Journeying back to the early nineteenth century, when Nazi forces occupied Germany during World War II, the lives of those living in this territory were spent in constant fear and anxiety. The Diary of Anne Frank” leads readers through the harsh times of a family trying to escape imprisonment in concentration camps by Nazi soldiers, where death was almost certain. Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a German-Jewish teenager who was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust.
She and her family, along with four others, spent 25 months during World War II in an annex of rooms above her father’s office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During the two years in hiding, Anne kept a diary that was given to her by her father, Otto Frank, on her birthday. In her diary, Anne refers to this time as a period when ideals were shattered and destroyed, the worst side of human nature predominated, and everyone came to doubt truth, justice, and God (pg. 327).
Between June 1942 and August 1944, Anne recorded her feelings, emotions, thoughts, and the events that happened to her from her thirteenth birthday until shortly after her fifteenth birthday. She wrote, Ideas, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us only to meet the horrible truth and be shattered. Yet in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart” (pg. 327). The diary accurately records how Anne grows up and matures in the unfortunate situation she found herself in. Despite the circumstances in which the novel is written, Anne vividly describes her surroundings and the feelings she encounters throughout her ordeal. The novel displays the grief and frustration experienced during the time spent in hiding.
The emotions of the situation are captured in the text, giving validity to the pain and frustration encountered. Despite the amusing and enlightening side of the diary documenting the process of her adolescence, it also provides a vividly terrifying description of what it was like to be Jewish and in hiding during the time the Nazis sought to kill all the Jews in Europe. After two years of living in the secret annex” behind a bookcase and having to be extremely quiet during the day so that the workers in the office and warehouse below could not hear them, the family was captured. The betrayal of Anne and her family to the Nazis and their placement under arrest led to their deportation to concentration camps. In an entry on August 1, 1944, Anne confides in her diary an analysis of her situation.
She concludes that her behavior has been a front during her years in hiding to help her cope with the people surrounding her. Nine months after her arrest, Anne wrote that if only there were no other people in the world” (pg. 331). The writings give Anne’s wishful pretense that if no one else were in the world, the pain and suffering would end. Anne gives readers a sense of truth and honesty about her situation, allowing the reader to experience her life as a stubborn, touchingly vulnerable teenager who is in love with the world one minute and detached the next. This book is an extraordinary piece of work written by a young woman finding her way in captivity.
Anne was an immensely gifted writer and a person of great sensitivity. She shows her depth through emotions, as well as by absolving the feelings of others and communicating them through writing. Anne’s true personality is brought to life on every page, allowing the reader to feel as though they actually know her. Whether enthralled in the heights of ecstasy over her budding fascination with Peter Van Dann, another teen hiding in the annex”, or drowning in the depths of despair over her life in hiding, Anne would always confide her private thoughts and interests in her diary.
Anne’s vivid writing allows the reader to experience second-hand what it was like to be a teenage Jewish girl confined to an inside world with few resources except necessities to survive. The detail with which her story is told sheds light on the talents and emotions a young mind experienced while dealing with traumatic situations. The Diary of Anne Frank offers a vivid, realistic view of how a family tries to escape Nazi concentration camps and provides insights into the life of a German-Jewish child living in Germany during Nazi occupation.