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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

A few weeks ago I said that this is going to be the next book that I read; and I have just finished it. It was something that I had put off for a long time, and I don’t know why. I found the whole book engrossing; even knowing what happens in the end.

anne frank coverIt is amazing that a group of eight people could survive two years in such cramped captivity. This is especially so when you consider the personalities that Anne so vividly portrays. Anne takes us through the cycles of optimism, depression and fear that the group experience and not always at the same time. It’s hard not to get caught up in all the emotion.

The thing that I found most telling was the fact that these captives were well aware of their fate if they were found in hiding, and the likely fate of their “free” friends. Imagine having to live with that thought everyday for two years, and still try to carry on as normal a life as possible!

In my earlier post I said that this is a story that needs to be told. Well, it is told and well told. But, telling isn’t enough; as Rui said [^] this is a story that matters. This is a story that needs to be heard, explained, understood and discussed. Anne’s story chronicles a dark period in mankind’s history. But it is not a time that we can afford to forget, no matter how distressing the subject matter. As George Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, and no-one would want to see a repeat of the holocaust.

Anne says in her diary that she doesn’t want an ordinary life once the war is over:

“I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! I don’t want want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I have never met. I want to go on living even after my death! …When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?” 
The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank, 5th April 1944.

In some ways that wish has come true. Anne you have written something great and brought more enjoyment and suspense to more than you could have imagined. What a great gift to the world this girl’s diary has been.

There is one thing that this leaves me wanting, and that is to find out what life was like for the Miep Gies, Bep and the others hiding the Franks, van Daans and Dussel. If you know of any books please let me know in the comments.

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