Author: Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl (also known as The Diary of Anne Frank) is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944 and Anne Frank ultimately died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The diary was retrived by Miep Gies, who gave it to Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the only known survivor of the family. The diary has now been published in more than 60 different languages.
Its popularity inspired 1955 play The Diary of Anne Frank by the screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, which they subsequently adapted for the screen for the 1959 movie version. The book is in several lists of the top books of the 20th century.
I still remember the first time I read this book. I was thirteen. At that time I had vague idea of this book’s contents as well as had enough knowledge of WW2 as was provided by the history textbook. Which basically meant nothing.
I could relate to this book instantly, as this book was written by a girl of my age. I especially loved the idea of writing a diary, and started writing one as well. The diary format helps you connect to Anne at a very personal level, she starts to become one of your very dear friends.
The book eases you in, so initially you have young Anne writing about her daily life..her school, her friends, her teachers, her crushes, etc. Then you find slight mentions of ‘minor inconveniences’ popping up like all Jews have to wear stars on their dresses. Then it escalates to Jews cannot ride public transport, then Jews cannot own bicycles. Later we see people being called to the concentration camps.
When Anne’s sister Margot is sent summons, the Frank family movies into a ‘secret annex’ along with another family. The rest of the book deals with the lives of these two families who cannot go outside, who are stuck in these small rooms for almost two years, fearing the worst, living their lives on eggshells and yet, finding small joys to celebrate.
Truly a heartwarming tale.