The Diary of a Young Girlby Anne Frank, Eleanor Roosevelt, B.M. Mooyaart-Doubleday Published 01 Jul 1993
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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.
I'm the daughter of German Jews. My mother's family came from Berlin and my father's from Frankfurt. Yes, the same Frankfurt as the Franks. They were a very old German family --- there is still an Edinger Institut at the University begun by my great grandfather, and Edinger Strasse, and other vestiges of my family's existence there. Moreover I still have relatives in Germany, those who came from lines where people had converted.
Anyway, my father (whose father did not leave Germany and was eventually deported and killed) became an academic specialist in German politics and I spent several years of my childhood in Germany. One year was 7th grade. Before we left my father's mother gave me Anne Frank's diary and a diary. Later, upon visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and seeing her original diary, I realized that mine was just like hers. I mean, just like. Clearly my grandmother had given me one she had bought in Frankfurt and Anne's must have also been from Frankfurt, bought around the same time. They are identical other than a difference in coloring
But the diary was what woke me up to the Holocaust as well as to what it was to be a teenager. Anne's voice still echoes in my mind these many years later.
4 out of 5 stars to The Diary of a Young Girl, written during the 1940s by Anne Frank. Many are first exposed to this modern-day classic during their middle or high school years, as a way to read a different type of literature from that of an ordinary novel. In this diary, young Anne express her thoughts (both positive and negative) over a two-year period during which her family and friends are in hiding during World War II and the Holocaust. For most of us, this is one of the few ways we can actually read or hear the words from someone who was actually there and went through this, especially if you don't know anyone who was alive during this time period in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany and the surrounding areas. I read this in my 9th grade English course, and I remember disliking it a lot. Not because of the way it was written or published, but due to the topic. I dislike anything about that time in history. But I later re-read it and had a different level of appreciation for the value a book of this type can bring. Unlike The Book Thief, it's raw and natural in its words. But where I love The Book Thief because of its story, I found this one a bit harder to digest. It's not this extraordinary novel by any means, at least to me, but given how it came about, what happened to her and the way she expresses everything, it is definitely a great book. Everyone should read some passages from it at some point in their life.
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While her story is sad, the naked Emperor cult around this book is unmerited.
The key quotation about people being basically good at heart is absurd in the light of the story, and from a theological perspective, just plain wrong.
There really isn’t anything I can add that many other reviews haven’t already done. It’s a five star read because it is important, because it is real and because the holocaust is something we should never forget.
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.