Keeping diaries and journals have always been considered as people’s typical form of documenting the significant events and experiences that go through their lives. Over the years, a lot of people have already been renowned due to the significant contributions of their diaries to different fields such as history, science and anthropology.
Journals, unlike periodicals, books and other published materials may reveal information that are only limited about their personal lives, but these nevertheless reflect significant information about the generation they belong, the government that ruled during their time, the current state of the society during their time, as well as how the people were during that particular generation. Considering this, it can be assumed that journals also hold a particular relevance in exploring history.
It may not reveal extensive details as what history books and publications may offer, but these nonetheless reveal a different kind of revelation about a certain generation with a specific relevance to history. In this light, this discussion shall explore on the personal journal of a one person who was became known in history due to her revealing and eye-opening revelation about her time during the Nazi’s invasion during the World War.
The succeeding discussions shall scrutinize and analyse the personal journal of Anne Frank, which has become very popular in 1947 due to the very revealing information it disclosed about the Nazi generation during the World War. Journal Evaluation and Analysis Anne Frank’s Journal was written during 1947. Her journal was basically like a compilation of diary entries written on colored sheets of paper. Anne Frank’s diary was entitled The Diary of a Young Girl.
From this title, a lot of ideals can already be presumed about the life of a young girl who went through the life amidst the war. This alone makes the journal very interesting as the imagination, thoughts and perspectives of a young girl could be the freshest as well as the most adventurous thoughts. A person can never measure and limit a young girl’s imagination and thinking. It’s vulnerability as well as its innocence make it so transparent and honest, that it tends to express in perfect accuracy everything that goes on around it.
One of the most interesting features in Anne Frank’s diary’s title is that it is bare and simple. It simply displaces itself as a mere diary of a young girl, and not like any kind of comprehensive and technical account on historical events by a history enthusiast. Basically, the diary was Anne’s way of retelling her generation. Every word that was written on each colored sheet presented a reality about the Nazy invasion in Amsterdam during the World War. This diary was done when Anne was hiding in a safe house with her family and friends in 1942.
As what can be expected from a town amidst the war, Anne’s environment has been very dim and uncertain. All the violence, the pain and misery of her time was put into the pages of Anne’s journal, and this was made available to the public and to the later generations after several years. Jan Romein, a historical literature critique and a historical journals enthusiast was able to take a look at the original sheets of Anne’s diary and this is what he had to say about it:
“this apparently inconsequential diary by a child, this ‘de profundis’ stamered out in a child’s voice, embodies all the hideousness of fascism, more so than all the evidence at Nuremberg put together” (Jan Romein, qtd. in Cole 25) This was basically how the critics tyoically saw Anne Frank’s diary. Apparently it appeared as an honest revelation of pain and grief from a young girl who has been trapped in a fascist war.
In looking back at the historical context of the story, it can be recalled that this diary was completed within a small, hidden annex from where Anne found her own safetly from all the turbulence of the war. However, before this point of her life at war, it is important to note that some of the most significant factors in her urge to write a diary are the deaths of some of her closest friends and relatives who were left unsafe in the roads of Amsterdam that also served as battlefields.
It was very stirring to feel from her words the pain of losing loved ones and seeing them be taken away by the dark smoke of revolution and the injustice of relentless violence. The book has not been available to the public right after the war or even right after Anne’s death. It was first kept by her father, Otto Frank who was placed into a moment of tears when he read about all the things her daughter had to say about their unforgettable experiences during the war.
It was also through Otto Frank’s review of his daughter’s diary that Anne’s objective in writing it was realized. Basically, Anne was a passionate writer. She was always into scribbling on her note pads and writing poems and short stories. When the war came and they had to be hidden in a secret annex, all the sources of Anne’s fun as a teen ager was taken away as well. And instead, it was suddenly replaced by huge blows of fear, uncertainty and misery. As a child who carries a soft and vulnerable heart, Anne prefered to be strong for her family and for herself.
