The Diary Of A Young Girl

Mass Market Paperback | June 1, 1993

byAnne FrankTranslated byB.m. MooyaartIntroduction byEleanor Roosevelt

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Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank''s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

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From Our Editors

Powerful and poignant, Anne Frank's diary has been an incredible reminder of not only the Holocaust but also the turbulence of coming of age for generations. From her jubilant moments as a teenager blossoming into womanhood to her painful descriptions of living in hiding and surviving in the concentration camp, Anne's spirit and youthful hope leaves the reader starkly aware of the beauty and fragi...

From the Publisher

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their wher...

From the Jacket

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their w...

Anne Frank was born in 1929 in Germany. Her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933, and she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.Francine Prose is the author of the novels A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the guide Reading Like a Writer, and Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife.

other books by Anne Frank

Anne Frank's Tales From The Secret Annex
Anne Frank's Tales From The Secret Annex

Mass Market Paperback|Mar 4 2003

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JOURNAL D'ANNE FRANK (LE)
JOURNAL D'ANNE FRANK (LE)

Audio Book (CD)|Dec 9 2011

$34.95

see all books by Anne Frank
Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.88 × 4.19 × 0.82 inPublished:June 1, 1993Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553296981

ISBN - 13:9780553296983

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of My Favourite Books I first read this ten years ago when I was 11. I did not fully understand it then, however, i enjoyed it the first read through. Now when I read it I can appreciate it for what it is. A testament to the beauty of the human spirit. Anne, is so hopeful and strong, even though her story is a difficult one, I think it is one that needs to be told. No matter the audience everyone can take something from this. Anne's diary is terribly heart breaking, but it is an incredible story.
Date published: 2016-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome book It makes me sad to read her plans for the future because you already know what's going to happen. ]:
Date published: 2015-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank This is an amazing book. It is an easy read, great for a tween. Just reading the preview got me hooked! I definitly think that everyone should read this book. It is one of those books where you get something new and different from it every time you read it. Overall I think that if you are wondering if you should get it, do it!
Date published: 2014-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Anne Frank's Diary Very interesting story
Date published: 2014-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Thumbs down I didn't like this book. I know the historical significance. I know Anne was a real girl in horrific circumstances. But I didn't enjoy the book and based on what we know about Anne from this book... I didn't like her. I disagree that this is a "must read".
Date published: 2014-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow This book was surprising. To read, one must have great patience and a slight lack of sensitivity. Herd thoughts and writings are so raw and real, yet so unreal for a teenage girl. Her diction is astonishing and put to good use in beautifully writing her thoughts. You grow so close with Anne and the ending is so abrupt and expected at the same time. I knew how it would end but one must remember that she did not know when she would die, just as we did not know. Unlike most books, Anne does not get to write her final thoughts of fear and agony, she did not have that "luxury", if you will. It really gives you the true feeling of getting so close and not making it. But in a way, she did, didn't she? She is lived on through her words and ability to educate the world on the war from her perspective. She has accomplished her dream of becoming a famous writer-journalist. If you have a strong set of morals and earn to self-educate, this book is a must read for countless reasons.
Date published: 2014-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING it gives a sense of what anyone in anytime throughout  history might have experienced. whether it is an event like the holocaust or genocide. it makes one think about the effects of a major shift in life can cause to someone
Date published: 2014-03-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from History A piece of work that should be appreciated by all. What a gift it is for us to be able to read a young girl's daily thoughts during the time of the War/ Holocaust. I found this book took a while to read (some parts weren't as interesting to me as others), but it was still worth every minute.
Date published: 2013-07-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from anne frank i think the diary of anne frank was very interesting because it was about how she hid in the "secret annex" for 2 years because of hitlers anti-semitism. she hid there with her family & the van daans . she named her diary ," Kitty " . i think the book is well written although some words were different from our english now.
Date published: 2010-07-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Worth A Look At I like that this is a first hand account of the war. It's really interesting to see something this significant from a child's perspective. I liked how honest it was. I also liked that even though something that big was going on around her, she still had everyday feelings. It was a great book, but I didn't really like it.
