THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL (English)
The Diary of a Young Girl is the autobiography of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl.
This book is a story of courage and resilience, as young Anne Frank and her family hide from the Nazis.
Read about how the Holocaust unfolds; forcing the Jews to live a life of misery.
Follow Anne’s life before the war, as she writes daily entries in her diary discussing: her school, her friends, and her family. Her diary shows you the transformation of a young teenager who is forced to live with the consequences of war. Discover how she survived in hiding with another family for two years.
Anne`s entries mingle stories of her daily routine with the horrors of the war and the constant fear of being caught.
This book is a deep-rooted insight into the life of an ordinary Jew living under Hitler’s brutal rule.
June 14, 1942 – July 5, 1942
The book begins with Anne Frank mentioning how she received her diary (which she calls Kitty) as a gift. She tells the readers about the presents she received on her birthday including: a bouquet of roses, a blue blouse, and a potted plant. She describes in detail her school friends, as well as who she is fond of at school.
Anne finds a friend in her diary, and through writing is able to express her honest feelings. She believes that paper has more patience to listen than people.
She goes on to give a brief outline of her life. Anne states that she is a 12-year old Jewish girl with a sister named Margot; they live with their parents in Frankfurt, Germany.
Anne also mentioned her teacher, Mr. Keesing; an old man who taught math. Mr. Keesing wasn’t fond of Anne’s habit of talking in class. After repeated warnings, Mr. Keesing assigned Anne extra homework which was to write an essay entitled “A Chatterbox.” This is an expression which refers to a very talkative person.
Anne wrote in her essay that talking is a female trait that she couldn’t get rid of, and that she inherited this trait from her mother; who talked as much as Anne did.
Mr. Keesing then gave her another essay assignment on the subject “An Incorrigible Chatterbox”. The word incorrigible means a person who is impossible to change. Anne submitted it.
When Mr. Keesing finally had had enough, he assigned Anne the essay entitled, “‘Quack, Quack, Quack’, said Mistress Chatterback.”. For this essay, Anne wrote a poem with the help of a friend. It was about a mother duck and a father swan that had three baby ducklings. The father swan bit his baby ducklings to death because they quacked too much. Mr. Keesing understood what Anne meant and he never again gave her extra homework. The teacher realised that Anne had an inherited trait of talking and that she couldn’t change her habits.
Through this talkative twelve year old girl, we learn about the events of the Holocaust. Anne mentioned how in the 1940s, Jewish people had to begin wearing a yellow Star of David badge so they could be identified easily as Jews.
At this time Jews were also forbidden from using cars. They also had to surrender their bicycles. They were only allowed to shop between three and five PM, and they were forbidden to be outside after eight PM. Jews could not go: to the theatre, use tennis courts, or swimming pools. Jewish children were only allowed to attend a Jewish school.
Sunday, July 5, 1942 – October 9, 1942
Anne wrote in her diary that her father was talking about going into hiding and how difficult it would be to be cut off from the world. He told Anne that he didn’t want their belongings to be taken away by the Nazis.
A few days later, Margot (Anne’s sister) told her that their father had received a call from the SS (the German Police). Anne immediately thought of the concentration camps; she was frightened.
Later, Margot told her sister that the call was not for their father, but for Margot.
This scared Anne even more. Their mother told them that Margot would not have to go to a concentration camp and that their whole family would go into hiding. They packed their belongings and left their house that evening. They intended to go into hiding at Anne’s father’s office. Anne wrote in her diary that she dislikes not being able to go out.
She mentions her growing distance from her mother and sister. Anne felt that she’s treated differently than her sister. She wrote about how her sister broke the vacuum cleaner, but she wasn’t scolded. One day, Anne had to re-write the shopping list that her mother had written. She complained that she couldn’t understand her mother’s handwriting. Because of that, Anne was scolded. She wrote in her diary that she felt that only her father understood her.
A month later, the Van Daans family arrived. The Van Daans were another Jewish family that were going to hide in her father’s office. Because the Nazis were searching for Jews everywhere, a bookcase was built to conceal the hiding place. It looked like just another bookcase in the office, but it was actually a secret door.
Anne mentioned that many of her Jewish friends were being taken away by the Nazis to concentration camps. She wrote that the Jews there received limited food and water, and how there was only one toilet for thousands of people.
Anne wrote that she thought Hitler took their nationality away. The Jews lived all their lives as Germans, and suddenly Hitler declared that anyone of Jewish descent were no longer Germans.
