In June 1942, on Anne Frank’s thirteenth birthday, she got a red plaid journal, which she subsequently used to capture her Dutch family’s horrific narrative. To her, the journal is a place to unleash her thoughts, concerns, and frustrations. However, the diary of Anne Frank becomes a valued piece of history to the world. As Frank celebrated her birthday with family, the Netherlands was already occupied by German troops; German soldiers invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, commencing an occupation that would endure for the next five years. In July 1940, Nazi forces started collecting and deporting Jews throughout Europe. Jewish men, women, and children were pushed onto excessively cramped railway carriages carried to backbreaking work and execution camps. Jews throughout Europe faced outright annihilation.
Jewish citizens in the Netherlands, notably Anne Frank and her family, dreaded what the future contained. Jews experienced intimidation and isolation but had not yet faced the worst. Anne writes in her journal on the problems she and other Dutch Jews encountered under Nazi authority, such as not being permitted on streetcars and being compelled to wear the Star of David on their clothes.
The Diary of a Young Girl Book PDF Download By Anne Frank
On July 5, 1942, Anne’s father, Otto, got instructions to report to a German work camp. Terrified, the family decides to go into hiding. They take residence in a Secret Annex in the attic above her father’s office. The entrance is concealed behind a bookshelf, with steps going upstairs to the little cottage that will become Anne’s home for the next two years.
In her hiding period at Secret Annex, Anne Frank documented her experience. She highlighted the sometimes tricky relationships amongst those holed up in the Annex, notably the arguments with her mother, Edith, and her sister, Margot. Hermann van Pels, his wife Auguste, and their son Peter joined the Franks in hiding days later. In her journal, Anne refers to the van Pels family as the “van Daams.” Over the following two years, Anne falls in love for the first time with Peter, three years her older. They never share more than a kiss, but the encounter makes Anne more interested in her own body. Anne’s journal also chronicles the routine, dull existence concealed behind dark curtains and the struggle of arguments between the Franks and the van Daams, building tension when dentist Franz Pfeffer joined them in the Annex.
Though life within the Annex was routine, life in the outer world was upheaval. Anne and other individuals in the Annex would listen to the workplace radio in the night while the rest of the world was sleeping. Anne even states that she watched a “fierce battle between German and English pilots” from the Annex. She also talks about Italy’s capitulation in September 1943, a positive indication for the Allied army and Jews across Europe. On June 6, 1944, Anne and the others learned of the Normandy invasion by American and Allied troops, writing, “I get the impression that friends are on the way.”
Sadly, D-Day did not arrive quickly enough. Anne and the Annex inhabitants were found and kidnapped by Nazi forces on August 4, 1944. All are taken to Auschwitz, one of the final trains to complete the trip. Only Otto Frank would survive.
Frank mentioned various family members, acquaintances, and assistance in her diaries. She utilized pseudonyms for several, perhaps to safeguard their identity. Below, the characters are listed according to their aliases, with their actual names (if relevant) in parentheses:
The Frank Family
- The Frank family was originated from Frankfurt au Main Germany but migrated to the Netherlands when anti-Semitic emotions flared after Hitler was proclaimed Chancellor.
- Otto Frank was Anne’s father and the sole survivor of the Annex’s occupants. Otto was essential in having Anne’s diary published after the Holocaust.
- Anne’s mother, Edith, was born in Germany to an affluent Jewish family. Anne sees her relationship with her mother as chaotic, blaming her mother of side with Margot during disagreements.
- Margot, the Franks’ eldest daughter, was 16 when they joined the Annex. Anne characterizes her as clever, albeit maybe less extroverted than Anne herself.
- Anne Frank is the youngest child of Otto and Edith. She dreamt of one day becoming a film star or authoring a book. Anne would end up in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died of disease and weariness. She was 15.
The “van Daam” (van Pels) Family
- Father Hermann, whom Anne characterizes as amusing, usually smoking, with superb knowledge of politics.
- Mrs. van Daam (Auguste van Pels) is odd but likes to store food for her family and criticizes Mrs. Frank’s parenting.
- Their son Peter is three years older than Anne. She first says he has a “big inferiority problem,” considering himself dumb. Soon, Anne reveals her burgeoning emotions for Peter.
- By the time the families are arrested, Anne is in love with Peter and hopes for a future. Peter died on one of the Nazis’ death marches before the Allied soldiers freed the camps.
The Diary of a Young Girl Summary: Conditions in the Annex
The Secret Annex was a modest dwelling area behind Otto Frank’s company. The Annex held eight persons at their abduction, living with a small bathroom, a kitchenette, and cramped beds. They lived under these circumstances for about two years, depending entirely on assistance, friends, and co-workers to fulfill their essentials, and rationing regularly provoked arguments among the occupants.
The inhabitants could not walk downstairs during the day, raise the curtains, or lift the windows. Doing so risked their being detected by the German forces, hunting out Jews in the Netherlands. Sometimes, the occupants could slip downstairs and listen to the radio to hear news about the war, but this was a rarity. Workers continued to come in and out of the warehouse every day, ignorant of the immigrants living just above them. The Annex inhabitants had to keep quiet and silent since any disturbance may warn those below their position.
The Final Entry
Frank sounded upbeat in her notes before the Annex occupants were identified and jailed. She knew the Allied troops were approaching; she and the others eagerly anticipated freedom. However, it was not to be.
Frank’s last post came on August 1, 1944; she characterizes herself as a “bundle of contradictions,” torn between diverse ideas and sensations. On August 4, she and the seven others in the Annex, plus two others who had helped conceal them, were apprehended only three days later. All save Otto Frank would perish in the ensuing months before Allied soldiers could free them.
The Diary of a Young Girl: Significance
After the Annex was discovered and its inhabitants detained, Miep Gies uncovered Anne’s journal. She kept it secure, planning to present it to Anne personally; nevertheless, when Otto returned as the only survivor, Miep handed him the journal.
Otto Frank released an edited edition of her diaries in 1947. The book symbolizes a dedication to Anne, the rest of his family, and others who were kidnapped with him. The narrative and the home where it all took place remain artifacts of a sad past. Her journal provides readers insight into her living condition throughout the war and exposes a delicate, personal aspect of the Holocaust and those lost to its horrors.
Today, the Secret Annex is an internationally famous historical landmark and museum. The place remains primarily after Frank’s family was found and arrested. Millions of people worldwide flock to the Anne Frank House each year.
Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who hid in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. The Frank family resided there alongside the van Daam family, whose son Peter was three years older than Anne. Anne fell in love with Peter throughout their time together, which she writes about in her journal.
On August 1, 1944, as Allied armies moved in to free Europe from Hitler’s control, Anne and the other inhabitants were found and arrested by Nazi troops. They were seized and taken to detention camps. Otto Frank would be the sole survivor and publish his daughter’s journal as a narrative of what they suffered.