Date published: 2010-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome piece of Literature As a young man who isn't very inclined to read emotional novels, and instead sticks with either a fantasy, adventure, action-packed, or extensively comedic novel... I first hesitated when I picked up this book. However after reading it, I realized the immense power that was sustained in the act of simply writing what one feels in their heart. Anne Frank didn't have english classes in which she was taught how to construct and utilize proper grammatical jargon, and yet the diary which contained her story is in my opinion a work of art that cannot be taught in the classroom. The reader is engulfed by the diary and is teleported to the time and location in which she is writing it. I would recommend this novel to anyone and everyone as a 'must read at least once in your lifetime' novel.
Date published: 2009-05-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mixed Feelings .. At first I was REALLY excited to read this book. I'm a history nut and adore reading, so it fits right? However, I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The diary entries were usually about simple things such as food choices, and fights. Which makes sense considering they were in hiding cut off from the world. At the end of the book I felt as though I violated her privacy. I know, a silly thought....but this was a girl's personal diary... How do we know she wanted it read? I did not enjoy reading this book.
Date published: 2009-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from :D Since I am only a middle schooler, this is one of the novels I was forced to read at school. At first, I thought I would be bored to death reading a historical diary. But afterwards, I was so engrossed by the book that I read it all in a day. It is a really great book, and i recommend it to all kids!
Date published: 2009-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Diary of a Young Girl This book was very moving and interesting to read. It clarified a lot about the holocaust and was an interesting read.
Date published: 2008-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inspiring in spite of itself I recently picked up this book because my ten year old niece expressed interest in reading it, and I wanted to make sure that the content wasn't too graphic for her quickly diminishing innocence. I’ve come to the conclusion that Anne’s story would undoubtedly teach appreciation for the small things in life, a strong work ethic and the importance of a positive mental attitude. However, because this is a diary recording the thoughts of a young teenage girl, it also covers Anne’s discovery of her sexuality, her adversity towards her parents, mixed in with some spoiled-brat whining, these of course all being areas where a ten year old needs no help with advancement. I will be sure to pass the book on to her when she is about thirteen, when I’m sure she will better relate with Anne’s plight. Ultimately, Anne was insightful, self-aware and very driven, and it is amazing to notice her continuing transformation into a mature young adult as the entries progress. I found her determination to be a writer very inspiring, and even though Anne’s young life was cut short due to the horrors of the Nazi party, her dream was still realized after her death through her diary. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2008-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read. The adolescent years of a little girl during war times. It truely is a remarkable and touching story.
Date published: 2008-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring! Anne Frank has certainly left a legacy in this world. She is undoubtedly a young girl with a very mature mind, god-given talent for writing and incredible passion for life. After reading this, I learn of her unfailing strength of character, her unwillingness to allow extraordinary circumstances to prevent her from hope of a better future. The holocaust shall never be forgotten and history shall never repeat itself; for people of all ages, this book is a must read.
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This is my favourite book of all time. I never tire of reading it. It is so full of innocence and honesty. And just think, this remarkable young lady was only aged 13-15 when she wrote this book. Had she survived the atrocities of the Holocaust and been giving the opportunity to grow in her writing, she would have been amazing (not that she isn't already---but imagine what another 30 or 40 years would have done with her already great talent!) What a shame that the evil of her time tried so hard to put out her brilliant light...
Date published: 2007-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Outstanding! The novel which I happen to be reading came from a young girl’s diary. The book is written in an internal, first person point of view. The novel includes many different real life situations which are talked about amongst the book. Many things which the main character, “Anne Frank” likes to talk about are things like the food they eat, how they are doing in hiding, and most especially about the love of her life. Now man teenage people her age are free and aren’t placed in her shoes, which is why it is such a privilege to be reading a book about a young girl who wrote her heart into her diary to show the world what kind of things that she had to overcome during the span of her life.
Date published: 2007-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartfelt I am facinated by the unbelievable torture brought on by Hitler in the 40's. Absolutely incredible in what he tried to accomplish. As I read, I felt as though I were in the attic with Anne. Anne was so bright, witty and charming. She would have grown to be an amazing humanitarian. Funny how she is gone, but still alive and known to so many around the world.
