious since it's not really a novel, it's a collection of diary writings without a coherent line of constructing a story, even you need editors' further notes to know what happened to the people in the Secret Annex since obviously, Anne was unable to tell the final events.
So, since it's so tedious, I wouldn't be surprised that some reader tried to read it but at the end they just rated with 5 stars to denote that they are "cultured" readers that they appreciate the book as one of the most important books of the 20th century.
Between the passages, you learn a lot of things. The first thing that surprised me it's how this diary collection that it was written in the 40's, in Holland, by a teenage girl, almost anybody can relate to the comments and you don't feel them as outdated.
Sometimes if you read an "old" book, you sensed the outdated of the prose, selection of words, etc... but here I didn't feel it. This diary could be easily being written in present time and I don't think that it would change at all. I think that it was one of its strengths since I am sure that it will be as relevant for many more time.
Other thing that surprised me a lot was how much Anne Frank (and by association, the rest of the group in the Secret Annex) were informed about the events in the war, I know, they had a radio, but from stuff that I had read about WWII, there were certain elements of the information that people weren't aware.
I mean, at many moments, they denote a certainty that Jewish people were murdered in the extermination camps, of course if you call them "extermination camps", of course you know that people got killed there, but that's a term used by me, now, they called them labor camps, and so far I read, Jewish people really thought that they will receive "baths" when they were really gassed or burned to death, and it's kinda logical thing since if they were so certained about their deaths, there would be riots on the ghettos to flee in mass and they wouldn't march without protest to the gas chambers and the ovens. Even, Allied forces used espionage methods to know from Nazi prisoners what was happening to the Jewish people on the camps.
Anyway, also, there are elements like the assasination attempt to Hitler that they were aware that it was made by their own generals. I don't think that kind of stuff would be informed so easily since it was a clear fact of how divided was the opinions of the high ranking staff of the Third Reich.
I am not saying that the diary is not authentic as some dumb people commented that the Holocaust didn't happen.
The Holocaust happened.
It was real and we never forget that to avoid that it would happen again. I am just commenting that surprised me how well they were informed about key sensitive info of war events taking in account that they were a bunch of people living hidden for like 3 years in an isolated annex of a building.
I know, they got visits by the people that helped them but even so. I am not questioning its authenticity, just expressing my surprise when I read it. There were other things here and there that I was surprised by the use of terms like "diet: low fat", geez! I didn't know that in the 1940's they used terms like that in the 1980's were like the rush of "healthy food", but again, I supposed it's the effect that stuff that we think are new, they are just recycled and labeled as "new".
I am amazed that this book is banned in some schools, okay, there are comments relating to sex and sexual preferences, but so what? If a teenage girl from the 1940's can think about stuff like that while she was isolated with a war outside, don't you think that teenagers of today can think just the same?
I think that books like this one can help them to know that they are not alone, that they are not weird for thinking things like that, that was normal in the 1940s and it's normal now too.
I was amazed that the group tried to "live normal", I mean, kids making school work and so. I think that in such extraordinary circumstances, they needed to do extraordinary things like to make circles and to talk in group and hearing all about topics. I mean, they were like trapped and living together, really too close in the sense of physical space and yet, nobody cares about what Anne thinks or what she has to offer? Geez! Sure, they need to be really still and in silence, usually at day, but they should like making a "tribe", I don't know, I am babbling, but to try to live like regular families was evidently wrong for the sanity of their interrelationships.
What didn't surprised me were behaviors like trying to hide food or keeping money from the group. In times where the group work were essential to survive, the human selfishness risen as a second nature.
Resumming, I just want to explain that my rating is based on my "entertaining" experience while reading the book and the format of the book itself.
And this didn't have to do with my respect for the subject of the Holocaust and its terrible events.
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
One cannot fathom what other marvelous books the world might have known had this talented, perceptive girl been permitted the life she was due.
"We don't want our belongings to be seized by the Germans, but we certainly don't want to fall into their clutches ourselves. So we shall disappear of our own accord and not wait until they come and fetch us."
"But, Daddy, when would it be?" He spoke so seriously that I grew very anxious.
"Don't worry about it, we shall arrange everything. Make the most of your carefree young life while you can."
That was all. Oh, may the fulfillment of these somber words remain far distant yet!
Fifteen months later . . .
The atmosphere is so oppressive, and sleepy and as heavy as lead. You don't hear a single bird singing outside, and a deadly close silence hangs everywhere, catching hold of me as if it will drag me down deep into an underworld.
For her 13th birthday Anne Frank received a diary she dubbed Kitty. Shortly after her birthday with the fear that her older sister, Margo may be taken by the Nazis the Franks disappear into the night and go into hiding. It is through Kitty that Anne records her thoughts and daily life living behind a bookcase in the secret annex.
When I was younger I went through a "holocaust" phase before moving on to Harriet Tubman and slavery. The funny thing is that Anne Frank's Diary was not the first Holocaust book I read, I think that was The Devil's Advocate. Anyway,I soon became fascinated by the Secret Annex and the secluded life she lived for two years. Unfortunately she and the other occupants of the Annex were betrayed and sent to concentration camps with only her father Otto Frank surviving. The tragic thing (not to minimize the inhumanity of it all) is that Anne died mere weeks before liberation. Anne's dream was to have her diary published after the war and after liberation her father saw that happen, making Kitty a time capsule to an unfathomable past.
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