The Anne Frank Diary or The Diary Of a Young Girl is a book that talks about the diary writings in Dutch that Anne Frank kept for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was arrested in 1944, and she died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.
The diary was recovered by Miep Gies, who handed it to Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the only known survivor of the family, just after the war was over. Since then, the journal has been published in more than 60 languages.
Summary and synapse
The book begins on Ana’s thirteenth birthday, June 12, 1942. She receives a diary as a gift from her parents, among other things. She thinks about it for several days and then decides to write letters as journal entries, which are addressed to Kitty. She is a made-up friend, someone to whom Ana can expose her deepest feelings.
Anne’s family has emigrated to the Netherlands from Germany for two reasons, the first is that Mr. Frank gets a job there and the second is to move away from the Nazi Party. The Nazis are making life very restrictive for the Jewish people in Germany.
Although they have left Germany, the Jewish restrictions of the Nazi Party still exist in the Netherlands. Everyone must wear a yellow star on their clothes, attend only Jewish schools, shop at Jewish stores, and other restrictions.
The family feels the full impact of the restrictions and horrors of the Nazi Party the day Ana’s sister Margot is called. This means that they will take her to a concentration camp. The family knew that someday they would have to hide and had been making preparations for the move, this simply brought forward when they would go.
On July 9, 1942, the Frank family moved into the building that housed the business that employed Mr. Frank. The rooms were above the warehouse floor and Ana referred to them as the “Secret Annex.” The family joined a few days later with the Van Daan family. This family was made up of Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan and their son Peter, who was a little older than Anne.
These two families try to get along as best they can, of course, not everyone is happy with the situation. Ana feels that all she does is fodder for adults to use to criticize her.
The group also decides to make room for an eighth member, Mr. Dussel. He is a dentist and his wife is in the United States. Recommended by Miep, a young woman who worked for Mr. Frank. There are several people helping families to survive in the “Secret Annex”, including Miep and her husband Henk, Elli, and Mr. Koophuis.
The author and her mother do not get along at all. He also feels that he cannot behave in a way that pleases any of the adults. Her situation with her mother comes to a head one night when Mrs. Frank asks Anne if she, instead of Mr. Frank, can say Anne’s prayers. She rejects her mother’s request and her mother tells Ana who will try not to force her to love her.
The war is affecting everyone. People who help families in the “Secret Annex” are getting sick. This is a double problem because they are an extension of the families in the Annex, so the group is concerned about the welfare of their helpers. Another part of this is that if the helpers are sick, then families cannot receive food and other necessities to survive.
On September 10, 1943, Ana records the fall of Italy in her diary. This brings joy to those who live in the Netherlands and in the world. This means that the war is getting closer to its end.
The Van Daan have no money; her only hope is to sell some of her clothes. The problem is that Mrs. Van Daan does not want to sell her precious fur coat. The coat could provide a much-needed cash infusion for the family, but she wants to keep it. Mr. Van Daan convinces her to sell it so that the family can have money to buy food and other necessities.
As the war continues and Ana discovers how more and more Jews are being sent to the concentration camps, she has difficulty managing her emotions. She is very happy to be safe and free from having to go to a concentration camp.
But she also feels guilty about this, knowing that her friends don’t have the same feeling of security. The talk of invasion by the English also causes anxiety for everyone. They don’t know what will happen to them if the English invade. Will the Germans try to flood the city endangering the lives of all present?
Ana also needs a confidante, so she chooses Peter Van Daan to be that person. She chooses Peter because he is silent and feels that he will keep his secrets. This relationship is complicated as her feelings for Peter vary between friends and boyfriends.
Finally, on June 6, 1944, the invasion took place. The D-Day invasion is a source of great joy for everyone in occupied Europe. Members living in the “Secret Annex” hope to be able to leave in October 1944.
The final entry in Anne’s diary is about the beings she feels live in her, the outer being who is joyful and outgoing, and the inner being trying to be more serious and become a better person.
This newspaper shows the isolation of those who live in the “Secret Annex”. It also explores the feelings of a girl as she begins to mature. We are left with the feeling of truly knowing these people, making their destiny even more difficult to accept.
The Anne Frank diary is a non-fiction work whose narration is carried out by the same protagonist who relates a period of her life, which leads us to consider the work as autobiographical. It can also be said that it fits in the epistolary subgenre since the entries are made in the form of letters addressed to a friend (Kitty).
- Anne Frank: The thirteen-year-old Jewish girl who writes a newspaper while hiding in Amsterdam from the Nazis during World War II.
- Margot Frank: Ana’s sister and is three years older.
- Otto Frank: Anne’s father. He is a Jewish businessman who left Germany after Hitler’s rise to power.
- Mrs. Frank: Mother of Anne. She is the source of many conflicts with Anne during the two years that the family spends in hiding.
- Mr. Van Daan: A Jewish businessman and associate of Mr. Frank. He and his family share the “Secret Annex” with the Franks.
- Mrs. Van Daan: wife of Mr. Van Daan; A quite indifferent person.
- Peter Van Daan: Two and a half years older than Ana, and his calm and quiet nature contrasts with his most excitable and vital personality.
- Mr. Düssel: An elderly dentist who joined the group underground in November 1942.
This diary gives the reader an idea of how a thirteen-year-old girl tries to forge a normal life during the most abnormal moments.
Ana allows us to see how the restrictions imposed on her and those around her influence everything in their lives, such as the way different people face the situation, some being kind and brave, like Miep and her husband, and others when be critical and cruel, like Mrs. Van Daan.
In her diary, Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. At the same time thoughtful, moving and fun, her story offers a fascinating commentary on courage and human fragility and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and energetic young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.