The Diary Of A Young Girl: Anne Frank Book Review
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World War II is easily one of the most discussed wars throughout human history. Obviously it came at a time closely following another major war in history, World War I. But there were also other things that made this one of the significant wars in human history. After World War I Germany was in a state that they were experiencing extreme depression and economic hardship. Many of the citizens blamed this on the failure of Germany in the First World War and the punishments that were placed on the country as a whole. Throughout this time period people were searching for something new, something that would allow them to have some hope about the future of their country and some progress to be shown. Adolf Hitler provided this hope and this promise of progress through his numerous and intriguing speeches and his famous political campaign. Hitler was elected to power by the people that were searching for something new, fresh and rejuvenating, something they thought Hitler was going to bring to the table. The years following the election of Hitler showed difficult times for millions of Jews throughout Europe causing the death of nearly six million innocent people. This paper looks at the book written by one of these victims, maybe one of the most famous Anne Frank.
During World War II Jews knew that they were the target of persecution and of hate, so they did multiple things in an attempt to hide from the German forces searching for them. The story of Anne Frank is the story of a girl who was forced into hiding because her and her family was Jewish. They were forced to stay in a hiding place in a house of a friend of the family for a great amount of time. In this hiding spot they were being fed by the people who were housing them and they were also dealing with many close calls from Germans who came to search houses randomly as they were not naïve to the fact Germans were helping to hid their Jewish friends and some just Jews in general. The book written by Anne Frank is titled “The Diary of a Young Girl” and it is just that, a personal account, right from Anne’s own pen, about what her and her family went through during their time of hiding during the Holocaust.
The diary starts with an introduction written by Cherry Gilchrist. The introduction sets the scene for the diary just like this paper did for the discussion of the diary. The rest of the book is set up just as a diary would read with dates and numerous entries about what was going on at the time. The beginning of any book is the part of the story that draws the reader in. The introduction itself is extremely significant and gives a brief but detailed description of where the rest of the book is headed. The first entry is also key in drawing the reader into the book. The first entry starts off like any other young girl’s diary, “On Friday, 12 June, I woke up early at six o’clock; it was my birthday” (Frank 7). By showing that it was Anne’s birthday when the diary begins really draws the reader. I was intrigued to know where the story would go from there, especially knowing that this particular story is based on actual events. The next few weeks of entries discuss Anne’s life and really put into perspective that she was just like any other girl, describing what was going on in school and who was friends with whom, “My exam results were good! My parents are pleased, of course. And Margot had a brilliant report, as usual” (Frank 10). A week following this entry is when the drama really began for young Anne Frank.
The first fear comes of the news of her father being taken away, “On Sunday afternoon we heard that the Germans were going to take Father away. We know what that means – to a concentration camp” (Frank 11). From there Anne Frank discusses her fear ongoing until they actually decide that it is best they go into hiding, which entry was as soon as the next day, “The hiding-place is in Father’s office building. ON the bottom floor is the warehouse, and next to it an entrance to the office, which is upstairs” (Frank 11). The description of who worked in her Father’s office continues along with how their hiding spot will be established and who will be helping with what. The book provided a plan that described the hiding place as well using a picture, which really made it easy to understand as the reader.
Throughout the next months of the diary there is a description by Anne of the living conditions and the feeling of fear she was experiencing while hiding from the Germans. Near the end of the diary there is a descriptive discussion of her fear, “We’ve heard something very sad and frightening. It seems that a lot of people are thinking differently about us Jews now. People are against us who were once totally on our side. Some Christians are saying that the Jews tell secrets to the Germans” (Frank 49). The fear continued until the end of the diary where there is an afterword discussing the arrest of the Frank family and the other’s hiding. It is believed that someone must have told the authorities that they were hiding there. The fear that Anne was displaying throughout her diary seemed to come true.
The diary itself is not only a fascinating and intriguing read but is one that must be done by people throughout the world. The Holocaust is a well-known topic now, but this may not continue to be the case as time passes on. It is important for first-hand accounts such as Anne’s to survive and continue to be taught in schools and read by people these days in order to understand the capability of one human being on another. Anne Frank’s words were ones that obviously came from the heart and exhumed nothing but honesty and raw emotion. After reading the diary it puts World War II in a totally different light. By this I mean it allows for the reader to see what the War was like from the innocent victim’s that were being persecuted because of the hate and despise of one man, Adolf Hitler. Anne Frank’s diary must continue to be read and continue to be taught so that history does not repeat itself, as it so often does. I will recommend this read to multiple friends, so that a discussion can ensue about the toleration of people.
Gilchrist, C., & Frank, A. (1999). The Diary of a Young Girl. London: Pearson Education.
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