Although written in Europe nearly a half-century ago, Anne Frank has remained immensely popular throughout the world. Anne lives in extraordinary circumstances, but many of her feelings, frustrations, and ideas are those of ordinary teenagers. Thus, the reader is able to identify with her while learning about a unique and terrible historical event. Anne maintains a sense of humor and optimism throughout her ordeal. A powerful testimony to her courage, Anne's diary is both sobering and inspiring.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Biography
When Anne Frank sat down with her diary, she could never have imagined the impact her words would have on generations of readers. By the end of the 1980s, sixteen million copies of her diary had been sold worldwide, and it remains the most often read primary account of the Holocaust. On July 15, 1944, Frank writes, ‘‘I feel the suffering of millions.'' She had no idea that her story would become the unlikely testament of those millions.
A self-described clown, Frank had no close friends with whom she could be completely open, so she invented one in the persona of "Kitty," to whom her diary entries are addressed. Although Frank's diary contains nothing of her experience at Bergen-Belsen, the concentration camp where she and her sister died, it does provide an altogether human portrait of the Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.
After the Secret Annex was invaded, the pages of Frank's diary were left scattered on the floor. Miep Gies, one of the people who had assisted the hideaways for over two years, discovered the pages and kept them safe. When Mr. Frank returned as the only survivor, Miep gave him the diary. Having just learned that Anne had died, Mr. Frank found reading the diary very painful. At the urging of his friends, he decided to publish the diary after deleting certain passages he considered unsuitable for widespread release. The Dutch version was published in 1947, and the English translation was first published in 1952 with an introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt. After Mr. Frank's death in 1980, a complete version including the previously omitted content was released as the Definitive Edition.
The diary opens on June 12, 1942. Frank and her family have gone into hiding to escape persecution by the Nazis, and Frank has decided that the diary she received for her thirteenth birthday will make the perfect friend and confidante. She names the diary ''Kitty,'' and explains that because she has never had a real friend to whom she could tell everything, she will create one in the persona of Kitty.
Frank writes that her family lived in Frankfurt until Mr. Frank fled to Amsterdam with his family as Nazi Germany became increasingly anti-Semitic. When the Nazis occupied Holland, Mr. Frank moved his family into the prearranged hiding place over the warehouse. The move to the hiding place was prompted by a letter to Margot, telling her to report to a reception center from which concentration camp assignments were made. Quickly and immediately, the Franks packed only a few belongings (so as not to arouse the suspicion of passersby) and wore as many of their clothes as they could so they could take up residence in the ''Secret Annex.'' Mr. Frank invited the Van Daans to come live in the hiding place, too. In all, there were seven people at first: Anne Frank, Mr. Frank, Mrs. Frank, Margot (Anne's sixteen-year-old sister), Mr. Van Daan, Mrs. Van Daan, and fifteen-year-old Peter Van Daan. Frank finds Mrs. Van Daan to be very interfering, and she finds Peter boring.
The group is able to stay abreast of current events by listening to a radio and from reports given by the helpers who bring supplies and good cheer to the hideaways. They learn that the situation in Amsterdam is...
(The entire section is 649 words.)
Frank's problems with her mother and with Mr. Dussel continue to make her miserable, and her loneliness becomes harder to bear. In an effort to combat loneliness and to feel understood by someone, Frank strikes up a relationship with Peter. Where she once found him lazy and boring, she now finds him sweet and in need of a friend. The more Frank visits Peter in his room, the more their parents become concerned about the propriety of such visits. Mr. Frank eventually tells Anne he thinks she should stop visiting Peter so much, to which Anne responds with a letter telling her father that she is old enough to make personal decisions on her own and that her decision is to continue the relationship. When Frank sees how hurt her father...
(The entire section is 388 words.)