When you look up information on Anne Frank, the first thing you will see is that she is described as a German born or Dutch Diarist, as if she was a well established author or Journalist, but she wasn’t.
She was just a teenage girl who happened to write a diary, like so many other girls did in that time and probably still do. If she had been a teenager now, I am certain she would have been on Instagram. Snapchat, Facebook and other social media. She was a very bubbly girl who like to express herself.
Does this make her diary less valuable? No of course not, it makes it even more valuable because the diary was not written by a professional author but by a young girl who described her daily life , a life which so few can even fathom nowadays.
Her diary became her closest friend and ally. A tool to express her fear, boredom, and the struggles as a teenager growing up. On 16 March 1944, she wrote: “The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings, otherwise I’d absolutely suffocate.”
12 days later on March 28,1944 the exiled Dutch minister for education,Gerrit Bolkestein, gave a speech on Radio Orange where he appealed to listeners in the occupied Netherlands to record their everyday experiences on paper.
“If future generations are to realize to the full extent what we as a population are going through and what we are experiencing in this time of war, then it is clear that we will need simple documents: a diary, letters from a laborer forced to go to work in Germany, sermons spoken by a clergyman”.
Anne Frank, was one of the many who heard Bolkestein’s appeal at the time. That night she wrote about her housemates: “…of course, everyone rushed for my diary all at once”. She started to rework her diary and called it The Secret Annex.
Next week , June 12th will be Annelise Marie Frank’s 90th Birthday . I had planned to write a blog about Anne on that day, but I will be busy make a preparations for a trip I am taking with my teenage daughter.
Next time when you read about Anne Frank and you see her described as a German born or Dutch diarist please do not forget she was also just a teenage girl, who happened to have written a diary.
A teenage girl who still could be alive today, but her life was cut short by a brutal fascist regime. A regime which had no regard for life.
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