Not many people know how it feels to be in the midst of war, but many claim to have experienced it vicariously through vivid accounts of the awful suffering of the Jews during World War II, as described in The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
On this day in 1929, the famous teenage author and the holocaust witness of World War II, Anne Frank was born at the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, into an upper-middle-class- German-Jewish family.
Even as a child, Frank was a girl blessed with powers of creativity, wisdom, depth and emotion.
She chronicled the events of Second World War in her diary with such vividness, that even today the readers continue to live through her experiences vicariously. The intense thoughts expressed in her writing forces people to meditate about the impact of violence on children.
“I don’t believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.” –Anne Frank
This is best expressed by her father, Otto Frank, who, upon discovering her diary, exclaimed, “There was revealed a completely different Anne to the child that I had lost. I had no idea of the depths of her thoughts and feelings.”
Though Anne Frank lived an extremely short life of 16 years, but even in such a short life span, she endured far more suffering than any teenager could possibly do.
From being uprooted from her roots- Germany, to being hopeful about finding a new home in Amsterdam and then, witnessing the bitter shattering of those hopes; Frank underwent all sorts of trials and tribulations.
During the two years Frank family spent in hiding upon the invasion of Netherlands by the Nazis, Frank wrote her diary extensively. She mainly wrote to pass the time and also to confide in her diary whatever she couldn’t tell her family.
Some entries in the diary give glimpses of the depths of despair which Frank occasionally sank into. On February 3rd, 1944, she wrote, “I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die.” “The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway.”
Young Anne along with her family was shipped off to Camp Westerbork, a concentration camp in North-eastern Netherlands, upon the discovery of their hiding place by the Nazis.
They were again transferred to the death camp in Auschwitz, where the Frank girls and their mother were separated from Otto Frank.
The young Frank girls, later on, were again shifted to a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen in Germany and their mother was forced to be left behind in Auschwitz.
The condition of the concentration camps was pathetic with several infectious diseases being prevalent.
Anne Frank and her sister Margot succumbed to an outbreak of typhus in Bergen-Belsen in March 1945.
Indeed, the world didn’t stop turning after Anne Frank died, but the horrors which she experienced still continue to sway the readers globally.
Her diary is still read widely and will continue to be read by millions and millions of readers all across the world.