Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

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1st edition US hardcover.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, known in its original Dutch as Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven 14 Juni 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944, is a book of the personal diary of a Dutch teenage girl named Anne Frank. The book was published in 1947 in Frank's native Dutch language, and an English translation was published in 1952. The diary entries range from shortly after Frank's 13th birthday on 1942-06-14, to a couple months after her 15th birthday on 1944-08-01 and mostly describes the girl's life hiding out from the Nazis because her family is Jewish.

Review

Good

  • This book is painfully emotional. It makes me feel so angry at the unrighteousness that people allowed, and, continue to allow.
  • Frank shows remarkable clarity for such a young girl, understanding the nature of bigotry against her, but still loving humanity. It surprises me how she's able to remain positive even after over a year cooped up in their hiding place.
  • Frank has a very impressive vocabulary, although I'm not sure if this was embellishment by the translator. Then again, she often writes about studying various languages which would certainly expand her word use.
  • Anne goes into great detail about what life is like for them in hiding including how they're able to get limited and terrible food, their inability to make any noise during the day, their limited access to the bathroom, how they're able to get some information about the war, and all the bickering that comes with being cooped up with people for two years.
  • Frank is quite progressive in her views on feminism, wanting to be highly educated, not wanting to be a housewife, wanting to be seen as more than just a mother, etc.
  • It's quite tragic to hear her talking about what she will do "after the war" and being so happy after each major success of the Allies, yet knowing how it will turn out for her in the end.
  • It's hard not to draw parallels to the Americans who refused to help Jewish refugees during World War II, and those who refuse to help Muslim refugees today. Although, I think that's part of makes this book so timeless.

Bad

  • The diary could use a bit of editing. While it's nice to have such unrestricted access to her diary, a lot of the entries are redundant or uninteresting.
  • Frank has a couple of pro-religious anti-secular entries that irk me.
  • Early editions of the book censored the sexual aspects of Frank's entries. I'm fine with editing, but edit the dull bits, not the parts that are important to understanding the mind of an adolescent. I didn't find any of the sexual aspects of the uncensored book to be even remotely as bad as the things I thought about as a teen.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Quotes

  • People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but it doesn't stop you having your own opinions. Even if people are still very young, they shouldn't be prevented from saying what they think. - 1944-03-02
  • I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! 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. - 1944-04-05
  • What one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown back at all Jews. - 1944-05-22
  • It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. - 1944-07-15
  • Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands. - 1944-07-15

Links

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