Saturday, November 27, 2021

All About Anne

After finishing The Diary of a Young Girl, I was chatting with a friend and they mentioned flipping through a children's book on Anne Frank that had pictures and more information on the people in her life.  So I went looking at the library and found All About Anne by the Anne Frank House.  It gives a great historical overview of all the events surrounding Anne Frank's life.  I really liked how it even goes into detail on what happened after the diary ends, and how her father dedicated his life to getting her story out there.  I also really liked seeing all the pictures (although I was disappointed that there weren't photos of the other inhabitants of the Secret Annex, just Anne's family). It was a little weird though that this book had different names for everyone from what Anne called them in her diary (for example, the family who lived in the Secret Annex with the Franks were the van Pels according to All About Anne, but Anne named them the Van Daans in The Diary of a Young Girl, though Peter was still Peter in both books).  This mostly wasn't a problem, but I'm now not 100% sure which girl was Lies in The Diary of a Young Girl. 

But all in all, I found this a fantastic supplement to The Diary of a Young Girl, and am very glad to have read it! 

Friday, November 26, 2021

The Diary of a Young Girl

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.