Date published: 2006-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Sad Anne Frank only lived until she was the age of fifteen, but she lived a life full of being kind and considerate of others. Anne was a Jew born in Frankfurt, Germany on June 12,1929. After Hitler came to power in Germany in the early thirties, he made strict rules that discriminated against Jews. These rules made it so that Jews had to display the star of David on their clothing, to attend Jewish schools, to go shopping at ceratin times, and to follow a curfew. They were even banned from driving cars and riding bikes. Perhaps because of this discrimination, in 1934, when Anne was five years of age, the Franks moved to Amsterdam. That same year, she began her schooling. When she grew up, she was going to join the family business of banking and management. Unfortunately, their new safety ended when the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940. Even though Hitler’s anti-Jewish rules impacted the lives of Jews, the Franks’ lives changed even more drastically when they had to go into hiding from the Nazis on July 6, 1942. She and eight others lived in the attic of a warehouse, a place called the “Secret Annex.” During her time in hiding, she kept a diary. The diary described life in the holocaust for her and her family. The people hiding in the “Secret Annex”, spent two years there before they were caught. In October 1944, Anne and her sister Margot were sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they both died of disease in March 1945. Anne and Margot were one of the one million Jewish children that were killed during the Holocaust. The only member of the Frank family to survive the Holocaust was Otto Frank, Anne’s father. Anne explains how hard it was to live in hiding, and how she had to live with the idea of being murdered each day. We can't begin to imagine what it would be like wondering each day if the police were to burst through our door and arrest us, just because of our heritage and our beliefs. The following statement that she wrote when she was my age shows how she never lost her dreams, her ideals, or her faith in humanity. "It’s difficult in times like these: Ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart."
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of a kind This is a book that I would recommend. Anne Frank explains the feelings of most young girls towards people and situations. Reading this book, it made me think back to when I was thirteen and I remember thinking some of the same things towards my parents and how it was to be young and not understood. Then I wonder to myself and realize that I can't even imagine what it would have been like to be in hiding for two years just waiting for the war to be over and then to be discovered, but Anne Frank paints a really good picture. She wanted to still live even after she died and here she is still living even after she died.
Date published: 2006-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touched me the most I own the book "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" and I have to say that it is the book that has touched me the most. I have always found the holocaust and the times of 1940 very interesting yet tragic. Of all of the tragic and unfortunates stories i have read about survivors and their stories, the diary of Anne Frank is by far the one that reached out to me. It was so powerful, that i wrote a 5 minute speech in a provincial competition about her, i memorised it and i composed it to the audience, i ended up winning the municipal prize. The diary gives a great perspective of the life of a young girl in a terrible worldwide event. I would give her diary full stars. This goes out to Anne!
Date published: 2006-07-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what I expected I found this book to be quite a dull and non engaging one. When I put it down from reading, I didnt want to pick it back up (Which is unsusal for me)... The book is not at all what I expected and I would not recommand it.
Date published: 2006-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart-warming This story was a incredibly touching one, that shone a spotlight on the horrible destruction the human race can create. Anne and her family tried to work through that by hiding and staying together, but unfortunately like so many other jews their efforts made little difference agaisnt the will of the Nazis. Ann Frank's diary is a special book which should be shared accross the nation.
Date published: 2004-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The diary of a young girl I thought that this book was the best book i have ever read. i also think it teaches people a good lesson about pregisis.
Date published: 2003-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Story of hard times and perseverance Anne Frank and her family hide in a secret annex from the nazis. Anne keeps track of her thoughts by writing in her diary which was found when the room was discovered after the war. The story is a true one and can bring a tear to anyone's eyes. Sadly, in the end, they are found and many were gassed while others died of diseases from the inhumane quarters they were kept in. This story changes your outlook on life and let's you forget if u got dumped or if u didn't get a date for the prom. Anne Frank truly was a hero, and survived a tough and interesting life.
Date published: 2003-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the best This is the best book i've ever read! Tho written by a 13 year old girl it is as good or better then the fictional diaries professional writers do. An amazing piece of work, very emotional. It makes you feel like her best friend!
Date published: 2001-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Anne Frank This book is one of the best books I've ever read. I can relate to her totally. It is sad in some parts and I've cried. If you havn't read this book I urge you to do so. ( I've read it three times and its still interesting) -Stephanie
Date published: 2001-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from who's the farest in the land? Diary of a young gir EXCELLENT BOOK!
Date published: 2000-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from touching i am 11 years old, and this book changed my life!!!!!!!!!! it made me cry and i just could not stop. she is a very brave girl!!!
Date published: 1999-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl A definite read for everyone. It begins as Anne receives the diary on her thirteenth birthday, and follows into to the "Secret Annex," in which her family and a few others hid from Nazis. Her words are mature and heartfelt. She describes a life no one should ever have to experience. They are restricted to certain times for bathroom duties and so forth, so as not to alert the people who work in the office below them. I was so moved by her story, and felt very saddened at the end. It is too bad that the world had to lose such an inspiring talent. Read it, and experience Anne.
Date published: 1999-05-12

