The diary as Anne Frank wrote it. At last, in a new translation, this definitive edition contains entries about Anne's burgeoning sexuality and confrontations with her mother that were cut from previous editions. Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century.
Original publication date
First there is Anne's tender age, which is likely younger than most other diarists of the time. She lacked the self-conscious restraint an adult might have shown, willing to write with earnest feeling about every aspect of her life, and the diary is filled with entries true to the spirit of a young teenager. She rarely let signficant time pass between entries, a second point in the diary's favour. She also had the great good fortune to begin writing her entries at exactly the correct time, not just in history but in her own personal story. There is just enough time to record a few entries prior to her hiding, in order to glimpse the life that could have been and contrast that against what follows.
Anne introduces herself to her diary in the course of her opening entries as though it were a proper memoir, laying out her personal history to date. The Annex in which her family hides is a remarkable setting to read about, well planned and executed. The quality of the writing itself is a significant factor in the diary's popularity, as it captures fine details, incorporates well chosen metaphors and offers insightful character studies. Lastly, there is the diary's "spirit", conveying Anne's irrepressible optimism and the conviction that not only must everything come out right in the end, but that the world is ultimately benevolent in spite of everything she and her family are put through.
Taken together, these remarkable factors may have been the impetus for accusations of this diary being fictional, ghost-written, etc. Those rumours were put to rest following Otto Frank's death, when the diary manuscript's veracity was confirmed beyond doubt. There once was a young teenage girl who felt these feelings, recorded these thoughts and lived this experience. The fact that she was so young, with bright dreams of her future and full of such talent and hope, and yet did not survive the Holocaust, serves to compound the emotional power of the work. Emma Thompson's words linger: Anne's lost future is our future, and the dreams she had remain our dreams to fulfill.
This being the only edition I've read, I can't compare it with the diary's earlier, shorter edition to judge what value has been added. In the course of my reading I had two wonderful supplemental texts which I recommend: "Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary", offering photographs and background on Anne, her family and the secret annex, as well as summarizing world events that affected her; and "Tales from the Secret Annex", a collection of the fiction she wrote alongside the diary and sometimes mentioned.
You can't deny she had talent and would've made it as a writer. Such a shame.
I had expected an important political account of the war, and I had thought that Anne's narrative would be full of facts of the everyday workings of their little household. I wasn't expecting the heart-wringing angst as she struggled with all of the normal issues of a young teen, in the most abnormal of settings.
I can easily see why it has been held up as one of the most important works of the century.
Every time I read a story about this era I'm amazed by the extremes of human nature. How is it possible that people can sink so low as to go along with something like the Holocaust without putting a foot down and saying no? And at the same time, people can be so selfless as to put their lives at risk day in and day out to bring comfort to the lives of others?
The first thing I was struck by when reading this book was how much more mature Anne's writing was than anything I wrote when I was that age. Despite being trapped indoors for years by people who would kill her for being who she is, she still had high hopes and aspirations for her life. What an incredible heart wrenching waste to see this life snuffed out so early. How overwhelming to think that this life was just one of millions to be cut short at that time.
But I think the biggest message in this book is hope. Even in the face of the greatest adversity, there is always hope.
I read this book as a child and still remember the details throughout the book. I think that every student should read this book. I has alot of emotion and a powerful message.
You could use this book when talking about the holocust. You could let the students write a letter to a holocust survior and ask them questions they want answered.
The autobiographical reminiscences of a young Jewish girl coming of age during World War II describes her life in hiding from the Nazis. Historically significant but not a great book.
If you're like me and haven't actually read this book, pick up a copy as soon as you can. I think it's especially worthwhile for teenagers to read as there is much to relate to and much to learn.
My approach to this book was one of great care and slight intrepidation. Years ago I read Elie Wiesel's 'Night' and 'The Forgotten,' just two of his many books about the holocaust, and I found them hard to get through from an emotional point of view. These recounts are seriously horrific and serve as a sharp and extremely uncomfortable reminder of the lowest acts performed on fellow human beings. These recounts play such an important role in reminding us to never allow atrocities of this nature to occur again. They are stark, piercing recollections and will forever haunt me for all my days.
Anne Frank's Diary is well-read by a mass population and many reviews are already in circulation, so I am not going to attempt to add another one to the pile. I simply wish to add some of my own thoughts and if you happen to be reading this blog and have never read Anne Frank's Diary, then it might just inspire you.
What an interesting, complex and deep girl Anne Frank was. She began the diary when she was thirteen years old after receiving a diary as one of her gifts. Initially she wrote purely for herself, but later she began to write for an audience and as she matured her language increasingly became well-developed for her age. She dreamed of being an author and approached her writing with this in mind.
The details and subject material Anne chose to write about daily, detailed intricately what life was like for this small group of people hidden secretly away in the annex of her father's workplace. It is hard to imagine such cramped living conditions and how intimately these people had to share this existence for just over two years. It is beyond all comprehension when most of us enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.
