For Remembrance Day this year, I decided to read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. My brother and parents read it years ago, bur I was resistant because I thought it would be super depressing. So I wasn't at all prepared for what I found when I started reading: Anne was a superb writer! She was quite funny, and had a real talent for describing what went on around her in the "Secret Annex" where her family and four other people (another family and an elderly doctor) hid for two years before they were discovered by the Gestapo right at the end of the war (the afterword says the Franks were on the very last train in Holland to Auschwitz).
Anne doesn't just describe the people and life in the Secret Annex; she also spends a lot of time examining her own character, and striving to become a better person. For a young girl (she was 13 when her family went into hiding), she has a remarkably deep understanding of herself and her faults. She admits her failings to Kitty (that's the name she gave her diary), and works hard to right the wrongs she causes. Over the course of the two years, she grows into an independent woman who knows what she wants in life.
As I was reading The Diary of a Young Girl, I was repeatedly struck by the sadness of knowing that the Nazis robbed us of a remarkable writer. Who knows what else she would have written had she lived?
All in all, I really enjoyed The Diary of a Young Girl, and am very glad I chose to read it this Remembrance Day.