There are two very different themes in The Diary of A Young Girl. We witness a teenager growing up and talking about her teenage-life; discussing her relationship with her friends and family. At the same time, we witness the effects of the war on her life and her reactions to them.
Thursday, October 29, 1942 – Sunday, May 2, 1943
Anne wrote in her diary that her father had fallen sick, and that they couldn’t visit a doctor for treatment.
She then wrote that they’re planning to take another person with them into hiding: a dentist named Mr. Alfred Dussel. Anne wrote that Mr. Dussel was a nice man who asked all sort of questions on his first day. He was informed not to make much noise, especially when the cleaning lady comes.
There were a total of eight individuals in the hiding place; which Anne called the Secret Annex. There was: Anne, her parents, and her sister; Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan with their only child Peter; and Mr. Dussel. They all lived in the Secret Annex for the next two years.
Anne wrote that she felt fortunate that she wasn’t being sent to a camp or being beaten without mercy like most Jews were. Anne reported about always being anxious about someone knocking at the door.
She described their breakfasts as terrible; consisting of plain, unbuttered bread. They had the same lunch for weeks; and she wrote that if anyone wanted to be on a diet, the Secret Annex would be the best place to do it.
Miep, the kind lady who helped them hide, brought shopping bags with gifts on Mr. Dussel’s birthday. The gifts were from his wife. Anne developed a sense of discomfort around Mr. Dussel because of his “know-it-all” attitude. She wrote that Mr. Dussel hid food from their housemates.
In conjunction with these problems, Anne also mentions not having the luxury to even shampoo their hair. She wrote that they use a liquid cleanser instead of a shampoo and that the family comb had barely ten teeth left.
Besides all this, Anne frequently wrote about how fortunate she was; in comparison to the Jews in concentration camps.
Sunday, July 11, 1943- Tuesday, February 8, 1944
Anne wrote that she has become nearsighted and she needed glasses. Anne’s mother suggested visiting an ophthalmologist with a friend. Anne felt terrified at the thought of going out. But later on she was happy that she could finally go out and walk on the street.
Anne wrote that Miep, the kind Dutch lady, brought them books every Saturday; which Anne and her sister looked forward to. She explained that ordinary people would not understand how much books can mean to someone.
Anne described how hearing sirens would make them panic. Sirens meant that there would be an attack: air-raids, gun fires, and sirens are frequent.
Despite being a teenager, Anne kept up to date on the news. She explained that Italy banned the Fascist Party. She described how things were changing on the political front. In the coming entries, Anne mentioned Italy’s defeat.
She further described how her family were selling all their belongings as they ran out of money. Anne outlined that the Van Daan’s were especially broke as they were unable to find buyers for their coats and bicycles.
Anne expressed feeling like a bird with broken wings, trapped in a cage. She wrote in her diary that she felt depressed.
Anne describes re-reading her diary entries. She realised how naive she had been the year before. Anne read the part where she was angry with her mother. She understood now that her mother had had valid reasons to be upset with her.
Monday, February 14, 1944- Wednesday, March 29, 1944
Anne confided about developing a crush on Peter, the Van Dann’s only child. Peter was a quiet 15-year-old boy. They became close friends.
Anne described her difficult relationship with Mr. Dussel. She thought Mr. Dussel to be an egoistic, selfish man. She was unable to avoid arguing with him.
Anne recalled her life before the war. She missed: her friends, her teachers, and her school.
Anne also wrote about her curiosity about sex and her thoughts about adults acting strange around children when it came to the topic. She wrote that her parents sent them to another room when the subject arose.
She further described how she discovered menstruation at the age of eleven. She wrote that it was her friend Jacqueline who confirmed her speculations about sex. We can see Anne maturing year by year as we read her diary entries.
Anne’s feelings for Peter became more intense. She explored a new relationship with the boy and engaged in intimate conversations with him. Anne’s mother suspected them of having an affair and forbid her from going upstairs to Peter’s room.
The Cabinet Minister made an announcement on the radio that all diaries and letters which mentioned the war would be confiscated. Anne decided to write more about the political front and how the war had affected her family.
She wrote that burglaries and thefts were common. People were afraid to leave their houses because of frequent robberies. Public phones were also stripped down.
Friday, March 31, 1944 – Tuesday, April 11, 1944
Anne wrote that it was cold, and they had been surviving without coal for over a month. She explained that the Russians had reached the Polish border and Germany had occupied Hungary, where over a million Jews were living.
