The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Published in: 1947
Literary Awards: Luisterboek Award 2008
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Find it here: The Diary of a Young Girl
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 Annexe” 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.
Book Worm’s Thoughts: I am ashamed to say I have made it to the grand old age of “cough cough splutter” without having read this important book. I am so glad that I have corrected that mistake.
This is a heartbreaking book, not because of what Anne writes, but because we the reader already know how it will end.
Anne writes in her diary as if she were writing to a person called Kitty. This allows the reader to assume the role of Kitty, and ultimately the role of Anne’s friend and confidant. Anne really speaks to her reader. I could visualize the annex and the people in it. I could see Anne sitting as her desk writing and I could see her occasionally seething with anger at those around her and their lack of understanding.
What is so important about Anne’s diary is that is shows her, and the others in the Annex, as human beings. They are not just statistics. They are actual people. It also shows that they are not saints or heroes they are nothing, special just people like you and me. Anne can be bitchy and hurtful, she suffers with depression and rails against the restrictions put on her and her family. Yet through all the ups and downs she remains upbeat and positive because she is convinced that rescue is coming. Her optimism just about broke my heart and while I knew that rescue would never come for Anne, I kept willing the allies to get there sooner to save this family. What made it even worse was the knowledge that had they gone a few weeks longer without being betrayed, it’s possible that everyone could have survived.
“I could spend hours telling you about the suffering the war has brought, but I’d only make myself more miserable. All we can do is wait, as calmly as possible, for it to end. Jews and Christians alike are waiting, the whole world is waiting, and many are waiting for death”
“I’m left with one consolation, small though it may be: my fountain pen was cremated, just as I would like to be some day”
“Those violent outbursts on paper are simply expressions of anger that, in normal life, I could have worked off by locking myself in my room and stamping my foot a few times or calling mother names behind her back”
“That’s something we should never forget; while others display their heroism in battle or against the Germans, our helpers prove theirs everyday by their good spirits and affection”
“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. 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!”
“The time will come when we’ll be people again and not just Jews!”
Who would I recommend this to: Everyone. I really believe everyone should read this book especially given the current world situation. This book helps you to take a step back and to realize that no matter what colour, race, or religious beliefs you hold, we are all the same underneath.
Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: The Diary of Anne Frank
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