Extra Content

Read from the Book

June 12, 1942I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.Comment added by Anne on September 28, 1942:So far you truly have been a great source of comfort to me, and so has Kitty, whom I now write to regularly. This way of keeping a diary is much nicer, and now I can hardly wait for those moments when I'm able to write inyou.Oh, I'm so glad I brought you along!Sunday, June 14, 1942I'll begin from the moment I got you, the moment I saw you lying on the table among my other birthday presents. (I went along when you were bought, but that doesn't count.)On Friday, June 12, I was awake at six o'clock, which isn't surprising, since it was my birthday. But I'm not allowed to get up at that hour, so I had to control my curiosity until quarter to seven. When I couldn't wait any longer, I went to the dining room, where Moortje (the cat) welcomed me by rubbing against my legs.A little after seven I went to Daddy and Mama and then to the living room to open my presents, and you were the first thing I saw, maybe one of my nicest presents. Then a bouquet of roses, some peonies and a potted plant. From Daddy and Mama I got a blue blouse, a game, a bottle of grape juice, which to my mind tastes a bit like wine (after all, wine is made from grapes), a puzzle, a jar of cold cream, 2.50 guilders and a gift certificate for two books. I got another book as well, Camera Obscura (but Margot already has it, so I exchanged mine for something else), a platter of homemade cookies (which I made myself, of course, since I've become quite an expert at baking cookies), lots of candy and a strawberry tart from Mother. And a letter from Grammy, right on time, but of course that was just a coincidence.Then Hanneli came to pick me up, and we went to school. During recess I passed out cookies to my teachers and my class, and then it was time to get back towork. I didn't arrive home until five, since I went to gym with the rest of the class. (I'm not allowed to take part because my shoulders and hips tend to get dislocated.) As it was my birthday, I got to decide which game my classmateswould play, and I chose volleyball. Afterward they all danced around me in acircle and sang "Happy Birthday." When I got home, Sanne Ledermann was already there. Ilse Wagner, Hanneli Goslar and Jacqueline van Maarsen came home with me after gym, since we're in the same class. Hanneli and Sanne used to be my two best friends. People who saw us together used to say, "There goes Anne, Hanne and Sanne." I only met Jacqueline van Maarsen when I started at the Jewish Lyceum, and now she's my best friend. Ilse is Hanneli's best friend, and Sanne goes to another school and has friends there.They gave me a beautiful book, Dutch Sagas and Legends, but they gave me Volume II by mistake, so I exchanged two other books for Volume I. Aunt Helene brought me a puzzle, Aunt Stephanie a darling brooch and Aunt Leny a terrific book: Daisy Goes to the Mountains.This morning I lay in the bathtub thinking how wonderful it would be if I had a dog like Rin Tin Tin. I'd call him Rin Tin Tin too, and I'd take him to school with me, where he could stay in the janitor's room or by the bicycle racks when the weather was good.Monday, June 15, 1942I had my birthday party on Sunday afternoon. The Rin Tin Tin movie was a big hit with my classmates. I got two brooches, a bookmark and two books.I'll start by saying a few things about my school and my class, beginning with the students.Betty Bloemendaal looks kind of poor, and I think she probably is. She lives on some obscure street in West Amsterdam, and none of us know where it is. She does very well at school, but that's because she works so hard, not because she's so smart. She's pretty quiet.Jacqueline van Maarsen is supposedly my best friend, but I've never had a real friend. At first I thought Jacque would be one, but I was badly mistaken.D.Q.**Initials have been assigned at random to those persons who prefer to remain anonymous. is a very nervous girl who's always forgetting things, so the teachers keep assigning her extra homework as punishment. She's very kind, especially to G.Z.E.S. talks so much it isn't funny. She's always touching your hair or fiddling with your buttons when she asks you something. They say she can't stand me, but I don't care, since I don't like her much either.Henny Mets is a nice girl with a cheerful disposition, except that she talks in a loud voice and is really childish when we're playing outdoors. Unfortunately, Henny has a girlfriend named Beppy who's a bad influence on her because she's dirty and vulgar.J.R.—I could write a whole book about her. J. is a detestable, sneaky, stuck-up, two-faced gossip who thinks she's so grown-up. She's really got Jacque under her spell, and that's a shame. J. is easily offended, bursts into tears at the slightest thing and, to top it all off, is a terrible show-off.Miss J. always has to be right. She's very rich, and has a closet full of the most adorable dresses that are way too old for her. She thinks she's gorgeous, but she's not. J. and I can't stand each other.Ilse Wagner is a nice girl with a cheerful disposition, but she's extremely finicky and can spend hours moaning and groaning about something. Ilse likes me a lot. She's very smart, but lazy.Hanneli Goslar, or Lies as she's called at school, is a bit on the strange side. She's usually shy—outspoken at home, but reserved around other people. She blabs whatever you tell her to her mother. But she says what shethinks, and lately I've come to appreciate her a great deal.Nannie van Praag-Sigaar is small, funny and sensible. I think she's nice. She's pretty smart. There isn't much else you can say about Nannie.Eefje de Jong is, in my opinion, terrific. Though she's only twelve, she's quite the lady. She acts as if I were a baby. She's also very helpful, and Ilike her.G.Z. is the prettiest girl in our class. She has a nice face, but is kind ofdumb. I think they're going to hold her back a year, but of course I haven'ttold her that.Comment added by Anne at a later date:To my great surprise, G.Z. wasn't held back a year after all.And sitting next to G.Z. is the