from my bookshelf: the diary of a young girl by anne frank


anne frank’s diary was found in the attic where the 13-year-old lived during the last years of her life. anne was a jewish girl who fled her amsterdam home to go into hiding from the nazis in 1942. for two years, the franks and another family lived in tight quarters in an old office building, taking refuge in “the secret annex”. anne writes about everyday experiences for a young woman (a crush on boy, fights with her sister, margot, and frustrations with her overbearing parents), and the tragic reality of the holocaust closing in on her and her family. anne’s life ended abruptly after her family was discovered by the gestapo; the diary keeps the intelligent, warm, and gentle spirit of anne frank alive. to me, the diary of anne frank is the quintessential example of the limitless power of writing.


“But as you can see, Kitty, I’m still alive, and that’s the main thing, Father says. I’m alive all right, but don’t ask where or how.”

“I don’t fit in with them, and I’ve felt that clearly in the last few weeks. They’re so sentimental together, but I’d rather be sentimental on my own. They’re always saying how nice it is with the four of us, and that we get along so well, without giving a moment’s thought to the fact that I don’t feel that way.”

“These are things that can be overcome, but I sometimes wonder: how can we, whose every possession, from my underpants to Father’s shaving brush, is so old and worn, ever hope to regain the position we had before the war?”

“The war is going on despite our quarrels and our longing for freedom and fresh air, so we should try to make the best of our stay here.”

“When I think back to my life in 1942, it all seems so unreal. The Anne Frank who enjoyed that heavenly existence was completely different from the one who has grown wise within these walls.”

“You never realize how much you’ve changed until after it’s happened. I’ve changed quite drastically, everything about me is different: my opinions, ideas, critical outlook.”

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