Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
-by Anne Frank
304 pages (1952)
calm candor and beauty amidst attrocities
Anne Frank’s diary has moved millions around the world, past and present, with it’s honesty, depth, and poignancy. (Personally, it was Anne’s diary that motivated me to write my own journal as a young girl and I continue to write faithfully, ever since. It is one of the few books that I’ve read which has had the greatest influence on my life.) Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, along with her family, went into hiding along with her family during WWII, when Holland was annexed by the Nazis Regime. During the 4 long years of secret captivity in the building’s attic, Anne captured her hopes, loves, fears and thoughts on life in her diary, where she affectionately addressed her entries to an imaginary friend she named “Kitty”.
Despite the horrible reality of war just outside her window, Anne was a person who could see beyond man’s inhumanity to man, and perceive true beauty and the gift of life. Tragically, nearing the war’s conclusion, the family’s hiding place is mercilessly betrayed to the Nazis…which ultimately culminates in the final chapter of this lovely young girl’s life, just prior to liberation. This is a true story…a diary of a young girl….and her voice from the past. It’s a memoir of a brilliant and deep being who wasn’t afraid to hope for something better, beyond the misery surrounding her. In my opinion, it is a book that every person should read.
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES: It was an overcast day on Saturday, March 9, 2002. I stood just outside of Anne Frank’s final dwelling place, the “Secret Annex,” at Prinsengracht 263, Amsterdam. I was overcome with great sadness as I gazed up at the small attic window where she must have looked out…a tree-lined canal just across the way. Perhaps she watched the ducks in the water, swallows overhead, the steady sloping of the rain, or the cloud formations….day in and day out for 4 long years. I imagined what it would be like to be a young girl in confinement, yearning to enjoy life amidst the free, only to be shut up, and kept quiet for fear that an audible breath would betray my family’s whereabouts and terminate our lives. I wept at the great waste of life, the cruelty, the plundering of innocent lives, and how this amazing young woman maintained the inner strength to endure those years…and had the courage to capture it all with such delicacy, calm candor and beauty.