I’ve just finished reading The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank. Anne Frank’s diary was begun on June 14th, 1942 and her last entry was on August 1st, 1944. Her diary was mostly about the Holocaust, when her family went into hiding. Anne’s family included herself, her sister (Margot Frank), her mother (Edith Frank), and her father (Otto Frank). This story was set in Prinsengracht, Amsterdam. I chose to read this book because stories that relate to war, really interest me.
It all started on Anne’s thirteenth birth, when she received a diary from her parents. She was really excited because she wanted someone or something, she could tell her thoughts to. Even though Anne had a rich social life, she felt as if people didn’t know the real her. She began writing about daily events, school, boys, etc. Within a month, her entire life changed.
More and more Jewish people were getting captured and receiving call ups. Call ups mean to surrender now and go to concentration camp. The family decided to go into hiding. They moved into a little section of Anne’s father’s office building that was walled off and hidden behind a singing bookcase. It was called “the Secret Annex”.
For two years, the Frank family lived in “the Secret Annex”. Mr. and Mrs. van Daan and their son Peter (a little older than Anne) were also hiding with them. Later, Mr. Dussel, an elderly dentist, moved in and Anne had to share a room with him. Anne’s whole life now revolved around getting used to hearing gunshots and bombs. She started drifting away from her family because she spent more time studying and ready instead of spending time with them.
Anne started to change as she began to spend time with Peter van Daan. Around that time, she started having dreams about a bout she was in love with, another Peter, Peter Schiff. She always came to see Peter (of the Annex) more than she used to. Before, Anne thought he was an obnoxious, hypersensitive and a lazy guy, but he turned out to be sensitive and caring. Eventually their relationship changed, and they became more than friends.
Another big change for Anne happened, when the war was beginning to end. She heard on the radio that “personal accounts such as her diary will be in demand after the war ends”. She than started editing her diary with excitement! Unfortunately that didn’t last long. Anne started becoming more sensitive to the world around her. She felt completely alone. She felt constantly criticized and there was no escape. At one point, Anne thought it might’ve been better if she and her family had all died instead of hiding in the Annex. Things got a lot harder on Anne. The secret Annex was raided.
On the morning of August 4th, 1994, they arrested all of the people in hiding. They were first brought to a prison in Amsterdam and then transferred to Westerbork, the transit camp for Jewish people in north of Holland. They were deported on September 3rd, 1944, in the last transport to leave Westerbork, and they arrived three days later in Auschwitz (Poland).
Mr. van Daan (Hermann van Pels) was gassed to death in Auschwitz in October or November 1944. Mrs. van Daan (Auguste van Pels) died at and unknown concentration camp. Peter van Daan (Peter van Pels) was forced to take part in the “death march” from Auschwitz to Mauthausen (Austria), where he died on May 5th, 1945, right before the camp started. Albert Dussel (Fritz Pfeffer) died on December 20th, 1944, in the Neuengamme concentration camp. Edith Frank died in Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 6th, 1945, from hunger and exhaustion. Margot and Anne Frank had gotten typhus, caused by one of two types of bacteria: Rickettsia typhi or Rickettsia prowazekii, and their bodies were dumped in the Bergen-Belsen’s (concentration camp) mass graves. The only sole survivor was Otto Frank. He was the one who published Anne’s diary. The thing is, to this day, no one knows who exposed them.
Every time I read this book, it gets better every single time. It also leaves me crying about ten minutes. It also makes me realize how lucky and blessed I am. Anne was such a brave girl, I could never imagine being in her position. I give this book ten out of then, it was one the best books I’ve ever read. I definitely recommend everyone to read The Diary of a Young Girl.