Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank .
Anne Frank and her family were German refugees who resettled and tried to build their lives in the Netherlands. Although the Franks were proud of their German heritage, their feelings toward Germany became very complicated during the war
When the Nazis invaded Holland, the Frank family, like all Jewish residents, became victims of a systematically constricting universe.
First came laws that forbade Jews to enter into business contracts.
Then books by Jews were burned. Then there were the so-called Aryan laws, affecting intermarriage. Then Jews were barred from parks, beaches, movies, libraries. By 1942 they had to wear yellow stars stitched to their outer garments. Then phone service was denied them, then bicycles. Trapped at last in their homes, they were "disappeared."
While these preparations are secretly under way, Anne celebrates her thirteenth birthday, on June 12, 1942. On July 5, 1942, her sister, Margot, receives a call-up notice. This means that she will be deported to a Nazi "work camp."Anne is reading a book on the verandain the sunshine,having just said goodbye to her friend, Hello, when a policeman rings the
Frank's doorbell at about 3 p.m.Even though the hiding place is not yet ready, the Frank family realizes that they have to move right away. They hurriedly pack their belongings and leave notes implying that they have left the country. On the morning of July 6, Anne wakes up at 5:30 to make final preparations. Margot leaves first with Miep. Then, at 7:30, Anne says goodbye to her cat, Moortje, and leaves with her father and mother for the hiding place.
In May 1942, all Jews aged six and older are required to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothes to set them apart from non-Jews.
The Nazi administration, in conjunction with the Dutch Nazi Party and civil service, begins issuing anti-Jewish decrees. All Jews have to register their businesses. Later, they are forced to surrender them to non-Jews. Fortunately, Otto Frank, in anticipation of this decree, has already turned his business over to his non-Jewish colleagues Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman.
This is one of the last photographs taken of Anne and her sister Margot before they go into hiding.
This is one of the last photographs taken of Anne and her sister Margot before they go into hiding.
In addition, people on the office staff in the Dutch Opekta Company agree to help them. Besides Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman, there are Miep and Jan Gies, Bep Voskuijl, and Bep's father - all considered to be trustworthy.
These friends and employees not only agree to keep the business operating in their employer's absence, they agree to risk their lives to help the Frank family survive. Mr. Frank also makes arrangements for his business partner, Hermann van Pels, along with his wife, Auguste van Pels, and their son, Peter, to share the Prinsengracht hideaway.
The helpers, from left to right: Mr. Kleiman, Miep Gies, Bep Voskuijl, and Mr. Kugler.
Anne Frank's family and the other residents of the Secret Annex are in hiding for two years. The Annex is crowded and they have to be extremely careful not to be heard or seen. If they are discovered, the Nazis will arrest them. During these two years, Anne keeps a diary of her life.
Anne decorates her narrow bedroom with photographs and postcards of movie stars.
Anne Frank's diary is the voice of the Holocaust-the voice that speaks for the millions Hitler silenced. Anne went into hiding at the age of 13, a rambunctious and at times difficult child. Her diary reveals her maturation into a gifted young writer, and when discovered two years later, the precocious child had evolved into a young woman. Anne was eventually transported to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, where she died of typhus shortly before the Allies liberated the camp. Anne Frank's diary is the legacy of young girl denied her adulthood by Hitler's killing machine, and stands for the many women and men, young and old, whose lives Hitler's final solution snatched.
The story of her life is a tragedy, but the enduring message is one of hope and tolerance that will never die. The new edition reveals a new depth to Anne's dreams, irritations, hardship, and passions . . . There may be no better way to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II than to reread The Diary of a Young Girl, a testament to an indestructivle nobility of spirit in the face of pure evil."
droves. The Gestapo is treating them very roughly and transporting them
in cattle cars to Westerbork, the big camp in Drenthe to which they're sending
all the Jews....If it's that bad in Holland, what must it be like in those faraway and uncivilized places where the Germans are sending them? We assume that most of them are being murdered. The English radio says
they're being gassed." - October 9, 1942
Have you ever heard the term 'hostages'? That's the latest punishment for
saboteurs. It's the most horrible thing you can imagine. Leading citizens—
innocent people--are taken prisoner to await their execution. If the Gestapo can't find the saboteur, they simply grab five hostages and line them up against the wall. You read the announcements of their death in
the paper, where they're referred to as 'fatal accidents." - October 9, 1942
All college students are being asked to sign an official statement to
the effect that they 'sympathize with the Germans and approve of the
New Order." Eighty percent have decided to obey the dictates of their
conscience, but the penalty will be severe. Any student refusing to sign
will be sent to a German labor camp." - May 18, 1943
Mr. Bolkestein, the Cabinet Minister, speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London, said that after the war a collection would be made of diaries and letters dealing with the war. Of course, everyone pounced on my diary." - March 29, 1944
When I write, I can shake off all my cares." - April 5, 1994
I've reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can't do anything to change events anyway. I'll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end." - February 3, 1944
"...but the minute I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth..." - April 5, 1944
I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant,
to get on in life,to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write.
..it remains to be seen whether I really have talent...I need to have something besides
a husband and children to devote myself to!... I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop
myself and to express all that's inside me!Wednesday, April 5, 1944
It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more" - July 15, 1944
It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and
impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything,
that people are truly good at heart.
The reason for her immortality was basically literary. She was an extraordinarily good writer, for any age, and the quality of her work seemed a direct result of a ruthlessly honest disposition. Millions were moved by the purified version of her diary originally published by her father, but the recent critical, unexpurgated edition has moved millions more by disanointing her solely as an emblem of innocence. Anne's deep effect on readers comes from her being a normal, if gifted, teenager. She was curious about sex, doubtful about religion, caustic about her parents, irritable especially to herself; she believed she had been fitted with two contradictory souls.
One year before her death from typhus in the Bergen-Belsen camp, she wrote,
"I want to be useful or give pleasure to people around me who yet don't really know me. I want to go on living even after my death!"
In October, 1944, Anne and Margot are transported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Thousands die from planned starvation and epidemics at Bergen-Belsen, which is without food, heat, medicine, or elementary sanitary conditions. Anne and Margot, already weakened from living in the concentration camps, become ill with typhus. The camp is liberated by allied troops in 1945, one month after the death of Anne Frank.
Bergen-Belsen becomes overcrowded with prisoners as the Nazis retreat from the Eastern Front. At Bergen-Belsen prisoners have no food, heat, or medicine. They also do not have any clean toilets or showers. Due to these conditions, thousands of people die from disease and starvation.
Otto Frank is the only one, out of those hiding in the secret annex, who survives what became know as the Holocaust. He is given Anne's diary pages by Miep Gies, and he publishes them in her memory, and in memory of all those who have died.He and his second wife, Elfried Geiringer, also an Auschwitz survivor, move to Basel, Switzerland, in 1953. Otto Frank dies on August 19, 1980, at the age of ninety-one.
Otto Frank (center) with his Opekta staff, the Helpers of the Secret Annex.
So stirring has been the effect of the solemn-eyed, cheerful, moody, funny, self-critical, other-critical teenager on those who have read her story that it became a test of ethics to ask a journalist, If you had proof the diary was a fraud, would you expose it? The point was that there are some stories the world so needs to believe that it would be profane to impair their influence. All the same, the Book of Anne has inspired a panoply of responses — plays, movies, documentaries, biographies, a critical edition of the diary — all in the service of understanding or imagining the girl or, in some cases, of putting her down.