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The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

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Why might Anne Frank not be considered a hero?

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Anne Frank was a victim of Nazi atrocities, but she serves as an inspiration to many.

I recently heard an Auschwitz survivor speak. He was talking to a group of seventh and eighth graders. He said, “Anne Frank was not a hero. She was a victim.” This man, who had been through horrors similar to Anne’s, was not seeking to diminish her memory. He just wanted the class to understand that Anne should not have had to suffer.

What is a hero? A hero is someone who helps others or inspires others. By this token, Anne is a hero. She has served as an inspiration to many through her published diary. Anne would have liked the fact that her diary is so widely read. She wanted to be a writer.

It's much easier now to tell Peter things I'd normally keep to myself; for example, I told him I want to write later on, and if I can't be a writer, to write in addition to my work. (Saturday, March 25, 1944)

Anne’s diary shows the triumph of the human spirit. She was locked up, fearing for her life and in hiding day after day. Yet Anne and the others persevered. They lived their lives with as much normalcy as they could. Anne did everything she could to brighten the lives of those around her. In that sense, she was a hero.

Heroism is really in the eye of the beholder. A person who hides from the Nazis is brave, in my book. Anne and her family did not give up. They fought back against oppression in the best way they knew how. Because of this, Anne and her family lived a little bit longer. Anne also was able to write about her experiences, which her father published to serve as an inspiration to others.

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