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Anne Frank: The Biography [Paperback]

Melissa Muller , Rita Kimber , Robert Kimber
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

13 Dec 1999
For people all over the world, Anne Frank has become the human face of the holocaust. Drawing on interviews with family and friends, Melissa Muller creates a subtle portrait of Frank, tracing her life from idyllic childhood in Frankfurt to her passionate adolescence in occupied Amsterdam."

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (13 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747545235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747545231
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 810,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

One of this book's great strengths is writer Melissa Muller's ability to situate Anne Frank's famous diary within a larger historical and biographical context--more than half of it covers the years before the Franks went into hiding. Equally important is her discovery of the existence of five pages Otto Frank removed from his daughter's original diary and entrusted shortly before his death to Cor Sujik, International Director of New York's Anne Frank Centre. Sujik showed these pages to Muller, who accurately notes in the biography that they "enhance our understanding of the diary's author."

Until now, readers have known the eight people sequestered in the secret annexe through Anne's eyes only. Muller reveals everyone's correct names (they were changed for the diary's publication) and tactfully corrects a teenager's skewed perceptions when necessary, always reminding us of the claustrophobic closeness and material deprivation that sometimes fuelled Anne's uncharitable comments about, for example, the middle-aged dentist with whom she was forced to share a room. Muller also plausibly identifies the Dutch informant who betrayed the secret annexe's inhabitants to the Gestapo. Horror suffuses Muller's grim recap of the Franks' ordeal at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, though there is some comfort in survivors' reports that Anne, her mother and her older sister formed "an inseparable trio," all former quarrels forgotten in their fierce struggle to save each other. They failed and Muller does not gloss over that tragedy. But she reminds us that: "In the end, the Nazi terror could not silence Anne's voice, which still rings out for all of us." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 18 Jan 2010
I'm very surprised there are no reviews of this book yet on Amazon.

A very readable biography that sheds a lot of light on Frank family history and chillingly recounts the ratcheting up of persecution against Jews, firstly in Germany after Hitler came to power, then in Holland after the Nazis invaded in 1940. The period in the Annex, being the most familiar period, was perhaps the least revealing, but nevertheless pointed up the psychological effects on a young girl of going through adolescent awakening in a confined space (this emerges very clearly in the definitive edition of the Diary). The post-Annex time is, of course, very difficult reading and the tragedy of Anne's separation from the loving bosom of the family in the last few months well described. An appendix details the fates of the key players. A must read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never Mind the Writing and Read It Anyway 12 Aug 2013
By S. Bents - Published on
I think the author could have improved the book by not going into the detail about the Frank and Hollander family trees. What I found valuable, however, was the story of what happened to the family before they went into hiding. They were just a normal German family (living in Frankfurt and then Amsterdam) when the Nazis came to power. Then the nightmare started. I read in disbelief as their businesses had to be turned over to the government; their money had to be turned over to the government; they couldn't go to parks and zoos; and their daughters were removed from their schools. The last straw was when their teenage daughter received a letter to report to a labor camp. I can't make sense of why doing this was okay with the society. I want to live in a society where everyone doesn't necessarily have to like me, but also where it doesn't matter if you like me or not, because it doesn't affect my freedom and rights.

It was hard reading the book, because you know the fate of Anne and how heartbreaking the loss of her and her family were. What a tragedy!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WW II 20 Sep 2013
By Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are interested in learning not just about Anne Frank, but her family members and more of the interactions that accompanied the Frank family, you should read this book. Many details on events leading up to going into seclusion as well as a more complete picture of Anne and her relationships with family and friends.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Informative Book 26 Jan 2014
By SmokieTopaz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As someone who lost most of my family in Auschwitz, I learned a lot from this book. It was hard for me to read some of its parts, but I knew that I had to do it. I enjoyed the pictures provided in this biography since it made me visualize the characters better.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive and poignant 16 Jan 2014
By Peter Stephan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author, Ms Muller, pieces together early parts of Anne's life (she was born in 1929) through letters and postcards sent by Anne to relatives, interviews with family members who survived the war, and access to museum archives. Her father lived over 30 years after the war. Several of Anne's friends are still alive as of 1/2014 ! There are sections that deal with Anne's thoughts about God, about her 10-12 yr old friends, about her kindred spirit with her father, about why relations with her mother were strained, about Peter Van Pels. There is background info on her parents family, which side was religious and which was not. There is even info on the last known contacts with Peter, Margo (older sister), and Anne - up to one month before she died in April 1945. I prefer this biography to the diary, because the flow form issue to issue is much smoother. There is section at the end of the book that deals with what became of many characters. The forward explains the author interest in writing about Anne. She is very humble and does not editorialize during her telling of Anne's story. It was a page-turner for me!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Story 5 Jan 2014
By William G. Schmidt - Published on
Who hasn't read Anne Frank's diary, either as a kid or with even greater insight as an adult? Melissa Muller's biography certainly digs deeply into Frank's background and fleshes out the 25 months in "The Annex" with real understanding. Impeccably researched, this is surely the definitive biography of Frank.
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