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The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition Paperback – 7 Jun 2007
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Anne died In 1945 in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April or March of that year, she was 15 years old, her crime was to be a jew, for two year of her short life she lived in hiding and left this remarkable document of mans inhumanity.
She was a precocious intelligent girl, that loved life and nature as she tells us many times in her diary. She was a teeneger like many teenagers, fighting with her mother, preoccupied with her own growing up. loving, hating, crying, laughing while imprisoned behind a bookcase with eight other people, keeping quiet and invisible, while pouring her heart out into a diary that makes her come alive through the haze of time.
We will never know any other destiny for this remarkable little woman and jet she achieved some of her dreams by writing her diary and showing us that she was a person first last and always. That she was never a label but the singular, the great Anne Frank.
“5 April 1944: I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write ..., but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ...
And if I don't have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can't imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! ...
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that's inside me!
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?”
— Anne Frank
The definitive edition is probably the recommended version to read - passages that were initially omitted by Otto have been reinstated, and also included are Anne's own revisions (which depending on the version you buy are clearly marked as being written at a later date or not).
I purchased the Hardback edition in a slipcase - yes it's more money but it's beautiful and includes far more photos than the paperback editions.
While reading this book I learnt that Germany started to withdraw in 1944 and thus leading to Auschwitz being liberated on: January 27th 1945 of course by this time Anne, for whatever reason, had already been transported elsewhere. I can’t imagine the suffering she endured during her time at Auschwitz and can only keep repeating “what if” and the one that strikes me the most is “what if she hadn’t of been transported” I sense the truth is that Hitler, attempting to hide his war crimes, had withdrawn as many as possible before hand. I sense the camp was in uproar and attempt to hide the crimes was far harder than they’d imagine since most of it still remained upon liberation. Not all of this is factual mind and only what I understand of what I’ve read but it makes me feel something words cannot describe, or I am not able to put into, that Anne came so close to the end, liberation, and yet did not make it. Lets not forget the other seven, of whom six did not make it, who suffered equally also as well as the countless others who did not keep a diary but suffered a fate equal to Anne and the seven others that were hiding with her. In truth I can’t begin to imagine what Otto Frank’s life was like post liberation because the loss of his family and the Van Daan’s and Dussel must have been unimaginable. The fate of all those involved can be found post Anne’s diary at the end of the book for quick reference. The fact, so the book says, that the train that Anne and the others had been put on out of Westerbrook was the last one haunts me also.
There’s not a lot more to say, for me anyhow. I feel that any opinion I should write today might be extended on another for one cannot completely give an opinion on all they feel and want to write in one sitting and therefore it’s a shame reviews are one input and that’s your lot.
I can only feel great sorrow that at some point within the last one hundred years, so soon in the worlds history, this tragic events unfolded. The scar one man, and his, to him, loyal SS officers left on the world will cause a stain on history that shall, and should not, ever be forgotten.
I watched a short fifteen minute documentary named “Auschwitz” directed by James Moll recently and in that it states that upon arrival at Auschwitz the criteria for left, to survive, and right, to die, was not set and therefore the Jew’s, and other kinds of peoples, lives whom arrived at Auschwitz could be decided in either way in an instant. I’ve yet to do research, and I will, on the Nuremberg trials whom got what fate but I think it some, not entirely, justice that many men got their comeuppance for their terrible crimes during this period of time. I also read, in one my many WW2 books, that the hate that was instilled in SS officers mind could not be comprehended by anyone that was not inside the camp, I dare to imagine what it must take to force a human to accept that another deserves to meet a premature end simply because their of a certain decent. Says it all really that Hitler took his own life rather than face the music, cowards and that’s the understatement of all of time. There’s many horrid things I could say and mean every one of them but shall not in such a place. During the documentary it also stated that SS officers only performed one job along the killing chain so that they did not feel like they had sent anyone to death and rather moved on them on during their job a point rather than anything to say about it.
A book that I’ll hold with me for as long as possible. I thank Otto Frank, and the others whom worked with him, to endure the grief, on an unimaginable scale, and to bring us the complete works of Anne’s diary so that those beyond the generation of 1939-1945 can understand the events of which unfolded in all its horror.
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