The Diary of Anne Frank


3/04/99

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The Diary of Anne Frank









Journeying back to the early nineteenth century, when Nazi forces occupied

Germany during World War II, the lives of those living in this territory was spent in

constant fear and anxiety. The Diary of Anne Frank leads readers through the harsh

times of a family trying to escape imprisonment in concentration camps by Nazi soldiers,

where death was almost certain. Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a

German-Jewish teenager who was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and

her family, along with four others, spent 25 months during World War II in an annex of

rooms above her father's office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During the two years in

hiding which Anne refers to as "a time when the ideals are being shattered and destroyed,

when the worst side of human nature predominates, when every one has come to doubt

truth, justice and God (pg.327)." Anne kept a diary that was given to her by her father,

Otto Frank, on her birthday. Between June 1942 and August 1944, from Anne's

thirteenth birthday until shortly after her fifteenth birthday, Anne recorded her feelings,

her emotions, and her thoughts, as well as the events that happened to her. "?[I]deas,

dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us only to meet the horrible truth and be

shattered?yet in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart

(pg. 327)." The diary is an accurate record of the way Anne grows up and matures, in the

unfortunate situation she found herself.

Given the circumstances in which the novel is written Anne gave a very vivid

description of her surroundings and the feelings she encountered throughout her ordeal.

The novel displays the grief and frustration that is experienced throughout the time spent

in hiding. The emotions of the situation are captured in the text and gives validity to the

pain and frustration encountered. Despite the amusing and enlightening side of the diary,

that documents the process of her adolescence, it also provides a vividly terrifying

description of what it was like to be Jewish hiding during the time the Nazis sought to

kill all the Jews in Europe. After two years of living in the "secret annex", behind a

bookcase, and having to be extremely quite during the day so that the workers in the

office and warehouse below could not hear them the family was captured. The betrayal

of Anne and her family to the Nazis and their placement under arrest lead to their

deportation to concentration camps. In an entry on August 1, 1944, Anne confides to her

diary an analysis of her situation. She concludes that her behavior has been a front

during her years in hiding to help her cope with the people surrounding her. Nine months

after her arrest, Anne wrote that "?if only there were no other people in the world

(pg.331)." The writings give Anne's thought wishful pretense that if no one else were in

the world, that the pain and suffering would end. Anne gives readers a sense of truth and

honesty about her situation that allows the reader to experience her life as a stubborn,

touchingly vulnerable teenager who one minute is in love with the world and the next

detached.

This book is an extraordinary piece of work written by a young woman finding

her way in captivity. Anne was an immensely gifted writer and a person of great

sensitivity. She shows her depth through emotions as well as by absolving the feeling of

others and communicating them through writing. Anne's true personality is brought to

life on every page and allows the reader to feel as though they actually know her.

Whether enthralled in the heights of ecstasy over her budding fascination with Peter Van

Dann, another teen hiding in the "annex", or drowning in the depths of despair over her

life in hiding, Anne would always confide her private thoughts and interest in her diary.

Anne's vivid writing allows the reader to experience second hand what it was like to be a

teenage Jewish girl confined to an inside world with little resources except necessities to

survive. The detail in which her story is told gives light to the talents and emotions a

young mind experienced as she deals with traumatic situations.

For its insights into the life of a German-Jewish child living in Germany during

Nazi occupation, The Diary of Anne Franks, offers a vivid, realistic view of how a family

tries to escape Nazi concentration camps. Anne's ability to communicate her private

thoughts engulfing the total emotions of the situations