- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (February 3, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553577123
- ISBN-13: 978-0553577129
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 992 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 1997
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—The New York Times
“One of the most moving personal documents to come out of World War II.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“The new edition reveals a new depth to Anne’s dreams, irritations, hardship, and passions. . . . There may be no better way to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II than to reread The Diary of a Young Girl, a testament to an indestructible nobility of spirit in the face of pure evil.”
“The single most compelling personal account of the Holocaust . . . remains astonishing and excruciating.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“How brilliantly Anne Frank captures the self-conscious alienation and naïve self-absorption of adolescence.”
From the Inside Flap
Anne Frank and her family, fleeing the horrors of Nazi occupation, hid in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse for two years. She was thirteen when she went into the Secret Annex with her family.
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This review is of The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. The original version published in the US in the mid-'50s was edited by Otto Frank, Anne's father, who was the only Annex resident to survive the Holocaust. That edition removed a lot of Anne's deeper thoughts about her own family and her own maturation process. The Definitive Edition re-instates that material, but is still a combination of Anne's personal diary, and the version that she herself rewrote in the Annex in 1944 with an eye toward publication after the war (complete with pseudonyms). There is also The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition, evidently the unexpurgated text of her personal diary, which I have not yet encountered.
The diary begins in June 1942, centering on Anne's school life and on the restrictions imposed on Dutch Jews during German occupation. A month later, she and her family go into hiding, and are soon joined by the Van Pels family and, later, by Dr. Pfeffer, an ill-mannered dentist. With eight people living in such a cramped space, personal conflicts soon emerge, and Anne chronicles these in great detail. It's to Anne's credit (and she was only between the ages of 13 and 15 when she wrote) that she's able to view the conflicts from multiple angles - and, as the youngest person in hiding, she was often the target of unwanted criticism from her fellow refugees, so her objectivity and empathy are remarkable.
From the Annex windows, and from the reports of their non-Jewish helpers, Anne chronicles what's going on in the outside world - the forced disappearances of the Jewish population, the reports of concentration camps and death chambers, and the ever-so-slow liberation of Nazi-occupied territory by the Allies. D-Day and its aftermath in June 1944 gives the Annex residents false hope, bitterly false hope, that they can outlast the Nazis and emerge from hiding. At the same time, Amsterdam is literally starving under German occupation, and the warehouse and offices in which the Annex is housed is too tempting for burglars, so it is hard for their presence to remain a secret forever...
For the first 18 months in hiding, Anne's diary is somewhat sparse, with many months containing only two to three entries. Interestingly, the Franks and the other Annex residents were assimilated rather than observant Jews, and the diary spends more time discussing Christmas than Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. I don't think I'd been aware of that before. About half the material in this version comes from 1944 alone. Anne's musings on religion, the Jewish cause (in spite of her lack of personal observance), feminism, her own personality (she famous described herself as "a bundle of contradictions"), and her relationship with Peter Van Pels, the teenage boy in the Annex, are remarkably strong, and call out across the years to today's reader. The destruction of her potential by the Nazis (she died of typhus in a concentration camp weeks before its liberation by the Allies) remains sickening.
Even after 70 years, this remains one of the most important wartime chronicles, and one of the most honest, heartfelt memoirs, ever written.
I would recommend this book to readers of all ages and genders. Not only does it tell the moving and emotional journey of Anne's experiences hiding from the Nazis in such a small space with so many people - but it tells the story of what was going on during the war. While reading this amazing account you can feel this young girl's bravery and patience with so much fear and fighting going on between the family members living together. For such a young and innocent girl to persevere with so much insight and fortitude in the face of adversity such as she lived through is astounding. Anne's writing reveals a young lady who is wise so far beyond her age. When I think of her writing her story in her diary - never having a clue that so many people would ultimately read it and that she would be remembered and admired - it breaks my heart that this unique and amazing girl had to endure what she did and end up the way she did. I think if I ever have the chance to visit that house where she and her family hid I would cry. Through it all she still believed that people were still good at heart. I wish that I had the faith in humanity that she did...
A final thought: this is the unedited version of the diary that some schools wanted to ban because it had some personal observations from Anne on her body and the changes that she noticed as she became a young lady. They are so innocent and so much a part of the story - the part that reminds us that she never got to experience being a woman. Anyone who would want to ban this book for that reason is ignorant and should choose a different career.
Top international reviews
Anne died In 1945 in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April or March of that year, she was 15 years old, her crime was to be a jew, for two year of her short life she lived in hiding and left this remarkable document of mans inhumanity.
She was a precocious intelligent girl, that loved life and nature as she tells us many times in her diary. She was a teeneger like many teenagers, fighting with her mother, preoccupied with her own growing up. loving, hating, crying, laughing while imprisoned behind a bookcase with eight other people, keeping quiet and invisible, while pouring her heart out into a diary that makes her come alive through the haze of time.
We will never know any other destiny for this remarkable little woman and jet she achieved some of her dreams by writing her diary and showing us that she was a person first last and always. That she was never a label but the singular, the great Anne Frank.
“5 April 1944: I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write ..., but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ...
And if I don't have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can't imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! ...
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that's inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?”
— Anne Frank
The second part is the knowledge of what happens afterwards. The fact that this life is taken away, that all these lives are taken. But with Anne she writes of her hopes and dreams. She wants to be a writer. Well in a way she has achieved more than she could have dreamed of 35 million + copies sold in 75 different languages. Her father has left us this diary and the "Secret Annex" as a reminder of the Holocaust and Jewish persecution and the cost to one family of this. It is very very moving.
the past events of history can never be forgotten and in a time when such atrocities were committed by all sides, we can not forget that we loss a humanity!
In our schools and to our friends or family's and in general life, story's of heroism, hero's, selfishness and of what is truly right, should be told before any story of Nazism or devilry.
If my son is to ask me in years to come..."Tell me about the Nazis and of Adolf Hitler", i will reply simply...."First i shall tell you about all the hero's that fought against Adolf Hitler and their family's. There was once a young girl called Anne Frank who received a diary"..........
This diary has the sense that Anne always knew that it would become public property one day. She writes intelligently and from the heart. I give this book a four star rating because it is an interesting read but some parts are long and mundane, which is I suppose a true account of life in hiding.
I would urge anyone to read this book, if only for its historical importance. We must never forget what these, and millions of others, went through. A timeless story, every teenager could relate to hating their parents, feeling stifled, falling in love.
A must read, if ever there was one.
It is thumping great volume (427 pages) ..... but one flies through it, as it is utterly compelling! A "BIG" book ...... in terms of inspiration! A teenage girl - suffering sustained appalling hardship and misery - shows us the virtues of tolerance over intolerance .... humanity over inhumanity!