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The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens ...
The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describes both the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.
Every masterpiece is unique, but some are more anomalous than others. If we consider all the volumes that have appeared so far in the Everyman series, the cornerstones and classics of our cultural tradition, The Diary of Anne Frank is, we may notice, the only one to have been written by a girl between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. If it seems improbable that a person of that tender age should have produced a work not just of maturity but of genius, that improbability only increases the awe we feel, or ought to feel, in the presence of a book that possesses all the qualities we expect of great memoirs and spiritual autobiographies, and, to some extent, of great novels.
Varied and memorable characters are revealed in all their complexity and depth, summoned to life on the page complete with all their most admirable virtues and most maddening flaws, their engagingly and appallingly human quirks and contradictions. We find ourselves in the presence of a singular consciousness, a highly particular and utterly persuasive narrative voice, elastic and capacious enough to encompass the most day-to-day details of domestic life (how to peel potatoes!), incisive portrayals of the ways in which people behave under enormous stress, flights of speculative metaphysics, and passages of sophisticated inquiry into the mystery of human nature. Comparing Anne Frank's diary to the Confessions of Saint Augustine, the poet John Berryman point out that the diary allows its readers to watch the growth of a soul, the simultaneously quotidian and miraculous transformation that accompanies what Berryman termed "the conversion of a child into a person," a process that, in his view, had never been so brilliantly or even adequately described before Anne Frank tracked it in herself, and recorded it in her diary. "It took, I believe," wrote Berryman, "a special pressure forcing the child-adult conversion, and exceptional self-awareness and exceptional candour and exceptional powers of expression, to bring that strange or normal change into view."
The diary reminds us of what it is like to go through a stage of life — adolescence — that all readers past childhood have endured and still remember, or have tried to forget. It speaks to us about the universal experiences of first love, family entanglements, hope and despair, society and solitude, terror and even boredom, and at the same time it reports on an utterly specific and exceptionally ugly period in our history, an era that is receding from living memory with every second that passes. Like all great art, it reveals something about the individual hand that created it, and something about what it means to be a human being — in this case, what is require to maintain human decency and compassion in the most inhuman and dehumanizing circumstances.
The Diary of Anne Frank is among the most widely read and taught and (for a variety of reasons, most often its delicate but clear-eyed portrayal of adolescent sexuality) most frequently censored texts in the world; translated from the original Dutch into dozens of languages, it appears on the curriculum of schools everywhere. Viewing Laurent Cantet's 2008 French film, The Class (Entre les murs), set in a high school in the suburbs of Paris, we watch a group of teenagers, nearly all of the first-generation immigrants to France, studying and discussing the diary. In 2004, a segment of the CBS series 60 Minutes reported that North Korean schoolchildren were being instructed to see themselves as Anne Frank, and George W. Bush as the modern equivalent of Hitler.
What most students learn is that Anne Frank began writing in the little book, with its checked cloth cover, soon after she received it as a gift from her parents on the occasion of her thirteenth birthday, in June 1942. Roughly a month after Anne commenced her giddy narrative of friends and boyfriends, childish allegiances and humorous experiences at school, her family went into hiding in a cramped attic (as it is often termed, though this common feature of Amsterdam canal-house construction more resembles what might be called a rear addition) above and behind the spice and pectin business her father Otto ran until the Nazi racial laws made it illegal for Otto, a Jew, to conduct any business at all.
For the next twenty-five months, until August 1944, when the Frank family was arrested and deported, first to the Westerbork transit camp and afterwards to Auschwitz, the Franks — Otto, his wife Edith, their daughters Margot and Anne — shared the "secret annex" with the Van Pels family (Hermann, Auguste, and their son Peter) and a dentist named Fritz Pfeffer. As those months wore on, Anne's vivid account of their lives in hiding developed into a very different kind of book from anything that she, newly turned thirteen, could have imagined that she would be confiding in her journal.