I found reading the book difficult as I neared the end. Knowing what fate was in store for Anne made me read with such a heavy heart. This diary is Anne's history and the history of those who were closest to her in the final two years of her life. It is a perfect example of times when one can be surrounded by many and still be lonely. I do wonder if Anne would have been so hard on her mother if she had of realised what her fate was to be. She was brutally honest about a lot of things and stayed true to these feelings, even when she decided others would read her work. All teenagers and parents go through issues with each other. It's a fact of life, but usually we are given a chance to work through these things privately and without being judged by others. Just think if we were all to write down our feelings when dealing with each other, I doubt any of us would come up smelling like roses.
I was most interested in reading about their living conditions, how they divided up the space, the roles they each undertook daily, the rationing of food, their diet, their resourcefulness and the way they continued to educate themselves and each other. Things gradually became harder as time went on. I was also very interested when Anne wrote about their friends outside (the people who helped them remain in hiding). It was important to show how these people continued to help them and what they had to endure from the outside as well.
How do you thank someone for their insight whose life was sacrificed so young? Anne bared her soul and the life of those she lived so closely with. I am sure she was optimistic and believed her diary would be published and read while she rebuilt her life after the war. I doubt she would ever have dreamed her words would be read post-humously. She may have died as a result of typhus, but she died, along with six others she shared the annex with, because of the conditions she was forced to live. What a waste of life. War is such a sacrifice for all who are forced to be a part of it. Whenever I read novels of authors, or other notable citizens who have died as a result of war, I am always left wondering...what if? What if there had been no war...what might these people have gone on to write, to be, gone on to achieve? Even just regular people...when life is snuffed out...we lose. We lose in so many ways too numerous to number...but, that is another story.
That's why the prospect of the "Definitive" Edition sparked my interest. It's basically the original diary plus the taboo entries the left out the first time around. The result? 30% more material and supposedly a "better insight" into Anne Frank. I've checked this book out before (from the Largo Library), but never got around to it. But after my stay in Israel I was determined to finish this, once and for all. So what's the verdict?
As sad as this may be to say, I found myself bored frequently throughout the book. It's strange, because it's something that's been regarded so highly by so many people. I feel let down, but certainly not alone. For once, after checking the Amazon reviews regarding the book (a common practice of mine), I actually agreed with the majority of the readers. It was boring - plain and simple.
With not liking the book, you're put into such a hard place. It's her diary, unedited and raw. You can't really accuse it of being boring, because it's her life. If my entire journal was published, there are numerous passages I'm sure would bore the audiences too. People are too afraid to criticize Anne Frank because she was a victim of the Holocaust. Even though her diary never talks about her life after the Annex, it's still regarded as holocaust literature. As I wrote in my Amazon review, I doubt this book would have done so well had Anne Frank managed to survive.
I think this book could have stood to use a little editing. There were numerous boring passages throughout the book that could have simply been omitted. The Peter saga was by far the most exciting part in the book, and it should not have come half way through. While the sex stuff (and hatred for other house guests) was enjoyable, I don't know if everything else they left in was really necessary. If Anne Frank was the editor of her own book, would she have wanted every single detail published? I think a lot of the more meaningless details would have better left in the "Critical Edition".
I will admit, there were times when I sympathized with Anne Frank, especially about being "surrounded by people but feeling so alone". Not to mention being a teenager and just feeling this change inside of you. The parts of the book were really fascinating, and probably helped to make it the timeless peace of literature that it is.
At the very least, it was about time that I read this. It's one of those books you hear so much about in your life, you have to read them simply to say that you have. I plan to read other holocaust books (both fiction and non-fiction) afterward. This was a good introduction, but is certainly not the definitive book. I will definitely check out the "Critical Edition" after this, though, because Anne Frank will always be one of those lives that fascinates me.
A young girl Anne Frank is forced to live in an old office building attic in Amsterdam, at the age of thirteen. Hiding away from the Nazis for two years Anne keeps a diary telling of her experience and dreams of going out in the world outside. This book is filled with Anne's personal fears, thoughts, and little of romance along with her fearful hiding with her family and friends.
I think this book is very interesting to read and puts you in a small inner site of experience Anne, her family, and family friends went through in fear of their life. At the age of thirteen you can't imagine to be put in a situation like that and the author did a great job publishing and puting the empty spaces in between to know what was going on. This book is good for all people of ages to read young and old.
1)Ask students if they had to hide what would they take with them.
2)Ask students to write about Anne Frank's experience and put themselves in that situation, how would they relate to her.
Personal Reaction: I can't even begin to start on how much I love this book. I read the original over five years ago and I was overwhelmed, and find myself unable to imagine any of the pain that not just Anne, but the pain all of the poor people the Nazis targeted went through. This book must be read.
Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Have the students begin writing in their own diaries, and even have them give the diaries names like Kitty.
2. Sit the children down and see if any of them are descended from anyone who may have had to live throughout the Holocaust.
It was one of the best-written books I have ever read. It is so sad. I wished she hadn't died, but then of course we wouldn't have been given the chance to read such a heart moving, amazing piece. I think anybody could read it. It was a cool book.