The Diary of Anne Frank: The Definitive Edition – Book Review

It’s hard to rate someone’s diary, but Anne’s is written so eloquently and truly is exactly what she was feeling and going through. It really is 5 stars!

Over the course of the book I felt as though I knew her and was seeing into her daily life, although I don’t think I or anyone for that matter will ever know what it was like to live in hiding. Anne wanted to be a published author and knew she’d always be a writer. Her greatest legacy is telling exactly what she was going through and was able to paint a picture of how a young Jewish girl felt in the 1940s.

There was a passage where she wrote about how diaries and accounts of what was going on were going to be collected so people could one day read about what went on. I got chills a few times throughout the book, knowing that what she was writing would eventually happen. Especially when she wrote about wanting to be a writer and wanting to publish a book about the Secret Annex. She also wrote about what she wanted to do after the war and knowing that those things would never come true was heartbreaking to read.

In the version of the diary that I read, there is 30% more material than other versions. This version includes loose papers that were added to her diary entries. Anne also wrote some short stories, but Anne only wrote about them in the version that I read, they weren’t included.

I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be in hiding because of who I am or what I believe. She wrote about their food, the schedule of how eight people had to shower, use the bathroom, when and when not to open windows, and all because they didn’t want to be found.

A few weeks ago when the special aired on 60 Minutes about who turned in the Frank family, the story sparked an interest for me and that’s what made me want to read Anne’s diary since I hadn’t read it in school. The cold case team that looked into the case came to the conclusion that Arnold van den Bergh, a Jewish notary told the police of the family’s hiding place in order to save his family. But chances are he didn’t know who he was turning in because he only knew of addresses where Jewish people were hiding and not who lived there.

Although I never read Anne’s diary in school, I’m so glad that I read it now. Hearing it first hand is what makes it so touching yet so heartbreakingly sad, but necessary and a way to honor and remember those that were in hiding or taken from their homes during that time.

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