Anyone who has ever kept a journal (or blogged) has probably compared themselves, however briefly, with one of history's greatest diarists, Anne Frank.
Anyone who's ever attended a public school. in the United States of America has read at least an excerpt from The Diary of a Young Girl.
I've read the book far too many times to be bowled over by the totality of the diary and its background (i.e. the Holocaust). But a fresh reading after 12 years or so is still worth reflecting on.
Anne received the diary as a birthday gift when she turned 13 in 1942, just weeks before her parents made the decision to go into hiding to avoid capture and deportation by the Nazis. She was "not yet sixteen" when she perished from typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.In between those two milestones, she lived in very close quarters, often under straitened conditions, with her mother, father, sister, a family they were close to, consisting of husband, wife and son, and a retired dentist. They were protected by the owners of the business (Anne's father was co-owner but not on paper -- he had transferred legal ownership to colleagues so as to keep the company designated "not Jewish" and safe from being shut down) and their hiding place was in the same building with a warehouse and set of offices.During the day, they had to be extremely quiet so as not to give themselves away to the office and warehouse workers who weren't in on the secret. At night they still had to be quiet to avoid attracting attention from the cleaning crew, and the neighbors in a densely populated section of Amsterdam.