The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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Comment on the idea that "History seems to have been made very personal in The Diary of a Young Girl."

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Heather Garey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The experience of reading Anne Frank's diary is quite a bit different than reading about the same events in a history textbook. Reading about war, battles, and, in this case, the Holocaust is informational reading which is concentrated on the facts of what happened. Anne's diary is a record of her experiences in the attic. She shares her thoughts and feelings, as well as her hopes and dreams.

Another reason the experience of reading Anne's diary seems a very personal experience is because readers know that it is authentic and unbiased. Oftentimes, people who wrote historical accounts held a bias. History has often been written by the side of those who won wars or who were in charge, and they used propaganda to ensure that they were portrayed in the way they wished to be portrayed. This is absent from Anne's writings. It is her experience, without propaganda or bias. Obviously, it's told from her point of view, but with the honesty of a person who doesn't have a political agenda. Consider how she describes the laws that Jews were subjected to under Hitler's rule:

Our lives were not without anxiety, since our relatives in Germany were suffering under Hitler's anti-Jewish laws. After the pogroms in 1938 my two uncles (my mother's brothers) fled Germany, finding safe refuge in North America. My elderly grandmother came to live with us. She was seventy-three years old at the time. After May 1940 the good times were few and far between: first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews. Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star: Jews were required to turn in bicycles! Jews were forbidden to use street-cars! Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their own! Jews were required to do their shopping...

(The entire section contains 643 words.)

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