last of us twelve girls, me.There's a lot to be said about the boys, or maybe not so much after all.Maurice Coster is one of my many admirers, but pretty much of a pest.Sallie Springer has a filthy mind, and rumor has it that he's gone all the way. Still, I think he's terrific, because he's very funny.Emiel Bonewit is G.Z.'s admirer, but she doesn't care. He's pretty boring.Rob Cohen used to be in love with me too, but I can't stand him anymore. He's an obnoxious, two-faced, lying, sniveling little goof who has an awfully high opinion of himself.Max van de Velde is a farm boy from Medemblik, but a decent sort, as Margot would say.Herman Koopman also has a filthy mind, just like Jopie de Beer, who's a terrible flirt and absolutely girl-crazy.Leo Blom is Jopie de Beer's best friend, but has been ruined by his dirty mind.Albert de Mesquita came from the Montessori School and skipped a grade. He'sreally smart.Leo Slager came from the same school, but isn't as smart.Ru Stoppelmon is a short, goofy boy from Almelo who transferred to this school in the middle of the year.C.N. does whatever he's not supposed to.Jacques Kocernoot sits behind us, next to C., and we (G. and I) laugh ourselves silly.Harry Schaap is the most decent boy in our class. He's nice.Werner Joseph is nice too, but all the changes taking place lately have made him too quiet, so he seems boring.Sam Salomon is one of those tough guys from across the tracks. A real brat. (Admirer!)Appie Riem is pretty Orthodox, but a brat too.Saturday, June 20, 1942Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I've never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I feel like writing, and I have an even greater need to get all kinds of things off my chest."Paper has more patience than people." I thought of this saying on one of those days when I was feeling a little depressed and was sitting at home with my chin in my hands, bored and listless, wondering whether to stay in or go out. I finally stayed where I was, brooding. Yes, paper does have more patience, and since I'm not planning to let anyone else read this stiff-backed notebook grandly referred to as a "diary," unless I should everfind a real friend, it probably won't make a bit of difference.Now I'm back to the point that prompted me to keep a diary in the first place: I don't have a friend.Let me put it more clearly, since no one will believe that a thirteen-year-old girl is completely alone in the world. And I'm not. I have loving parents and a sixteen-year-old sister, and there are about thirty people I can call friends. I have a throng of admirers who can't keep their adoring eyes off me and who sometimes have to resort to using a broken pocket mirror to try and catch a glimpse of me in the classroom. I have a family, loving aunts and a good home. No, on the surface I seem to have everything, except my one true friend. All I think about when I'm with friends is having a good time. I can't bring myself to talk about anything but ordinary everyday things. We don't seem to be able to get any closer, and that's the problem. Maybe it's my fault that we don'tconfide in each other. In any case, that's just how things are, and unfortunately they're not liable to change. This is why I've started the diary.To enhance the image of this long-awaited friend in my imagination, I don't want to jot down the facts in this diary the way most people would do, but Iwant the diary to be my friend, and I'm going to call this friend Kitty.Since no one would understand a word of my stories to Kitty if I were to plunge right in, I'd better provide a brief sketch of my life, much as I dislike doing so.My father, the most adorable father I've ever seen, didn't marry my mother until he was thirty-six and she was twenty-five. My sister Margot was born in Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 1926. I was born on June 12, 1929. I lived in Frankfurt until I was four. Because we're Jewish, my father immigrated to Holland in 1933, when he became the Managing Director of the Dutch Opekta Company, which manufactures products used in making jam. My mother, Edith Hollander Frank, went with him to Holland in September, while Margot and I were sent to Aachen to stay with our grandmother. Margot went to Holland in December, and I followed in February, when I was plunked down on the table as a birthday present for Margot.I started right away at the Montessori nursery school. I stayed there until I was six, at which time I started first grade. In sixth grade my teacher was Mrs. Kuperus, the principal. At the end of the year we were both in tears as we said a heartbreaking farewell, because I'd been accepted at the Jewish Lyceum, where Margot also went to school.Our lives were not without anxiety, since our relatives in Germany were suffering under Hitler's anti-Jewish laws. After the pogroms in 1938 my two uncles (my mother's brothers) fled Germany, finding safe refuge in North America. My elderly grandmother came to live with us. She was seventy-three years old at the time.After May 1940 the good times were few and far between: first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews. Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to use streetcars; Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their own; Jews were required to do their shopping between 3 and 5 p.m.; Jews were required to frequent only Jewish-owned barbershops and beauty parlors; Jews were forbidden to be out on the streets between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.; Jews were forbidden to go to theaters, movies or any other forms of entertainment; Jews were forbidden to use swimming pools, tennis courts, hockey fields or any other athletic fields; Jews were forbidden to go rowing; Jews were forbidden to take part in any athletic activity in public; Jews were forbidden to sit in their gardens or those of their friends after 8 p.m.; Jews were forbidden to visit Christians in their homes; Jews were required to attend Jewish schools, etc. You couldn't do this and you couldn't do that, but life went on. Jacque always said to me, "I don't dare do anything anymore, 'cause I'm afraid it's not allowed."