1. a) After the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, the Dutch people were immediately faced with the question of choice: how to respond to the Nazi occupation. Tens of thousands of Dutch people followed Hitler, and millions more looked the other way. Eventually, a resistance movement began to grow. The Nazis needed Dutch collaborators to carry out their fascist decrees. What would have influenced someone to become a collaborator? What factors would have encouraged someone to join the resistance? Do you think these factors were based on personal characteristics or political beliefs? What was the price of resistance during the war? What was the price of collaboration? b) 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. Anne wrote: "Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I'm actually one of them! No. that's not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and Jews." (October 9, 1942.) Although Anne had lived in the Netherlands since 1934, she did not become a Dutch citizen. Did Anne have a nationality? If not, were Anne's civil rights protected by any nation? By 1939 some 250, 000 Jews, half of Germany's Jewish population, had fled their homeland. Did these refugees have any guaranteed rights? After the war Otto Frank responded to references to "the Germans" by asking "which German?" He believed strongly that blaming all Germans was another form of stereotyping. What constitutes a stereotype? How is astereotype different from discrimination? c) In The New York Times the writer Anna Quindlen asked, "Would our understanding of the Holocaust be quite the same if Anne Frank had not taken a small plaid diary into hiding with her?" What has most shaped your understanding of World War II: personal experience, Anne's diary, popular films such as Schindler's List, newsreel footage, academic or historical texts? d) Otto Frank chose to edit out some of the negative comments Anne made about her mother and a number of the other residents of the Secret Annex--comments that have been restored in the new translation by Susan Massotty. He believed that Anne would have wanted him to do so. Do you think he was correct? e) In her diary Anne opined: "... if you're wondering if it's harder for the adults here than for the children, the answer is no... Older people have an opinion about everything and are sure of themselves and their actions. It's twice as hard for us young people to hold on to our opinions at a time when ideals are being shattered..." (July 15, 1944.) When was the last time as an adult that you experienced the "shattering" of an ideal? Is the media a neutral force, or do you think it plays a role in supporting or destroying idealism? f) Are there certain characteristics common among those few individuals who risked their own lives to rescue Jews during World War II? Why do so many of them deny their own heroism? g) A disturbing number of neo-Nazi groups have taken hold in all parts of the world. What social conditions would be necessary for them to grow? What do you believe would be the most likely basis of another world war: pride, nationalism, fear, racism, economic interests, or religious intolerance? h) Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was asked how he could explain the killing of 6 million Jews. He answered, "One hundred dead are a catastrophe, a million dead are a statistic." Have we become more or less tolerant of murder since he made this observation? i) Anne Frank wrote: "I don't believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago!" (May 3, 1944.) How should accountability be assigned? So many say they never understood what was happening. How likely could that have been? j) Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925, describing his plan for the elimination of Jews. At that time, what steps might have been taken to stop Hitler's rise to power?
Posted April 17, 2009
I love this book- at times I forgot that she was as young as she was, or that she wasn't even alive anymore. I felt like I new her, and she became a great friend of mine. It seemed to me that as she got more and more used to writing, it all seemed to come to her more and more naturally.
There were some discussions- as innocent as they were- that she and Peter had near the end of the book. I found parts of it a bit awkward to read, seeing as she was so young and open about them, but as a kid myself I know it is a common occurrence in conversation. But, nevertheless, it was one of the few real diaries of the Holocaust that I have come across, and is also one of the best Holocaust books I have ever read. I honestly wish they would've survived and been able to marry.
Every page holds some new meaning, or some new secret worry that Anne has to hide from everyone else. And she was so truthful to her diary! She admitted her hopes and fears, and even her angers and faults. When she found her roommate had a secret stash of goods he kept from everyone, I could practically feel her outrage! She described that weird old man so well- he was such a creep! He was probably a weird old pervert, and I'm sorry that she had to room with him.
I can totally get the mother-daughter fighting thing, though I probably didn't get as mad, and I can never hold a grudge. Anne was right to hold out and keep true to herself, even though it seems no one in the world is willing to do that anymore- but if you're already in hiding and being persecuted for your religion. that's the same thing as being persecuted for your beliefs! Letting go would've been like turning away from your religion, and everything that the Jews fighting for freedom stood for.
In short- I really liked it, and I would recommend this to anyone, for any occasion. It was a wonderful read, and I will never, ever forget it. It's a shame she didn't live to write more, it really is. Five stars- please, please, please- go read it!
70 out of 80 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2012
Those of u who dont like it just dont you the story of what she went through. Learn more about her story then you still dont have room to criticize her. What would you be acting like if you were in hiding for two years? Yeah.
41 out of 69 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are really good at heart"- Anne Frank. The Diary of a Young Girl, an autobiography by Anne Frank is a wonderful, suspenseful story of her life growing up as a young Jewish girl in the Netherlands during World War II. After receiving a diary on her thirteenth birthday, Anne wrote all about her experiences and her daily living. Only three weeks after her birthday, Anne and her family, went into hiding to escape the Nazis. They faced hunger, cold nights, boredom and the other cruelties of living in confined quarters. This book was written during the Holocaust, so there is a huge worldly connection. This book is and has been quite popular among middle school students, both boys and girls, and is a book that everyone should read. The Diary of Anne Frank is a classic book and it tells the story of a young girl. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages. Anne Frank wrote her story without the intention of it being published. The detail is vivid and visuals are raw and true. Because of that, you are hooked into this thirteen year old girl's life. All in all, The Diary of Anne Frank is an amazing story of a girl, her life, and a diary that holds all her secrets.
