Saturday, April 9, 2011

Anne Frank, the Diary of a Young Girl

By now, almost everyone knows the story of Anne Frank, the girl who gave the world a perfect view, through her diary, how's life under the horror of Nazi’s rule.

This book allows us to go back to the gripping period of the notoriety of Hitler and his evil plan to wipe all the Jews in Europe during World War II.

For people who did not know Anne Frank, here’s a little background of her life:

"She was a Jewish girl born at Frankfurt, Germany. She had an older sister, Margot, her father was a rich businessman but in the mid thirties, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, all was not well in the country’s surroundings, he slowly implemented his anti-Jewish decree. Anne’s father did not wait for further warnings, he quickly brought his family out of Germany and settled in The Netherlands. But the country was invaded in 1940 and Hitler’s decree was fully implemented, soon deportation of Jewish had begun. Elsewhere in the continent, thousands of Jewish had brought to different extermination camps and gassed in multitude.

Otto Frank and his family decided to go into hiding, he was helped by his Dutch loyal friends and business associates and had chosen the back of the warehouse of their business office as a hiding place which later called “the annexe”. They were eight in the hiding place, Otto Frank, his wife, his two daughters (Anne and Margot), one dentist, Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan and their son. It was in this place where Anne started writing her diary. For more than a year, this group remained in the building, their Dutch friends would bring foods and other personal necessities to keep them secure and comfortable. But in August 1944, they were betrayed to Gestapo (Nazi’s secret police) by one informer and were immediately brought to the camp. On the following morning of their arrest, the group was among the last batch of Jews to be carried by a windowless train to Germany, men and women were separated on the flank. Otto Frank and the Vaan Dans (except Mrs. Vaan Dan) where brought to Poland.

According to the account of one witness who survived the holocaust, Mrs. Frank died five months later but none of her children knew of her death as they were transferred to another extermination camp in Belsen, Germany. Margot died in January 1945 but Anne was not informed of her death she just sensed it on the last week of February when she did not see her sister anymore, by this time she was very ill, few weeks later, she died, exactly two months before the Allied forces liberated Germany. Mr. Van Daan and the Dentist were gassed but Otto Frank survived to be liberated by the advancing troops of the Allies in Poland. Mr. Frank returned to The Netherlands after the war, there, his Dutch friends presented the diary of Anne which they discovered at the warehouse after the Gestapo abandoned the place".

Anne’s diary ended on the night before they were betrayed to the Gestapo, his father intended it to be kept as a memorial for his family, but one college professor urged him to publish it as a stirring account of the suffering of the Jews during the war.

What I love about this book is how Anne described her environment in such a fascinating way despite the sad circumstances, she said we must always look on the brighter side of life, that we are lucky having seen the sunlight each morning, she also said that "despite of everything I still believe people are good at heart". While hiding, she narrated each day how they struggled and endured the terrible condition in the warehouse's attic where they lived like animals.

This book reflects the excitement of Anne for a wonderful life after the war and her hope to see the world in peace again. Though it did not happen, Anne was successful in relaying her voice to every corner of the world through this diary. With an introduction from former US first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, Anne Frank, the diary of a young girl, is one of the most emotional accounts of World War II I ever read.

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