Bookclub Guide

1. a) After the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, the Dutch people were immediately faced with the question of choice: how to respond to the Nazi occupation. Tens of thousands of Dutch people followed Hitler, and millions more looked the other way. Eventually, a resistance movement began to grow. The Nazis needed Dutch collaborators to carry out their fascist decrees. What would have influenced someone to become a collaborator? What factors would have encouraged someone to join the resistance? Do you think these factors were based on personal characteristics or political beliefs? What was the price of resistance during the war? What was the price of collaboration? b) Anne Frank and her family were German refugees who resettled and tried to build their lives in the Netherlands. Although the Franks were proud of their German heritage, their feelings toward Germany became very complicated during the war. Anne wrote: "Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I’m actually one of them! No. that’s not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and Jews." (October 9, 1942.) Although Anne had lived in the Netherlands since 1934, she did not become a Dutch citizen. Did Anne have a nationality? If not, were Anne’s civil rights protected by any nation? By 1939 some 250,000 Jews, half of Germany’s Jewish population, had fled their homeland. Did these refugees have any guaranteed rights? After the war Otto Frank responded to references to "the Germans" by asking "which German?" He believed strongly that blaming all Germans was another form of stereotyping. What constitutes a stereotype? How is a stereotype different from discrimination? c) In The New York Times the writer Anna Quindlen asked, "Would our understanding of the Holocaust be quite the same if Anne Frank had not taken a small plaid diary into hiding with her?" What has most shaped your understanding of World War II: personal experience, Anne’s diary, popular films such as Schindler’s List, newsreel footage, academic or historical texts? d) Otto Frank chose to edit out some of the negative comments Anne made about her mother and a number of the other residents of the Secret Annex--comments that have been restored in the new translation by Susan Massotty. He believed that Anne would have wanted him to do so. Do you think he was correct? e) In her diary Anne opined: "...if you’re wondering if it’s harder for the adults here than for the children, the answer is no...Older people have an opinion about everything and are sure of themselves and their actions. It’s twice as hard for us young people to hold on to our opinions at a time when ideals are being shattered..." (July 15, 1944.) When was the last time as an adult that you experienced the "shattering" of an ideal? Is the media a neutral force, or do you think it plays a role in supporting or destroying idealism? f) Are there certain characteristics common among those few individuals who risked their own lives to rescue Jews during World War II? Why do so many of them deny their own heroism? g) A disturbing number of neo-Nazi groups have taken hold in all parts of the world. What social conditions would be necessary for them to grow? What do you believe would be the most likely basis of another world war: pride, nationalism, fear, racism, economic interests, or religious intolerance? h) Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was asked how he could explain the killing of 6 million Jews. He answered, "One hundred dead are a catastrophe, a million dead are a statistic." Have we become more or less tolerant of murder since he made this observation? i) Anne Frank wrote: "I don’t believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago!" (May 3, 1944.) How should accountability be assigned? So many say they never understood what was happening. How likely could that have been? j) Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925, describing his plan for the elimination of Jews. At that time, what steps might have been taken to stop Hitler’s rise to power?