The Diary Of A Young Girl

By: Parker Smith

Summary

In the beginning part of her diary, we meet Anne before her ordeal. The picture we get is of a typical thirteen-year-old: precocious in some ways (her analysis of her friendships is startlingly adult), childish in others (her giggly behavior about boys). If she had been allowed to continue living outside and going to school, interacting with others, or if the war had not targeted Jews, she would have continued to be a charming, if faceless young girl. But as we will see, the change of location will change Anne. It is important to keep this picture of her in mind for comparative reasons with the later segments of the diary.

But even at the very beginning, Anne is a compelling narrator for the way she provides a lens on Jewish life in Hitler-occupied Amsterdam. In many ways she shows how the average human being responds to repression on a day-to-day basis. Her reactions to Hitler's anti-Jewish pogroms, for example, are enlightening. She does not exactly accept the repression as Hitler might have liked--Anne certainly does not believe that Jews are inferior because of the restrictions they are forced to endure--but nor does she dwell on the reasons behind why Hitler might despise Jews so much. Instead, she is matter-of-fact. Her family had to leave Germany "as we were Jewish," not because Hitler believed Jews were a subhuman race, and was explained his theory by suspect historical lessons and pseudo-science.

Her father is home quite a lot, "as there is nothing for him to do at business." The truth of the matter is that Jews were not allowed to participate in the type of business in which Mr. Frank was previously employed, but Anne chooses to leave that fact out. Her omissions, and her brisk manner about the ways Jews are treated in Amsterdam, takes the air out of Hitler's theories. She simply refuses to acknowledge the reasons behind this treatment, and in this way she is able to live a semblance of a normal life. She does this by concentrating on her friends, her school life, and her family. In many ways, Anne's reaction to the hardships of war are a great reflection of the way women and children--the traditional sufferers in war--have responded throughout the centuries.

About the Author

Born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany, Anne Frank lived in Amsterdam with her family during World War II. Fleeing Nazi persecution of Jews, the family went into hiding for two years; during this time, Frank wrote about her experiences and wishes. She was 15 when the family was found and sent to the camps, where she died. Her work, The Diary of Anne Frank, has gone on to be read by millions.

Holocaust victim and famous diarist Anne Frank was born Annelies Marie Frank on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany. Her mother was Edith Frank, and her father, Otto Frank, was a lieutenant in the German army during World War I, later becoming a businessman in Germany and the Netherlands. Frank also had a sister named Margot. The Franks moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the fall of 1933. Anne Frank described the circumstances of her family's emigration years later in her diary: "Because we're Jewish, my father immigrated to Holland in 1933, where he became the managing director of the Dutch Opekta Company, which manufactures products used in making jam." After years of enduring anti-Semitism in Germany, the Franks were relieved to once again enjoy freedom in their new hometown of Amsterdam.

Quotes

"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands."

I really like this quote because it's saying that we can be giving information but we are the ones who have to go out and perform it yourself.


“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

She is saying that even though they are in a horrible position that they should see the good in everything and that they shouldn't be sad.

Authors Purpose

I think the purpose of this memoir was to inform the reader of what she went through and how she dealt with all of it. Also it is to teach us that you can bring the good out of any situation even though it doesn't look good in you hands.

Theme

When Anne does comment on her Jewish heritage, it is to lambast the anti-Semitism and hatred that has forced her family to go into hiding. Although Anne does not express a full view of the historical anti-Semitism that combined with contemporary unemployment to make the Jews a pariah in Europe, that history is always lurking at the back of this book. It is important to remember that the main reason why Anne's diary is considered so important is because it stands as a testament against the hatred and anti-Semitism that caused her death.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to anyone because it has great lessons and everyone should know her story and what happened to her family.

Personal Reaction

I was shocked and surprised in many ways throughout this book. It was amazing how intelligent and open minded she was a such a young age. I was inspired by how she handled all that was happening to her and the courage she had to go through it all. Also she was brave and stood up for what she believed in.