38 out of 45 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2003
Oh my god, this book is so true, and real. I mean the pain, fear, and horrer that Anne explaind in this story, made me want to cry a couple of times. The fear she had of getting arrested and sent to a camp was so scary. I really reccomend this book to anyone, because anyone will enjoy it. I also would like to thank, Mr. Frank for deciding to share his daughters journal with the rest of the world, that must have been really hard for him. It taught me a lot and will teach you also if you decide to read this story.
27 out of 31 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2012
The Diary of a Young Girl. That it is. Looking through some of the reviews, it seems people forget a few things. Anne was a real person. She did exist, this was her diary. Her private thoughts and feelings, and her way of coping with her situation. (No therapists!) It wasn't intended to be shared with others, and therefore was not written to be interesting to anyone but herself. Anne was a young girl, growing up in the 40's. She was just coming of age, so of course her growing intrest in her sexuality will be a topic. Also, she is stuck in a fairly small area with her family and others. There's no TV, they can't leave at all, they can't call anyone, cell phones and computers don't exist, and they don't have new books. The only things new would be any news they got from the people helping them, or maybe the radio or newspaper. So what else is there to write about day after day other than the normal goings on of the place where you live and the occupants? Most people I know would go stir crazy, and so it's little wonder that they're at each others throats often. For a young teenage girl, with little to no entertainment, being stuck with the same people day after day, she did well, and was a very good writer.....especially when you consider how people write and their lack of knowledge of proper writing now a days. It is a very good read and a good account of how life was for many of the Jews who had to go into hiding. Some had it worse, some had it better, but this was her life.
20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 29, 2012
I think this book waz very good it it explains everything that happened in the holocauat differently more interesting i love anne frank she was reallystrong and shes my role model
17 out of 28 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2009
Can you imagine living in fear and suspense of being found for three years? The Diary Of Anne Frank is about a young girl, Anne, who also is the author of this book. Who lives in a small town in Germany, in 1939 .The Holocaust started when Anne was 13. Since Anne and her family were Jewish, they had to go into hiding, in fear of the Nazis. After three years of sicknesses, not being allowed to talk, or go out side and having to share a room with five people. Then that day came when her and her family was captured, Anne was held in Dakhu the concentration camp, separated from her family.
I recommend this book to anyone from 10 up. This is a really heartwarming memoir dealing with Anne Frank's struggles to survive. It has a little bit of everything, suspense, romance, excitement, and its suspenseful. Anne Frank uses rich vocabulary and language and it is an easy read. An aspiring true story of Anne Frank.
17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 24, 2012
For all u people complaining about it beig boring let me remined u that this is her diary. She wasnt expecting the world to read it so she has a right to talk about anything she likes for as long as she likes. Also shes writimg down her thoughts so if Peters in her thoughts alot the she will write about him, she does have a crush on him.
15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2012
Its amazing to read from a different point of view and you get to see what it was like back then its really a sad story but amazing
15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 16, 2012
Posted April 2, 2012
Posted July 14, 2005
This is definitely a must-read for all of you out there who want to get a glimpse into what it was like to be a Jew during WW2 in the Nazi occupied Europe...Anne opened an incredible window for us to look into the ordeal millions of Jewish lives went through because of the attrocities carried out by Hitler and his followers...The book is very genuine and a page turner...I definitely recommend it!
10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2009
Do you remember how much this book affected you when you were 12? Well it still has that power for the current girls too.
8 out of 13 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2012
I read this book in second grade and i couldn't follow it. But then my teacher assigned it for homework. I can't stop reading it. All in all it is very good and it deserves 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 stars!
7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2012
Its very hertful to all of the jewish that they did the holcust is so sad but good book:):):):):):):):)$)$)$)$)$)$)$)$)$)$)$)$
6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2012
Ann frank is such a sad book but it is also good as well. This book os about a girl who is Jewish. And it is the time that the really bad people would turn the jewish into slaves iust beacause they did not like their religion. So all of the jewish go into hidding
6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2012
This is probaly the best book someone could ever read. Sureyou have Percy Jackson or Harry Potter but this is true. It is very good book. It tals about a jewish girl who is being, like other jews targetted. ( Even though HITLER was jewish ) It shows that she never gave up on anything. She is a true inspiration.
6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2012
Posted October 26, 2012
I am a teacher and wanted to buy the same book my students were reading. This was the "Definitive Edition," which was not obvious to me from the title or description, so I ended up spending money on a book that I could not use. I wanted Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 9, 2012