This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. And we believe there’s no better way to commemorate it than to read The Diary of a Young Girl. This is Anne Frank’s remarkable diary that has become a world classic.
Anne attended the Montessori school in Amsterdam when the Nazis suddenly occupied Holland in May 1940. They began to institute anti-Jewish regulations which forced Anne to leave her school and to attend a Jewish secondary school. Jews were forced to wear the yellow Jewish star of David, and deportation of Jews from Holland to the Auschwitz extermination camp commenced.
Margot, Anne’s sister, received an order to report for deportation in early July 1942. Their father Otto Frank, who had prepared for this eventuality by setting up a hiding place for his family, decided that the time had come. He moved his family into the hidden rear portion of the warehouse where he had prepared two apartments. He was joined there by Mr. van Daan, a co-worker, with his wife and 16-year-old son Peter. Eventually, an eighth person joined them, an elderly Jewish dentist named Dussel. The friends of the hidden Jews who worked in the office of the firm, Mr. Koophuis, Victor Kraler, Miep (de Jong) van Santen, Henk van Santen, and Elli Vossen, supplied them with food, black market ration cards, and other necessities.
For the next two years, until their location was betrayed to the Gestapo, they all lived cloistered in that office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelty of life in a confined space, and the constant threat of discovery and death.
In her diary, Anne Frank recorded her experiences during this period. This touching and surprisingly humorous account offers an exciting commentary on human courage and fragility and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and energetic young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.