The holocaust was one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century. Set in the backdrop of the World War 2, Hitler’s Nazi Germany went on a spree of capturing and killing Jews who they saw as a threat to their national well-being.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is one of many accounts from the period. It was written by a young girl who was given a diary on her 13th birthday in June of 1942. She lived in Frankfurt Germany at the time and her family was forced to go into hiding as the Nazi party escalated its antisemitic agenda. Her family ran to Amsterdam where they took refuge for two years. While they were there Anne Frank wrote in her diary about her aspirations and dreams for the future as well as what life was like for her living in the secret annex until the entries suddenly stopped on August 1st 1944. Of the seven people living with Anne Frank in the secret annex in Amsterdam only her father, Otto Frank, survived the war.
Anne Frank’s diary is an example of how art can be an escape from the cruelties of the world. Her writing in this diary was her form of rebellion against a cruel world that did not understand her or her people.The horrible treatment of her people during that time is detailed in her writing and is a testament to why we as humanity can never allow such atrocities to happen again. She shared many inspiring ideas in her diary and the one that stuck the most with me was how she believed that every person, regardless of race, has a right to live free.
The Holocaust is something that I learned about in school but it was always in a detached way. By reading Anne Frank’s diary I was able to gain more wisdom on a horrific event because her first-hand account made me feel the terror of holding your breath in while hiding under floor-boards while Nazi troops marched through the streets. I felt a real connection to those eight hideaways and knowing that they were real people who went through such a difficult two years made my heart heavy.
Throughout the diary Anne Frank comes across as a cheerful person who was able to see the good things in life despite the predicament that she and her family faced. Her eloquent descriptions of the people around her and how they lived is a unique insight into the lives of Jews on the run who lived in constant fear of being shipped off to work camps. Through it all you can see that Anne Frank was still just a regular teenage girl with good and bad qualities who was trying to find her place in the world, something that teenagers deal with even now 70 years later.
Reading this book humbled me and made me more sensitive to the plight of others. I have been blessed to be born into a stable economy where I have the freedom to express myself without the looming threat of armed militants taking me away. There are still people in the world in this day and age who suffer similar plights to what Anne Frank went through and reading her story has galvanized my resolve to make the world a better place for everyone.
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