Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Biography

Overview

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 Introduction

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

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.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Biography

Annelies Marie Frank was born to Otto and Edith Frank on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. The year was notable, as it marked the beginning of the Great Depression in the United States and the global economic and political crises that followed. These factors would figure prominently in the worldwide turmoil leading up to World War II. When Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany in 1933, Mr. Frank had the foresight to move his family out of Germany. They settled in Amsterdam, Holland.

When Hitler's regime occupied Holland in 1940, the Franks were subjected to increasingly restrictive laws governing Jews. The political climate worsened, and in 1942 Mr. Frank converted an attic above his warehouse into living quarters for his family in the event that they would be forced into hiding. When Anne Frank's older sister, Margot, received notice to report for labor camp registration, the Franks made their move. They also welcomed the Van Pels family (the Van Daans in Anne's diary) and a dentist named Fritz Pfeffer (Mr. Dussel).

Only a few weeks before the Franks went into hiding, Anne had received a clothbound diary for her thirteenth birthday. This diary, "Kitty," soon became a confidante to whom Frank wrote constantly. Listening to the radio one day in 1944, Frank learned that after the war, there would be a collection of writings describing individual experiences during the war. Frank began to edit her diary in order to have a second version...

(The entire section is 510 words.)

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Biography

Anne Frank was born into a Jewish family in Frankfort-On-Main, Germany, on June 12, 1929. When she was four years old, the Nazis came to power, and her family fled to Holland. In May 1939, the Nazis arrived in Amsterdam, forcing the Frank family into hiding.

While hiding in the "Secret Annexe," the attic of a warehouse where her father had worked, Anne recorded both everyday activities and her innermost thoughts in her diary. She dreamed of becoming an author, never realizing that her diary would be read by millions. The family remained in the attic for over two years before the Nazis discovered them. Anne died of typhus in the German Bergen- Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, two months before the German Army's surrender.

After the war, her father returned to their former hiding place, where he discovered her diary and submitted it to a publisher. Translated from the Dutch in 1947, the manuscript was first published in English in 1952 and has subsequently been translated into over thirty other languages.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Summary

Part 1 Summary - The First Year

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.)

Part 2 Summary - The Second Year

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.)