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Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (The Definitive Edition)
Anne Frank, 1947
Random House
304 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780553577129


Summary 
The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describes both the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

For more than fifty years, Anne Frank's diary has moved millions with its testament to the human spirit's indestructibility, but readers have never seen the full text of this beloved book—until now. This new translation restores nearly one third of Anne's entries, excised by her father in previous editions, revealing her burgeoning sexuality, her stormy relationship with her mother, and more. (From the publisher.)



Author Bio 
Birth—June 12, 1929
Where—Frankfurt, Germany
Death—early March 1945
Where—Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Germany
Education: Jewish Lyceum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Anne and her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933 after the Nazis gained power in Germany, and were trapped by the occupation of the Netherlands, which began in 1940. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps.

Seven months after her arrest, Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, within days of the death of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war to find that her diary had been saved, and his efforts led to its publication in 1947. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl.

The diary, which was given to Anne on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. It has been translated into many languages, has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films. Anne Frank has been acknow-ledged for the quality of her writing, and has become one of the most renowned and discussed of Holocaust victims. (From Wikipedia.)



Book Reviews 
It is a poignant, heartbreaking yet somehow heartwarming story, fresh with the dew of adolescence.
New York Herald Tribune


This startling new edition of Dutch Jewish teenager Anne Frank's classic diary-written in an Amsterdam warehouse, where for two years she hid from the Nazis with her family and friends-contains approximately 30% more material than the original 1947 edition. It completely revises our understanding of one of the most moving and eloquent documents of the Holocaust. The Anne we meet here is much more sarcastic, rebellious and vulnerable than the sensitive diarist beloved by millions. She rages at her mother, Edith, smolders with jealous resentment toward her sister, Margot, and unleashes acid comments at her roommates. Expanded entries provide a fuller picture of the tensions and quarrels among the eight people in hiding. Anne, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, three months before her 16th birthday, candidly discusses her awakening sexuality in entries that were omitted from the 1947 edition by her father, Otto, the only one of the eight to survive the death camps. He died in 1980. This crisp, stunning translation provides an unvarnished picture of life in the "secret annex." In the end, Anne's teen angst pales beside her profound insights, her self-discovery and her unbroken faith in good triumphing over evil.
Publishers Weekly


This new translation of Frank's famous diary includes material about her emerging sexuality and her relationship with her mother that was originally excised by Frank's father, the only family member to survive the Holocaust.
Library Journal


A revision of this great document of WWII, considerably expanding the extraordinarily popular work originally published in 1947. A couple dozen entries have been added.
Booklist



Discussion Questions 
1. 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?

2. 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 astereotype different from discrimination?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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