The Diary of a Young Girl – Remembering Anne Frank
“One voice speaks for six million‚ voice not of a sage or a poet but of an ordinary little girl.” This was what Ilya Ehrenburg, one of the most prolific WWII writers from the Soviet Union had to say about Anne Frank’s diary. The holocaust claimed the lives of approximately six million people among whom Anne Frank was one.
One can’t imagine a better time to commemorate this “symbol of holocaust”, who through her writings showcased the horrors, suffering and misery that the victims, which included children too, had to go through at concentration camps where humans were gassed and were left to die from infections.
Anne Frank: Ironically, Anne Frank died from typhus epidemic sometime in early March, close to or on the date when the whole world salutes to Woman Power. Anne along with her sister Margot and mother Edith were moved to a concentration camp in Auschwitz from their hiding place (an attic) in Amsterdam. Anne was made to do hard labor at this camp as she was considered to be a traitor by the Germans for going into hiding.
Anne lost both her mother and sister before she succumbed to the epidemic, only a few weeks before the British troops liberated the prisoners of the camp. The only remaining member of the Frank family was the father, Otto who learn of Anne’s diary after returning to Amsterdam and published it after a hard toil.
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Frank family were proper Jewish Germans who shifted to Netherlands after the Nazi party came to power. The much coveted diary that Anne Frank wrote in was a birthday gift to her from her father. Anne who was rather outspoken and expressive about her thoughts used this diary to pen her personal life experiences which later became a journal of the Nazi occupation of Netherlands.
After the Nazis invaded and occupied Netherlands, the bias against Jews was immediate, to escape which, the Frank family went into hiding for two years before they were arrested. It was during these two years that Anne decided to become a writer for which purpose she also began rewriting and editing her diary.
Her entries into the diary went unnoticed until after her imprisonment before the family who were hiding the Franks found it after the Germans ransacked the attic the Frank family was hiding in.
Posthumous Reception: Anne Frank’s diary was an instant hit in Europe and the US, not only for its writing prowess but also for its immaculate depiction of the war through the words of a growing child. Even the great Nelson Mandela mentioned that this diary was a form of encouragement to him during his imprisonment.
Many politicians including John F. Kennedy, Hillary Clinton et. and writers like Primo Levi, Ilya Ehrenburg et. have claimed Anne Frank’s work to be a representation of the oppression and tyranny that mankind suffered from during its darkest hour.
In June 1999, Anne frank was named among the Heroes and Icons of the 20th century.
Anne Frank achieved all this after her death at a concentration camp when she was only 15. Such was the impression of this young girl’s writings that made her more than a Jew, a Holocaust victim and a girl to millions across the world. Today her diary is part of the teaching curriculum at many American schools.
Finally, a salute to that feminism that still manged to write, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”