Anne Frank’s diary is regarded as one of the most important books about WW2 and of the most important world classics too. February/March is also said to be Anne Frank’s death anniversary (her exact date of death is unknown) and I thought I would commemorate it by reading the book. It’s been on my TBR list for as long as I remember; I’ve never had a chance to read it when I was younger (and I actually don’t know why!), so the day finally came and I finished it not so long ago. Do you want to know what I thought of it?
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God.Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
The diary is an account of a Dutch girl Anne Frank who was in hiding with her family during German occupation of the Netherlands. In her diary entries, she describes her typical days in hiding, struggles with the relationships while in hiding, her thoughts and feelings about the world, and her aspirations for the future.
The only thing I knew about Anne Frank and her family prior to reading the book was the fact that they were Jewish and were in hiding during the occupation. I know, that’s not a lot, but as I said before, I never had the chance to read and even though I’m quite interested in World War II literature, Anne Frank’s diary was always a mystery to me. I had therefore some expectations in terms of the book, and I am happy to say The Diary met them!
First of all, I can’t believe how incredibly personal her diary is. Obviously, it’s a diary, so why wouldn’t it be? But at the same time, I felt amazed at how much time, effort and thought Anne put into describing the details of her life, and how open she was when talking about different topics. I’ve found out that there are actually a few versions of the book, altered throughout the years so they would meet publishing requirements, which only shows how unconventional Anne was with her ideas. It is simply impossible not to sympathize with her and her outlook on life, and I think as for a 13-year old (and then 14-year old) girl, she showed such great maturity and intelligence that I was just left in total awe.
It is also one of those stories that might seem shallow and trivial at the first glance (it’s only a diary of a teenage girl, right?), but when we get deeper into it, we realise what an important part of history it actually is. We never learn at school what life for people in hiding looked like, even though people in hiding during WW2 were a big part of history. I think that sometimes such stories are even much more needed than many of those political, war-driven stories, simply because they make us more connected to the actual real people. That’s why I liked how personal Anne’s story is, because she honestly doesn’t omit a single part of family’s life and we can truly have an insight into this everyday, “boring” day of a family in hiding.
Also, the language. I am still impressed that Anne Frank was only 13 year old when she started writing the diary, and I also know that it’s a work in translation for many people, but still. It’s beautifully written, with so many powerful ideas that Anne inadvertently conveys, and her style of writing is so eloquent and inspiring. Again, it’s amazing how she made her life in the Annex an inspirational story about life and survival.
In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
The Diary of a Young Girl is one of those books that really make you think. It was a great read that I really enjoyed. I still can’t believe how I haven’t read it before. I kind of wish I had read this book in my teenage years because it would make me understand Anne a littile bit more, but nevertheless, I am still glad I finally got it in my hands!