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The Diary of Anne Frank

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Overview

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old ...
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Overview

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Eleanor Roosevelt
This is one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war and its impact on human beings that I have ever read.
New York Herald Tribune
It is a poignant, heartbreaking yet somehow heartwarming story, fresh with the dew of adolescence.
Meyer Levin
There is anguish in the thought of how much creative power, how much creative power, how much sheer beauty of living, was cut off from genocide. But through her diary Anne goes on living. From Holland to France, to Italy, Spain. The Germans too have published her book. And now she comes to America. Surely she will be widely loved, for this wise and wonderful young girl brings back a poignant delight in the human spirit.-- Books of the Century, New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385508476
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/25/2003
  • Edition description: Revised Critical Edition
  • Pages: 851
  • Sales rank: 212,112
  • Product dimensions: 10.45 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.83 (d)

Reading Group Guide

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?

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2011

    A book every being should read!

    I adore Anne Frank. The book cannot be read without touching a place in your heart.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Diary of a Young Girl: A Breathtaking Novel a must read!!!!!

    Jensen 1 Ty Jensen Mrs. Harris English 2 15 March 2011 Diary of a Young Girl: A Breathtaking Novel Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is a Breathtaking Novel about a young girl life, Anne Frank, during the times of the holocaust. This novel is an amazing story and greatly demonstrates how hard it was to be Jewish during the time of the holocaust. Although times were hard, Anne Frank tries as hard as possible to keep the life of a young thirteen-year-old girl. Even though doing this is hard young Anne Frank maintains her composure through her stay at the Van Daan's residence. On June 12, 1942 Anne talks about how she has never had anyone to reveal everything to, explaining why she started her journal. Anne received her diary, who she calls "Kitty," as a present on her birthday, June 12th. The beginning of the diary shows how she, and all the other Jews, can adapt to their new surroundings and maintain a seemingly normal life. Anne is always honest about her fears and what she thinks about people. Although not much of the opening diary is not written about her family she does describe her parents as, "Loving and caring." In early July, Anne starts speaking of her new life in the Annex. She speaks of how her father and Margot (her sister), are annoyed by the chiming of the clock but Anne feels safe and reassured by it. She looks at her new life in hiding as an adventure and doesn't seem to feel fear what so ever. Although Ms. Van Daan and Anne's mother fight a lot Anne still finds her own peace in the Annex of the Van Daan home. As new people arrive in the Annex, she starts to describe the new friends and the people she dislikes who live among her. Towards the end of the diary, young Anne starts to succumb to their feelings of anxiety and depression. Due to awful dreams of the war and high tensions, she begins to feel that living in the Annex is unbearable. To add on to the anxiety break-ins start to become consistent in the Van Daan home. Life for Anne becomes close to miserable. Some of those feelings change on June 6, 1944, D-Day, when the BBC announces that the invasion of France has begun. The Annex becomes exited that the war will end soon. Anne's mood improves greatly. Shorty after the assassination attempt on Hitler, Anne writes how she hopes that Hitler will see that the Germans even want to stop the war. On August 1, 1944, Anne describes her new character and thinks about what kind of person she could have become if only there were no other people in the world." Anne's diary ends abruptly. This novel is saddening and breathtaking all in one. It shows the courage and strength of a young Jewish girl, whose life without the holocaust could have been greatly improved. This novel is an amazing novel which I recommend to anyone who enjoys a true, heart clenching, story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Read for All Ages

    What would you do to survive as a Jewish girl during the holocaust? This book, The Diary of Anne Frank, is written by Anne Frank, but then later found by her relatives and published. In this book, Anne Frank and 6 other people hide out above a one-room workhouse for a couple of years, Just to stay alive. No one can use any running water, speak, or make any fast movements from 6:00 in the morning until 6:00 at night when the people that work in the workhouse below them go home.
    Just imagine 12 hours straight doing absolutely nothing at all. That would be boring and a little bit suspenseful! Anne Frank is just trying to be a normal girl and she is looking to figure out why everyone likes her older sister, Margot, better than her.
    This book has a couple boring parts, but also has some suspenseful parts. For example, a boring part of the book is when the parents are just talking about their life back at home and how they miss their friends and neighbors. A very suspenseful part is when the green police, the police that arrest the Jews and take them away to concentration camps, are searching the building. I won't tell you what happens next but it is totally unexpected. So, if you are looking for a book that is kind of suspenseful, but isn't over the top in any way, this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2007

    Anne Frank- Mission Impossible

    The book was absolutely incedible. I can't put into terms how much one book, could include historical facts,while dealing with adolescence problems with parents and not to mention boys. This book should be read by every student who thinks history doesn't relate to them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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