There was a severe bread shortage; potatoes are eaten at every meal. They have “food cycles” where there’s only one particular type of dish or vegetable every day. But Anne was still grateful that they had food, and she was not complaining.
Anne wrote that the end of the war still seemed far away, and she was debating why she had to continue her schoolwork throughout.
Anne states that she wanted to become a journalist. She believed that she was a good writer. Her diary and short stories are well written.
Anne wrote that she didn’t want to become like her mother, or other women, whose works are forgotten. Anne believed she had a gift of writing that she could use to bring joy to others. Anne wanted to be remembered through her writing; even after her death.
Anne wrote that besides writing, her hobbies included genealogical charts. She looked for family trees in newspapers and documents. She studied the family trees of the French, German, English, and Dutch people. Anne wrote that she also enjoyed history, Greek and Roman mythology.
Tuesday, April 11, 1944 – Friday, April 14, 1944
Anne wrote that one day, Peter asked Anne’s father to come downstairs and help him with an English sentence. Anne thought that it was suspicious. She told Margot she suspected there was a break-in. It was true; the warehouse had been robbed.
The men went downstairs to check on things; the women stayed upstairs and waited. The women heard a loud bang; after which everything became quiet. The men came back at ten PM. They asked the women to turn the lights off, as they were expecting the German Police to arrive. The broken panel where the burglars had entered had been replaced; but there was a good probability that the Police were informed. Anne and the others had to stay very silent to avoid capture.
Anne had visions of being captured. No one could sleep as they feared being taken away by the Nazis. They debated how to hide the radio. Anne’s father suggested that her diary should also be hidden. He called his employee Mr. Kleiman to fix the gaps on the bookcase.
This was a very terrifying experience for: the Franks, the Van Daans and M.r Dussel. Afterward, everyone was extra careful about their activities.
Anne wrote about waiting for the Police to come. She was prepared to die like a soldier on the battlefield. She stated she would gladly have given up her life for the country.
After the war, she wanted to work in Holland and become a Dutch citizen. She described wanting to become a citizen who lived for the welfare of other people.
Friday, April 28, 1944- Tuesday, August 1, 1944
Anne developed a romantic relationship with Peter. She described Peter throwing his arms around her; and kissing. Anne asked Peter if they should tell her father about their relationship. Peter told Anne that she should be the one to confess. Anne went to her father and told him about Peter. Anne’s father was an understanding man. He advised her to keep a certain distance, but he didn’t forbid Anne from seeing Peter.
Anne believed that the war was not only the work of politicians. She believed that the common man was equally responsible for supporting those in power.
Anne dreamt of writing a book called The Secret Annex using her diary as an outline. It referred to their hiding place behind the bookcase of her father’s office.
Anne wrote about anti-Jewish organisations and the hatred that people had towards Jews. Anne stated that one of their neighbors had been arrested for hiding two Jews in his house. Tensions were rising. The Jews in hiding were very anxious about being discovered.
Anne wrote about the British attacking Germany. The adults thought they would be liberated before October 10 and Anne was hopeful that the nightmare was over. They heard that a young German general attempted to assassinate Hitler. Anne felt relieved that there were Germans who realized the fascism and hatred of Hitler.
Anne’s last diary entry was dated August 1, 1944. Their hiding place was found, and they were taken to the Westerbork concentration camp. They were later deported to Auschwitz. As a result of unhygienic conditions, a typhus epidemic broke out in the concentration camp. That is how Anne died. She was 15 years old. Her sister Margot also died from typhus fever. Both their bodies were buried in a mass grave. Peter was forced to take part in a march to his death. He was 18 years old.
Anne; her mother and sister; the Van Daans; and Mr. Dussel all died during the Holocaust. Only Otto Frank, Anne’s father, survived. He devoted the rest of his life to having Anne’s diary published.
This book provides a deep understanding of the Holocaust and the Second World War. It shows the horrors of the Nazi rule through the eyes of an ordinary Jewish girl who struggled to survive.
With Anne, you felt what it was like to hide for two years in a Secret Annex. You learned how it felt to live with the constant fear of being captured and killed.
Through this diary we are shown that even if you are young, you can make a significant contribution to history.
Anne’s diary is a detailed and beautiful piece of writing that is still read by people decades after her death. Her dream of being remembered for her work has been fulfilled.
Anne Frank continues to be an inspiration and a symbol of courage and resilience to this day.