And since she was never really able to speak out about her fears and uncertainties, Anne was pushed by her ownself into writing journal enties so as to reveal her heart’s thoughts and revelations. Basically, the author’s objectives were very clear as the presentation of it has been very honest and innocent knowing it all came from a young girl’s perspective. But aside from this interesting fact, it is significant to note also that Anne Frank was able to develop herself as a good poet and a very creative short story writer because of this venture. Research and Comparison
Anne Frank’s diary was never a kind of its own. As what has been mentioned earlier, there have been a lot of individuals who have already been renowned all over the world due to the significant contributions their personal journals gave for the study of history and anthropology. Just like Anne Frank, Samuel Pepys is another individual who has became known due to the contributions his personal journal to the study of history, especially during the holocaust era. Juts like Anne’s diary, Samuel’s revelation about his generation during the war has been very revealing and enlightening.
Samuel’s diary were filled with the typical day-to-day diary entries of a married man, who us being trapped in a political chaos during the halocaust era. This made his entried rather politically inclined instead of being mere presentations of what went on throughout his day. Samuel Pepy’s work has been known in Great Britain due to the revelations it was able to displace about the political state of the the country during his generation. And Just like Anne’s diary, Samuel’s journal was also seen as a “recorder of political events” during his generation (Gyford).
Furthermore, his work, just like Anne’s journal has helped researchers and the students of history in their scruitiny and quest for understanding about the life during the holocaust era. The different reviews on Anne Frank’s diary basically directed on a single realization, that iss, Anne’s revelations really helped a lot in understanding history since it came from a more real experience. However, over the years, a lot of uncertainties about the authenticity of Anne’s diary floated.
The New York Times explains why this uncertainty can be considered quite predictable: “One of the main reasons why we used scientific evidence to unravel all the facts about the diary was to expose the falsehood of neo-Nazi and rightist groups in Europe and the United States” (Barnouw, qtd. in Mitgang) And although a lot of people during the past decades have fallen in doubt on the genuinity of Anne’s diary, these uncertainties were nevertheless proven false as Anne’s diary was finally proven authentic on 1989 (Mitgang).
Final Reflections Typically, a person will easily feel as if he or she is violating someone’s privacy upon reading someone else’s diary. Being able to read Anne Frank’s diary did not feel anything like that. It was like Anne Frank was destined to write her diary entries for the future generations. Her diary provided the modern students of history a more realistic reference material about what the times during the world war and the holocaust era was like based from the juvenile and innocent perspective of a young girl.
Considering that Anne was still young when her diary was created, most of his journal entries were really captivating and emotionally stirring as the reality of pain, fear and misery during the war came straight from the vulnerable and seemingly helpless thoughts of a young girl who has been trapped in the chaos she never wanted to be in. This can also be considered as one of the most significant factors that made this journal very interesting.
A young girl’s revelation about life and about the state of the world can be the most interesting in the sense that the innocence and honesty is still preserved. Furthermore, Anne’s experiences and revelations also bring people to a realization that indeed, some of the most important things at war are faith, hope and personal strength. Indeed, aside from historical facts about the state of Amsterdam during the war, Anne Frank’s diary became a source of inspiration and values about how to preserve faith and hope despite the turbulence and atrocity of war.
Wotks Cited Cole, Tim. Selling the Holocaust: From Auschwitz to Schindler. Routledge, 2000 Frank, Anne. Het Achterhuis (The Diary of Anne Frank). Contact Publishing,1952 Gyford, Phil. “Legends of British History: Samuel Pepys”. Website. PepysDiary. com. 12 May 2010. <http://www. pepysdiary. com/indepth/archive/2008/12/12/legends_of_british. php>. Mitgang, Herbert. “An Authenticated Edition of Anne Frank’s Diary”. The New York Times. Website. 08 June 1989. 12 May 2010. <http://www. nytimes. com/1989/06/08/books/an-authenticated-edition-of-anne-frank-s-diary. html>.
Courtney from Study Moose