Frank, Anne. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Trans. B.M. Moovaart-Doubleday. 1952. New York: Bantam, 1993. Print.
In 1942, Holland, thirteen-year-old, Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family flee their home in fear of being relocated and eventually killed by the Nazis. Living in the “Secret Annexe” for the next two years, Anne writes in her diary about the hardships of living in hiding and the terror of being discovered, while also expressing the dreams, ideals, and love of any young girl.
“For in its innermost depths youth is lonelier than old age.” I read this saying in some book and I’ve always remembered it, and found it to be true…Older people have formed their opinions about everything…It’s twice as hard for us young ones to hold our ground, and maintain our opinion, in a time when all ideals are being shattered and destroyed, when people are showing their worst side, and do not know whether to believe in truth and right and God (p. 263).
Is Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl a well regarded and beloved work because of the time period it represents or for the girl herself? To make the argument for the latter, Anne Frank lived a life that was nightmarish and tragic. Nonetheless, her thoughts and reflection of her world are profound and astonishing. Who was this girl that lived two dreadful years in cloistered quarters, but saw humility and evil so clearly? Her articulation of the pain that comes from war and hate is so beyond her years. However, even with her wise perception, Anne was a normal girl who had the same needs of any girl her age. Tragically, she was never given the chance to live the life she so desired.
Hitler or the Nazis viewed Anne Frank and her people as a threat that needed to be destroyed. The action to dehumanize her failed because, as her own words touchingly express, she was very human and worthy for life. Timeless and probably the most moving account of despair, The Diary of a Young Girl should be required reading for all thirteen and fourteen year olds.